Etiquette for a new world order

we simply don’t do polite

two very fashionable society ladies of the early 1900's.
Hi, Society!

1. Dining in “High Society”

If after numerous attempts you simply cannot get the ketchup to flow out of the bottle at a formal dinner given by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, do not despair. We counsel a cool head and assure you that one of these clever work-arounds will be just the ticket:

Number 1

  • Take the ketchup bottle by the neck and, raising it high above your head, smash it with all your might against the sharp edge of the table, all the while coughing to mask any noise.
  • Insider Tip #1: If the Duchess is blinded by a flying glass shard, simply ring up Harrod’s and have them black-cab you a selection of sunglasses by Prada or Ray-Ban. This should calm any unnecessary hysterical crying.
  • Insider Tip #2: Creeds’ celebrated dry-cleaning service will gladly undertake removal of any vitreous humor from her Vera Wang gown. Your removal from the Royal Social Calendar has been most resourcefully averted!

Number 2

  • If your neighbor at the table has a multi-tool, distract him by yelling, “My word, old chap, look over there! That delightful young Peeress we were admiring is dabbing her chests with the calf’s-foot jelly!” and point away from you. As he searches for the young lady, pilfer his multi-tool from his waistcoat pocket and use the glass-cutter to score around the neck of the bottle so that it comes cleanly away.
  • Skillfully deploying the little spoon in the multi-tool, serve yourself a sufficient portion of ketchup, wipe the spoon with your cravat, close the multi-tool and replace it in his waistcoat pocket.
  • This all must be done with lightning speed.

Number 3

  • Excuse yourself for a moment, stuff the bottle under your greatcoat and sprint post-haste to the nearest Academy of the Fine Arts. Immediately upon arrival, enroll in an evening glass-blowing workshop for the continuing education of adults. Availing yourself of the facilities, surreptitiously melt off the neck of the bottle.
  • Race back to the table, explaining, if asked, that the welder’s helmet you are wearing is to protect yourself from allergic reactions to sun spots.
  • Note that it is most essential that you reach the table well before the molten glass solidifies again.

2. Introductions: Three ways to easily and quickly remember someone’s name:

  • When the person presented to you says, “How do you do, I am Archibald Psmithers, with a silent ‘p!'” cry out, “I am most pleased to make your acquaintance, Mister Puh-smithers!” As you repeat the surname Puh-smithers, punch him hard in the teeth with a decisive, tightly-clenched fist.
  • This will indelibly record his name in your memory, both long- and short-term. OR
  • Use a mnemonic: A mnemonic, with a silent “m”, is a memory aid.
  • For example, If you should be presented to a Miss Ghorkstein with a silent “g”, “hoark” up a big wad of phlegm and expel it discreetly into her Pimm’s No. 1 cup.
  • To stun your new acquaintance with your exceptional sensitivity you could add, “Shaken or stirred, Miss GORKstein?” OR
  • Simply address everyone as “Susan” even though they protest that that is not their name. You must stoutly resist these underhand attempts to confuse you and cast aspersions on your perfect memory.

3. Proper use of the cellphone or similar electronic device when in public

  • It will not do simply to ignore your tradesman or wig stylist, as they ramble on about use of the comma in Jane Austen, by nodding politely, all the while making no attempt to disguise the fact that you are scrolling through the “Family Fun” videos on Pornhub and sorting them by “most viewed” or “length.”
  • Everyone in Barrie and their unmuzzled pit bull can do that! From you, dear reader, we must demand a higher standard of social awareness!
  • The best way to ignore people is to have two cellphones rigged up in a hood constructed of leather straps so that each cellphone’s face is in direct contact with the eyeball. Such an arrangement will effectively discourage people from talking to you about their paltry concerns.
  • It is likely that you will experience some navigation problems while using the two-cellphone technique. Do not succumb to frustration! Simply stand on any convenient street corner and shout out, “Excuse me! Is anyone here heading, perchance, to the Saks Fifth Avenue boutique at Hudson’s Bay?”
  • When you receive an answer in the affirmative, press the crotch of your trousers securely and forcefully against the their backside, maintaining this intimate contact until you have reached your destination.
  • Do not be overly astonished should the general public regard you as a new Sir Edmund Hillary as a result of your inventive wayfinding skills!
  • If you simply cannot locate your leather hood with straps, make do with one cellphone, but make it the most costly you can buy. Apple daily releases a new iPhone which contractually requires you to throw out your headphones and charging cables and buy new ones. You would be well advised to choose one in beaten rose gold or, if price is no object, marble.
  • Now, should some impudent narcissist beetle up to you and begin to regale you with the Table of Elements, the plot of some episode of “Murder, She Wrote” or a complete, word-by-word re-enactment of a travelogue featuring Joanna Lumley sampling lye-preserved fish in Norway, simply begin talking over them.
  • Should you find yourself at a loss as to subject matter, you could in a pinch read the closed captions provided for “Leave It In Mom’s Beaver” until your hapless accoster is so put out they positively flee your presence!
  • Drooling will add to the effect and improve your chances of being thought thoroughly repellent should your natural manner fall short of the mark.
Gentlemen at Breakfast

