Etiquette for Young Moderns: Shutting Up

A few years ago, one of my friends gifted me with a selection from “The Teen Age Book Club,” Etiquette for Young Moderns: How to succeed in your social life. It was written by Gay Head, a fact that I include in case you like to make shitty jokes based on the fact that the usages of some words have changed over time.

One of my favorite sections of the book is “Short Stops,” which includes recommendations on how to diffuse heated arguments. These recommendations are:

  • “Whew! Settling the fate of the world is tough work. Let’s take a break and get some dance music on the radio.”
  • “Look, we’re getting nothing out of this except hoarse voices. Anybody want to play a fast and silent game of ping-pong?”

Based on these, I have a few additional suggestions:

  • “Gosh, this has been an intense discussion! Let’s all eat a heaping spoonful of peanut butter so we can’t understand each other when we talk.”
  • “Boy, we sure are riled up! Wait – did you hear that noise? No? Shhh – there it is again. Let’s not say anything until we figure out what it is.”
  • “Gee, we certainly have viewpoints! Have any of you tried ipecac before?”
  • “Oh my, religion is tricky! Say, there are four corners to this room and four of us – let’s each go stand in one, facing the wall, and see whose legs buckle first.”
  • “Sweet stars and stripes, we’ve gotten ourselves in a tizzy! How about you walk east and I walk west, and we can have a hoot figuring out whether we’ll meet on a landmass or drown in the ocean.”
  • “I don’t like spending time with you.”

4 thoughts on “Etiquette for Young Moderns: Shutting Up

  1. Ryan says:

    Meg, I have a book you’d love called Party Cues For Teens: A Complete Guide For the Junior Hostess that looks very much like this. Among its Icebreaker Games is to quiz everyone on the life of Abraham Lincoln. There is another where you must name every word you can remember that appears on the penny. Yes, two Lincoln-related icebreakers. Also, try the Coffeepot game, where everyone replaces a certain verb or phrase with the word “coffeepot.” Whoever is “it” has to guess the word. You can’t make this stuff up.

    • megfavreau says:

      Oh man, that’s fantastic. It also reminds me of a book I have on wedding showers that features a lot of games of that caliber. I’ll have to post some of it. One of the games consists of telling everyone “Let’s go see the monkeys at the zoo,” and then walking into another room where you’ve placed a lot of mirrors. It must provide entire seconds of fun!

  2. Chris says:

    The cartoons and the retro theme are very similar to “The Unfair Sex” by Nina Farewell. You may have already come across this book, but if not, its worth a look.

    I can’t do it justice but first line is: “Ever since he author’s eighteenth birthday, when she surrendered her virginity becasue she didn’t want to seem rude, she has felt the crying need of a handbook for girls – a manual on how to cope with men.”

    And then she goes on to illustrate the differences in girls and guys and the conflicts that arise, including the freemasonry among males – an unhibited exchange of bits of information and lessons learned, which further increases their general know-how.

    “The uneveness of the conflict is aggravated by the fact that the male, in addition to possessing superior knowledge, employs dishonorable tactics. This is not a careless accusation, but a statement of fact. Please know that no genunine full-blooded male is trustworthy.

    As a result, she feels a need to write such a manual to help the green novices when they go out and run up against these trigger happy hardened troops.

    Written in the 50s but still entertaining… 🙂

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