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Some Rules for the Conduct of Young Gentlemen, Part 2

Never wear those visor-hats with advertising messages on them. Especially those that consist of visor only. Very tacky.

Don’t tip back on chairs, especially straight chairs or those with rickety legs. They could break apart and embarrass you, and cost the owners time and money.

Always fumigate the bathroom after you drop a load. Just burn a couple of matches. This applies to any bathroom used by other people. Oddly, your own smell isn’t offensive to yourself. This rule does not apply to vegetarians.

Butter only as much bread as you’re going to put in your mouth, never the whole slice. A big, buttered slab is unattractive.

Speak clearly and slowly enough to be understood, without the hearer having to say, "What? What?"

When you yawn, cover your mouth with your hand. Better, yawn with your mouth closed; this gives your face a peculiar, strained expression, but you can usually get away with it.

If you have a girl at your place in the city, at the end of the evening walk her to her bus stop or put her in a taxi. Don’t send her out into the night alone. Better still, offer to pay for a taxi. Or see her home.

Avoid using popular cliches like, "Get off my case." Or saying to mixed company, "You guys." Also avoid using the expression "What’s his face" instead of "What’s his name."

Think ahead. What can go wrong? Always carry the right change for the bus. And quarters for the telephone. If you’re meeting someone in a public place, make double-sure you’ve got the right street, corner, theater, or whatever. Have a mutually-agreed-upon phone number you each can phone in case something goes wrong.

Remember: groups like Hare Krishna, Moonies, Scientologists, are to laugh at. Same is true of astrology, horoscopes, numerologists, tarot cards, and handwriting analysts.

When you go out, always carry a pencil and paper. You never know when you’ll need them. Also, if possible, a comb, and some tissues.

Generosity: Always give the other person the larger piece. You may lose a mouthful, but you’ll gain the reputation of being a great and generous person. Worth it.

As presented by William Rossa Cole to his teenage sons in the 1980s


William Rossa Cole

WILLIAM ROSSA COLE (1919 - 2000), editor, essayist, and light-verse poet, authored or co-authored over 80 anthologies and children's books, including the classic Beastly Boys and Ghastly Girls.


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