Excuse me: guide to etiquette for the ages


waterhouse the missal 1902

JW Waterhouse, The Missal, 1902 (Public Domain)

Welcome Back. Sorry to hear Paloma has problems. Please say hello and hugs from me.

I took up the challenge and have produced some etiquette poetry. Shadormas, free verse, a doggerel rhyme. Some how tos and how not tos. Still working on a tilus.

I like the idea of playing with a genre. After all, I have learned two forms. Not sure my non-poetic brain can learn any more for awhile. Winking smile

How to visit in the Maritimes (not so much now as then)


kitchen etiquette

come ‘round back

door unlocked

friendly warmth enwraps

always room for more


How to be a Canadian

As a Canadian baby

I was taught politeness

from birth

words in order

of gibberish-emergence




sorry, sorry, sorry

with excuse me

soon to follow


How you don’t play the “how are you game”

The “how are you game”

played our every nano-second

How are you – Fine and you

Always fine

“I’m in excruciating pain. Don’t say I look good.”

“My daughter attempted suicide. But we don’t talk about it”

“I’m so depressed I can’t get out of bed some days. Do you care?”

“I’m pissed off. Get out of my f’ing face”

“I’m getting a divorce, and can’t stop crying.”

“I’m having an affair. I think my husband knows”

“I’m a high-functioning alcoholic. Shall we go for a drink?”

“I’m in an abusive relationship. How did I get out?”

“I’m in league with the devil, and you?”

Now: how r u? & u?

142 characters to say fine


How you don’t cross the street in my state

zoom. zoom. zoom

cars ignore crosswalk

law to stop

pedestrian etiquette

does not exist in this state

your life in your hands


And, some silliness to end. All I can say in it’s favour, is it rhymes.

And, how to be a Victorian

Oh, those Victorians

with all their prudishness and stacks of child porn

paintings of luxuria V & A*’s bedroom did adorn

how many “downstairs” illegitimates born?

Oh those Victorians

Remember sex did not exist

Though a wife mustn’t  resist

When her husband persists

Oh those Victorians

Stiff upper lip

Never show your slip

Keep an orderly ship

Oh, those Victorians, oh!


* Queen Victoria and Prince Consort Albert

@ taleweavering/phylor 2016


39 thoughts on “Excuse me: guide to etiquette for the ages

  1. julespaige July 4, 2016 / 11:47 am

    “Oh my dear, you have explored this subject from many angles. And expertly too.” she adds with admiration and a coy smile left from absorbing the humor.

    (She is quite glad you defined V & A as her own dirty little mind was trying to incorporate body parts! Those words which one should never speak of in pleasant company.)


    • taleweavering July 4, 2016 / 9:27 am

      Thank you for your kind and gracious comment. I have just curtseyed. Good thing we don’t have to do that on a regular basis anymore, ;)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Candy July 3, 2016 / 4:08 pm

    Well, you’ve given us some irreverent etiquette lessons, my dear.
    Oh, and I’m fine. How are you? ;-)


  3. Bastet July 3, 2016 / 3:47 am

    Brilliantly done my dear … fascinating and I did so love your – How are you – and right on too it’s just about the most idiotic bit of non-communication that exists – one wonders how we ever subverted the question in such a way, and you know, we usually teach it to students who are learning English as well … I’ve often joked about someone whose had an accident being asked “How are you” who answers “Fine thanks and you.” Now days of course you can say – “I’ve seen better days.” or so I’ve heard ;-)


    • taleweavering July 4, 2016 / 9:39 am

      There seem to be a few answers, but still not the truth: “Can’t complain as nobody would listen; getting better; going through a rough patch. Must be all that sharing on facebook which has opened up a tiny crack in the answer. Sure do wish I could get away with the truth!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bastet July 5, 2016 / 2:37 am

        Ah Facebook … I’m a bit ambivalent about it. I was way more fascinated years ago when I first got my account but I haven’t been doing much with it over the recent years … truth telling can be rewarding – but sometimes diplomacy works better – it all depends on how much you care for a person and how much they care for you – and even then truth just doesn’t find a place at the table all the time.


        • taleweavering July 5, 2016 / 9:34 am

          Oh, I agree. I’m thinking of the people who do the “how are you” as a nicety sometimes. While I has privy to the drama my in-laws generated for themselves, they really didn’t want to know “how I was,” despite the polite asking.
          Having bipolar 2 means in certain cycles, I’m apt to say exactly how I feel. To my detriment often. :)

          Liked by 1 person

          • Bastet July 13, 2016 / 4:06 am

            Ah yes … that formal “how are you” and of course in that situation they often don’t want to know how you are at all, of course in writing it’s hard to tell though – that one of my objections to on-line relationships … you really can’t tell who you’ve got on the other end.


            • taleweavering July 13, 2016 / 9:06 pm

              I suppose Skype puts some of it out in the open — but to Skype, I would assume a level of trust? I know — online you never really do know who you are talking with. Even in the mildest of forums and discussions. Gosh, my tag line was “my fictional autobiography” until recently!

              Liked by 1 person

              • Bastet July 14, 2016 / 1:54 am

                I guess with Skype you can be pretty sure how the person you’re talking to looks … of course one can say and be perfectly correct in saying, that we never really know anyone. The real problem with social forums I guess is that one feels safe sitting behind one’s own screen alone so sometimes one might let down one’s guard with the wrong people. I’ve known people who have gotten carried away with Skype and done things they wouldn’t think of doing normally and found the thing posted on the internet … not cool.


