Steve Auerweck looked up one night from a particularly fetid text that had landed on The Sun’s copy desk and muttered, "I’ve lost the will to edit."
Having briefly given up on the complaints of readers and disputes among journalists, I offer instead a short catalog of purely arbitrary judgments. If you don’t agree, you can start your own blog.
A martini is made with gin, dry vermouth and a bit of lemon peel. Olives are acceptable. And, for those with an open-minded, latitudinarian approach, vodka may be substituted for gin. But some revolting concoction involving applejack, chocolate, peach schnapps and the like does not become a martini merely because it is poured into a martini glass. If you’re going to drink, drink like a grownup.
A gentleman uncovers his head in a private home, church, school, restaurant, library or other sacred place. An exception must certainly be made for yarmulkes, but not for baseball caps, particularly when worn back-to-front.
Also, a gentleman ties his own neckwear. (Note the assumption that he sports neckwear.)
Maintenance of personal hygiene is best performed at home, preferably while alone in the loo, rather than in the automobile or workplace.
Cultivate some vices. If you do not smoke, drink, swear, eat meat, gossip or indulge in fatty, sugared food, how do you hope to escape being taken for a prig?
Give murder mysteries a try. After a long day at work with professional journalists (or whoever your colleagues may be), nothing is more pleasant than to sit in a comfortable chair, with a good light over your shoulder and a drink at your elbow, and read about disagreeable people meeting violent death.
When the person dearest to you first suggests that it would be a good thing to remodel the kitchen, turn over your savings, checkbook and credit card; check into a Motel 6, and subsist on takeout pizza until it is all over. Do not, by word or gesture, express a view, an opinion or a preference. Get out of there fast.
This Saturday, I will stand while the band plays "My Old Kentucky Home" at the Kentucky Derby. Always be true to your native state, no matter how happy you may have been to leave it.
When, at parting, someone enjoins you to "have a good one," it is not compulsory.