Miss(ed) Manners

January 28, 2005

Miss(ed) Manners: Love and Hat

Filed under: Column — missedmanners @ 9:17 pm

I hate hats. I hate them for the very simple reason that I can’t wear them. Call it dome-envy. Every winter as the temperature drops and my ears begin to freeze I start anew my lifelong search for a hat that I can wear.

Sure, I can actually wear any hat, I don’t have that freakishly large a head, at least not physically. It’s simply that there does not exist a hat in this world that I can wear that will not make me look like an idiot. It’s a curse.

As the rest of the city is bundled up against the frigid winter clime, they’re donning wool caps, stetson, fedoras even decorative head gear. Me? I just got a pair of those behind the head ear muffs, they’re the head warmth equivalent of a band-aid on an amputation.

There are two reasons I can’t wear hats, both are ridiculous.

1) I have a pin straight asian baby hair. Unfortunately I’m not an asian baby. It’s unfortunate because asian babies are the cutest things in the world, and I generally aim to be cute. It’s even more unfortunate because whenever I put a hat on, my hair instantly becomes matted to my head like a crop circle.

2) I have a cone shaped head (refer to the column about me being born and having a giant head). Hats enjoy showing off this alien-esque slope. I generally aim to not look like an alien, even an alien asian baby.

This whole hat thing has been a very serious issue for me from way back when I was a little boy. When other kid’s were out playing in the snow, ensconced in winter time head coverings, I was running around bare-headed and pneumonia-bound. It was a sad, mucous-ey time.

When I was about eight years old I postulated the following: “There is a perfect hat out there for everyone.” I’ve been on the journey ever since to find my hatmate. The one, undeniably perfect hat that will not press down my sensitive locks, or make me look like some chest-busting extraterrestrial.

The results, as you can imagine were laughable at best.

Age 12: The Tweed Hat
At some point during the 7th grade I thought I was cool enough to be one of those old-guy type kids. You know, the kids who play chess during lunch with themselves and talk about how juvenile middle school is. I wore this hat when I did it. I got less play than an Alabama public theater.

While it certainly looked awesome, no one can deny that, it eventually became too much when I started wearing a tan blazer to school. My Mom made me stop wearing it because she was afraid I’d be bald by the time I was 17. I silently thank her every day for this.

Age 13: Coffee Hat

I spent the three years following the Tweed Hat Phase (THP) trying out new and exciting options for head covering. I wore a jester’s hat for a summer in what I can only assume was an attempt to cover up all that torrid sexuality that was built during the THP. Either that or I was really into D&D at the time, I can’t remember.

Perhaps worst of all of them was the cabbie hat I picked up in some thrift store one weekend. See, in my little home town someone had just opened a coffee shop. You know, late night hanging out, singer-songwriters, pretentious art done by some retiree living in the hills, thirteen year olds thinking that drinking coffee and listening to singer-songwriters will get them laid.

I also started wearing a wife beater and flannel shirts, it was about as cool as the under-side of a ball sac after a marathon. Four black and white journals of bad poetry and one caffeine addiction later, I gave up the hat.

Age 15: Long Hair

Eventually I became so fed up with the process that I just grew my hair out. What a mistake. The only thing worse than short baby asian hair is shoulder-length baby asian hair. There I was, on the tail end of puberty, greasy faced, bespectacled and Blossom-haired. Yes, I understand the irony of looking like Blossom and not being able to wear a hat.

Enduring a year and a half of explaining to people that I was, in fact, a boy, was not cool at all. Fortunately, all pictures of me from that time period were ritually burned by my mom. Again, I thank her for this.

Since those days I’ve had a string of on again, off again relationships with hats, never lasting for more than a few months. Settling down with a hat is a serious proposition, and while I understand the joy people get out of having that kind of bond with a piece of headwear is worth it, I just haven’t found the right hat yet.

I’m not going to stop looking, though. I’m pretty hopeful, my headmate’s got to be out there, sitting in some window somewhere, waiting for me to come along. In the mean time, I think I’ll keep up the fling with the ear bud’s, nothing wrong with a little healthy experimentation, right?