4. Casual Entertaining at Home

  • When planning a dinner party, be certain to take account of everyone’s food likes, dislikes, allergies and mushy-texture problems. Then, to get the conversation going, deliberately serve everyone the wrong dish.
  • This will provoke animated comments and much ribaldry! When the gentleman who is extremely sensitive to peanuts starts gasping and turning purple as his throat swells then closes up, exclaim, “Oh, bother! And my Epi-pen’s at the cottage! No matter! Let me make an incision and insert this MacDonald’s Blizzard straw so you can continue normal respiration!”
  • Don’t be taken aback if your razor-sharp quip sets you up as the “Oscar Wilde” of your special circle!

5. Treating the gentle sex with proper esteem

  • If you’re out to dinner discussing fishing tackle after a heartfelt reunion with your high-school all-male cribbage club, and a woman at the next table starts breast-feeding her squalling infant, pay no attention. This is simply a normal part of life.
  • You and your lusty companions should respond with empathy. Release your members from the confinement of your trousers, drape them on the chair seats and continue casually sharing your best Stanley Cup stories.
  • If the woman misinterprets your friendliness and considers this an affront, explain that “We thought we’d take out our perfectly natural body parts and waggle them about as well! #GuysMembersToo!” This demonstrates your solidarity with your “sisters.”
  • Suggest to the woman that you are changing your mind and supporting abortion any time up to the one hundredth week.
  • No particular shock if you are henceforth regarded as a “feminist” because of your show of support!
  • Don’t forget to slip the Maitre d’ a little something!

6. Recalcitrant vegetables

  • The best way to eat an artichoke is while driving, using a chainsaw. Take each quarter artichoke into your mouth and spit it at any cyclists who happen to be passing. Cyclists are usually poor, so do not often get a chance to sample “haute” cuisine.
  • Be sure to offer your companion in the front passenger seat a sample as well. It is considered de trop to completely sever their head with the chainsaw; we recommend the exercise of discretion to temper your impeccable power-tool technique.
  • Swinging your power tool with too much abandon, thus inadvertently chain-sawing through the front passenger’s mouth, such that the lower jaw is hanging by a thread, is commonly regarded as a “newbiemisstep.
  • Most experienced artichoke enthusiasts will overlook this, even going so far as to demonstrate correct form for you, thus smoothing over your trifling error and putting you at ease for the long drive ahead. Though not entirely headless, one would hope!
  • LOL, apparently!
  • A packet of “wet wipes” from the chemist will aid in the absorption of any heavy bleeding. A very important consideration if you do not wish to undertake expensive restoration of your white leather upholstery.

7. At the Debutantes’ Ball

  • When arriving at the Ball, while still milling about the porte-cochère, turn to the footman and confide, “Give over, Dilmot! I ain’t ‘arf poncin’ to polish me knob with a fresh bit of the ol’ shag carpet, know wha’ I mean, know wha’ I mean? Take these ‘ere toe rubbers and present them with all me best wishes to The Lady Georgina Arbuthnot. I hear that slag’ll slide down your pole faster than a poofter at a firemen’s convention, doo wah, ‘ow’s yer faver, nudge, nudge?”
  • The help always appreciate your condescending attempts to speak their “lingo” and to demonstrate that you understand how base their morals are.

Dancing the quadrille:

  • As you cross your arms to grasp the hands of the ladies on either side, be sure to “accidentally” brush against any available “bosom.”
  • Should either lady blush, swiftly withdraw your hand, not neglecting to give at least one breast a strong, manly squeeze lasting at least ten seconds.
  • Standing next to you clearly indicates any lady’s unspoken request that she be grabbed as rudely and forcefully as possible.
  • Rest assured that her squeals are proof of the highest pleasure rather than indignation!


We hope these suggestions have polished your social graces until they glimmer and raised the tone a bit!


5 thoughts on “Etiquette for a new world order

  1. You can quote this in your promo (homo) material…

    David Roddis is the Oscar Wilde of the 2019 Blogosphere

Tell us what you think. Keep it civil, yet interesting.