Due to a compilation of personal attacks I've received about two recent columns, I feel I should apologize to anyone who thought I went too far with my suggestions. Here, in the form a public service, are some recommendations that we should all be able to agree upon. Surely by following these simple guidelines we will maintain the kind of America that our founding fathers envisioned.
Remember to wash behind your ears. Be nice to others. Pay your taxes on time. Don't amass too much personal debt. Men, open doors for the ladies. Ladies, act like ladies. If you walk your dog in a public space, pick up after it when it does its business. If you smoke cigarettes (or more importantly cigars) in public spaces, pay attention so that you're not offending anyone who may be sensitive to the smoke.
Sharpen your pencils enough to make a firm point, but don't waste them with excessive sharpening. When using glues and paints, work in a well-ventilated area to avoid exposure to toxic fumes. Take 10 minutes out of every hour of computer work to get up and walk around. During long car trips by yourself, pull over and rest even if you don't think you need to.
Don't mix in too much syrup when you're making chocolate milk, it's gluttonous and you'll only be left with sludge at the bottom of the glass when you're finished. Eat well and exercise. Balance your checkbook regularly. Compliment someone every day, it makes the world a better place. Compliment yourself every day, because you're worth it.
Keep your cell phone battery charged so you don't drop an important call mid-sentence. Listen to the radio at a reasonable volume. Avoid discussing religion during social events. Arrive on time to meetings and use the appropriate greetings when introducing yourself to those in attendance. Have a joke ready at all times.
Clean your television screen for optimal viewing quality before watching a movie. Avoid eating snacks flavored with powdered cheese, they will stain your fingers and you'll get the cheese on everything. Vote Libertarian. Chew with your mouth closed. Use black or blue ink pens for formal documents, no oddball colors.
Gift certificates are acceptable in some situations, but putting more thought into a present is always appreciated. Share the remote control and avoid flipping rapidly through channels when others are watching television with you. Don't use the caller ID feature on your phone to screen out people you don't want to talk to. Limit your r?sum? to one page plus a cover letter and references.
Tip your server at The Varsity and Sonic, especially the ones who roller-skate. Gossip is the whisper of the Devil. Eat only one fortune cookie per meal. Don't steal music from the Internet. Order red meat cooked medium or better if you're unfamiliar with a dining establishment's quality. Read more than you watch television.
I could go on, but that's probably sufficient. Who could disagree with these simple assertions after giving them any thought at all? Wave the flag through amber waves and trumpet the star-spangled anthem! These rules will keep America on the up-and-up for years to come, and ensure that our society and Constitution are honored in ways they only dreamed about in the 13 colonies.
Rob Felt is the photographer for the Daily Herald. He can be reached at (770) 957-9161 or firstname.lastname@example.org .