23 January 2007

Agony Auntie

Dear Ms Quisp,
I adore everything, especially your bloguette, really.
If I ever grow up, I want to be fabulous with a lot of tact and manners, just like you have. Can’t you help learning me how to be?
Especially I don’t know about tipping in these strange country.
Uncouth Youth

Dear Uncouth Youth,

Gracious thanks for making a letter short and to the point.

Much as it pains me to disappoint an admirer, you simply cannot be helped. Please appreciate that it is quite impossible for anyone in the universe to become fabulous as I am… and if it were not impossible, I would forbid it on principle.

Fabulousness is one of those elusive qualities that, like tact (which consists in knowing how far to go too far) is hard to define; either you are fabulous or you are not. Belonging to the latter category by your own admission, there can be nothing more to say on the subject.

With regard to your attempt at flattery, that comment about manners, you are again sadly mistaken: I certainly do not have a lot… for manners are especially the need of the plain, and those who are excessively handsome can get away with anything. For what it is worth, one has observed that manners have nothing whatsoever to do with what you do, only how you do it. For example, in a moment of anger, if a gay gentlemen should throw wine at a lady who is being unpleasant, it is considered to be unmannerly: however, if a gay gentleman should pour wine over the lady in question, it is considered by all those watching to be a source of amusement. Another example of this phenomenon is Mr Karl Marx, who was always polite in the British Museum- courteous to the staff, never read with his hat on, and didn’t make lip-farts when he came across passages in Hegel with which he disagreed: today, despite the fact that his political exhortations have caused the deaths of millions, he is today more revered than not.

In response to your final question, there are several ways of calculating the tip after a meal. Given my sexual preferences, I find the best is to divide the bill by the height of the waiter. Thus, a bill of 60 euros brought be a six foot waiter calls for a 10 euro tip, with a vertically disadvantaged waiter measuring no more than five foot deserving a little extra… to lift self-esteem, so to speak.

I do hope all of the above will be useful. In any event, please do not contact me again.


Ms C Quisp

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