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WHEREVER YOU PICNIC. BE
SURE TO TIDY UP WHEN YOU ARE THROUGH. AND NEVER DESPOIL PLANTS OR TREES Illustration by A. BUw Inconsiderate pleasure-seekers become the vandal spoilsports of other people’s enjoyment of the beautiful public roads, parks and beaches by Emily Post Author of "Etiquotto: Tho Bluo Book of Social Usago"Tho Porsonality of a Houso," Etc. EAR Mrs. I A P o s t : I M Here it is, the sum mer half over and we haven’t really had one enjoyable week end. Other years we rented a little house in the country where we went to find peace and quiet and rest. This year we — my hus band and I and two half-grown children — cheerfully adjusted ourselves to the prospect of staying in town and at least driving to the beaches and to the lovely state parks and taking our lunches or suppers. “But we have come to believe that the , worst punishment of having a reduced income is being at the mercy of those of the people who are ill-behaved during the only hours we get to have any pleasure with the children. I like people but I never before realized that many of them could be so disagreeable. This beautiful country is so lovely now, and we. the people of it, pay taxes in order to de velop parts of it for our enjoyment — if only more people would be willing to share these privileges more graciously. "While I agree that the worst offenders are those who know no better, I do believe that many of the thoughtless are those who would be ashamed if they actually saw in print some of what they are inflicting on some one whose only outdoor pleasure they are spoiling." This letter brings to mind a thought I ex pressed awhile ago, that the greatest boon money brings to any of us is the privilege of privacy; the privilege of having a little cot tage, as this family once had; or of belonging to a beach club and renting a cabana; or of having a little camp in the woods. But on the chance that my words come before the eyes of some of those who are merely thoughtless rather than unknowing, it might perhaps be helpful to point out some of the more flagrant things which spoil the pleasure of others. , , Should you stop in your car by the road where there is a lovely view, to picnic, do at least choose a place where there is a wide space to park at the side, well out of the way of traffic. And do, moreover, make sure not only to tidy up, wherever you picnic, so thoroughly that no trace will be left; but be careful, while you are eating and opening papers, that you don't carelessly throw them aside w here they will blow out on the road. On the property of a private owner the least payment you can make is to be sure that nothing has been despoiled which belongs to him. In the woods, for example, picnickers ruth lessly not only pick flowers, but break off large branches and sometimes even pull out whole bushes and drive blithely away leaving cardboard boxes and tin cans scattered be hind in their place. Needless to say, if you picnic in the woods and have cooked some thing over a fire, the ashes must be safely covered over with earth to prevent a fire after you leave. Although most picnickers are aware of this danger, there are many who seem to be utterly unaware that leaving an untidy mess behind them is not the way to repay the owners for having taken possession of their property. One item of advice that should be printed in capitals to all smokers while motoring is to pay attention to discarded cigarettes and cigars. Scores of times, every day throughout the entire season, thrown-away cigarettes land in or on passing cars, often with much dam age, depending upon where they land. Re member. too, that a hand thrust far over the side of the car to shake off ashes can easily be mistaken for a signal. On boats and trains consideration of other ' passengers is necessarily the first requirement r of good manners. With the exception of those > who push and shove to get the best seats, > nearly knocking every one else down in their ‘ eagerness, most of the annoyances are com mitted by badly brought up children who are • allowed to run around the decks or up and ■ down the aisles. Even though children may run very steadily and even though they don't lay their hands on any one, all the passengers are really nervous for fear they are going to have water poured over them or that, should the train or boat stop suddenly, a falling child will grab hold of them with sticky fingers. The spoiled child who whines or screams or yells when he can't have his own way, is a pest. And worst of all pests is the child who has no knowledge of the word obey. He not only spoils the pleasure of every one, but is him-, self displayed to unfair degree through no* fault of his own, but because his parents have been either too indifferent or incompetent to train him. So many mothers worry to death about the child’s clothes and forget all about the real asset that makes it charming. After arriving at a public beach the in stinct of most well-bred people is to avoid crowding as much as is humanly possible. Those who have children should choose places as near as they can to where the children are going to wade in and out of the water and t • dig sand wharfs. It is dangerous to have little' children paddling in the water far away. And it is also natural for a child to fill his pails and run back and forth from his family to the water, kicking sand and spilling water all over those who may be sitting in his path. It is also necessary to be very careful about not letting a child thrust its attentions upon other people. While spontaneous friendliness is one of the most appealing traits a child can have and most people are inclined to like children, it must nevertheless be remembered that certain individuals do not. Therefore it is necessary to notice whether it is the strangers who are showing particular interest! in Johnny or whether it is Johnny who is! showing interest in the strangers! j Behavior at one of the public parks is! practically the same as that at the beach.! Again, don’t crowd up against other groups! if you can possibly help it. Don’t spread your picnic baskets and personal belongings over two or three tables when your share is one. Although picnic-table manners are less exact ing than those at a set table at home, this does not grant to the children the privilegt of eating like little savages. On the other hand, the public parks and picnic grounds are excellent training-schools for teaching children to take their tum and be satisfied with their own share on the slides and swings and seesaws and any other plea sures offered to all children. On other public playgrounds such as tennis courts, for example, don’t keep a court for hours when you can see tliat others have long been waiting for an empty one. And on the golf course observe the courtesy of letting a twosome pass your own foursome at the next tee. Or if you are in a group, let's say, of not very skilled players, let an obviously adept group pla*y through. u In conclusion, general manners in public are the same everywhere. Their observance is naturally even more important the closei the proximity. Remember then, that idea*2 manners in public are like ideal manners ot; the perfect traveler in a foreign country: it other words, those of a chameleon who sd-* matches the background against which lit finds himself as to be indiscernible. Copyright, 1936, by Emily Post -1( Fine Points of Manners May you, if you must, blow your nose at table? Is the word "escort" used by best society? Mrs. Post gives the answers to these and other interesting questions in a !l leaflet, "Fine Points of Manners." To get it send a three-cent stamp with your request *' and (printed) name and address to This ** Week Magazine in care of this newspaper.