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Meet the Columnist

Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

    To carry her weekly column in your newspaper, or to republish an article, please contact her. It's that easy. 

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Table for Two...

Table for Two

Ever notice how obnoxious people do not know that they are being obnoxious? The other evening my honey and I were dining at this great little Italian place we know. Good food, good service, reasonable prices, you know the sort of place. 

We were quietly sipping a glass of wine while we waited for the food. Next to us was a large family celebrating a birthday or some sort of special occasion.

Problem with asking for the non-smoking section is they always put you at a table for two right next to a family of eight with all their children. We are used to it. Some of them are even actually cute, crunching up their food, eating with their hands and throwing food on the floor. 

I donít know why this family brought their children to an intimate I don't know why they brought kids to a popular dining spot for a birthday celebration instead of taking them to McDonalds, where kids would much rather go. But anyhow, there they were.

In this case, the kids were being pretty good, for kids. It was one of the adults who was misbehaving, talking loudly, asserting opinions and issuing orders.

"Good, grief, doesnít that guy realize how loud he is?"

Obviously, not. As I said, obnoxious people are oblivious to the fact that they are obnoxious. I could not really figure out what he was doing in a nice Italian restaurant anyhow. He did not seem like the type. He was more of a redneck sort of person.

"Bubba must be tired of the Catfish House," I said.

"Wonder why he didnít go next door?" "They have barbeque ribs over there."

Bubba proceeded to loudly assist the children in playing with their toys, blissfully unaware that he was spoiling the dining of all around him. Perhaps he was accustomed to dining at places where they have wooden puzzles on the tables to entertain the customers. Or perhaps the childrenís toys simply intellectually challenged him. By then, we were giggling as the absurdity came into perspective.

"Maybe he will be gone by the time the food arrives," I ventured.

I hate to admit it, but normally these loud people are women, ranting loudly so that all around can hear their conversation, as if everyone in the restaurant is interested. Invariably, if you turn to look, the woman will be wearing a red dress. 

Manic personality types, we used to call them in psychology. The lady in the red dress talking loudly to call attention to herself and imagining that other people are really interested in overhearing her conversation about her love life, marital problems, financial endeavors or whatever other mundane personal topic she has decided to air. 

About that time, the desserts arrived next door. Bubba remember that he had to pick up Shelby and left. We still donít know who Shelby is, but Iím very grateful to her for needing a ride. Bubba managed to exit noisily, just before the check arrived, leaving the others in his party to take care of the essentials. Perfect timing.

"Bye, Bubba," I whispered, as he left the room.

"Fresh ground pepper for your salads?" asked the waiter.

Our food had arrived. Perfect timing again.

Copyright 2001 Sheila Moss

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