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Etiquette for Pirates

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Flea markets and old books are my favorite combination. One Saturday morning, happy and nicely dressed children politely pouring tea for one another smiled at me. An idea was hatched, and I rang the bell for Mom’s Etiquette Class to commence.


As a good marketer, I began by creating a “need” in my target market’s eyes.


“Boys, in the future, you may find yourself dining at an expensive restaurant with your boss,” I ominously warned, “And there will be lots of forks and various silverware. You’ll be glad, in that moment, your mother had the foresight to teach you what to do.”


“I don’t ever want to look like the geeks in that book,” replied my oldest son.


“Yeah … geeks,” parroted the youngest.


“Besides,” the middle son added, “We’re going to be pirates, and pirates don’t have bosses.”


All three smiled back smugly, quite pleased with the logic they thought had certainly derailed the entire Etiquette Class proposition.


Knowing well there is not a grade school boy anywhere who appreciates the value of proper manners, despite their initial protests, and in the face of continual objections, brief readings from the little blue book soon began.

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