By | August 5, 2010 75 Comments

Mind Your Own Business: Etiquette for Entertaining Sociopaths and Other Bad Eggs Your Mother SHOULD HAVE Warned You About

By The Front Porch Talker

“Hurt people hurt.” (“Greenberg”)

Don’t expect a sociopath to steal the silverware, or anything untoward in that regard. No, they will be too busy stealing your whole life out from under you! But, as I like to say: That’s no excuse for bad manners!

Luckily for us all, I am writing my own as-yet unfinished etiquette book called, Mind Your Own Business: Etiquette for the Clueless! It is written in that easy-to-read style, with bullets and cute reminders and hints, just like those ”˜Dummies’ books that presently insult your bookcase, along with your eight-track tapes and picture frames you got at Goodwill—the ones that still have somebody’s family pictures in the frames”¦

But, as usual, I digress in my southern-fashion. Anywho, my etiquette tome is unlike any you’ve read. I dare say that Emily Post would roll over in her proper little grave! And the rest of those stuffy types can just stick an olive with a toothpick for all I care!

Hint (smiley face here): Remember to buy toothpicks, then read on!

I call this chapter “Etiquette for Entertaining Sociopaths and Other Bad Eggs Your Mother SHOULD HAVE Warned You About! I call this mini-section, my “Helpful Hints For Staying Alive” told in a Susan Powder in-your-face attitude, with a slow, ”˜Ellie-Mae’ accent.

Remember: (bullet here) We are not discussing your normal, dysfunctional family here, a few of whom may actually have a stabbing contest at the dinner table over a chicken butt or a wishbone (you know who you are!). If you are in danger, put this book down and call the authorities. (On second thought: don’t bother.)

QUICK REMINDER: (insert pointing finger here) These guests are criminals! Sociopaths are not your friends! But they MAY be your relatives or spouses, or even guests in your home—someone the cat dragged in! It’s YOUR job to drag them out again—with grace and style, of course.

In my best Sergeant Friday tone, let me say: “These are REAL criminals, ma’am! I don’t mean your run-of-the-mill petty thieves or people of that ilk who will rob you blind, including that huge glass ashtray sitting on your coffee table. These men and women are MISFITS looking to wreak havoc in your house and home, with your polite guests, while you are in the kitchen discussing your recipe for Chicken Fricassee!

REMINDER: (BULLET HERE) Don’t be fooled!

QUESTION: (skip ahead) But, you may politely ask, how can I recognize a Sociopath or other miscreant when I see one? Do they dress in a particular style—say paisleys from the seventies, or like the ”˜Mod Squad’s’ Peggy Lipton?

ANSWER: (skip back) No, using the universal ANALOGY (SEE DEFINITION OF ANALOGY IN READER’S DIGEST’S “Word-A-Day” Section) of television from the sixties and seventies: this would be more akin to the “Twilight Zone.” The episode where you’re having guests over for dinner.

The men are pouring themselves a Scotch from a decanter and smoking cigarettes in the living room. The women are wiping their hands on their aprons, and working hard in the kitchen. Suddenly, while standing in the kitchen reading each other the Green Jello recipe, it happens: The twilight zone! Do NOT adjust your television set! You’ve just entered the twilight zone, where everything can and WILL happen.

BACK TO THE ETIQUETTE (insert wink here) and HELPFUL HINTS SECTION, IN THE PRESENT: (you are still in the kitchen, forty years later!)

So, meanwhile, your sociopathic guest will work the room—your newly decorated living room, of course! They are the ones hitting on your best friend! What do you do next? Well, you could do something tacky, like pulling the rug out from under them, thereby tripping said sociopath, narcissist or other miscreants before they can glad-hand your best friend, or you!

But that would be so vulgar and obvious, thereby ruining your own good name. Well, if that is the case you’d have to do a ”˜Kathy Bates’ as in “Fried-Green Tomatoes,” where, after bumping another car out of a parking spot she calls, “I have better insurance!”

