Those of you who know me well know that I value good manners and civility, not that one encounters too much of it nowadays. In fairness, though, I would note that observing proper etiquette can be difficult because of the wide variations in what is considered acceptable behavior in various parts of the country.
Here, for instance, is a compilation of valuable redneck etiquette tips provided by my brother who lives in Florida. Draw your own conclusions about my family ...
General Points of Etiquette.
Never take a beer to a job interview.
Always identify people in your yard before shooting at them.
It's considered poor taste to take a cooler to church.
If you have to vacuum the bed, it is time to change the sheets.
Even if you're certain that you are included in the will, it is still considered tacky to drive a U-Haul to the funeral home.
If drinking directly from the bottle, always hold it with your fingers covering the label.
Avoid throwing bones and food scraps on the floor as the restaurant may not have dogs.
Entertaining in Your Home.
A centerpiece for the table should never be anything prepared by a taxidermist.
Do not allow the dog to eat at the table no matter how good his manners are.
While ears need to be cleaned regularly, this is a job that should be done in private using one's own truck keys
Proper use of toiletries can forestall bathing for several days. However, if you live alone, deodorant is a waste of good money.
Dirt and grease under the fingernails is a social no-no, as they tend to detract from a woman's jewelry and alter the taste of finger foods.
Dating Outside the Family.
Always offer to bait your date's hook, especially on the first date.
Be aggressive. Let her know you're interested: "I've been wanting to go out with you since I read that stuff on the bathroom wall two years ago."
Establish with her parents what time she is expected back. Some will say 10:00 PM; others might say "Monday." If the latter is the answer, it is the man's responsibility to get her to school on time.
Always have a positive comment about your date's appearance, such as, "Ya'll sure don't sweat much for a fat gal."
Livestock is usually a poor choice for a wedding gift.
Kissing the bride for more than 5 seconds may get you shot.
The groom, at least, should rent a tux. A leisure suit with a cummerbund and a clean bowling shirt can create too sporty an appearance.
Though uncomfortable, say "yes" to socks and shoes for this special occasion.
It is not appropriate to tell the groom how good his wife is in the sack.
Dim your headlights for approaching vehicles, even if the gun is loaded, and the deer is in sight.
When approaching a four-way stop, the vehicle with the largest tires always has the right of way.
Never tow another car using panty hose and duct tape.
When sending your wife/girlfriend down the road with a gas can, it is impolite to ask her to bring back beer.
Never relieve yourself from a moving vehicle, especially when driving.
Do not lay rubber while traveling in a funeral procession.
I hope this helps you achieve acceptance with the locals in some of our less-visited regions. It's all part of my ongoing effort to improve the level of civility in these troubled times.
Of course, it is still considered acceptable to use terms of endearment like "ass clown" and "clueless moron" to refer to politicians with whom you disagree.*
Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.
*In my case, that would be most of them.