Vents, PPE, test kits, face masks, commonsense, there are so many things we need to deal effectively with Covid-19. There is another apparatus (invention?) that would contribute mightily to our safety and well-being now and, arguably, beyond the pandemic.

Each of us should be issued an extendable six-foot fiberglass stick. The personal prodder would be for use wherever, whenever spatially challenged individuals disregard social distancing guidelines and invade your space. imbeciles

Functionally, the slender light-weight device could telescope out easily with a flick of the wrist (similar to an umbrella or selfie stick) and retract to a foot-long or so, with a clip on one end for carrying convenience. And if everyone agrees to polite, respectful stick-etiquette, no one should be offended by the occasional nudge from another’s Space Invader Prod or SIP, for short.

Consider that although “We’re all in this together,” common courtesy and the law of physics apply now as ever: No two things should or can ever occupy the same space.


[REPRINT — 1-24-17] We have become defensive walkers, out of necessity. Obliged to constantly dodge the misfits who are incapable of walking straight and working a mobile phone at the same. This rude, oblivious behavior is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to “space invaders.” It’s getting worse, too, this devolution of basic manners and etiquette.

Top 10 Space Invaders:

  1. Drivers who mosey obliviously down the road rather than simply pull over while looking for an address
  1. Coffee shop patrons who plant themselves in front of the pickup counter or condiment station
  1. People who cram on to a crowded elevator before letting riders off
  1. Fans who stand up — and then never sit back down — at ballgames and concerts
  1. Guys who sidle up to the urinal next to you when there’s a row of empty spaces
  1. Everyone who cannot pause a phone conversation long enough to check out at the register
  1. Party guests who interrupt conversations “just to say hello” … and then proceed to blather on about whatever
  1. Drivers in crowded parking lots who spend way too much time doing who knows what before pulling out of their space
  1. Absolute morons who mug to TV cameras when they realize they’re in the shot
  1. Welcoming parties who greet travelers directly at the bottom of crowded airport escalators

Regarding this bad behavior, we have choices. We can either enable space invaders by ignoring their actions or we can start to reclaim civility by (sticking it to them and) reminding them of our mutual rights to our personal space and time — no more or less.


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