After you've gawked at the funny hats worn by the Supreme Court Justices and by outgoing president Taft and his entourage, look at the hullabaloo going on behind incoming president Wilson at the moment he takes the oath. People are still taking their seats. Many have their backs turned to him. Others are milling around. Its as if the least interesting thing taking place on the Capital balcony at that moment is the inauguration of a president.
And they say we have bad manners?
The explanation, I believe, is the absence of microphones. When we can't hear the proceedings we tend to do our own thing. This is why shteeble women have a reputation for being especially chatty. It isn't because this particular sub-phylum of woman lacks self-discipline. Its because they are sequestered behind stout mechitzahs and are unable to see or hear male speakers. So of course, they chat.
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