January 21, 2005

Miss(ed) Manners: Business

Filed under: Column — missedmanners @ 9:17 pm

There are about three requirements to calling oneself a New Yorker. As we all know, one of them is not having been born here. Don’t listen to the three bitter beret wearing coffee-sippers at TeaNY who are the only ones who actually were, it really doesn’t matter. The list actually used to be about forty five items long, but that was when Dinkins was mayor. When Giuliani took a brillo pad to Times Square about forty of them became moot, most notably, #23, tea-bagging a tranny hooker.

With the rise of the community boards, numbers 8 (Light a part of CBGB’s on fire) and 15 (Be able to both carry and tune a ghetto blaster) actually became illegal! Can you believe it?

So these days we’re left with only three. What are they, Dave? You ask. Here they are, I say.

#1: Know how to avoid eye contact with peddlers.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. You can train for this in the same way modern movies train actors to behave around computer generated characters, with ping pong balls. Have a friend hold up two, and move them around erratically, because the peddler will most likely be high on crack, right? If you are at any point caught staring at them, you will have to swallow them, both.

#2: At least 75% of your clothing must be black
Colors are the devils work and they have no place here. You want life and verve? Go to Long Island, you silly fucking hippie.

and finally, the most important:

#3: Be able to navigate the New York City Bus system

That’s right, I know about thirty of you just said, “Oh shit! I guess I’m not a New Yorker!” That’s right, tourist, you’re not. Fortunately for you all, I do know how to ride NYC Busses. Anyone who’s ever had the unfortunate pleasure of living on the far east side will tell you, it’s vital to your survival.

Below I’ve compiled a small lists of tips, hints and tricks to successfully utilizing our city’s most useless means of transport. If you’re ever in a situation where you desperately need to go 30 blocks uptown and you only have mere two hours to do it, you’re going to need to use a bus, and my advice will help you. You’ll also finally be able to call yourself a New Yorker, and get the patch… and the mug, don’t forget the mug… oooh and one of those awesome, “I Heart New York” shirts, those are so cool.

Dave’s NYC Bus Guide: Tips, Tricks, Hints and Shenanigans!”

#1: Do not, under any circumstance exit the bus from the front door.
I don’t care if you’re old, grandma. Get off your ass and walk to the back, we’ve got to maintain a flow here. I know it’s a hike, those ten paces to the other door where you won’t be blocking anyone, or slowing the rest of us down, but it’s important. Make the effort you Social Security draining sack of skin and macaroons.

#2: Have your metrocard out and ready.
Like a football player on prom-night, you’ve got to be ready to insert at a moment’s notice. Any and all people who get to the… what the fuck do you call those things that take your metrocard on the bus? For our purposes, let’s call it a man-slot. Any and all people who get to the man-slot and start fumbling through their pockets looking desperately for their card are marked for death. You learn this when you get the patch, tourist.

#3: Don’t ask if this is an Express.
It’s on the front of the bus. If you were too blind to see it, just assume that it is, you could use the exercise. 96th Street is only two blocks from your apartment, Chunk.

#4: When the bus is crowded and you have to stand right next to someone who is sitting, make sure your crotch is CLEAN.
‘Nuff said.

#5: When people in wheel chairs get on the bus, exhale loudly.
Both me AND God know you do it, you lousy excuse for a person, you make me sick.

#6: Don’t run for the bus.
You look like an idiot. Heaven forbid the bus start moving while you’re running along side of it, then you’ll have to bang on the side of the bus. Then you’ll look like an idiot who likes to hit stuff. Everyone will see you, they will laugh at you, and then they will tell their friends about you. If you slide on ice or wet concrete, you’ll probably make the evening news.

Relax, there’s another bus on it’s way. Wait in a Deli if it’s too cold. The laws of Physics prevent all NYC busses from getting you to wherever you’re going on time, anyway.

and finally:

#7: Don’t talk on your cell phone.
See last week’s column. It’s a bus, not a phone booth. I don’t care what you think the creature on Lost is and neither does the rest of the bus.

