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A Gentleman's Guide

Nigel Houndstoothe and I are sitting in a small pub in Salisbury, England. Among other things, Mr. Houndstoothe and I discuss the hunger epidemic in the poorest parts of Africa. He explains that the answer to this problem is simple; people in those parts of the world should eat their children. There is plenty of little ones to go around and one child could feed two grown adults for up to a week. After leaving the pub, we take a trip to his flat so he can show me his book collection and read pieces from some of his favorite satirical writings. The world of satire is most often humorous in it’s lunacy and rarely falls short on producing a great underlying theme.


A Gentleman's Guide

           In the hustle bustle of our modern times, where does one find the time to fraternize with their peers? Maintaining a busy schedule is a key part of becoming a well-oiled working machine, and busy sure doesn’t mean chattering over coffee for hours at a time or taking leisure walks. In keeping a tight agenda many interesting scenarios play out from day to day; things our friends should know about. However, explaining such anecdotes could prove to be a lengthy endeavor should you attempt to do so in person, and time is money. I’d like to propose a system that will allow even the most occupied socialite to have their pre-packaged Hostess snack cake, and eat it too.


            Let us be honest, we need lots of friends. Friends make our ineffectual lives throb with vigor and joy. Even friends whose names I cannot recall allow me to feel superior to those who do not have any friends. Friends feel good, thus, accumulate as many as possible no matter how shallow the connection may be. A socially prominent gentleman has at the very least five thousand friends. Exemplary socialites will tell you it is best to avoid personal contact with your peers. In fact merely documenting their name with a current picture should sufficiently prove their existence. Once you have organized your friend base, we can now speak to them en masse. Why inform one solitary soul when ten thousand could be informed simultaneously? Aye, with the wonders of our modern age social prominence may be achieved by all.


            Simply informing your hoard of followers of your daily doings may not entirely prove your superior social status. Do not fret; further proof is wildly convenient with the many advances made in photography over the past century. Cameras are now as common as crumpets at tea time. So, to fortify your image as a socialite take pictures of yourself. The variety of clothing and settings will show your friends that you are who you say you are – a gentleman. Be sure to include other friends in these pictures from time to time to solidify your image. Should you take a trip to an exotic locale it would behoove you to videotape every meal, drink, and stranger you may encounter.


            Now gentlemen, when speaking to your friends en masse (as we have decided is the most efficient route) brevity is of the utmost importance, be quick and to the point. If multiple messages are needed throughout the day I assure you that your friends will be delighted to hear from you, so long as you don’t burden them with an unnecessary amount of words or details. In this fashion we can pursue our ever busy everyday lives while maintaining a state of constant contact. The wonders of our modern age! For instance, let us say you enjoyed bran flakes and coffee for breakfast which in turn produced a healthy bowel movement. In an instant, twenty thousand of your friends could know that your day started with a bang. And let us not forget photographic proof, gentlemen. Yes many of your fellow socialites will be contacting you in a similar fashion, but many of them do not matter so simply ignore their pitiful outcries for attention as to not over-burden your ever important schedule.


            To become truly socially successful, certain sacrifices may need to be exercised. The most exemplary gentleman I have thus far encountered, using this proposed system, has created some delightfully clever solutions concerning time, space, and friends. As previously stated (just to recap) social prominence requires but three components: a large friend base (remember you do not actually have to know or like these people), documentation (photographic proof), and we must keep our friends informed of our daily doings (short sweet and as often as possible for the best effect). Our exemplary übergentleman has created several innovative tactics to secure his place in the highest ranks of social prominence. As we speak his friends base inches ever closer to the entire population of our humble little planet, and should he soon exceed our measly 6.7 billion boundary, perhaps he will contact non-human life forms. Now, you may be asking yourself, “How could he prove such a virtuosic rapport with so many?” Well gentlemen, take note. The übergentleman has manufactured a small army of expertly crafted mannequin look-alikes equipped with the latest in photo-gadgetry. The übergentleman can be in every major city at the same moment donning the latest fashions, bumping elbows with the hottest stars, and enjoying the freshest newest clubs without ever leaving the comfort of his underground dwelling. Yes gentlemen, an underground dwelling, yet another innovation to be sought after. Our übergentleman has found that canceling out the hustle bustle of life (distractions like; geriatric neighbors in need of assistance carrying out their garbage, or family member adamant on sharing wholesome meals) will not fit into to a socialite’s lifestyle. Another key advantage to underground solitude (besides of course the lightening fast internet connection) is the ability to inform your friends every minute on the minute. A sort of stream-of-consciousness blathering segmented into mildly humorous, bite-sized, grammatically void phrases. As you can plainly see our übergentleman has exquisitely forged the path to true social prominence by carefully analyzing our three important components. Repeated here for effect:


1. Lots of friends (state wide coverage is nice, hemispherical is better).

2. Photographic proof (time and space can be easily circumvented).

3. Information disbursement (short and sweet is effective, but constant is king).


           While you may not feel that you are suited for subterranean living, we must appreciate the determination and swimming success of the übergentleman. And let us be realistic here, who cares where you live as long as you are popular.

            Future gentlemen of the modern age, let us follow proudly in the footsteps of the illustrious übergentleman. Sever your ties to friends in need of face-to-face interaction, and family members wanting to spend quality time together. By whatever means possible photograph yourself (or mannequin replica) in as many places as possible, while always remembering that the less times you waste soaking up culture in exotic places, the more quality photo opportunities you will be able to take advantage of. Realize that the shallower your relationships are, the more friends you can attain. Above all let your friends know what you are doing as often as possible; this I cannot emphasize enough. Should you run out of toothpaste, accidentally scramble your eggs whence you were aiming for over-medium, or maybe you organized your Sega Genesis game cartridges into chronological order, your followers should know at top speed. Social prominence is right around the corner gents'. Quit your job, forget your hobbies, and tell your dear old Mum to nick off, so you can start taking advantage of our brief time on this little planet.


Nigel Houndstoothe | Age 33 | Brighton, England

Has the gift of perfect pitch, but refuses to play any instrument other than the kazoo.

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Reader Comments (1)

Well said, Mr. Houndstoothe! With your help, I rise closer to attaining gentleman status.

December 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChris Paquette

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