A-Z Survival Guide to Life
S – Stickybeaking
This is the nineteenth installment in the A-Z Survival Guide to Life I am writing for my boys.
Stickybeaking is a term I have heard the majority of my life. It is an Australian slang term referring to meddling or being nosy. A stickybeaker is a busy body.
Now, there is only one individual who can really get away with stickybeaking and that is Mikey (the Great Dane). He loves to stickybeak, and it makes me smile when he does it. He puts his paws up on the 6 foot wooden fence that surrounds our backyard, in order to look into the backyards of our neighbors. It’s cute and endearing when he does it. Well, at least to us it is. It might not be so cute or endearing to our crazy neighbor with the two German Shepherds, who I think might be just as loony as their owner. When those two dogs see Mikey’s massive head loom over the top of the fence, it really riles them up. And then crazy lady comes out and starts her “What have you done?” bit over and over (and No Bun, I have never figured out exactly what it is they do to annoy her so). And then she will switch to her really sickly sweet voice, “Come here Eric and Ruby. Come to Mama.” And then the growly “What have you done?” questioning begins again. It’s kind of freaky.
We have another neighbor that listens to really old music from the 1920s, and honestly I think she listens to it on a Victrola, because it echoes over the fence and through the trees in this crackly, eerie way. It’s most disconcerting on a foggy night. Why would you be listening to a Victrola on a foggy night, outside? Then on the other side of our yard we have a Hispanic family with little yappy Chihuahuas. The dogs are left outside most of the time and they bark and bark incessantly. The family loves throwing parties, and the more they drink, the shriller the women cackle and louder the music becomes, which is usually Mexican music of some type. So you can’t hum along to it.
Finally we have the family on the left of us, who has a dog that howls, long, soulful howls every time he hears sirens. He is left outside to suffer through the dense fog in the winter, he is outside all summer, left in the sweltering 100 plus degree weather. Poor puppy.
Mikey likes to stickybeak at all of these people and dogs. No one seems to mind, well except for Eric and Ruby – the two German Shepherds (that brings their owner out, who starts her “Norman Bates” cycle) and the Chihuahuas. They mind, and bark more.
And so why do I tell you all this? How does this have anything to do with surviving life? Well, I am glad you asked. Stickybeaking is adorable when Mikey does it, but it isn’t for most people. Stickybeaking, or getting into other people’s business or affairs is not something you should ever do. It will just bring trouble into your life. Below I list certain places that you would be well advised not to stickybeak.
Place of employment – There is always that group of people that love to stir the pot, create drama, where drama does not need to be created. Stay as far away from these people as you can. I think we talked about this a little bit under A- Annoying People. But this warrants mentioning again. These people will befriend you, be kind and helpful initially but beware, they are simply gathering information, personal information. This information will be stored and brought forth at a later time to be used against you. Keep your distance. This may sound like me being completely paranoid and whacky, but I have learned this lesson the hard way, several times, over the years.
Family situations – When you marry, you will inherit a whole other family. And with that family will come all kinds of people. Some of these people will be crazy. It is best not to get in the middle of any of the family arguments, as you may think you know the history, understand the dynamics, but you most likely have only heard one side of the story. Be polite to other family members, but do not get sucked in, it could cause cracks in the relationship that may be irreparable. You will never understand your spouse’s family – and don’t pretend or try to.
Social Media – The world is filled with people that are perpetually offended, about everything. These types of people are the more passive-aggressive stickybeakers. They have to voice their opinion in situations that don’t really involve them. They argue with people on social media, whom they have never met, about things that really do not concern them at all. These are the most dangerous of stickybeakers, because they elicit a kind of crowd response, they get people angry – I like to refer to this as the “Lord of the Flies” response. They go after Piggy, and they are out for blood. Avoid this – do not get carried away in the current, step to the side and let everyone else look like an idiot. If something offends you, ignore it, move on and keep the fact that you are offended to yourself. All of this “offended” behavior is very transient in nature and will dissipate quickly. Just let it go past you. And remember, once an opinion or a statement is on social media – it is there forever, to be rediscovered at a later date.
Situations in which you are obligated to become involved – These are hopefully situations with which you will rarely be faced.
- But if you suspect a child has or is being abused, you must step in. This is something that cannot be ignored. The same goes for a woman, or for that fact an elderly person or an animal or a man (some men are abused).
- If you witness a crime, please call the police
- If you witness an accident, please stop to help (safely) and call 911.
And remember leave the stickybeaking to Mikey – he can get away with it.