Etiquette & superstition: surprises

A lot of people hate surprises. I’m not sure why. The word does come from Latin and Old French words meaning “unexpected seizure,” so maybe that’s it.

ETIQUETTE: You know how certain old people are always yammering on about how young people today are uncivilized monsters with no sense of decorum? If you encounter one of these old people, just shoot back with a, “Yeah, well look at you people with your surprise parties you used to have.” Seriously. According to the 1951 edition of Emily Post’s Etiquette, the following is a perfectly acceptable way to throw a surprise party: “… John and Mary Neighbor are giving a dinner at home…. Meet in a house nearby and then troop in a procession, with quite possibly a band leading the way, to storm the house.” You just barge in on a small dinner party. With a marching band. Awesome, in a monstrously uncivilized way. You know, maybe you should just give a surprise party like this for the yammering old person. It will probably stop their yammering one way or another.

SUPERSTITION: Seeing a cart full of straw is an indicator of a nice surprise to come, as is rolling the number “3” on a die or drawing a “9” card. If a pregnant woman is startled by a rabbit, she will give birth to a child with a harelip.

Photo by L P on Flickr

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