An etiquette quiz, dude

Doesn't it seem that rudeness is rampant these days? Wherever you go, someone is there to interrupt you, cut you off, ruin your meal, laugh in your face, or sneeze on your shirt.

Social pundits complain that parents don't teach their children good manners anymore. The sad fact is that many parents don't know the fine points of proper etiquette. They either weren't taught appropriate behavior when they were younger, or they've forgotten it in their rush to "get ahead" in a fast-paced, ever-ruder world.

"Etiquette" (from the French for "do not spit in the salad") is the body of prescribed social behavior. It helps society run smoothly and sets standards for everyday actions. Most importantly, it keeps us all from killing each other.

To see whether you know all you should about etiquette (and, therefore, can give proper lessons to your children), take the following quiz:

1: The correct response to "Thank you" is:

A. "You're welcome."
B. "No problem."
C. "Huh?"
D. "Whatever, dude."

2: When passing through a door with other people, you should:

A. Hold the door open for others and come through last.
B. Step through the door, then reach as far as you can to more or less hold it open for those who follow.
C. Slip past the slow-moving people, saying, "C'mon, c'mon. I haven't got all day."
D. Slam the door on someone's fingers.

3: When you're driving and you see a pedestrian at a crosswalk, you should:

A. Stop and gesture for the pedestrian to go ahead and cross the street.
B. Stop, gesture for the pedestrian to go ahead, then "rev" your engine to hurry him along.
C. Speed up.
D. "Brush him back" up onto the curb.

4. The appropriate response when someone sneezes is:

A. "Bless you!"
B. "Wow!"
C. "Yuck!"
D. "Good one!"

5. If, during a conversation, someone unleashes a "bodily noise," you should:

A. Ignore it and keep talking.
B. Roll your eyes.
C. Snicker.
D. Say, "Good one!"

6. When dining, which of the following are appropriate to put on the table:

A. Forearms.
B. Elbows.
C. Feet.
D. A copy of "Penthouse" magazine.

7. If you're standing in line and spot a friend near the front, you should:

A. Wave to your friend and wait your turn.
B. Go to your friend and strike up a conversation so you can get "cuts."
C. Join your friend while "mad-dogging" anyone who might object.
D. Shove aside anyone between you and your friend.

8. When you receive a gift that is ugly or stupid or otherwise inappropriate, you should:

A. Thank the gift-giver and lie about the gift's beauty and intrinsic value.
B. Thank the gift-giver and wait until s/he leaves before laughing so hard that noodles squirt out your nose.
C. Say, "Well, I've certainly never had one of these before."
D. Mutter, "Time for another garage sale."

9. In a restaurant, the proper way to summon a waiter is:

A. Raise your hand until you catch the waiter's eye.
B. Raise your hand and shout, "Garcon! Hey!"
C. Whistle loudly.
D. Slam the tabletop repeatedly with your shoe.

(Warning: Inappropriate summoning of the waiter can result in the waiter's failure to follow proper "etiquette." If this occurs, skip the salad.)

10. If someone is droning on about a topic that doesn't interest you, you should:

A. Politely change the subject.
B. Look pointedly at your watch.
C. Clear your throat repeatedly.
D. Punch him.

To score your quiz: Give yourself 10 points for each "A" answer, then subtract 5 points for each "B," "C" or "D" answer. If you score less than 50, it may be time to take an etiquette course.

Remember: Manners are important. Etiquette is the oil that lubricates social intercourse.

(If you snickered at the term "social intercourse," subtract another 10 points.)


Anonymous said...

I don't know how this is mathematically possible, but my score was <55>
That's negative 55 when it seems a negative 50 would be as low a score possible.
Which is why I always order the soup, but never chowder. Too easy to disguise "etiquette" in a chowder.

David J. Montgomery said...

I'm reminded of the scene where the Blues Brothers go to dinner at the restaurant where their former band member is the Maitre d'.


Love that Blues Bros. scene: "How much for the women?"