Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Manners in a Dangerous Time

On my run today, as I came south on Glen Road, several sets of pedestrians were coming north on the same sidewalk. Being nothing if not gracious and handsome, I was glad to veer into the street on my left such that they could proceed without worry.

Each group exchanged a smile and wave with me as we passed one another. That is, until a particular woman of a certain age approached.
Once again, I bore left into the street, among the bulldozers and bobcats making repairs and, as I did so, she veered toward her left, up the driveway and nearly to the front door of the house beside us.
"What a coincidence," thought I, "she happens to live here."
Rather, she stopped and snapped up her mask until I passed, then snapped it down again and proceeded on her unmerry way.
Now, forget for a moment that she chose to make no acknowledgment that I had surrendered the sidewalk (although that is very much a thing). It has been said that manners, which truly hold a society together, are obedience to the unenforceable. Just as only my incandescent chivalry was all that bound me to step aside, she was under no obligation to show an inkling of gratitude.
But even the most fanatical Faucist cannot believe that this virus that must not be named will leap 40 feet in the outdoors on a glorious, sunny day and, if it could, would then be halted by the huffy displacement of a bit of cloth.
I may have laughed audibly and she may have turned and said something about that but, as fate would have it, the Overture from Rocky was playing on my iPod. I would not remove my headphones at that moment for a health-scare harridan, or anyone else, for that matter.
As always, I would rather light a candle than curse the darkness. Consequently, I shall focus on the demeanor and number of maskless normals whose visible smiles greeted me on this lovely day.