10 pieces of 1920s etiquette and their modern equivalents

You wouldn’t think it to meet me, but I own this book:

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It’s a book of how to be polite and not scare people. Sadly, the rules in this book only apply if you live in an age where it is offensive to “go out hatless”. Recently I’ve been reading a lot of books where this sort of behaviour is the norm; I’m starting to think it might be quite nice to have an attack of the vapours in front of the local clergyman.

Since I am the kind of person who eats soup with my hands, I’ve decided to peruse this book and see if it offers any tips to help me not be an anti-social wazzock. I’ve found a few gems that I’d like to share with you, so you can all be great like me instead of crap.

1. Peeling bananas with a knife and fork

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A fucking knife and fork. This is a bit of a step up for me, who eats with the minimum of cutlery. Presumably, the eating of a banana with a knife and fork is so you don’t accidentally imply to the gentlemen that you wish to give them blow jobs.

The modern equivalent: Stop eating loudly when I’m sitting in McDonalds with a hangover trying not to be sick.

2. Calling

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Remember to leave your overcoat in the hall, unless you are only wearing an overcoat and nothing else, and haven’t seen to your pubes in a while. Also, leave your umbrella in the hall, as your host is worried you might beat them to death with it.

The modern equivalent:

Don’t go anywhere wearing only an overcoat. It might be the done thing in 90s soft porn David Duchovny movies, but not in West Bromwich. Also, don’t wear only leggings when you’re standing outside the parole office. Also in West Bromwich.

3. Praise and blame

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Never say anything bad about anyone. Also, never say anything good about anyone.

Modern equivalent: Favourite (or “like”) tweets. That’s nice and ambiguous and rubbish.

4. Walking

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Allow your fellow pedestrians ample room. Don’t get in their way. Don’t be a dick. Stop doing that, whatever it is. Just stop it. I hate you.

Modern equivalent: Stop standing in the middle of the fucking aisles in Tesco. Your phone isn’t that important. Also, stop being so slow at cashpoints. I will kill again.

5. Servants

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Let the lower classes do things for you.

Modern equivalent: Let the lower classes do things for you. You are a speshul snowflake, and other people should bow to your every whim. After all, you’ve had a couple of thousand views on Youtube and they haven’t.

6. Friendships

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Be careful with telling someone you’re not embarrassed to be in the same room as them.

Modern equivalent: Never be friends with anyone ever. They’ll only end up borrowing money from you.

7. Women:

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Remember: females are lower animals.

Modern equivalent: Pretty much the same. Also, stop saying women darts players are “brilliant” if they hit a treble 20. Also, stop having fat ugly men going out with gorgeous women on tv without ever doing the reverse unless ‘that’s the joke’. I’ll stop now. I’m polite. I have etiquette.

See also: Being hung:

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I’m not sure about this. Men are generally quite proud of being hung.

8. Marriage

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Your marriage is invalid unless you shit out some kids. You’d better not be barren.

Modern equivalent: Shit out kids. Loads of kids. Then do a sad face in the Daily Mail.

 

9. Interruptions

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If you’re younger than me, do not do “violent interruption of me”.

Modern equivalent: STOP PLAYING THAT STUPID SHIT CHAV MUSIC ON YOUR PHONE. NO ONE ELSE ON THE BUS WANTS TO HEAR IT.

10. Fingering

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Avoid fingering articles.

Modern equivalent: Don’t finger strangers in KFC. Trust me.

 

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