Not quite a year ago, Alan, Kate and I traveled to Milwaukee for my best friend’s birthday party. We stayed at the Country Inn and Suites, one of those places with a breakfast buffet, always handy when traveling with children, who have non-coffee nutritional needs in the early morning.
I wrote something then about the appalling manners demonstrated by our fellow travelers, who arrived in the breakfast room in their jammies and, I suspect, their underwear.
I structured the post in the form of a letter to an etiquette columnist. Since then, about once a month I get either an e-mail or a comment on the original post from someone seeking etiquette advice.
Despite the obvious joke here — me, an expert on comportment, snork — I wonder what it says about how savvy people are about what they find online. I mean, other than the form of the post, there is nothing about this site that suggests I’m some latter-day Emily Post.
One of my ex-bosses hated when I wrote satirical columns, not because he hated the columns (although he wasn’t a fan), but because he believed there was a significant portion of readers who simply didn’t get satire, and would always take it the wrong way, and he’d spend a significant portion of the following day on the phone, telling them, “It’s a joke.”
I think the Milwaukee paper used to run a humor columnist, with a huge disclaimer: “This is a humorous column of satirical opinion.” Talk about a buzzkill.