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Sunday, October 14, 2007

You, Hypocrite at LaGuardia This Morning

posted by on October 14 at 10:27 AM

I didn’t realize my post about that woman blathering on her cell phone at Sea-Tac—yes, people have a right to blather away on their cell phones; it was her volume that was making everyone around her crazy—had kicked up such a ruckus until I got to Chicago this morning. That’s when I read my big brother’s post about this woman’s real sin:

Almost every behavior that drives the Brother or the rest of us up a wall is a violation of semi-private space by someone who turns that space into their own private space. Remember when Slog featured Hot Tips about people flossing their teeth or cutting their nails on the bus? Why would that bother anyone?

Because it transforms the semi-private public space of the bus into the private bathroom of the nail-clipper or teeth-flosser….

But annoyance at this sort of behavior is perfectly rational, since people who transform the semi-private spaces of our shared public realm into their own little private worlds are petty tyrants who must be resisted.

I agree—but I have to confess that, er, I flossed my teeth at LaGuardia airport this morning. I wanted to floss in the one men’s toilet, but it was too small and too filthy. There was just one toilet (occupied by someone taking a very noisy shit), one urinal (with four people lined up to use it), and one extremely filthy sink that I feared I would have to share with the noisy shitter. I’m sorry, but the toilets at LaGuardia are unfit for routine dental hygiene. So I slunk off to a waiting area were there weren’t that many people waiting. And I faced the wall. And I flossed as quickly as I could. And I felt terrible about it. But I did floss in public this morning.

You know, full disclosure and like that.

RSS icon Comments


God have mercy on you.

Posted by Gabriel | October 14, 2007 10:46 AM

But, but--I don't get it! Who sits in an airport thinking "I've absolutely GOT to floss my teeth before catching this plane"?

Dan, you are weird.

Posted by Irena | October 14, 2007 11:16 AM

Right after you tapped your shoes, right?

Posted by Mr. Poe | October 14, 2007 11:23 AM

karma's a bitch.

Posted by guru | October 14, 2007 11:26 AM

Well, I have braces and I have to brush or pick the food out of my teeth. I have run into the filthy or very busy bathroom issue and when that happens, I get out my little brushes and pick away in a corner somwhere, hopefully not seen by anyone. I am not going to fly x hours with food in my teeth just because the bathrooms are a problem.

Posted by Mike | October 14, 2007 12:02 PM

Okay, but I still find furtive public flossing to be a comically weird thing to do. Not nearly as bad as loud cell phone conversations, though. At least you're TRYING to be discreet.

But why don't you wait until you're on the plane?

Posted by Irena | October 14, 2007 12:32 PM

And, Dan's kid has never been whinney in public.

Flossing is more gross than farting. Just hate it when this guy in my office does the desk lunch than proceeds to floss.

Eating at the office or in public is not longer taboo - then there is coming up right behind you while chewing.

Too say nothing about too much noise while screwing.

Blowing the nose without discression, god.

Today I am going to play close attention to all the fuckwad thing other do.

Drink cocktails out of the straws, jeez.

Dribbled food and the mess at the table after a meal in public.

Posted by Andy | October 14, 2007 12:45 PM

TMI, Dan. Now I feel dirty. Blech.

Posted by Michigan Matt | October 14, 2007 1:38 PM

Technically, you know, you got the headline wrong. It should have said "I, Hypocrite at LaGuardia This Morning." Just sayin'.

Posted by Wowza | October 14, 2007 1:55 PM

@7, while I also find public flossing disgusting, you can't blame people for eating at their desk. Breakrooms for lunches in many cases are so small that you can't get a place to sit or you may not be in the mood to have to sit in close proximity and chatter with people that you already have to deal with for 8 hours. On the other hand, with flossing, you know that the flosser is getting their germy saliva on their hands and they're going to be touching surfaces that you will be touching.

Posted by CynicalGuy | October 14, 2007 2:17 PM

Hasn't anyone ever heard of a toothpick? For an emergency flossing situation, a toothpick works just as well.

In Asia, people do it at the table while covering their mouth with the free hand. Using a toothpick at the dinner table wouldn't really fly in the US, but discreetly using a toothpick in a public place in the same manner would probably go unnoticed.

Posted by Mahtli69 | October 14, 2007 2:44 PM

It all depends on what kind of floss yu used!
If you used that floss on a stick and did it quickly it's not so bad. At least you weren't sitting next to people flinging stuff from your teeth all over other people.

Posted by mj | October 14, 2007 4:06 PM

My final word on this compelling topic: despite Dan's embarrassing personal habits, he does have cute teeth.

Posted by Irena | October 14, 2007 4:14 PM

There is a saving grace in at lease admitting that you understand you're committing a perceived faux-paus, instead of just doing it and thinking or acting like nothing's wrong.

Posted by Gomez | October 14, 2007 5:17 PM

You learned your lesson. Please just brave the bathroom next time.

Posted by Amelia | October 14, 2007 6:24 PM

You really gotta see a therapist about this terror of public bathrooms.

Posted by Gitai | October 14, 2007 10:53 PM

don't blame dan. blame laguardia. that is one jenky airport.

Posted by laguardiyuk | October 15, 2007 8:46 AM

Why do you need a sink to floss your teeth?

Posted by old school | October 15, 2007 9:01 AM

I hope you washed your hands after flossing.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 15, 2007 10:51 AM

@7 - I've got a fart ready that'll change your mind. Leave your work address on the slog and I'll deliver it live and in person.

Posted by wbrproductions | October 15, 2007 1:05 PM

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