You might even try something a little more subtle, although it will be completely lost on everybody else in the room. Personally, I like to wait until dessert is being served. In this case, I like to serve a light and fresh dessert, which I like to call my “Green Jello Surprise.”

Or in my special thematic presentation I call it my “Green Jello Sociopath Surprise!” (no, it’s not poison, unless of course you consider Green dye #3 poison!)

Seriously now, my dear reader, how many fine desserts have been discovered by accident while making something else? I can think of three: the Nutella chocolate falls into the peanut-butter (or is it the other way around?)—voila! You have Reese’s Peanut-butter cups! And what about the Rice Krispies merging with marshmallow mix—voila! You have Marshmallow Rice Krispie Treats!

And then there is my own special lite-and-lovely dessert, which I discovered quite by accident back in my Home Economics Cooking class. My friends (and you know who you are!) refer to it as my “Green Jello with Fruit-cocktail Surprise” (and in this case, sociopath surprise). I was minding my own business, as usual, making a simple Green Jello recipe for Parents’ Night.

But, I was so nervous that I completely forgot to add the proverbial canned fruit cocktail and my proverbial bottled red cherries. Imagine my surprise when Mrs. Simmons, my eighth-grade Home Ec teacher asked me, “Where is the fruit cocktail?”

You can imagine my humiliation standing there in my recently sewn yellow apron and my recently sewn pink and orange stripped shift (no darts!). There I stood in Home Ec—a regular Scarlet Letter, with a capital G (for Green) on my flat chest. I can still hear the heckling and jeering from the other girls—they can be so mean when it comes to being “different.”

I tell you this quaint little story in Martha Stewart fashion (as she tells the origins of her napkin-folding tricks), because this Green Jello Fruit-Cocktail-and cherries-Surprise (ala sociopath!) is perfect for this setting. Here’s the recipe: make your Green Jello , following the recipe on the boxes (you’ll need at least three); BUT, FORGET TO ADD THE FRUIT COCKTAIL AND CHERRIES. Refrigerate your Jello until it is Gelled properly.

Then, the surprise: take your Jello out of the fridge and spear your fruit cocktail and cherries with toothpicks! Then you’d stab those toothpicks into your Jello Mold. After that, spray a can or two of whipped cream over the whole thing, and voila! Green Jello Surprise (for sociopaths)!

I can see them now, my guests are politely eating dessert: green fruit cocktail jello with a dollop of whipped-cream, remarking to you: ”˜Where did you get this recipe?”

You lock eyes with the sociopath who asked you this question. You stand there like it’s ”˜High Noon at the Okay Corral,” just watching Mister or Miss Smarty-pants Sociopath sucking down the jello. Then, you say: “Oh, that’s my Jello surprise recipe! Did I forget to remove the toothpicks from the fruit-cocktail before I put it in the fridge?”

You will notice—for once—this sociopath will gag on his/her own words—literally! It’s precious, really. Meanwhile, you just keep walking back to the kitchen for more Cool Whip!

Although your relatives and friends may be déclassé, at least they do have a conscience, or so you would imagine. That is more than I can say about sociopaths. They are in a class of their own, and sometimes find their way into ours, too. You’ll know when you meet one. To them: your questions are beyond dispute. To them: their actions are beyond reproach. To them: you are simply a commodity to be traded for favors (yours), money (yours) and even life (also yours). It is never about them.

And, as a corollary: it is always about you. No, wait: it is always about them. No, wait: it is always about whatever a sociopath WILLS it to be about. That is the point: them! So, you may as well concede that point, because you will never win for losing. But you WILL lose for winning! That’s an easy way to remember it. There must be a pneumonic for that one!

My mother, God rest her soul, went beyond what is expected in polite company: she married sociopaths! You know how the women of that generation are—need I mention Zsa Zsa Gabor (God rest her soul) (Oh, excuse me! I must quote Monty Python—she’s not dead yet!), or the other Gabor sisters? Then you have Debbie Reynolds and let’s not forget Liz Taylor, too. I believe it would be kosher to include Michael Jackson (God rest his/her soul) in this bunch. They either were sociopaths or married them—numerous times.

