November 30th, 2009


Schott's Miscellany 25 November 2009

Jo DiMaggio born (1914)


It is correct to take a little of all that is offered, though one may not care for it. Bend slightly over the late when carrying the food to the mouth, resuming upright position afterward. When drinking from a cup or glass, raise it gracefully to the mouth and sip the contents. Do not empty the vessel at one draught. Guests should not amuse themselves by handling knife or fork, crumbling bread, or leaning their arms on the table. They should sit back in their chairs and assume an easy position. A guest at a dinner should not pass a plate or any article to another guest, or serve the viands, unless asked to do so by the hostess. Upon leaving the table, push the chair back far enough to be out of the way of others.

---A Dictionary of Etiquette: A Guide to Polite Usage for All Social Functions, Walter Cox Green, 1904

Men talk of killing time, while time quietly kills them.
Dion Boucicault (c.1822-90)
  • Current Music
    "The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show" by The Band

Schott's Miscellany 26 November 2009



Accidents, or anything that may be amiss at the table, should be unobserved by a guest unless he is the cause of it. In that event, some pleasant remark as to his awkwardness should be made and no more. The waiter should attend to the matter at once. If a ford or a spoon is dropped, it should not be picked up by the guest, but another used; the waiter should be asked to provide one.

---A Dictionary of Etiquette: A Guide to Polite Usage for All Social Functions, Walter Cox Green, 1904

Never eat more than you can lift.
Miss Piggy
  • Current Music
    "Last Words" by the Austin Lounge Lizards

Schott's Miscellany 27 November 2009

Jimi Hendrix born (1942)


Aim at bright and general conversation, avoiding all personalities and any subject that all cannot join in. This is largely determined by the character of the company,. The guests should accommodate themselves to their surroundings.

---A Dictionary of Etiquette: A Guide to Polite Usage for All Social Functions, Walter Cox Green, 1904

Time spent on any item of the agenda will be in inverse proportion to the sum involved.
C. Northcote Parkinson (1909-93)
  • Current Music
    "Dog Pound Hop" by the Screamin' Lederhosen

Schott's Miscellany 28 November 2009

NASA launched the Mariner IV probe to perform the first close fly-by of Mars (1964)


Buy Nothing Day (BND) is a global movement encouraging people not to purchase anything for (at least) one day a year. It began in 1992 as No Shop Day, the brainchild of ad exec Ted Dave, and was taken up by Adbusters and advocates in 35 countries. In the U.S. and Canada, BND falls on the "Black" Friday after Thanksgiving (the start of Christmas shopping); elsewhere BND is the following Saturday. The movement is self-organizing, and motives for participation vary: For some it is a day of reflection, for others a chance to campaign against consumerism.

Everybody likes a kidder, but nobody lends him money.
Arthur Miller (1915-2005)
  • Current Music
    "Play It All Night Long" by Warren Zevon

Schott's Miscellany 29 November 2009

President Lyndon B. Johnson established the Warren Commission to investigate the assassination of JFK (1963)


The legendary baseball pitcher Leroy "Satchel" Paige (1906?-82) was famed as much for his fast wit as his fastballs. He played in over 2,500 games and notched up more than 50 no-hitters. In 1948 Paige was the first black pitcher in the American League, and in 1971 he made history as the first "Negro League" player to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. He printed the following advice to fans on the back of his autograph cards:

Avoid fried meats which angry up the blood.
If your stomach disputes you, lie down and pacify it with cool thoughts.
Keep the juices flowing by jangling around gently as you move.
Go very lightly on vices such as carrying on in society. The social ramble ain't restful.
Avoid running at all times.
Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you.

It was my Uncle George who discovered that alcohol was a food well in advance of modern medical thought.

P.G. Wodehouse
  • Current Music
    "Another Cup of Coffee" by Cowboy Mouth