Is "Excuse Me" a forbidden phrase anymore????

What is it with folks lately? Maybe I just notice things more sometimes, but in the past few months I’ve never been bumped into so many times by inconsiderate CLODS!!! The ones with elbows like giant pointy spears, or butts the size of Mt. Rushmore, who seem to think they’re entitled to take up as much of others’ personal space as possible! I always smile and say, “Excuse me,” if I do bump into someone accidentally, or if I need to get by someon, or if someone needs to get by me- usually the reaction that I get is a blank stare, like I’m a three-eyed Martian. :wally Geez, some people have the manners of monkeys! The gym, the mall, and the grocery store are the worst places for this- you’d think that people’s personal mission in life is to go to these places and trample over as many people as possible within 5 minutes! :eek:

I have a confession to make. I was a bumper. I was, in fact, a serial bumper.

I stand by my bumping.

I did it deliberately and with malice aforethought. I’d do it again. I think the statute of limitations has run out, though, so I’ll tell all.

Between my being a large man to begin with and liking beer and weights more than jogging, when I was an undergrad my backpack and I weighed in on the other side of 300 lbs.

The campus was designed for about half the number of people who occupied it, and there was just enough time to get from the Humanities building to the Education building in time for your next class if you didn’t get held up in the crush.

Frau Kim, my German prof, was kind about the fact that I was late. She was kind about it alot. Publicly. Not in a good way.

I sat down and analyzed why I was late, and it always seemed to involve getting caught in a crush of people at intersections. There always seemed to be a focal point for those crushes: the group standing in the middle of the two hallways chatting.

One day I was lunging into the opening beside those people and my backpack slipped. It struck the backpack of one of the chatters. He moved, being a little tiny man, and five people made it through the gap before he could re-establish his right to JUST FUCKING STAND THERE!

Thus began my career as an avenger of those in a hurry, a champion of the defferential, and, in retrospect, a total asshole, but if they didn’t want to be bumped they shouldn’t have been standing in the middle of the intersection.

Hijack, huh? Nope. During my entire career as a reminder that people were trying to move I never failed to say “Excuse me” when I deliberately forced someone out of the way. Just because you’re perpetrating an act of violence is no reason to forget your manners.

Don’t worry, SweetLucy, poetic justice is alive and well and some day you will meet it. I was taking a bus one day, and a woman got on. She was of a size that having her step on your foot was an issue. I say this not as a fat basher, since that’d be kind of hypocritical on my part, but to get across the point that having her stand on your foot was a non-trivial experience. As she walked down the bus, she seemed to weave from side to side, stomping on feet the whole way. For a second I thought she might be my spiritual sister, another deluded soul with a Batman complex and a petty grudge, but none of those people had their feet in the aisle proper. She had plenty of room, she just did not take it. She stomped on my foot too. Apparently, it’s a bad idea to use a moccasin to stomp on a steel toed work boot.

She lost her balance, lunged to catch a pole, and we locked eyes.

What could I do? I said “Oh, excuse me”.

  1. I have a butt the size of Mt. Rushmore.
  2. I do say excuse me

We went and saw Mt. Rushmore and I must say that in my mind I expected it to be bigger. You should say, perhaps, Mt. Everest instead. Mt. Rushmore makes me think of someone with only a moderately sized posterior.

As for myself, I am so scary looking that people usually shrink away from my presence, so I don’t get bumped into/bump into much, but 2trew, I think you are my new hero. :slight_smile:

2trew, I think I’m really starting to like you. :smiley:

I always try “Excuse me” and see if it works.

If it doesn’t, I follow it up with the polite tap on the shoulder.

If that doesn’t work, I just start shoving.

I used to cocktail at a very busy martini bar, and when I had a tray full of top-heavy drinks and a crowd to move through, it took some finesse to ensure that no one wore them on the way. This is when I developed my Excuse me/tap on the shoulder/final rude shove theory. It was the only way to get through my shift.

People are rude and don’t care. This is the only conclusion I can come to. When given the opportunity, when no one important is looking, people are rude and careless by default. I have always tried to avoid becoming what I beheld, so I still hold to my mother’s dictums about Try Polite First, but it just doesn’t work like it should. sigh

Last week, actually, a woman at the grocery store was blocking the entire aisle with her cart; she was talking to a friend while she stood there in front of it. I pulled up with my cart and paused, looking friendly and polite, obviously desiring passage.

She ignored me.

I said “Excuse me…”

She continued gabbing and continued ignoring me.

So I leaned over past her, grabbed the handle of her cart, and physically lifted the front end of it over to the point that I could pass it.

Then she stops ignoring me. Gives me a Burn In Hell You Bitch kind of look, snorts with outrage, and then checks her cart to make sure I haven’t defiled it in some way.

Screw her. Life’s too short to stand there forever while some bitch takes up the whole aisle.

I’ve been convinced for years that most people seem convinced that they are the only people in the unverse until forcibly reminded otherwise, walking down sidewalks and corridors as if no one could possibly be moving in the other direction or want to get past them.

My usual procedure when I find my path completely blocked is to say “excuse me” at normal speaking volume, then to repeat it at a higher volume if no effort is made to allow me to pass. After that, I assume that the fuckwit blocking traffic is either a masochist who gets off on having people push him around or an idiot devoid of any concept of manners; either of these is deemed sufficient reason to proceed upon my chosen path using whatever means necessary. This generally is accompanied by a shouted “I said, excuse me” so as to make it clear to non-participants that any indignant protests on the part of the (former) traffic blocker(s) are unwarranted. The interval of time between “excuse me’s” varies, depending on how much of a hurry I’m in or if excessive delay means missing my floor on the elevator.

