No, it wasn’t a kitchen fire. One of my favorite comedians—though he’s clearly an elementary school boy—was checked by his much older brother with “Stop, Drop [the topic], and Roll”—to a subject we’d be willing to discuss while eating. One round took several new topics before he hit one acceptable to the rest of us. He’s learning he’s even more brilliant and funny when he isn’t annoying his audience.

He’s not the only one who needs etiquette advice. Thanks to Caller ID, anonymous unwelcome phone calls are rare. Thanks to anonymous Internet profiles (and the occasional foul-mouthed celebrity), it’s impossible for us to avoid similar material online.

We bloggers have it made. We create a room for the public, invite the type of conversation we enjoy, and press delete whenever our space is invaded by the uncouth, the unwelcome, or the unrelated. (Thank you to everyone who makes this possible!)

However, most public forums and video sharing services are not as well moderated. Otherwise family friendly forests are defaced by graffiti once confined to locker rooms. Enough already. Stop, Drop, and Roll.

Text © Gwyn Nichols 2010