A friend and I were leaving a restaurant just the other night just two beautiful young women began to walk towards the door on the other side.
“Here,” I said, holding the door with one hand and my friend back up against the wall with the other.
“You know,” he said, readjusting his coat as we walked down the sidewalk, “that was very gentlemen-like, but you didn’t have to hold me hostage to show courtesy.”
“Oh contraire, dear friend,” I said, tossing a hand about, “’twas simply an act of kindness. A gentleman’s code runs much deeper than merely holding the door for ladies. Besides, it was just palm strength,” I said, nudging his shoulder.
“So, tell me, what constitutes a gentleman again,” he asked, stepping out of the way of two bare-knuckle brawlers in the midst of a roaring crowd the basement of a bar downtown.
The barman said my friend was next in line.
“When you’re born, you already have your gentleman’s status, plain and simple,” I said. “As you turn into a young man and your body starts to develop, you’re going to go through some difficult changes, but your gentleman’s status is put under lock and key for a bit, unless, of course, you take part in disregarding the golden rule of being a gentleman.”
“Which–is,” he strained, being held in a chokehold.
“Never oppress those who do not have the means to fight for themselves,” I said.
“That sounds kinda redundant,” he strained, sitting on the doctor’s exam table. “So, why didn’t you help me back there?”
“Simple,” I said, “it breaks the second rule of being a gentleman: Never let someone use the first rule against you to ‘test’ your manhood. You wanted to fight, and I had no right to intervene ”
“What does that even mean,” he asked, plopping on the couch with a bag of frozen snow peas on his head.
“Well, sadly, all men must evolve from trial and error. Observation isn’t bad at the very least, but only observing can lead to a cunning and manipulative personality. If you let someone get into your mind, you must be willing to match them neuron for neuron. If not, they’ll use the first rule against you for their own profit. So, be mindful,” I said.
“These rules seem pretty redundant; no offense but they’re really obvious,” he said.
“Well, you have to look at your code like this: what can I understand during the times when I’m raging like a bull,” I said. “You can’t always understand complex things when you’re hardwired to be brutish.
“Very true,” he said indignantly, cracking his knuckles and stretching his neck. “Tell me the rest of them when I’m done.”
“Mornin’ sleepin’ beauty,” I said.
“Where–wha–oh not again,” he moaned with a black eye, stiff as a board.
“I guess that would suit you best as the next rule,” I said.
“Oh yeah, which one’s that,” he asked.
“Choose your battles wisely.”