Larry David’s comic masterpiece “Curb Your Enthusiasm” returned for a 10th season on HBO last Sunday. One of the episode’s running jokes was David’s insistence on a three day statute of limitations for wishing someone a “Happy New Year.” After that, he opined, such wishes are meaningless. In the spirit of the show I am providing six resolutions that you should adopt to improve my life (as a lawyer living in the New York suburbs) and the lives of those around you:
1. Let everyone off before you try to board the elevator. This is obvious but frequently ignored. In general people seem more attuned to the necessities of negotiating the elevator’s limited space than they did ten years ago.
2. Let everyone off the subway before you try to board. A corollary to No. 1, I never understand why people think that shoving exiting passengers back onto the train will speed their trip. The conductors actually look down the train to see when everyone has boarded. A little patience will actually make your trip go faster.
3. Move over when making a turn. Jimi Hendrix wrote “You’re just like crosstown traffic/so hard to get through to you” over 50 years ago. Hendrix’ song compared a frustrating woman to Manhattan’s notorious East-West traffic. Things have only gotten worse in the past half century, with bicycle lanes and Citibike stands taking up lanes on many side streets. When you get to the end of the block, move over in the direction you are turning. There’s no requirement to turn from the middle of the street!
4. Walk Behind Your Shopping Cart. A relatively new phenomenon, people at local grocery stores and Costco now like to walk beside their carts. Two interesting facts weigh against this trend: First, grocery store aisles are generally designed to allow two carts to pass side-by-side, not two carts and two people. Second, the handle on a grocery cart is always located on the back of the cart — not on the side. Use some common sense, and leave space for fellow shoppers.
5. Grocery Clerks — Use the Electric Eye. The automatic sense known as an electric eye came into widespread use in the United States in the 1930’s. For some unfathomable reason many grocery store clerks are compelled to turn off the electric eye every time they pull an item off the conveyor belt to scan, and then turn it on so they can get the next item. Technology can improve your life — use it!
6. Optimize Your Website for Mobile. I am listing this preemptively, as this site needs to be optimized and I have just tasked my web designer with improving your experience.
I feel better already for writing this. Happy New Year!