My mother was like that too. She also loved to watch ”˜The Dean Martin Show,’ when he sang, “Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime;” except she took this literally: she married everybody every time! Unfortunately, ”˜every time’ she got taken for all she was worth!

I am proud to say that I have inherited her genes in this regard. Bless her heart, she has given me plenty of life challenges that I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to learn about the hard way without her influence. So, you see: there is ALWAYS something POSITIVE you can learn. Or, as I like to say: when you have GREEN JELLO (and fruit cocktail and cherries), make Green Jello Surprise! Your guest sociopath will leave before you’ve even served the decaf coffee to go with it. So, chew on that toothpick a while.

HELPFUL REMINDER: IT IS DANGEROUS TO SWALLOW A TOOTHPICK. (insert ”˜knowing smile hereJ See the episode of House, M.D. where a young Romani man accidentally swallows a toothpick while making-out with his girlfriend. Enter: House!)

Meanwhile, it is I, your Front Porch Talker and Etiquette Guru, with one hand on the thermometer of manners, and the other hand shaking yours!

(Brought to you by the folks who make Sanka!)

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romanticfool no more

Dear Front Porch Talker,

Thank y’alll fer yer hellpful insights. Ah must admit they gave me flashbacks ta my own misspent youth. Ah just MUST share my familly recipie fer Green Jello Surprise. It’s so easy Cousin Boofus kin make it. In fact Boofy DID make it, he’s not the brightest Crayon in the pack. He never kin figure out you have to REFRIDGERATE jello to make it set!!!!! But ah also digress, although I am Mountian Folk and not Southern.

Y’all take yer basic Green Jello and add green olives. Ya, Ah know, nuthin new there. Here’s the secret, when intertaining sociopaths and other unpleasant people, like Uncle Lector, YOU LEAVE IN THE PITS! Be sure to buy the extra large kind. The unpitted kind are cheaper anyhoo. Then ya frost it with mayonaise and serve it with a decorative sprig of horse parsley. Really purty. Ah served it when that obnoxious Preacher man kept showing up just at dinner time every day fer a week. Bobbi John broke a tooth, but it don’t matter, she’s the reason Ah only have plastic silverware and she was so drunk she didn’t feel nothin’

While that Preacher man was tellin’ us all again why we need to donate $10,000 each to build the new Church of UnQuestioning Faith and shovlin’ in the food like we was in a 3rd world country instead of just Redneck County, he swallowed an olive! He got all choked up, and not that fake stuff when he pretends to Cry For Jesus. He was a pretty blue by the time the abulance arrived. Ah hear he’s still in a coma, since he talked Nurse Downs great grandma into leavin’ all her money to him, no one thinks he’s gonna recover all that soon. Too bad Ah had to miss part of the fun, ’cause Tabbi used the hulabaloo to sneak upstairs and Ah had to catch her before she raided all my perscriptions again.

Do y’all think it’s proper iffin we only send one card and all of us sign it? Between the Preacher and Conway McScam sellin’ us time share condos in Taiwan, we ain’t got much money.

Ah gotta go now, Bubba’s yellin at me to bring him a beer. He may be mah long lost brother who finally escaped from a prisoner of war camp after all these years after we thought he wuz buried safe in his grave but he sure is a pain in the rear. And it’s real funny, they give him some drugs when he was there and it turned his brown eyes blue. Kinda like the song, huh? Ah better get that beer before he throws another TV at me. Last time Ah bled all over my favorite ruffled pink gingham apron. Ah sure do appreciate yer advice.