I’m one of those who say 'scuse me in a very pissed off way (along with a somewhat hostile stare) when people block my path. If they don’t move within a very short time frame, then I move them.

I got real good at saying “Excuse me” when I was working at a shipyard inside nuclear submarines. It can get pretty noisy inside a submarine with all the work going on and you have to talk loudly to make yourself heard. When I get in a situation like that described above in a supermarket or at the gym, I give them the “submarine” EXCUSE ME and they move aside pretty fast after that. :smiley: Give it to them from the diaphragm!

Those must have been some really small shipyards! :wink:

I’m amazed at the generational gap in manners. I watched as an elderly man and his wife made their way, side-by-side down a sidewalk. Two woman came towards them from the opposite direction. The man courteously stepped back behind his wife so they were walking in single file allowing the women to pass. Once they did, he stepped out and took his wife’s arm once more.

It was so elegant.

Three women in their 30s, on the other hand, meandered in a spread out line formation, taking up the entire, busy sidewalk so people had to walk in the gutter to get around them as they were blissfully oblivious to the loud "excuse me"s and "would you get the hell out of the way"s that were being barked at them.

That kind of obliviousness grates on my nerves like nothing else.

But I am the only person in the universe… the rest of you are merely figments of my (sometimes good, sometimes twisted) imagination. :dubious:

Eats_Crayons Its not all youngsters that are like at. I’m a 22 year old that moves single file in-front-of/behind my girlfriend when space is an issue. There are many others my generation that do the same. I think its more a cultural thing. (Culture being more a sub-culture. Ie. Not American/Italian/White/Black/etc, but more Yuppie/daddies girl/pretty boy sort of thing)

If some-one gets into my personal space, I also give the polite excuse me… and if they don’t move after escalating the level of demands… I push through, as painfully for them as possible, ensuring they have to go way out of their way for me.

And then very politely say thank you and carry on, with nary a backwards glance.

FUN FUN FUN FUN FUN :slight_smile:

Always be polite… that way, when the fit hits the shan, you (usually) come out smelling roses.

Me, too. I’m a 21-year-old boy who’s always hyper-critically aware of how much space I’m taking up in public places, especially in the metro. For example, if I’m standing in the escalator with a friend, I’ve had to bark at the friend before if s/he isn’t standing ahead of or behind me. (Some people will move to your side, then if you move in behind or in front of them, they’ll move to your side again!! It’s extremely irritating when you want to leave the side of the escalator free for people to walk.)

that people step onto an escalator and suddenly become paralyzed? I’m grateful for the boost but I can still frickin walk.

Ah, but to say “Mt. Rushmore” evokes an image of a posterior so dimpled with cellulite that it looks like the faces of four presidents.

My technique is to simply shove my way through the crowd if I have to, babbling a constant stream of “Excusemepardonmeexcusemepardonme …” the whole way.

That said, if someone needs to pass me on the sidewalk, I get the hell out of the way.

Wouldn’t that be Mount Assmore?


I’m an 18 year old and I say excuse me. I get out of a person’s way if at all possible. That said, my years of depression have given me the following process:
[hostile stare] I stand there… looking about three seconds away from stabbing somebody until they get the hell out of the way and [/hostile stare] give them a grin and say “thank you”.

Apparently this isn’t universal. Late last year I was walking up a public path that leads to a shopping area. The path is set in decorative brick, which makes for an attractive walkway but the spacing of the bricks makes it impossible for anything with wheels to pass over, and in this particular case I was wheeling my year-old daughter in a stroller. However, the bricklay design makes it easier to get by if you hold to the far right of the path.

There we are, walking up the path, holding to the far right. Then along comes a short, gray-haired woman, I assume 65-70 years old, well dressed, physically fit, clearly not lacking in mental faculties. Social faculties, well… She’s to her far left, i.e. right in my path. She sees me coming toward her too, and stops to fold her arms and look at the baby. I assume she wants to get a nostalgic eyeful of the beauty of youth before moving on, but no. After the brief period vague comfort in the situation passes, I ask politely if I can get by. “No,” is the terse response.


“Not unless you go around me.”

Not usually one to accept a challenge to fight from old ladies, I say in the most polite but firm voice I can muster, “Ma’am, if you notice this stroller has wheels, and the wheels cannot roll over the bricks. Wouldn’t it be easier for you to go around me?” To which she responds, “It will go over if you pick the stroller up.”

Now I find that I am one to accept a challenge to fight from old ladies. I also find myself wishing that she’d touch the baby or even the stroller, so I’d have occasion to knock her into the bushes and kick her in the head repeatedly. But as she shows no intent of touching either, I restrain myself, until she informs me that until I move, we can be there all afternoon. She again folds her arms.

Notwithstanding my lack of urgency to be anywhere else, I really don’t want to be there all afternoon waiting for the chance to knock this troglodyte into the bushes. I say, “Watch your feet, I’m about to run over them” and push ahead. She correctly moves out of the way, but then takes a swing at me! It was only slightly harder than a firm love tap on the shoulder.

I call back to her, “Crazy lady, you still moved!”

In this one event, I didn’t say “Excuse me.”

I try to say excuse me. And, most of the time, I do. Sometimes, though, I can’t.

See, sometimes I get panic attacks from crowds/crowded places. Not often, but occasionally. I haven’t for maybe a year now. But when I get one, there is no “excuse me” or “pardon me.” I need to get out. Politeness is not running the other people there through with a machete (which is what I would want to do, because I would want outout**out right now**!).

Other than that, though…there’s no excuse for not saying excuse me.