Following these simple guidelines will help ensure your inclusion to the world’s coolest group: New Yorkers. A group that prides itself on rudeness, disregard for the well being of their fellow man, and promptness. If you’ve read carefully enough, you can send me a self addressed stamped envelope with $25, and I’ll get that patch out to you at some point.

I know I speak for the rest of New Yorkers when I say that, you should just be happy that we no longer have #4 (Either bite Courtney Love’s tittie or get beaten up by her) on the requirements list.

January 14, 2005

Miss(ed) Manners: Eh, Tomorrow

Filed under: Column — missedmanners @ 9:16 pm

I was reading through some of my past stuff the other day, if not only to wallow in my own brilliance, like a pig in a genius shit puddle, and I realized that for all my rants on life, people and touching, I’ve been missing out on my favorite subject.


I suck.

Why? Because I’m lazy.

I’m probably the laziest person you’ll ever meet, and what’s worse, I hate lazy people, they make me so angry. I’d totally whoop my own ass, but shit man, I’m too lazy to do that.

When I look back on it, I’ve always been super lazy. I can actually trace my laziness to one day in third grade. I was being taught fractions and I learned the term, “lowest common denominator.” I instantly took it to mean, “Do the least amount of work possible in order to get by.” Third grade, fractions and the eventual doom of my character.

From that day forward I strove to unstrive, made it my business to have no business. Here come the mildly amusing anecdotes!

Age: 9

In Mrs. Sten’s class we got to make Christmas ornaments. This was a much simpler time, when everyone was Christian and we got to do stuff like that. When the Jew finally came to Chatham, I think they made him make dreidels in the corner out of macaroni or something.

Not us! We got the whole craft set down out from the coat closet and got to make whatever we wanted to give to our parents on this holy of holy winter festivals. I mean, we had it all, construction paper, gold foil, ribbons, paste (for eating), glue (for putting on you, peeling off, eventually eating) and of course, those rubber handled scissors that you always got stuck picking the one retarded left handed version of and your fucking snow flake would come out looking like you’d made it rectally.

But I digress. The point of this very simple story is that while the other kids worked feverishly on what would surely be their most prized gifts to their parents this year, I grabbed the downe-syndrom only (left handed) scissors, a piece of red paper and cut out a circle. I wrote my name on it, in pencil, on red construction paper.

My parents loved it and I spent the rest of the day playing Oregon Trail, word.

Age: 15

This was the summer when my room was such a mess that we assumed the smell was from just my general lack of hygene and not in fact from the mouse that had passed away in the wall some three weeks earlier.

It took me three more weeks to get up the motivation to knock a hole in the wall to get it out.

Ages: 15-18
Develop a nasty smoking habit. While fake ID’s are plentiful, I refuse to drive out to Clifton Park to get one, instead I make semi-daily trip forty five minutes in the other direction to go to a store where my friend works.

Ages: 18-21
Develop a social drinking habit. While fake ID’s are plentiful, I refuse to walk out to West 8th Street to get one, instead I make a semi-weekly trip to the only bar I know I’ll get into.

Age: 21
Instead of attending a class I conquer the world repeatedly in Civilization III. I fail, and retake. The course? Basketweaving.

Not really, but it might as well have been. I spend most of the time during the retake drawing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and get an A.

Age: 24
Nowadays I’m still living on the LCD. *pops gang sign* I routinely walk by garbage that I’ve bagged up and left next to the door to be taken out. I live on the second floor. I skip picking up my mail all the time because there’s a back door to my apartment that means I walk five less steps. I live on the second floor. I haven’t cooked a meal for myself in almost five years, the guys at the deli start making my sandwich when they see my train come by.

I only shave when forced to at gun point by my long suffering girlfriend.

I watch network because having a satelite installed seems one hell of a fucking hassle, right?

I play video games because they’re the only activity that lets you sit absolutely still for period of eight hours at a time.

Get the picture here?

Laziness is one of my biggest pet peeves. It fucking kills me when I see people not living up to their potential and settling for ordering the medium value meal when I know deep in my heart they could have super sized it.

I guess I hate it so much because I see it so much in me. I know every time I look into that cupboard and think to myself how much I’d be saving if only I’d learn how to make canned soup, I want to hit myself.

