STOP PRESS: Good manners cost nothing … but bad manners cost about $3.50

PLEASE AND THANK YOU: Do you remember to use good manners when ordering your coffee? Or do you need a hip-pocket reminder? Photo: CONTRIBUTED
PLEASE AND THANK YOU: Do you remember to use good manners when ordering your coffee? Or do you need a hip-pocket reminder? Photo: CONTRIBUTED

WHEN you go into one of Orange’s ubiquitous coffee shops, do you say “please” when ordering or do you order your fix with a cheery g’day or hello?

Apparently lots of people don’t and that’s also the case in other service stores.

But a French cafe has had enough of rude customers and has decided to fight back by charging them a whopping $10 for their coffee.

If they say ‘please’ the cost is a more affordable $6.50.

And the customers who order their cup with a cheery ‘good morning, coffee please’ get the best deal of all, paying only $2.15.

You can wonder whether something like that will ever happen here.

It’s highly doubtful.

I’M INNOCENT, I SWEAR IT!

LATEST figures show police in 12 months issued more than 1840 on-the-spot fines to people for using offensive language while another 1170 adults and 145 kids ended up in court for the same offence.

Yet you can watch so-called comedy shows on old Aunty ABC on a Saturday night where unfunny people continually use ‘f---’ to try to get a laugh while Gordon Ramsay on Channel 7s Kitchen Nightmares turns the air blue with each episode liberally punctuated with the infamous Anglo-Saxon word.

But judges say people swear without second thoughts and ‘f---’ nowadays was part and parcel of everyday conversations. A Sydney magistrate dismissed an offensive language charge against a man who told police to ‘f--- off’, saying because he had used a non-threatening tone it was not offensive in this day and age.

A magistrate from Dubbo also let off a man on the same charge. He said the word had to be judged on community standards.

So does that f---ing mean we can all f---ing swear as much as we f---ing well like?

Imagine radio announcers: “Here’s the f---ing weather forecast. It’s going to be f--- cold today and there could be some f--- rain … ”

Or headlines in the CWD: “The City Council makes a f---ing! decision at f---ing last on the f---ing Robertson Park toilets.”

But, unsurprisingly, judicial opinions differ when assessing community standards on offensive language, so who the f--- knows where we’re heading.

AS ALWAYS, LEST WE FORGET       

THE early Aussie Diggers accepted that strict army discipline was necessary, but they were never convinced that they had to continually toe the line and spend every day shackled by rules.

They were accustomed to making their own decisions and were always ready to stand by their mates.

Like the soldier struggling to carry a wounded comrade on his back to the safety of the trenches. Rifle and machine-gun fire was everywhere. “Hey,” says the wounded man, “how about turning around and goin’ backwards for a bit? You’re gettin’ the medal but I’m gettin’ all the bloody bullets.”

The unique Aussie sense of humour was inherited from a melting pot of previous generations, convicts, farmers, stockmen, shearers and miners from nations around the world who had pioneered the new Land Down Under.

The Australian character is a product of all those experiences but as the nation developed it took one of Australia’s biggest and most tragic military losses in 1915 at Gallipoli to really create a national spirit.

Lest we forget, come Tuesday.