By Paul F. Bradley
I have an aversion to shopping, specifically to Christmas shopping. Some years ago, our sister coerced my brothers and me into an endless yuletide trudge through the Willow Grove Mall. She ignored any and all appeals for lunch or breaks as the packages piled up and the store-by-store invasion slogged to the next door-busting sale. To this day, I still get flashbacks of the "just one more store" refrain whenever I pass the place, even in the summer.
Now I try to avoid the malls, stores, and, most of all, the seemingly endless parade of giddy holiday shoppers for another reason: the total lack of courtesy that abounds during this purported season of peace and giving. The other day, I saw a man cut off a line of cars - against traffic - to seize a parking space three spots closer to where he wanted to go, all the while defiantly flying his finger of ignorance. His car sported a decal saying "Let's Keep the Christ in Christmas." It must have been stolen.
You'll routinely encounter customers who decide to update Facebook, call Grandma, check their e-mail, and tweet once they reach the register. These are usually the same twits who can't choose between debit and credit, and hold the rest of the line hostage to their monumental decision. To them, I offer some pro bono advice: Next time, in the immortal words of the late George Carlin, "Get some [children, cover your ears] cash."
So if Santa Claus is still accepting wish lists, I would like to request on behalf of humanity some courtesy - especially from the guy who puts a big red bow on the Lexus he bought. Some humility and consideration for your neighbors who may have lost their jobs this past year would be appreciated.
I'd also like to ask Santa for another championship for any of Philadelphia's sports teams, whose success, I find, is directly proportional to the courtesy index in the Philadelphia region. In 2012, the Phillies didn't win one, but at least they played hard. The Flyers haven't played yet, but neither has the 76ers ostensible savior, Andrew Bynum. The Eagles took the field but didn't show any interest in playing.
On the subject of the Eagles, I would also like to ask Santa for a job for myself, since I will be starting the new year among the ranks of the furloughed. I hope he can get me a position playing cornerback for the Eagles. With a year of experience as a deep reserve on a 1-10 football team, I think I have what it takes if the sole requirement is the willingness to collect a massive paycheck.
This season, the team's starting cornerbacks, Dominique "no-hand touch" Rodgers-Cromartie and Nnamdi "flat-footed" Asomugha, have been dutifully rehearsing their roles in the annual Christmas reenactment of the Battle of Trenton - as overpaid, ineffective Hessians. At least those mercenaries had the excuse that they were hungover.
I suppose my prospects with the Eagles will be for the next coach to determine. As a final wish, I am asking Santa to give Andy Reid a job as a studio analyst for the NFL Network. He can take Deion Sanders' job.
Of course, I wouldn't turn down an offer to be the Eagles' coach, but I don't want to be too demanding. I'll just settle for some courtesy.