Ps and Qs

I attended kindergarten in Bonn, West Germany.  At some point, they must have taught us the value of “please” and “thank you,” or some guttural Germanic equivalent. The lesson has stayed with me.

Fast forward a few decades, to my arrival at swing dance class earlier this evening, with a single free parking spot just across the street. Whee! My parking karma is rarely so good.

So, I go through the usual parallel park – get out – repark – get out – repark routine, and as I leave to cross the street, observe a large man (LM) glaring at me from his moving truck, in the street, behind my car.

The following conversation ensues:

Me: Hi.
LM: That’s my space.  I’m moving these guys.
Me: The sign says “No parking till 5, and it’s 8.”
LM:  <unprintable>
Me: What do you want me to do?
LM:  <unprintable>

[I think: I don’t want to leave my car to the tender mercies of this large man, and besides, he does have real work to do here. I’d like to help him out.]

Me: Can you say “please”?
LM: Please!
Me: Thank you.

And then there was peace. I found another spot around the block, with time to spare.

Isn’t it wonderful to see good old-fashioned manners still carry the day?


3 Responses to “Ps and Qs”

  1. susan Says:


  2. Nephew Says:

    Does it mean much, though, after he’s clearly demonstrated that he couldn’t care less about such formalities?

    I would love to learn how to swing dance.

    • knightstango Says:

      I think it’s a demonstration of hope – that people can learn. And in a roundabout way, positive reinforcement for him.

      Swing dancing is great fun – lots of cool moves. I think I’m going to stick with swing (over salsa, say) because I like the music – could listen to it all day (unlike salsa!). Whether you prefer swing, salsa or tango, I’m sure you can find a class near you.

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