The saying ‘a smile costs nothing’ has become so clichéd it brings a frown to my face.

I don’t wish to be controlled at the best of times, let alone be forced by social conformity to show kindness to complete strangers. If I don’t know you, do not expect to be greeted by me. If I wish to know you, you’ll know.

What gets my goat the most is just the fact that displaying animosity to people is now socially frowned upon. I long for the days when you could glare at people and have them glare straight back. Now if you decide to shoot someone a hostile look, you’re just as likely to get shot with a 9mm as a disgusted look.

Manners, as a whole, are quite outdated. Like ‘Thanks’ for instance. It acts as a conclusion to a transaction or interaction. If I’m served a coffee and just walk away without saying ‘Ta’ I do feel a little bad. And I shouldn’t! I paid for it. I was under the assumption when I handed over my $3.62 that it had covered all costs, including guilt of making a person do something for me, even if it’s their job. Ahh, humans are fickle things.

So, I was quite hostile at the start. I don’t really wish to stare people down and punch people in the face. I just find it interesting these ‘manners’ are hammered into us as children and, although they are completely unnecessary, society would be very different without them. How would you suck up to cops when pulled over without calling them ‘Sir’? How could nagging your parents have worked as a kid if you didn’t have a one syllable word to drag out and last 10 seconds (Plleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease?!) I’m still not smiling at you. A smug smirk of superiority perhaps, but no smile.

On an unrelated note, I swear they get the dumbest people for Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader. I shouldn’t watch quiz shows, stupidity irritates me far too much. Well, at least not quiz shows on Network Ten. Damn Rove McManus and his electric personality. That said, I don’t remember any of those questions in Grade 5. Must be changes in the syllabus.