Mr. Manners helps you find your way

Originally Published: September 2, 2011
By DJ Gallo | Page 2

Mr. Manners

A new football season is upon us, and with it much ballyhoo and gaiety across the land. But let not your constitution wane lest you slip from exhibiting the most refined and discriminating decorum. Because that would be totally dumb and stuff.

It's time for another edition of Mr. Manners.

Dear Mr. Manners,
I am currently serving a 20-year prison sentence in a federal penitentiary for running a $930 million Ponzi scheme. I recently took some heat for detailing my experiences -- pre-prison -- paying University of Miami football players, letting them use my boats and personal watercraft, getting them prostitutes, etc. You know, the usual. Now lots of Miami fans are calling me a "rat." There was even a T-shirt for sale that reads "Nevin Shapiro/Snitches Get Stitches for Talking Like B------." That seems a bit … harsh. Don't you think? Mr. Manners, am I in the wrong here? Do I deserve this?
-- Nevin S., Prisoner ID #24159-782-3441 (Atlanta)

Dear Persecuted in Prison,
You must understand that people are going to be cross with you -- both for your Ponzi scheme and for trying to bring down the Miami program. I am happy to give you further advice, but first you must show some faith in my expertise by making an investment in me. For every $10,000 you invest, I guarantee a return of between 10 and 26 percent improvement in your manners. Don't worry. This is completely on the up and up. But please -- you want to get in on this exciting manners investment opportunity now!

By the way, let me take a moment to inform readers that I am now selling a line of Mr. Manners T-shirts. The first one reads: "Snitches Get Stitches, But … Hey! That's Rude! What Kind of Language is That? Threatening Violence? Unconscionable! Apologize, Sir, And Be On Your Way!"

It's perhaps a little wordy, but I think it carries an important message. We'll see how it sells.
-- Mr. Manners

Dear Mr. Manners,
I was recently engaged in a contract holdout that kept me out of training camp. Before the deal was finally finalized, my frustrations boiled over a bit and on Twitter I posted that "fake Titan fans" need to shut up and "I don't have a regular job so don't compare me to you and I can care less if uthink I'm greedy."

They were my true feelings at the time, but now I wonder if maybe that tweet made me look bad in the eyes of some Titans fans. What do you think? Should I have posted it?
-- Chris J. (Nashville)

Dear Tweeting Titan,
Twitter has created many modern manners issues. Especially for people who are famous. You never would have held a news conference and said everything you posted on Twitter. Because by the time the news conference was scheduled and held, you would have thought of a better way to express your opinions.

That's the biggest manners issue with Twitter. And why I don't tweet. (Also because all of my writing is done with quill and parchment; this column is scanned in by an intern. But I digress.)

Many people use Twitter to share important news information, link to compelling reads or tell jokes. But for many others, the lure to just share with the world every thought that comes into their head is too great.

"I just passed some gas. Yuck! It stinks. Last night's braised duckling with wild mushrooms is not sitting well. SMDH."

Is this true? Yes. Yes, it is, unfortunately. But is it something I want to share with the world, especially as the world's foremost authority on manners? No! So I don't have a Twitter account.

My advice to you is to either avoid Twitter or think of everything you say on there as just as important as a quote at a news conference. I also advise you to not eat braised duckling with wild mushrooms. Oof.
-- Mr. Manners

Dear Mr. Manners,
Recently I have been getting fined for things I do on the football field and I am worried I might be developing a reputation for being a dirty player. What can I do to change this perception?
-- Ndamukong S. (Detroit)

Dear Wrong Ndamukong,
I wouldn't worry about it. Outside of getting fined for, say, playing dirty in a preseason game -- which would be completely ridiculous; I mean: preseason! -- I'm sure with a name like "Ndamukong," people will only ever see you as hilarious and lovable.
-- Mr. Manners

Dear Mr. Manners,

Yeah. Fined for a preseason game? Did that.
-- Ndamukong S. (Detroit)

Dear Wrong Ndamukong,
In that case, you should be asham- … yeah, I still can't get upset at you. I mean … "Ndamukong!" So great.
-- Mr. Manners

Dear Mr. Manners,

We recently decided we are leaving the Big 12 conference. There's a good chance this will destroy our conference and it also means the likely end of our longtime series with Texas. Needless to say, many Texas people are very upset with us. However, we felt this move was best for us. Did we do the wrong thing?
-- Texas A&M (College Station, Texas)

Dear Texas Not Forever,
Did you say you have Texans who are upset with you? Oh, no. This is not good at all. And it's really no time for advice on manners. Because if I was you, I'd be wetting myself right now -- and public urination isn't exactly seen as high class.

Unfortunately, I doubt this letter will reach you in time to help you. But you have made a grave error. You have angered Texans. Texans! Now RUN! RUN FOR YOUR LIFE! THEY ARE ARMED!
-- Mr. Manners

DJ Gallo is the founder of His first book, "The View from the Upper Deck," is available from only the finest bargain-book retailers. His next book project will be released soon. You can follow him on Twitter at @DJGalloESPN.

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