Actually, I would imagine most of us are so aware of our children and how they act that we can’t help but notice when an otherwise fully-formed-grown-up-person neglects to say “thank you” or “please.” Sadly, this happens a lot in our society. I don’t like it, but I do understand it. There are quite a few folks wandering around who didn’t have the benefit of the kind of parents you and I had. Or maybe they don’t have the kind of friends you and I have.
On the other hand, what I absolutely do not even remotely comprehend is the astonishing societal phenomenon of the adult NOEITEU. The word is pronounced “know-ih-too” and the term itself is one that I have just (a moment ago) created for you and me. After all, you see them every day and I am certain that you are just as baffled by their behavior as I am. You just never knew what to call them. Neither did I. But from now on, to us, they will be NOEITEU.
NOEITEU is an acronym of course. It stands for No One Else In The Entire Universe. I saw one yesterday at the mall. She was on the down escalator and I spotted her as soon as she reached the bottom. Instead of moving out of the way like you do when you get off an escalator, she stopped and reached inside her purse for lipstick. When the people behind her (who had no where else to go) began to trip over her, fall down on top of her and actually pile up, the female NOEITEU was outraged.
Of course she was upset, I thought to myself. It must be a shock to discover that there is actually someone else in the universe—much less on the escalator with you!
Different kinds of lifts created to carry people from one floor to another must be particularly confusing for the NOEITEU. Have you noticed how many of them stand right in front of an elevator door waiting for it to open? The average NOEITEU, even though having presumably used elevators in the past, still manages to be oblivious that someone might be ON the elevator and need to get off before they can barge inside. Curious, but that’s a NOEITEU for you.
Once (and I swear this is true) I saw a man in the crowded Atlanta airport answer his cell phone, kneel down right where he was, and open his briefcase. For four minutes and thirty-five seconds (I timed it) he kneeled in front of his open briefcase and spread papers on the floor as he talked on his phone. Now get this: He was in the middle of Concourse A when this happened! Yes, he could have easily moved to the side of the concourse, but he was obviously a card carrying NOEITEU and all those hundreds of people dodging him, tripping and glaring…they simply did not exist.
So, I have two questions for you, and allow me to state that we are all interested in your answer to either or both.
- What is your personal experience with a NOEITEU?
- How should we recognize—or give recognition—to the NOEITEU who walk among us?