1995 Fools: ABOI: Polite Methods of Nose Picking

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Subject: ABOI: Polite Methods of Nose Picking
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  From: C-feature@clarinet.com (Judith Martini)
  Newsgroups: clari.feature.miss_manners
  Subject: Polite Methods of Nose Picking
  Date: Sat, 1 Apr 95 00:00:00 GMT
  Organization: The Seattle Group
  Lines: 65
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  Message-ID: <3liahh$pu6@nntp3.u.washington.edu>
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      DEAR MISS MANNERS -- I have a rather perplexing situation to deal
  with and as a last resort must ask for your expertise. My husband
  seems to find my constant habit of picking my nose in public to be
  offensive in some manner which I fail to understand. I was brought up
  in a proper household and my parents showed me exactly which angles and
  techniques were acceptable and which were not. He seems to be under
  the delusion that picking one's nose anywhere remotely near another
  person is inappropriate behavior.
      If my style since childhood of a quick removal with the right
  index finger followed by graceful ingestion of all traces is not
  proper, what is? Kindly resolve this conflict for us, as it is putting
  a strain on our marriage.
      GENTLE READER -- Sigh. Your husband is what we used to call in the
  days when manners were practiced, a "cad". I receive many letters like
  yours every month from poor souls who have been forced to "correct"
  behavior which others mistakenly perceive to be "uncouth". Your
  technique of nose picking was widely practiced in Europe and North
  America through Victorian times, and it is a wonder that since those
  days many people have simply forgotten their manners.
      Miss Manners hopes that you inform your husband that his
  admonishment of your actions in ignorance is a far greater
  transgression of proper behavior than anybody could possibly make
  picking their nose publicly. It is such people that make Miss Manners'
  job that much harder, confusing humble souls among us as to what just
  is proper behavior.

      DEAR MISS MANNERS -- Can you tell me what the established
  etiquette might be regarding peddling of narcotics? I am a heavy user
  who has needed to turn to crime to support my habit, and am looking
  for a more respectable alternative. I was considering killing two
  birds with one stone, so to speak, by going into dealing myself. My
  only problem is that with such an informal business it is hard to know
  exactly what is considered "proper" behavior these days. All my
  sources have such polished styles, but there is tremendous variation
  in their approaches. Do you think that the tough "street hoodlum"
  approach favored by so many seedy characters of the past is outdated,
  or is this "college frat boy buddy" style so pervasive today just a
  passing fancy? I have also considered emulating the so-called "dead-
  head hippie" persona, but am not sure which of these identities best
  reflects traditional manners in this ancient trade. 
      Also, any insight you might lend to proper usage of slang terms
  for "drugs", "police" or "getting arrested" would be wonderful.
      GENTLE DEALER -- Miss Manners must commend your insightful
  forethought which is all too seldom found these days. You are right in
  observing the multitude of personas which appear to be appropriate in
  the practice of narcotics peddling. While Miss Manners tends to
  personally favor the traditional "seedy character in a dark alley"
  approach herself, she cannot find fault with the other two styles of
  delivery, however new they be.
      As always, the best advice is old advice, and the oldest advice
  Miss Manners knows is to "Be true to yourself." It sounds like you are
  not truly comfortable with any of these people as the real you, so
  must simply accept who you are and be that person in your new
  role. Congratulations on your new source of income and best wishes for
  a successful venture!

      Are you confused about adultery? Miss Manners' pamphlet "How to
  Cheat On Your Spouse," gives all the ins and outs of running around on
  your better half. Send $5, plus $10 for hush money and a long
  self-addressed stamped envelope, to Miss Manners, in care of this
  newspaper, P.O. Box 4465, Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163-4465.

      Copyright 4/1/1995 by Judith Martian
      Distributed by Untied Flatulent Syndicate, Inc.