Sunday, November 03, 2002

It should almost go without saying that issues of class and status are of very little concern to me. However, some casual observations of my neighbours highlight the enormous deficit between them and people with whom I like to associate.

Regular dippers into The Swamp will know of the screaming horsewhipper on one side and silent but deadlies on the other.

The Swamp

The screaming horsewhipper has no class whatsoever. She screams like a 747 every waking moment of her day. I'm hoping the Crocodile Hunter will lasso her mouth very very soon.

The silent but deadlies also have no class. They broke up recently, and Mr silent but deadly turned up on the doorstep today with his mother and they both waited outside for Mz silent but deadly to emerge. Where's their dignity for crying out loud?

However, we also have a wildebeest in the unit adjoining this one who once had class, but has become resentful because she's now as ugly as 50 pigs and knows it. She still retains a modicum of deportment, but her manners are atrocious. She's the sort you'd harpoon at a beach.

Then there's me!

I sneer at pretensions. I wear old, ripped and faded clothes, I rarely shave and I swear a lot. (You may have noticed.) I loathe pretty things, hate ornaments and kitsch, I'm not fond of pets and generally avoid children.

I'm not into social airs and graces, however ignorance is abysmal. If one is going to be an arsehole, one should at least do it well, and do it consistently.

So, the rules of social behaviour according to the Rat are as follows:

Don't upset people accidently. Don't burp or fart in public unless you intend to display a degree of contempt. Then hold the eyes of the victim and burp or fart with gusto. Just as some pictures are worth a thousand words, a sturdy fart can be more eloquent than any verbal offering. The victim knows the intent and significance of the gesture and that in your eyes, they are beneath words - that a normal display of contempt simply won't suffice.

Avoid the word "nice" like the plague. Assail your audience with grandiose words, like sumptuous, exquisite, scintillating, resplendent or superlative. (Avoid the word "agreeable" as this is pompous and nobody likes pomposity.)

Nothing is sacred except bad taste. You can become the focus of everyone's attention by an eloquent expression of poor taste.
For example:
"Which of you ladies is wearing Essence de Poisson?"
"I think this grated fresh parmessan is actually chopped toenails."
"Dandruff is acceptable in those parts of the world where eating dead babies means survival for another fortnight."

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