                • taleweavering July 14, 2016 / 2:16 am

                  Exactly — I don’t have a facebook page in my own name. I don’t Skype tho this lap top has the capability, and I’m careful about what I say. At least I hope I’m careful enough.

                  Liked by 1 person

  4. wildchild47 July 2, 2016 / 6:52 pm

    These are wonderful – absolutely delightful.

    Oh my, you may be ex-pat but you are a Canuck through and through – sorry sorry sorry – has this been genetically imprinted or mixed into the DNA cocktail? Now, please excuse me while I sit here and chuckle and nod my head as I re-read all of this :D


    • taleweavering July 2, 2016 / 11:32 pm

      And, I never said excuse me, eh or sorry, sorry, sorry, eh. I blame Bob and Doug Mackenzie for that Canadian in America myth.

      Liked by 1 person

      • wildchild47 July 2, 2016 / 11:38 pm

        LOL …. like what’s that, eh? Nope, the “eh” only applies to other forms of Canuckian speech – never to the serious form of apologizing for everything under the sun and on this planet.


        • taleweavering July 3, 2016 / 8:22 am

          And, it’s not a Maritimism. Have/had plenty of ’em, but no ehs except as a joke c/o Bob & Doug McK. and Americans.
          I watch a children’s program set in pre-war Ireland, and one of the characters said, “eh” the other day, and I wonder if it’s an Irishism brought to Ontario?
          Upon meeting me, one of my nephews-in-law remarked how I never said “eh,” but the Canadian basketball teams he’d played against (from Southern Ontario) did.

          Liked by 1 person

          • wildchild47 July 3, 2016 / 10:25 am

            I think the “eh?” is really about local dialect – it’s some little phrase that pockets itself scattered across the country – and was “made famous” by the Mac Bros. But for the most part, it’s only when you happen to really trip into the areas where it’s just a normal addition to the words spoken, and one can always tell when it’s natural, I don’t think it’s as rampant as many have believed. And certainly, now, it’s most likely a jokey thing – since the Mac Bros. are not exactly prime time viewing anymore. So like all good laughing@ourselves parodies, it has stuck, much like Rick Mercer’s “Talking to Americans” – and how some still believe we all live in igloos and that the seal hunt takes place in Saskatchewan!


            • taleweavering July 4, 2016 / 9:33 am

              Jay Leno used to do a great segment where he would ask people on the street basic American history, geography, etc. (citizenship test type questions) and the results were hilarious.
              Miss this hour has 20 minutes, and that crew, 4 on the floor, SCTV (especially before moved to the US), sigh.

              Liked by 1 person

              • wildchild47 July 4, 2016 / 9:37 am

                To be able to laugh at ourselves, collectively, is a good thing ;)


    • taleweavering July 2, 2016 / 11:36 pm

      You can take the Canadian out of Canada, but you can’t take the Canadian out of a Canadian? Geeze for awhile most of the funny folks here were from there.

      Liked by 1 person

        • taleweavering July 2, 2016 / 11:42 pm

          When asked to define Canadian, I usually say “Not American” tho there is a conservative streak within Canada, and “we don’t take ourselves as seriously as the Americans” (don’t tell any Americans I said that)

          Liked by 1 person

          • wildchild47 July 2, 2016 / 11:46 pm

            true, and the Canadian conservative streak could give Hitler a run for his money (oh how totally un PC of me) XD

            and yeah, ya gotta be able to laugh at a people who willingly and lovingly call their one dollar “bill” a loonie! And so we laugh at ourselves ;)


  5. Shadeau July 2, 2016 / 5:05 pm

    Oh My, you must be exhausted– as this is a full plate of wonderful! I related to much that you cover–recalling when my slip was showing, how humiliating; the issue of crosswalk danger (though we have a law); and that I didn’t learn till rather late that I was supposed to answer “fine”–regardless of how dire and dour my very existence. Canadians are so polite–as are true “southerners” here in the states (though they’re horribly bad at concealing how fake/2-faced their manners are–which I doubt is true of Canadians). Will be back later to read the “how to’s”… Hope your day is going well :)


    • taleweavering July 2, 2016 / 5:34 pm

      It was laundry day, so I was in the kitchen where I use my laptop, so I got polite.
      Thanks for stopping by — hope your day is going well. You’re just getting up if I remember correctly.
      Yes, I had heard the south had a polite veneer.


      • Shadeau July 2, 2016 / 8:11 pm

        The veneer wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t act like folks are too stupid to notice… Guess I’m just too honest, people generally know where they stand with me from the get-go.


        • taleweavering July 2, 2016 / 11:33 pm

          Honesty is good. Clears the air. Gives people a nice shock like when I say “Not feeling all that good” instead of “fine.” I mean when you’re checking into the doctor’s how often are you feeling good? :)


          • Shadeau July 2, 2016 / 11:55 pm

            Yes, I always wonder why the med assistant…and for that matter, my stupid Dr…asks, “how are you?” I’m there for an appointment, not a social call, ya know?


            • taleweavering July 4, 2016 / 9:43 am

              Do you want the long or short version of how I am? I’m here after all is often my thought.


              • Shadeau July 4, 2016 / 6:21 pm

                I understand “I’m here, after all”. Some days it’s the best we can do.


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