1. Don't you hate it when you're trying to listen, and people are talking during a speech, reading or musical presentation? People who do that are stealing from you and from the performer. So, let's not do that.

2. How about making unpleasant, disgusting conversation at the dinner table? Wait. Don't do that. You'll be stealing again, this time from the other diners, the cook and the host. So, don't do that either. I can't even stand to eat and watch TV at the same time because of all the gag-making commercials they show and I try not to buy anything that is touted by a rude, distasteful commercial.

3. Please remember that all private maintenance activities concerning yourself should be just that, private. If you must do something of that nature, say "excuse me" and go take care of it. Things like this, are along the same line as disgusting conversation.

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4. Do not sit down on someone's bedside (unless you're about to pass out, or going to bed).

5. Do not sit down on top of throw pillows. They are basically for looks, unless you need one for your back. Otherwise, throw (see? that's where throw comes from) the pillows (gently) somewhere else. Most women know this, but most men don't seem to. So now you know for sure.

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6. If you come up short on the entree, like five pork chops for six people, do not put them on the table and hope things work out. They won't. It is better to bone and dice the chops, put them in a size-needed bowl and fill it up with something else: cooked seasoned rice, chopped tomatoes, cheese, canned corn, pre-fried onions, etc. Use as much filler as you need, add some sauce (ranch, BBQ, salsa, Chinese, etc.), and serve enough for everybody.

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7. Last, but not least, I think we should discuss cell phone etiquette. The best way to get this message across would be to put a sign on your front door. "Please turn off phone before entering; make and take all calls outside."

I believe cell phone use is as addictive as any drug that can be obtained. People carry them in their hand to the table, to bed, the bathroom, to church and to funerals. They eat, drive, and only Heaven knows what else they manage to do, with one hand. For live social interaction, they all gather in the living room, each with their own phone, and have a real blast.

I wonder if this habit is reversible, but I don't think so. What to do? One thing is to get the sign made, and enforce it (but you probably won't have much company.) The other thing that might work is to set a big, black, landline in the middle of the table, with the receiver wedged between your head and shoulder, serving dinner with one hand and carrying the wired base phone, with the other. Do you think anybody would get the message? No, what they would probably do is buy you a cell phone for your birthday.

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