The Gentleman's Guide to Cocktail Conversation

This is the semi-defunt home of the Gentleman's guide. I spend most of my time working on Tutorspree at this point.
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Lightbulb of the future (Taken with instagram)

Lightbulb of the future (Taken with instagram)


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The front page of Yahoo shows what might be wrong with culture and journalism in the age of the internet.

The front page of Yahoo shows what might be wrong with culture and journalism in the age of the internet.

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Something seems slightly off on those calls to action…

Something seems slightly off on those calls to action…

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In the spirit of pointing out crappy UI/UX - I’ve never actually been able to figure out what this Twitter menu means. For whatever reason, the options don’t seem to be mutually exclusive, and turn up different results than what I expect.

In the spirit of pointing out crappy UI/UX - I’ve never actually been able to figure out what this Twitter menu means. For whatever reason, the options don’t seem to be mutually exclusive, and turn up different results than what I expect.


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49 plays

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Tutorspree Coke Ad (Taken with instagram)

Tutorspree Coke Ad (Taken with instagram)


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ok, find it here

the guide is mainly living over at wordpress for now (www.ggtcc.wordpress.com), though it isn’t being updated with terrible frequency. more like terrible unfrequency.


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your name is?

 

Another day, another party, huh? Well, good for you for not letting the ending of the last one get you down. Remember, this is a numbers game, and a charm game, also, a game of conversation and tolerance for alcohol. Really, it’s quite complex, so practice is in your best interest.

This looks promising, well lit, the a well stocked bar, and a waiter just walked past with a selection of cheeses not limited to cheddar and emmentaler (though nothing wrong with those cheeses, in fact, they are quite delicious). In any case, you walk up to the bar, order a gin and tonic, and then spot a friend of yours loosely associated with a circle of attractive young women. Feel free to approach.

As you do so, see if you can pick up on the particulars of the conversation before you actually join in. Remember to look for an opening.

"Ignatious Riley is easily my favorite fictional name." Says someone whose name you think might be Jeanne based on an introduction several months ago. This is as good a place as any. Pat your friend on the back and interject: "Agreed, great name. I recently came across a better one, though, and it’s real: Theophilus Shepstone."

Theophilus’s parents clearly knew he was destined for some minor greatness when they named him. Did they know he would spend thirty years as the director of native policy in Natal (a British colony in South Africa), where he would allow the colonized to maintain their local customs, thereby avoiding all but one rebellion throughout his entire tenure? Or that he would be the one who was entrusted to annex Transvaal with the help of twenty five mounted policemen? Or, that his close relations with the Zulu nation, and the shifts in his policies towards them and the betrayal they felt therein helped precipitate the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879? Probably not, but, still and all, there you have it.

Of course, all that is something of a mouthful, so you might just limit yourself to: “Though I suppose the British had lots of high-falutin’ names back in the 1800s. Still, Theophilus is a good one, and he accomplished quite a bit in British South Africa.”

As a first foray of the night, not too bad.

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checkered evening

Don’t worry, sometimes even the most successful conversational gambits fail to result in anything more than the exchange of a few essentially meaningless pleasantries. You can be your most charming, and cruel fate may still dictate that you don’t make any new lasting friendships. Take your joy for the evening from spending a few hours in good company, with a few good drinks.

As you leave the party and hail a cab, pause for just a moment to consider the evolution of New York’s taxi cab system. Those yellow automobiles are certainly one of the city’s most iconic symbols, though the Crown Vics so familiar in the last thirty years are beginning to lose ground to hybrids of various kinds. Have a chat with your cabbie, find out where he’s from. If your subject turns to the history of cabs themselves, well, you might as well spice things up with a bit of taxi cab arcana:

"I’ve recently gotten quite interested in the history of new york cabs," you might begin. "I hadn’t realized, until recently, that Ford and GM actually used to build and operate their own fleets of cabs. And those old Checkered cabs that always pop up in movies and old pictures? Those were actually made by the Checkered Cab Manufacturing Company. It’s a shame you don’t see more of those these days, they just feel more right than the hybrids that are taking over, whatever the environmental benefit."

As it turns out, from 1907, when the New York Taxi Company imported the first 600 red and green taxis until 1968, there was no official color for taxis. That’s when the city government mandated that all medallioned taxis be painted yellow to cut down on unofficial cabs, and to make the legitimate ones more easily recognizable. And so we have our now iconic color, even if the car models themselves are constantly shifting.

After that, sit back and relax. With any luck, you’ll hear some interesting stories  about a complete stranger’s life. Maybe you’ll learn about the Copts or pick up a bit of philosophy from an associate professor. The truth is, you never know where the next tidbit for a party is going to pop up.