To the People

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Monday, October 02, 2006

I Should Write My Own Etiquette Guide

The Debrett publishing house is updating its bible of blue-blooded female etiquette for the 20th Century. Which now makes it only a century out of date.

The first edition of Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage -- known in Britain as the "toff's bible" was published in 1769, and its tome on manners, Debrett's Correct Form, has guided high society for decades.

But according to its editor, Jo Aitchison, the new book "Etiquette for Girls" is a sign that the traditional arbiters of civility are catching up with the times.

"It's a nod to the modern day," she told Reuters. "We're pulling Debrett's out of Victorian times and trying to make it relevant to today." The book's advice ranges from how to conduct a sleaze-free office fling or a disease-free one night stand, to how to smoke at social occasions and what to do when you meet a celebrity.

"Avoid dark-alley gropery and unladylike fumbling in the back of a cab," the guide says on the subject of one night stands. "Discuss the necessaries to avoid planting any love children or disease, and you're away."

On smoking it decrees: "Always use a proper ashtray -- never a wine bottle, flower pot or used plate -- and avoid allowing smoke to billow out of the nostrils. It is also inelegant to leave the cigarette unsupported in the mouth..."

Ladies, ignore this bad advice. What's the point of having a one night stand / office romance without dark-alley gropery and unladylike fumbling oral sex in the back of a moving cab? And smoking? Do it up right. Drop your ashes on the floor while you're being fucked from behind.