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Some Rules for the Conduct of Young Gentlemen (No. 1)

Presented by William Rossa Cole to his teenage sons in the mid 1980s.

DON’T spit in the street. If you MUST spit, do it into a tissue; discreetly. Or make sure nobody is looking at you, especially women, and spit in the gutter. DON’T spit into wastebaskets—somebody may have to use their hands emptying them.

Brush your teeth in the morning right after arising—makes your mouth feel good. AND in the evening, especially if you will be with girls. Foul breath stinks!

Mind your manners. Walk on the street-side of girls. Open doors for them. Arise when they enter the room. Give them your seat on the buses, etc. This may seem silly to you but they will be VERY impressed. It will pay off—and it's also good sense.

Be polite to elders. Call them (the men) “Sir” when introduced. Let them go ahead of you through doors. Answer them fully, don’t just say “Yeah” and “Nah.”

Keep your cock under your foreskin. Wash there when you take showers. Otherwise you’ll gather that white substance unattractively called “smegma,” which has an odor, unpleasant to anybody. You could look it up.

Of course you wouldn’t pick your nose when anybody’s around. You know THAT!

DON’T chew with your mouth open. Nobody wants to see how you’re coming along with your food.

DON’T eat with elbows on the table. Don’t slurp. All that stuff. It’s all just common sense.

There’s no harm in saying “please” and “thank you” to excess. People really appreciate it. Also, remember that flattery will get you anywhere.

DON’T say things like, “I gotta take a shit.” Nobody cares about your bowels but yourself and possibly your doctor. Of course you wouldn’t fart or belch in public!

Be sure to do your share when there are heavy things to carry.

It’s okay to wear funny clothes, but keep them clean. Hang them up and don’t allow grease and food spots. If you get them, use spot remover.

Above all, observe the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Always think of other people, don’t make unnecessary trouble or work for them. 


William Rossa Cole

WILLIAM ROSSA COLE (1919 - 2000), editor, essayist, and light-verse poet, authored or co-authored over 80 anthologies and children's books, including the classic Beastly Boys and Ghastly Girls.


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