Ima Vict Tim

Donna, you are soooo funny! I do hope you are going to give us more installments on entertaining sociopaths. But please, give flash back warnings! I didn’t like my childhood and there I suddenly was, having to pretend Lime Jello and cottage cheese wasn’t making me sick, looking at my mother’s color co-ordinated aprons, hiding pale canned green peas in my napkin while my green and orange cotton Home Ick dress crumpled around me and my mom tried to talk me into wearing a padded bra. My boyfriend’s mom worked for the oculist so I had cat’s eye glasses with those pretty little rhinestones. (Think “Gary Larson cartoon of a thin little garden snake in cat’s eye glasses with one knee sock puddling around her, um, ankle over her corrective and years out of style saddle shoe.) The off stage sounds are my dad trying to turn our basement into a fall out shelter. When we cleaned out the house we found home canned food in there that was over 30 years old. We played “guess the mystery glop” as we filled the dumpster. There was also my brother’s frozen 40+ year old prize trout. None of us could figure out how it got there, as each of us threw it out at one time or another.

My daughter’s sperm donor really was too dumb to realize he had to put it in the fridge. Sadly, he was one of the best choices among the local boys. He didn’t drink or do drugs and he actually thought I was good enough to marry. Lucky me! (Insert sarcasm here)

Ox Drover

If the above article was not so TRUE it would be funny and I would have laughed my arse off! As it was, all I could say was HOW TRUE, HOW TRUE, HOW TRUE!

FPT I think you are the reincarnation of ERMA BOMBECK and MAXINE combined!


Romantic Fool,

Yes, it was hysterical – and your comment was just as funny! But, alas, I can’t take credit for the original piece. It was written by our very own Front Porch Talker. Sorry – I neglected to change the “written by” line when I first posted the article.


Front Porch Talker and Romanticfool, That was hilarious!!!! LOL!!! You put the Fun in Dysfunctional! Loved the Peggy Lipton image!

As for Kathy Bates, when I think of her, I remember when she hobbled that author…Can’t remember the name of the movie…

As for the Sociopathic Guest, this is a video clip of him after he failed to score with you and your best friend, and abruptly left the house with the excuse that his mother was ill…..

(Warning, rated R) (This “family” is based in the North Georgia mountains, just south of me!!!) (And “Early” reminds me sooo much of my S/P!!!)


SageeGirl, the movie was called “MISERY”.

Yes, she was letting us know before hand that ALL spaths can and will cause MISERY in your life.


Sounds like the dinner of the Shmucks. A real life dinner experience, or any experience with psychopaths is more of a horror story than a comedy. Real MISERY.


Sorry everyone but I couldn’t find the article that had the “Poo Week” threads…

Since this is a humorous article, this seemed the best place to add this. It is a car that RUNS ON POO!!!!

Perfect timing, don’t you think?!!


Well Poo week is drawing to an end, and i am REAL GLAD that you made such an enviromentally concious contribution sagee.

what we really need is a car that runs on spaths. two birds and all that.

so, what theme do we want for next week? snot comes to mind. any other candidates?


Thank you One Step.

I like your idea about cars running on spaths. At least they’d be good for something…

White trash? Plastic?


biomass. snort.



I really enjoyed poo week, and I’m not sure it is ready to wind down yet. What could compare to it….there is nothing really that could take it’s place , in fact I’m sad it is going to change. Snot hasn’t got the earthy appeal of poo. Pee is just a trickle compared to the solid plonk of poo….so I don’t know…I just do not know where we can successfully go from here… using spaths to run cars…is a bit exciting…perhaps we could actually turn these morons into something useful that could serve the planet, exploit THEIR flaws and come up with some uses for them

because they have no feelings they would be good news readers..but would have to be locked up after they read the news other wise they would most likely be IN the news…?


Bomb Detonators?


well, bioenergy is fascinating, and we would be the FIRST PEOPLE in North America to consider something besides palnt material. Now, it WOULD take A LOT of testing, we would USE UP A LOT OF SPATHS. But AS THERE SEEMS TO BE A SUFFICIENT SUPPLY OF THEM; AND i suspect the biomass quotient is VERY high (as in ‘gaslighting/ poo spewing, bs fuel’ useful energy to body mass) we should have PLENTY of fuel from the unfortunately unlimited supply.

