The Gentleman Scholar Apologizes to the Woman Whose Boyfriend ID’d Her Letter, and Other 2013 Errata

Answers for modern men.
Dec. 26 2013 12:46 PM

The Year in Gentlemanly Advice 2013

Addenda, errata, and follow-ups, plus some advice about peeing in pay phones.

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A correspondent believes it was misleading, in offering an original recipe for a cocktail inspired by bay rum, to strongly imply that Cardamaro and cardamom bitters share an interchangeable flavor. This correspondent is correct. But it doesn’t matter. The drink is completely delicious made either way, as evidenced by the experience of the original LW:

The Old-Spice Fashioned was a lovely and mind-erasing surprise. My lord and mixmaster made it for our dinner guests, who became brunch guests. I suggest you add two more ingredients to the recipe: spare beds and adequate linens.  
Cordially,
Lady S.
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The Gentleman Scholar’s first venture into wrapping his persona around a microphone was regarded as “interesting” by some and Nabokovian by others—but only insofar as it recalled a line from the forward of VN’s Strong Opinions: “I write like a distinguished author, I speak like a child.”

For an engaging proper debate on the successes and failures of feminism, download the transcript of a superlatively entertaining 1994 Firing Line debate, Resolved: That the Women’s Movement Has Been Disastrous. Here Slate founder Michael Kinsley moderates a debate among the likes of William F. Buckley, Betty Friedan, Camille Paglia, and Arianna Huffington, all bringing high heat.

Meanwhile, for a taste of what I was dealing with in my conversation with Book of Jezebel editor Anna Holmes, consider that, a month after our chat went into the world, she scolded me for urging my child to say “Thank you.” To her. At Thanksgiving. She sounded very convincing doing so. And was wrong.

To answer the question: Although there is room for the gentleman in modern feminism, there is no excuse for a guy to say “I’m a feminist” simply because he subscribes to the principles of gender equality and thinks progressive thoughts. That’s like calling yourself an “environmental activist” just because you don’t litter.

The comments on this piece include the traumatic memories of those who’ve had negative experiences ordering ecdysiasts for home delivery. I might have taken care to be clear, when advising this practice as a relatively dignified and affordable alternative to going to a strip club, that it is imperative to vet the talent properly. (Ask a friend who works in high finance to check with his friends in low places.) If you make a bad decision when hiring a professional for this sort of house call, you do not get the harmless bachelor-party entertainment you’re looking for. Rather, you get a methhead hogging the bathroom and a groom who ends the weekend sobbing uncontrollably in his fiancée’s arms. Which I suppose has its upside.

The GS was remiss not to nod in the obvious direction of TMBG.

Further, he hastens to inform a baffled Raffi that his editor decided that it wasn’t worth mentioning that, while finishing the piece in a coffee shop hosting a singalong for Brooklyn brats, he kinda came around to “Baby Beluga.” The Gentleman Scholar apologizes to the order Cetacea with one obvious exception.

You are reminded that the Gentleman Scholar Explaining Football to Foreign People or American People Who Don’t Understand Football Clearly and Concisely Contest is still accepting entries through Dec. 31—and still wide-open. Though some of the hundred-odd readers who have already submitted answers demonstrate an impressive talent for elucidating the sport’s mythic power, too few have succinctly explained the nature of the legal forward pass.

The proprietor of Gentleman’s Gazette brings our attention to a post mulling over multiple theories—including and beyond the unbuttonable girth of Edward VII—for the origins of the open bottom button. The Gentleman Scholar feels very slightly sorry for all Homo sapiens who do not find this stuff totally fascinating. Life is in the details.

On Twitter, one Simon Maloy greeted the operative question—”Is it OK to use your phone at the urinal?”—with a sharp volley: “Is it OK to pee in a phone booth?”

Though I must presume that Mr. Maloy intended his retort to be strictly rhetorical, I nonetheless will seize this opportunity to address the man-on-the-go who really needs to go: A gentleman does not often urinate in public, but when he does, he sometimes pretends to chat on a hooded pay phone. To do so is to dial down the odds of making trouble while making water. (For more about hoods and gentlemen, please see our column of June 19.)

Troy Patterson is Slate's writer at large and writes the Gentleman Scholar column.

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