Our elders should know better. But it tends to be the older generation who, when a door is held open for them, breeze through like a galleon in full sail without so much as a by-your-leave.
You know how it goes: you’re walking out of the local newsagent and some old biddy is heading towards the door from the pavement side.
You hold the door open for her, stand aside, and smile. Her response is to barge straight past you, eyes fixed on the middle distance as though it’s your turn to play doorkeeper for the day.
Let me state here and now that should you respond to such discourteous behaviour by kicking the door shut square in her face – and I am on the jury – I’m voting for a “not guilty” verdict.
Surprisingly, I find that schoolkids are the ones who say “thanks” when a door is held open for them.
However, this blatant rudeness is not just played out in the High Street shops.
As a driver approaching a narrow opening, you see a car heading in the opposite direction.
Being a courteous individual, you pull in to the side and allow them to pass. And pass they do. But do they wave in appreciation? Do they wheech.
Perhaps they believe they have an inalienable right to complete their entire journey without placing the sole of their shoe on the brake pedal, and that it’s everybody else’s job to get out of their way because God has decreed it.
By the way, I’ve noticed that these motoring offenders tend to be older gents wearing bunnets and sheepskin mittens five sizes too large.
Their wives (also five sizes too large) sit beside them, resplendent in brightly coloured floral headscarves. For some reason they all seem to drive 20-year old Vauxhall Ashtrays. (The ones with no indicators.)
Well, so much for our elders and betters who are supposed to advocate courtesy as a crucial social attribute.
Boy racers, on the other hand, always give a cheery wave of thanks at the very least, or a blinding flash from a bank of halogen spotlights and a blast of Colonel Bogey on the air horns at most.
It seems that the SAGA (Selfish Auld Gits Association) brigade could take a leaf or two out of the young ‘uns manners manual.