We could learn so much AND benefit the planet….in SO many ways.



extend poo week!!!!! YAY!!!


man eating lion dentist?


bluejay and bp – ouu, a whole new industry is born! we don’t have to kill them, just give them really really bad jobs!

…but would they show up after day 2 and having targeted the first person they met and had started working on parting that person’s money from their pocket…..? okay, the idea has a few wrinkles…but they can be worked out!

Ox Drover

Speaking of poo week, have you guys seen the “Dung Beetle” car that VW has out now? (FOR REAL NO JOKE) it is powered by methane generated from human waste…..17 houses could power a Dung Beetle for an entire year they said.

Now, if we rendered the poo and the lard from the psychopaths wonder how many psycho-beetles we could run for a year off each psychopath? Anyone have a spare Psychopath they want to donate for the initial test?


Oxy- look up to one of my above posts…the Dung Beetle article is there!

I have at least two, if not more psychopaths that you can use for experimental purposes.

I wonder if these cars backfire a lot???!!!


Oxy-you can have my ex malignant narcissist and his wife. They are both full of shit!! LOL


dung beetle ? oh my – that brings a new meaning to ‘ want to chip in for gas?


Hens-LOL! You funny guy!


Well I need imput my friend Boo is 70 she know’s my story, even met the X,,she tells me she loves me , I am cool with that, I love her – but those two kisses in the pool today lasted a little longer than the peck I was expecting……..and I was very this a red flag? I just hate it, hate it, when I am trying to be a platonic friend and next thing I know this happens,, I need to get laid by a MAN soon…!!!


hens – she’s distraught. and possibly desires to be rescued. be firm with her. don’t let it go on a second. zippo nada.

and yes, you probably do. 😉


tHANX oNESTEP I often ponder if maybe I am socipathic..But I can’t be cause there are so many opportunties for me to exploit women – I just cant do that – never crosses my mind..and more than once in my life I have been offered a nice arrangement by men and same thing – no way – guess I have values and morals and self respect….


Hens-onestep is right. You have to be firm with you. If she knows that you’re gay then she need not be trying to kiss you. You do not need or deserve to feel uncomfortable. You may need a man but don’t rush it. You don’t want to settle for just anyone. That’s what I did with malignant narcissist man.


Hens-having values, morals, and self respect is a wonderful thing. I finally feel like I have all of those things back and it sure feels good. For some reason, I’m not feeling guilt anymore and I don’t feel like beating myself up.


hens…we found water on the land 🙂 a spring. 5 to 8 feet down. big volume year ’round according to the dowsers. 🙂 🙂

okay – went to the choir thing. loaded up on asthma drugs because i never know what the heck i will encounter. there are 25 open spots (its a 125 member choir), and over 50 applicants – they give spots by pulling from hats according to voice range. i will know is about 10 days if i get in. (now i have to go to the church where they practise and see if its @#$%^& moldy. god, i hate mold!)

well, i now have a label. and it is : alto.

i cannot tell you how happy that makes me. 🙂 i have wanted to sing for a long time. scared stiff. and big happiness at the possibility!


E72 I am sharing in your healing.. it’s wondermus that you are getting better….


Hens-it really is wonderful, thank you. I think that the concussion knocked out some things that needed to be gone. I can’t explain it. I have a new attitude-like the Patti LaBelle song. I can’t wait to really get to work on my goals. I’m ready to kick some ass and take down some names. NOPD here I come!!!


onestep I will say the same thing to you as e72 – I am so happy you are doing so well and gettin out and about and joining life again..I also am sharing in your healing and thankyou…it’s a moldy world miss alto..


One_step-I had four years of opera training and I have been singing since I was a girl. It is awesome. I hope you get in and I hope you have a really good time. I am trying to get in one here too but I don’t have the time yet! Good luck!