It’s usually around then that I call for Chinese.

January 7, 2005

Miss(ed) Manners: Breaker Breaker!

Filed under: Column — missedmanners @ 9:05 pm

Sometime in the mid 70’s America was reeling from a collective cocaine hangover, staggering through a national morning of regret and worry, trying desperately to remember what it did at the disco the night before. After a period of mournful staring in the mirror and few requisite repetitions of, “I’m never drinking again,” the nation bumbled out the front door looking for a rural renewal.

Fortunately for everyone, it didn’t last long, and the country was back in the disco doing lines in the bathroom with some backup singer from Change, but not before we got saddled with the horrible burden of the CB radio craze of 1977. For a little while everyone was calling everyone else, “Rubber Ducky,” and “Good Buddy.” It was magical in that sort of moonshine swilling, big hat wearing, klan meeting sort of way.

Here, now, some twenty five years later, we’re back at it again. Thanks to a little company called Nextel, were reliving the cultural nightmare all over again. In my mind, everyone who owns one of these two way radio/phones/idiot sticks really just wants to be a trucker out on the lonely highway.

I’m sure they’ve got a use. Who doesn’t want to have a walkie talkie? Really now. Remember when you were a kid and your parents bought you that five dollar set from K-Mart and you and your brother tromped around through the neighborhood pretending to be Viet Cong, aiming to purify your socialist ideology through the cauterization of live combat? Maybe that was just us.

But today, as grownups and non-truckers, there is absolutely no reason for two way radios to exist. What can these things do that regular cell phones can’t do? I can just see the product development brain storming session now:

“OK, so here’s the idea, even though we have cell phones, we’re going to take a step backwards and market two way radios.”


“Think about it, instead of having a conversation, like a normal person, you can press a button, and only one of you can talk at a time.”


“And the best part? This all happens over a speaker phone, so that everyone around you can hear what you’re talking about, at near jet engine level decibals.”

“Let’s make out.”

A couple of months ago I was in New Jersey seeing a movie with my girlfriend, her brother and her sister. It was perhaps the most comical experience I’ve ever had at a movie theater mainly because of all the stupid things that people were doing in the surrounding seats. I’ll just mention that someone right next to me broke out some chinese food, and someone threatened to beat up a giggling teenage girl, enough said.

But the one that absolutely takes the cake is that just after the previews stopped rolling and we were starting in on the feature presentation, I heard it, that dreadful little sound.


or is it,


You know that sound. That annoying little tone that means you’re about to be on the receiving end of a way-too-loud nextel call. I could hear everyone in the audience let out a collective sigh of anger.

“Yo man, you there?”



“Yeah, I’m in a movie, bro.” (Please note he used the word “Bro.” People who habitually use the word “Bro” AND use Nextels are way up on my list for prejudicial sterilization when I take over the world.)



“Oh alright, call me later.”



“Nah bro, it’s alright, what’s up?”

I swear to God. We got to listen to a five minute conversation between some white trash guy named Scooter and his friend, “Bro” about how some chick wouldn’t put out after the semi-formal. Eventually all the shouting and harassment from other understandably enraged moviegoers helped convince Scooter and Bro to end their little speaker phone tryst.

What goes on in people’s minds that makes them think that other people would either a) Be interested in whatever you and your buddy are talking about, b) Not mind that you’re talking about it.

I’m assuming I’m right in guessing that anyone who owns one of these things suffers from acute narcissism and delusions of grandeur. How else can you explain wanting everyone in your immediate surrounding to listen to you and some dude from a record store wax poetic about the genius of the new Ludacris remix?

Here’s the tall and short of the whole tall and short of it. If you’re not a trucker, you’ve got no reason to have a two way radio. If you use it in public, you’re not only not a trucker, but you’re also an idiot.

So unless we’re willing to start back up with that whole CB radio craze, and someone wants to start calling me Rubber Ducky or Bandit, I suggest we militarize and start trashing these little hellish devices on sight. Cause I don’t know about you, but I’d rather America stay in the disco, that dude from Change said he’d meet us there.




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