This arrived yesterday while I was experiencing technical difficulties:
Dear Mr. Manly,
I find myself in a situation that has me conflicted and totally confused. Thus, I am pleading for your advice on how to handle it in a manly way.
My dilemma concerns how to deal with our new neighbors. Generally speaking, our little cove of civilization is a quite, well maintained, bastion of decent behavior, or it was until They rented the empty house. While all he other lawns are manicured to perfection, theirs, after a month of tender lack of care, looks like a slice of the Amazon rain forest. While no one around here has defiled the area by venturing outside in any outfit that wouldn’t meet with the approval of Islamic Extremists for the last two decades, these new people have frequently been observed strutting about their rented property topless and without foot ware! They park their vehicles – I hesitate to dignify them with the title “cars” – on their lawn, and, or so I suspect because of their lack of tires, some of them may not actually be operable! Also, there is frequently a most unpleasant smell of burning wood wafting from behind their house. And so, I, and my gentle neighbors who have discussed this problem, am at my wits end on how to explain to these barbarians the inappropriateness of their behavior.
Any advice you can give will be most appreciated.
Hi Alexander, if that is really your name,
You did well to request my help, although I suspect you did so several years too late. Still, I will do my best to advise you.
There are three paths you can take to resolve this problem, as best I can tell.
One: Take a nice long drive in your fancy car, a BMW I’m guessing, going way faster than your normal strict adherence to the posted speed limit. When you eventually see flashing blue lights in your rear view mirror, stomp the accelerator and make a little game of seeing how long you can out run the police. Try your best to stay on the run until the news helicopters are swarming overhead. As will inevitably happen, you’ll be stopped by the cops, and that, what with all the TV presence, is your shining moment to leap from your vehicle and run toward the officers screaming about your evil neighbors while waving your arms about to attract their attention. I guarantee your problems will be over.
Two: Get your upper class friends together, pool your money, buy the house these “barbarians” are occupying and evict them. Have the house demolished and build a private park to prevent future problems. Heck, if you have the high class accounting firm I suspect you retain, they’ll probably figure out how to save you more than you shell out on your taxes.
Three: Be a man. Make certain that your health insurance is paid up, and, casually, walk over and introduce yourself. Engage them in small talk for a while, making sure that you don’t exhibit any signs of fear, despite how many weapons are displayed on their persons, or how obvious their physical superiority over you happens to be. Oh, and don’t make any sudden moves, and be polite, but not fawningly polite. It would be a good idea to offer them a gift of a large bottle of modestly priced liquor or a case of cheap beer (chilled.) The man of the house will great you. If I have these people figured correctly, he will insist you share the consumption of the present with him, which you must do. Of course, it’s quite natural for people to engage in conversation while drinking, and you should use this opportunity to get acquainted with him. Make a point of being interested in his accomplishments, such as the big deer he shot or what a shame it was that the giant bass he hooked last year got away or how he plans to restore that car off to the side of the driveway. Don’t be shocked if he asks your opinion as to the size of his wife’s breasts. In this situation it is polite to complement them, but necessary to add something about how manly he must be to attract the woman to which they are attached.
I would point out that, if you follow my instructions carefully, you will, sometime during the process, be escorted around to the back yard. Here you will find the source of the wood smoke that displeased you, in the form of a crude out door cooking apparatus, called a “grill.” The man of the family will be extremely proud of this device, and his ability to produce high quality food with it. At this point, besides starting a full scale war between “them” and “you” is to do some more drinking while he throws some meat on the grill. Use the time while it cooks to introduce subtle hints about proper social behavior into the conversation. If he assumes these are jokes, I advise you to laugh along. Pretend you like the finished food a great deal.
I must warn you that your first excursion into “barbarian” territory probably won’t be successful. Exercise the patience of a civilized person, and repeat the process as often as possible, and, eventually, your shining example of the advantages of upper class society will convert them.