†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† THE COUNSELORíS CORNER

In the month of May, when all of us who root for the Los Angeles Kings were going about our business, I found that in some ways, society has reached a new low.


I am specifically referring to my attendance at game six of the playoff game between the Los Angeles Kings and the Colorado Rockies.I went to the game planning to have a high old time and root the Kings on so they could stay alive in the series, as they were down three games to two.


I almost didnít make it to the game, as the friend with whom I was to attend the game was not available; however, on Sunday morning (it was a Sunday night game), another good friend called and indicated he wanted to go.I then called Ticket Master and was happily surprised to find that two choice seats had opened up (on Saturday there were no tickets available).I purchased them, and several hours later we headed for the game.


We got to the Staples Center smoothly enough.I so much prefer attending events there rather than making the long drive to the Forum and getting caught in heavy traffic jams both on the way there and on the way back.At Staples, you can park a few blocks away and walk, and not have to deal with much in the way of traffic when you leave.


What caught my attention on this evening, however, is the fact that when my friend Dave and I went to get some food and drink, among that which we ordered were several containers of Aquafina water.These are the containers that you can buy at a gas station, at a 7-11, in your supermarket, or wherever.It didnít have to be Aquafina, it could have been any water.Since Dave and I planned only one food and drink trip, we decided to stock up for the whole game.(At that time neither of us knew that the Kings would win, but not until double overtime.)With the above in mind, I ordered three waters.The woman behind the counter proceeded to unscrew the cap of each water.She then put the three capless waters on my tray.I asked her what was going on.Obviously, I would rather keep the caps on the two waters I wasnít going to drink until I was ready to drink them, not to mention the fact that it would make the trip back to our seats a little less adventurous if the water was capped.The woman very politely indicated that they could no longer allow caps to go with the water containers to the seats because of concerns that people would throw the caps onto the ice and potentially injure the hockey players.


Is this what it has come to?You canít go to a sports event and buy some water without them taking the caps off?How pathetic is that?Has it come to this? Have we fallen so far?


I find this to be extremely troubling.No so troubling that I couldnít enjoy the Kingsí victory; however, I started to wonder in what other areas of society this either has taken place or will be taking place.I mean, I havenít been to the zoo lately, but can I still feed the animals?Are they not going to sell me peanuts because theyíre afraid that I might zap an orangutan right between the eyes?And what about those delicious soft pretzels; you know, the ones with the salt?If you let one of those puppies sit for an hour or so, it tends to harden quite significantly.I was somewhat surprised that I could still purchase one of them at the hockey game, as it could become a formidable weapon.I mean, is the time going to come when all they will serve is cotton candy?By then the dental industry may have put an end to that because I imagine all that sugar is bad for your teeth.


I am not suggesting that I have the answer.I guess Iím still startled that there is a question.I do, however, in the future plan to closely monitor any similar changes that I notice.One that I do support is the fact that if I go to see a play, before the play starts people are admonished to turn off their cell phones, their pagers, and if they are going to have some candy during the play, to unwrap it now so that your fellowtheater-goers will not be disrupted during the performance.Iíve gotten used to that announcement, as I happen to see a lot of plays; however, I remember being happy when I first heard the announcement because I was getting tired of hearing peoplesí cell phones ringing or pagers going off.Yet, I was also discouraged in that it was a reminder to me as to how flat-out rude and/or impolite people can be at times.If youíre sitting at a play or attending a classical music concert or a tennis match or some other event in which people are to be quiet, should people really have to be told to turn off their cell phones?Are people so self-involved that they canít figure that out for themselves?Unfortunately, I believe the answer is yes, and despite the warnings, I still hear an occasional pager go off, or someone who buys a wrist watch and feels the need to be alerted at the top of each hour, will have his wrist watch give a couple of those familiar and annoying beeps every sixty minutes or every thirty minutes, depending on how he has it set.


What I am trying to say is that from bottle caps to pagers, if we would all behave just a little bit better, we wouldnít need to be protected from those around us and from ourselves.If we didnít throw bottle caps onto the ice, if we were considerate enough to put the pager on ďvibrate,Ē we wouldnít be at a point in time in our society in which the above actions have to be taken.