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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.



  • Love it. I also enjoyed the flashback to a great list.

  • nobody cares says:

    Number 8. Driver walks to their car knowing you’re waiting (patiently)? for their spot. Gets in, checks and adjusts every gadget, button, device and grooming option while testing your resolve. At long last begins a slow reverse while your arms are stretched out in a WTF manner you clearly intend for them to see. The worst for me was at the post office when picking up mail from the box I had for almost 30 years. The lot had maybe six parking spots, including handicapped, and some of them were used for patrons of the bar and barber shop next door. I couldn’t count on just one hand how many times I waited for a driver coming out of the P.O. to back out in a timely manner only to find they were sitting and reading their mail!

    Allow me to contribute one…… people who write checks at the grocery store and don’t begin the process until their last item is checked and the total is calculated. They then update their check book registers (my dad).

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