More exquisitely apt advice


Eddie Quette here again, with another installment of my ongoing campaign for excruciatingly appropriate behavior.

Our first question comes from to us from a Carol Gwenn, who writes

Q. "Mr. Quette, you simply  MUST help me! I’m a person of interest to
several major law enforcement agencies, for reasons you will deduce
below.  I must beg you, under no circumstance are you to reveal my
identity in your blog!

A. Thank you, Carol Gwenn, I’ll see what I can do. Now what was your question?

Q. Oh, I am SO relieved!  I knew I could count on you Eddie! 
Anyway, when preparing to divest oneself of a troublesome tenant,
(those room renters of the lower sort), is it appropriate to arrive
bearing arms or is it acceptable to pick up whatever the lowlife have
to hand (gun, knife, etc.)  Also, must one wear a hat – as well as
gloves — for such an occasion?  These may seem like unimportant
issues, but it’s the small things, the grace notes,   that make life
worth living.

A. You are so right!  I opt for the BYOW approach (bring your own
weapon) as so often the gats and pieces encountered in such wretched
conditions are encrusted with microbes, bacteria, or even (in the worst
scenarios) COOTIES!

Gloves and hats are always tasteful in such circumstances, and this
being summer, you can’t go wrong with white, cream, or eggshell
shades.  Whatever you do, avoid loud colors or horizontal stripes in
your attire, as in LAPD booking photos these simply SCREAM  "I just
pigged out on white chocolate cake at Bernard’s at the Biltmore!"  The
LAST thing you need is to draw even more attention to yourself, Carol

Q.  I’m the Mother Superior of the Monastery of the Angels, a
Dominican convent located near the foot of Bunker Hill.  We are
considering moving from here to Hollywood, to escape the noise, sin,
and depravity of the downtown area. Do you think this advisable? 

A.  You’re moving to HOLLYWOOD to escape depravity?  Isn’t that sort of like moving to Phil Spector’s house to avoid gunplay?

Q. I’m a wealthy oil baron here in L.A., with extensive petroleum
leases throughout California.  Recently an acquaintance, May Otis
Blackburn, requested that I transfer all my oil stock to her at the
behest of the Angel Gabriel, who speaks to her occasionally on her
lunch hour.  Is this wise?

A. Well, my expertise is in etiquette, not stock tips.  But it just
so happens that last night I was channeling my own Spirit Guide, the
Archangel Michael, over at the Aetherius Center, and boy have I got the
straight skinny for you, Bud.

Keep half that oil stock in the ground, and invest the rest of it in
California real estate until around 2007, when something called the
sub-prime real estate crisis will render it worthless. But by that time
you will have put everything BACK into oil, which by June of 2008 will
be worth 135 smackeroos a barrel! Trust me on this, and pretty soon you
will be raising tankards of Pouilly Fuisse in my honor!

Do you have a question for Mr. Eddie Quette?  Write him care of this
, and he will either answer, or, if he deems you beneath his
station, he will issue a hearty YAWN on your behalf. 

Introducing Eddie Quette, Bunker Hill’s behavior baron

Greetings! My name is Eddie Quette, and the powers that be here at the Bunker Hill blog have requested that I write about proper behavior. Every week, hundreds of letters pour into the blog, asking about table manners, social refinement, polite human interactions, good taste, and the like. My job is to extract from this pile the most tasteful, insightful, and intelligent letters. Then I throw those away and attempt to respond to the rest.

So, without further ado, let’s dip into the ol’ mailbag and read our first letter. This comes to us from a
longtime resident of Highland Park.

Q. Hello, I’m from Highland Park….

A. We KNOW that, numbskull! It was in the intro!

A. Oh, sorry. Anyway, I’ve oft put off or bowed out of a ganking, as I struggle with what I imagine are common questions: is a pearl-handled
firearm gauche before dusk? Are they "not done" after Labor Day? Is an automatic more appropriate when holding up dinner parties than a revolver? Can I wear a blued nickel piece with brown shoes? Please advise!

A. I can see you are a man of taste and breeding. Offhand, my answers to your questions would be yes, yes, no, and yes, unless they’re Oxford brogans, in which case a mauve nickel piece would look more dashing. Also, keep in mind that High Society seems to be entering a "Green" phase, in which environmental consciousness has seeped into every social clique, even the Gangster set. Thus, whereas only last season the byword was that steel-jacketed tracer shells were "de rigeur," now the most fashionable shootists are employing recycled graphite shells, as they use less energy and don’t pollute landfills. (I know, a bullet is such a SMALL thing, but just think, if we ALL switched over, think how much of our country’s precious natural resources we could save!)

Q. I’ve just dumped a limbless torso on Norton Avenue in the Crenshaw district, and I need a cab ride out of town PRONTO! My question is, how much should I tip the taxi driver?

A. The standard answer is of course 15%, but there are some additional factors in your case. Remember you will be asking this hapless fellow to ignore all speed limit signs on the way out of town, so that should add at least another 10%. Plus, you will want to teach him to repeat the phrase "I ain’t seen nothin’" at least 5000 times to bumbling LAPD detectives and reporter Jack Smith, so that’s worth another 5%. Also, you didn’t mention whether the limbs from the body are dripping liquid evidence on the cabbie’s floor; if so, it would be both gallant and prudent to tip him with a bottle of New Improved Borateen Blood & Gore Remover.

Q. My name is Phineas J. Marsak. Recently certain rogues and scalawags have been spreading tasteless rumors about my alleged activities with animals at the pet store on 3rd and Flower. How can I convince my Whist and Billiards partners at the Jonathan and California Clubs that these innuendoes are utterly baseless, and originate from persons of low degree? You know how those sheep lie!

A. Mr. Marsak, I must urge you in the strongest possible terms to refrain from reproducing your kind, whether with human females or ruminants. Were the Marsak line to continue, there is no telling what horrors would befall our planet!

Q. I’ve been interested for quite a while in some of the more adventurous social encounters available in the Bunker Hill area, and recently I was invited to a rendezvous on a lane near Pershing Square called Vaseline Alley. My query is, is it proper to R.S.V.P. with a hand-written note? Or a phone call? Or via a liveried messenger boy, perhaps wearing short tight spandex bicycle pants? Also, my City Directory doesn’t list a Zip Code for Vaseline Alley. Please advise.

A. Well, they certainly have a "Zipper code." Namely, when you see the cops rounding the corner, zip up your zipper!

Well, that’s all the advice Eddie can dish out this time. Tune in regularly for further installments of his column, and should you find yourself in need of a little guidance as only Mr. Quette can provide, simply email your inquiry, or send it by carrier pigeon to On Bunker Hill, Clay Street, Old Los Angeles.