Mind Your Manners: Getting Your Emily Post On At the Bar

Categories: The Overserved

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Generally, I take my muses in the form of flappers, gypsies and Dolly Parton. I also heed the advice of Emily Post. Her regard for manners and civility may swing square to some, but I find her devoted involvement to the enjoyment of others helps conquer narcissism and ensures a great time. From that polite dame herself: "Manners are like primary colors. There are certain rules and once you have these you merely mix." Rules, as they say, are meant to be broken. But manners I hold dear. Let's apply them to nightlife.

First, lets talk about jukeboxes. Dallas has a bounty of great ones and whether you are feeding coins at Cosmos or The Windmill, it's nice to consider your environment just a touch. Scan the room - what's the mood? Is now the best time to play that 22-minute deep cut? Or that very sad Counting Crows song I had to Shazam to even discover the title? Doubtful.

The point is, you aren't in your bedroom making a playlist; you're collaborating with strangers to guide the vibe. Don't force your obscure tastes for the sake of it. Take a risk (not a 22-minute one), but mix it in with that Otis Redding or David Bowie. There is a time and a place for everything, just consider yours as you flip through the catalog. Karaoke selection works similarly.

Oh, and what about concerts, Dallas? Do you know you have a bit of reputation for the incessant talking during performances? Amplification doesn't always cover you up; you can almost always hear that chatter just a touch louder than the music being played. I don't even want you to stop talking, I just want you to take it to the bar. You might be right, you might need to tell that story RIGHT NOW, but you probably don't need to tell it to me. I came to hear the music.

Are you sitting there, at the bar? No. Did you already get your drink? Yes. Okay, can you move it along, then? Don't hang out at the bar if you aren't stool-bound, it makes it harder for folks on both sides of the bar. The ebb and flow is key to social lubrication, so don't cock(tail)-block.

Manners are about the way you treat other people, the way we make space for each other in the world. Good ones make a safe place for oddities and curiosity, two traits that improve our leisure. Nothing is of less import than what fork you use. But playing nice? Playing nice could just make all the difference.


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7 comments
TLS
TLS

I'm pretty sure the 40-something Nickelback fan used to be the 20-something NKOTB fan.  But the rest of your plan works.  I hope I'm not in the bar when you go all Conway Twitty.

just sayin'
just sayin'

I actually get a big kick out of totally changing the mood of a room when I happen to be in a place that has an internet download-any-song-and-pay-extra-to-play-it-first jukebox. If someone plays LMFAO or the Black Eyed Peas, I hit them in the mouth with some Slayer. If I hear a Kanye song, guess what? You are about to hear 30 minutes worth of Conway Twitty. And if I hear one two many hipster indie bands, the whole room is about to get a lesson in the 2 Live Crew. Its an endless source of entertainment. I once stood in line behind a chick that actually put her money in and picked out 5 Nickleback songs. I couldnt stand for that so before they played I treated the room to some New Kids on the Block. And smiled the entire time. My jukebox holy grail will always be "Dopesmoker" by Sleep. Im sure that I will never find it, but the moment I do the bar is going to be subjected to a 59 minute long stoner metal song.

Deb
Deb

House party! King Crimson playlists only ;)

Gat2KeepOnMovin
Gat2KeepOnMovin

What does this column ever have to do with music? It's alcoholic garbage. Put it in mixmaster. No one ever reads that blog.

quahog_convo
quahog_convo

But how else will you know I'm a true fan unless I yell-sing so loud with a song that you can't hear the artist? HOW?!

Prince Rupert
Prince Rupert

But how are you ever going to learn about the cor anglais or the melotron if I don't fire up that 22 minute King Crimson cut with my iPhone jukebox app?

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