It seems like every morning I wake up to face something I hold sacred being drawn, quartered and spat upon by any one of the vast array of members of what is generally considered American “society.” Because there is so much that was at one time cherished and has been very intentionally trampled underfoot, it can be rather tempting to throw my hands into the air, questioning “Is nothing sacred?!?!” Outbursts such as these are generally not helpful and while musing about the unholy things an immoral society reveres, I think it important to consider the things that are both good and held as sacred by our generally unsacred culture. It’s a short list, I know, but sometimes you take what you can get.
- Wet Paint – Whether it’s being considerate of another person’s hard work or the desire to remain clean, anything with a wet paint sign will be avoided at all costs. I’ve heard of bank robbers who made it all the way to the vault only to turn around and go home because on it hung the revered sign. Actually, that’s not true, but what if it were?!
- HOV lanes – Surprisingly, the Dallas, TX transit website says it almost as well as I could (which is enough for a blogger under a deadline): Anyone who’s driven around the metroplex during rush hour knows a sad truth: It’s lonely in bumper-to-bumper traffic. The fact is, you have more fun when you share a ride in a High Occupancy Vehicle lane. Just like it takes two to tango, it also takes at least two people to use an HOV lane.Notice the tango-ing passengers to the right, taken from the same website. When HOV lanes first appeared in Dallas over 10 years ago, there was merely a white line dividing the HOV riders from the slow going riff-raff that refused to enter into the sacred byway. Nowadays, they have probably followed Houston’s example and erected concrete barriers to keep people from HOV-hopping; if only protecting that which is actually sacred were that easy…
- Waiting in Line – Since our tenderest years, waiting in line has been instilled in us as a necessity for getting what we want – and getting it first. Heck, if you want something and you’re not in a line, you might as well kiss that dream goodbye because it ain’t happenin’. As American adults, we don’t have to be told about the necessity of lines, instead we know it by nature. There is the odd occasion when you walk into McDonald’s and find a cashier, expectantly staring into a small crowd of hungry patrons who keep their distance from the counter as they decide their order. At this point, Napoleon would turn into a pussycat, politely asking each of the Mickey-D’-ers if they are in line before approaching to make his own order for a kid’s meal (he likes the apples).
- Product Reviews – In a society where, of all things, morality is decided by a matter of taste, personal opinion is king. I even find myself falling for it; recently purchasing an item and thoroughly enjoying it until I saw it had a low rating on Amazon and immediately thought, “What a piece of junk.” Much of the sway product reviews hold over the population is made manifest through a desire to not have a defective product, but when the difference between Awesome and Trash is half a star, it might be time to rethink how much weight we put into the unsolicited opining of anonymous strangers.
- Property Lines – Especially in suburbia, property lines are something that should never be crossed, especially with a lawn mower. Don’t take my word for it; drive down any middle-class street (the realm of those who do cut their grass themselves) on a Saturday summer afternoon – once the mowers have had their morning fill – and the length contrast from one yard to another will be so sharp you could cut more grass with it. But only on your side. In light of this, I’d have to say that the old adage, good fences make good neighbors misses the mark – good fences make great neighbors. There’s no confusion of who owns the tree that seems to straddle the property line and just dropped a limb that demolished his shed. Build it high enough and the kids won’t have to debate whether to ask permission or forgiveness when retrieving their lost ball. Property affects people in a funny way – especially since it all belongs to the the bank in the first place.
I know there’s a slight chance this list is incomplete – am I missing anything?