Archive for category: Barely Socially Acceptable

I Talk to Strangers in Elevators

21 Aug 2014
August 21, 2014 I talk to strangers in elevators. But not just to any stranger. I pick and choose, depending on the elevator, the mix of people, and, of course, if I have anything to say. Our time together is short and there must be some connection to our shared experience riding up or down. Not quite an elevator pitch, but a close relative. Timing is everything. It might be Monday morning. No eager beavers on Monday morning. "Thank God it's Friday," I might say. I'm often the warm up act for the week. Read more [...]

The Theatre of the Barely Socially Acceptable, Act 14

07 May 2013
May 7, 2013 Private space, like the telephone booth, has become extinct. People now carry on their private lives as if they were on a public stage. And, most interestingly, they don't care who hears their phone conversations. This was the genesis of The Theatre of the Barely Socially Acceptable. You might enjoy past acts of drama, culled from Washington, DC's Metro and other street level amphitheaters. A hard day at the office, I had a half hour ride home on the Metro before I began my hard night at home Read more [...]

Anatomy of an Encounter: I Could Be Wrong

15 May 2011
May 15, 2011 I thought the facts made me right. Image by spelio As I stood in a long line at the ATM outside my bank I smelled smoke. It came and went and, after a while I started to look around for the smoker. At first, I couldn't spot him but finally noticed the man right in front of me was holding a cigarette behind his back as he conversed with the woman in front of him. When I was young I had a severe form of asthma with no help, I'm sure, from my parents' 1950s smoking habits. Luckily, I grew out of the Read more [...]

Flattery Will Get You Everywhere

12 Dec 2009
December 12, 2009 For the last year I've been getting email newsletters from the dealership where I bought my car. Although my Volkswagen is over nine years old the dealer wants to keep in touch with me. Naturally, they want to keep me loyal to their service department and, when it's time, entice me to buy a new car. I understand and appreciate this as part of good customer service. I like hearing about the new VWs and car safety. But the newsletter also clearly includes fluff pieces about new recipes, pushing one Read more [...]

The Theatre of the Barely Socially Acceptable, Act 13

14 Jul 2007
July 14, 2007 As she boarded the Orange Line train for the burbs she sat down and immediately opened her David's Bridal catalogue. Ever on the lookout for my next episode of The Theatre of the Barely Socially Acceptable, I surreptitiously observed her behind my iPod-induced playlist (always good camouflage). She quietly thumbed through the pages and I returned to India.Arie's I Am Not My Hair. Suddenly, above the beat: Hi, it's me. I'm looking at the bridal catalogue. Do you have it in front of you? Oh, I'm sorry. Read more [...]

The Theatre of the Barely Socially Acceptable, Act 12

23 Apr 2007
April 23, 2007 Monday morning commutes, by almost unanimous vote, are reserved for quiet transitions from the weekend to the work week ahead. So when riding the subway this morning I and those around me were jarred by a gentleman bellowing into his mobile: Jim, we need to re-key the locks today. But I don't know if we should have one lock or two on the front door. And, if two, should they use the same key? He went on to discuss the merits of both with what must have been his contractor while the man next to me Read more [...]
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