Nautie Friends, I'm about to teach you something incredibly important. If you're going to survive in this world you need to learn how to scold thugs.

It doesn't matter where you are in the world - dock workers are a rough crowd. They're a breed of their own. The Foreman is usually sharp but, he'll spend the majority if his time keeping his less sharp workers in line. It's like corralling kittens.

The problem isn't that they aren't sharp. The problem is that they aren't sharp and I'm a little scared of them. They tend to be a little on the belligerent side.

When I was a cadet I was on a container ship in Oakland. One of the longshoreman cussed me out because I told him he wasn't allowed to drink his beer and leave the cans on our deck...I mean really! I promptly told the Captain of my encounter. He got a very serious look on his face, looked me in the eye and said, 'Megan, longshoreman are a sub species of the human race'. (I apologize if I've already told that story but, it's one of my faves.)

Well, allow me to teach you all how to scold thugs like a pro. It took me eight years of shipping and a few months of sailing as Chief Mate to learn this - I'm about to save you all some time.

First, put your hand out in front of you - raise your pointer finger - wiggle it back in forth and then say: A-ah-ah.

The rate of your finger wiggle effectively conveys your anger level. The slower your wiggle the more pissed off you are.

Sometimes my A-ah-ah is loud. This is more of an alert - meaning, anger is imminent.

No sound accompanying the wiggle paired with stink eye means you're so closed to getting kicked off my deck it's not even funny.

I can almost guarantee you that they will stop what they're doing and look at you with a face full of shame.

The beauty of the 'a-ah-ah' is that it works anywhere in the world. I mean anywhere...djiboutians are well versed in the 'a-ah-ah'.

It also works with anyone. The 'a-ah-ah' is not limited to longshoreman. Cabbies trying to take you for a ride. Vendors up in your grill at the pyramids.

Anyone. Anywhere.

We can thank Mothers everywhere for providing this universal dirtbag scolding tool. I mean, I always knew my Mom was pissed if the finger came out.