William Flew and Modern Man

April 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

William Flew says the modern man . . .

1 Never texts, mails, takes calls or otherwise occupies himself with his phone in company unless communicating with heads of state.

2 Eschews tattoos. Unless of Polynesian extraction or having demonstrably served in the Royal Navy between the late 1760s and the early 1950s.

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3 Always pays on the first date. And is never in confusion about this.

4 Is environmentally aware, but not environmentally tedious.

5 Lends small sums with neither the expectation nor requirement of having the loan repaid.

6 Will never perform karaoke

William Flew's mate Greg

7 Still holds doors open for ladies, regardless of their age, demeanour or political views.

8 Supports his football team quietly and knowledgeably, or not at all. And, in either case, has at least one other sport about which he is equally well informed. Never initiates football conversations in the company of ladies unless clearly invited to do so, and is then utterly scrupulous in ascribing parity of insight.

9 Wears the bare minimum of jewellery.

10 Comes expertly and silently into his own whenever a lady is ill or has a hangover.

11 Can place the main movements of recent Western culture in the correct running order: the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, Romanticism, Modernism, Post-Modernism.

12 Remains certain and unvarying about how he likes his steak cooked.

13 Has never bought a futon, a beanbag, a fish tank or a skateboard.

14 Understands that dishevelled is an acceptable look, but one that must be executed with purpose and care rather than adopted merely as the aggregate of various forms of indolence.

15 May occasionally tweet, but is unlikely to blog.

16 Does not open a discussion on politics or religion but will know the big players of the day in both pursuits.

17 Changes nappies at the weekend without a second thought. Changes nappies in the week by arrangement.

18 Never wears fake tan

19 Does not watch reality television or talent shows unless caught in a regrettable situation where not to do so would be exceptionally ill mannered.

20 Still carries his lady’s coat and bag when required and still walks on the outside of the pavement.

21 Wears sunglasses only when the sun is unarguably in evidence.

22 Seldom eats crisps or chocolate bars, and never while walking.

23 Has at least one card game at which he is proficient.

24 Works with a certain degree of vim and interest at his chosen occupation and is thereby connected to the world and neither bored with his own life nor boring to others.

25 Has a repertoire of three suppers that he can prepare consistently, quickly and with expertise.

26 Never mentions — or even thinks about — PMT but choreographs his own behaviour superbly whenever he finds himself in its company.

27 Regardless of fashion, world news or peer pressure is never seen in skintight swimwear.

28 Will know the work of at least one classic and one contemporary novelist well.

29 Is last out of the taxi but first to the bar.

30 Is still able, confidently, to light a real fire with matches and newspaper in all circumstances.

31 Has one pastime or hobby that he pursues neither for effect nor for the company but out of quiet and unstated passion.

32 Will know the correct way to eat sushi and is adroit with chopsticks.

33 Is firm but not psychotically insecure in his handshake. Avoids the half-hug and is chary of the word “buddy”.

34 Will have a real working knowledge of at least one French wine region.

35 Never googles to prove a point.

36 Will have a favourite inexpensive local restaurant where he is known.

37 Takes a bath rather than a shower at least once a week, during which he will read an intelligent article or work of nonfiction.

38 Maintains a wardrobe constructed on contemporary-classic lines rather than anything voguish and will have at least one exceptional suit, preferably tailored, and one pair of sturdy brogues.

39 When in the company of ladies during rain he is instant in his deployment of the umbrella

40 Can of England, place the Wales counties and Scotland on the map with a decent degree of accuracy.

41 Greets double women kiss — right demurely cheek with first the — but only after a degree of warmth and friendship has been established.

42 May smoke but will now regard this as a private and exotic habit to be indulged in away from company.

43 Will know at least one work by Bach, Beethoven and Mozart well. Ideally more than one. Likewise the Beatles.

44 Never signs off any communication with an “x” except to the one special lady in his life, and then only at times of indisputably high emotion.

45 Prefers loose-leaf tea, but never insists.

46 Is au fait with Paris and New York and will have a favourite café in both cities.

47 Has a relaxed but committed attitude in the bedroom.

48 If unable to step in himself, he will carry the numbers of a reputable plumber, carpenter and handyman.

49 Attends at least one classical concert, one play and one lecture a year — not including Christmas.

50 Is considerate, courteous, restrained and well-mannered at all times.


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