PS–singing was a life saver for me sometimes when I had so many emotions and I couldn’t express them. It makes me feel like I can do anything!


hens 🙂 big poo eatin grin over here!

erin72 – it’s an amazing community choir and the director is AWESOME. they do a couple of big concerts a year and a few smaller ones at the repquest of community groups and churches; and such a wonderful repertoire of jazz, and spirituals, Celtic music; they sing in a number of languages; there is a fee, but No ONe is barred from access…if you need child care, they arrange it, if you can’t pay the fee, you don’t; if you need a ride, they find one for you; and on and on…. they have my community values. even if i don’t get in to the choir, i think i will volunteer with them. i would love to sing opera!



one_step–what’s up with all the poo?
That sounds like a really great choir. The ones here are limited and they are audition only. I can do that but since I don’t have the time, it’s not yet worth it to sacrifice my nerves. Maybe once I become an officer if I get on the day or night watch.


poo – well this past week was poo week. it started as a couple of random posts and then it gathered ‘steam’. it was so popular we have extended it. there is much happiness being expressed at its extension. long drawn out poooooo.


They have a wonderful Gay Men’s Choir here – I go listen to them at xmas time..I cant carry a tune in a bucket..i thinks it a god given talent to sing well, wouldnt it be wonderful to make a living singing? move or Toby here comes miss onesteppers..


miss onesteppers can’t, as of yet, carry a tune either. i have never opened my mouth to sing (besides Buddhist chants and drum songs i made up). if i get in they will teach me and i will learn.


hens – why don’t you see if they need any volunteers?

two birds with one stone and all that……;)


its in the town 45 miles from me – i would do alot of things if i lived in the big city, but i am gonna stay out here in de woods…..i have been invited to a bloody mary party on labor day, sposed to be about 50 men over 45 i am lookin forward to that, just hope it aint a bunch of geriactric old toads..


nice. don’t go kissin on all of them though – pretty sure they won’t turn into princes.

could you do that drive once a month? if you meet a few people, you might have them out to de woods. town folk are well known for liking to get out into de woods.


i just found out about this group, they meet once a month at a different guys home, its from 11 am to 2 pm bring a covered dish kinda thing – i mite have a group out here sometime – but you know how city peeps are they dont drive more than 3 blocks to get anywhere.. but hey I am gonna check it out – i will be the hottest covered dish there…~! 🙂


you surely will be! 😉

ya know, the land i live in is so vast that if we don’t make a commitment to drive we don’t go anywhere.

hens – you are in the woods with a POOL and lovely grounds. i think that would have some currency. you can show off your flerers.




got it


i think u lost me is that the name of the sspath?


wow wow well well gonna read all of that ~! nite gotta get up with the worms in the morning


sleep well hens. will catch up re the infamous retch. 😉


onestep-I saw a post that you gave Henry about a person. How are you connected? I looked up some things and read a long story. That thing is very twisted. WTF?


Damn-what did she do to you? Or did I miss that already? I hope you don’t mind me asking about it.


erin – long story, right? very long and i have to get up early. i write about it all the time here, in bits and pieces.

she did what she does to everybody – you read everything there (none of them are my story) and you get the general idea.

peace out.


Hens, About being kissed by your friend… Does this happen often? I’m wondering, because it has happened to me with a several of my gay men friends… And I do not flirt or give any signals that I am in the least bit interested—because I am not. I have only been truly attracted enough to five guys in my life- and just grabbing me and kissing me is NOT the way to be romantic.

Not only that, but I have had several married men profess their undying LOVE to me (one guy has been for 20 years), and most of my married neighbors have even asked me over—of course, the wife is in Europe or someplace… I always say, “No,” but I don’t like it at all. I am not an object to be exploited. I need love and affection, not little bored-married-men flings.

Yesterday I went to one of the clubs with my neighbors for brunch, and here I was, reeling from all the turmoil from the S/P and his ex S/P witch, and this guy, who was sitting with his wife, just kept staring at me. I wanted to puke in his face.

Back in December, when I told my sister about the gay neighbor who grabbed me and sat me on his lap and tried to kiss me, she said, “I can’t even get testosterone-filled men to notice me and you’re turning gay men straight.” That was good for a laugh, but after this episode of the S/P, I am ready to join a convent and forget about ever getting involved with a man again.

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