Manners Maketh Man

Tristan Hamilton-Ffoulkes had a mother who believed that, “manners maketh man”. An example was at dinner-time, where, from an early age, the myriad rules of table etiquette were drummed into his head.

Tristan grew up and married, spending his days as an investment banker, and his nights hosting fine dinner parties that were the talk of the town.

A few years later, showing an appalling lack of manners and tact, Tristan’s wife ran off with a young, sullen, stubble-faced writer.

Following a bitter divorce, his mother’s death, and some incredibly bad luck on the stock market, Tristan found himself penniless and homeless. However, in memory of his mother, he had managed to rescue a couple of pieces of priceless family heirlooms.

Although now completely destitute, Tristan prized his smuggled loot. In private, he would polish the silver objects every day with his now ragged button-down Oxford, before hiding them in a secret place. Strangely, “the Toff” (as he had been nicknamed by his fellow hobos, because of his impeccable manners) had never been tempted to sell the precious metal; after all, this was all he had left to remember his mother by.

Every night under an embankment, with the noise of overhead traffic robbing him of sleep, Tristan would lay, thinking of his former life and his mother.

One evening, Tristan joined his fellow destitutes for the first time behind a burger joint. There, inside a huge old dumpster, they struck the mother lode. Left over burgers and stale apple pies were going to be their meal that night. One by one, they all fell on the food, stuffing it into their mouths as fast as they could. All except “the Toff” who seemed to have completely lost his manners as he excitedly thrust his hands down the front of his dirty pinstriped trousers causing his hobo acquaintances to stare slack-jawed at his antics.

Tristan Hamilton-Ffoulkes withdrew his hands clutching his silver heirlooms, and, ever mindful of his mother’s credo, proceeded to eat his dinner with sparkling knife and fork.

© 2009 Jeannette Sheehy

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Comments

  • iAN Derrick
    iAN Derrickabout 5 years ago

    AH Jeannette…A giggle amongst the cornflowers surely inspired that wicked piece.
    Still with a name like, Tristan Hamilton-Ffoulkes, what could you expect, hardly a Mt.Hagen copper or a Soho Jellied Eels merchant….How does that C&W song go?
    “You can take the boy out of the country but not the country out of the boy”
    Real beaut to see you back stomping letters on the keyboard…Looking forward to more funnies….eh!

  • Mr. Derrick – thankee for your kind comments as always :) Glad it brought a smile to your face. It’s good to be back in the land of Creativity again isn’t it? I’m glad that you have been putting your thoughts to word-processor again and that we once again can enjoy your bushland adventures! :) Will we get a story about the bush Turkey?

    – Jeannette Sheehy

  • Jim Hall
    Jim Hallabout 5 years ago

    Clear cut and a good show! The race is on! Good story! Was his wife named Isolde?(just kidding). I’m glad to see that more interest is being taken in the challenge. When that happens, everybody wins! (didnt mean to muddy up the water with German folklore.) JH

  • cheers for the comments Jim! Star Twister challenges are always fun to do or read. Muddy away with as much folklore as you want sir! :)

    – Jeannette Sheehy

  • Arcadia Tempest
    Arcadia Tempestabout 5 years ago

    A rollicking full of manners tale that I enjoyed so much!! To keep the manners still in the frame…I am so very pleased to make have read your marvelous story. Thank you so kindly… :D

  • you’re welcome Arcadia – and thanks for the bmail! lol. I’m so glad you liked this. It was fun to write and prune. :)

    – Jeannette Sheehy

  • anya
    anyaabout 5 years ago

    I love the idea of his hands down his pants – just exactly WHERE did he hide things?

  • “I love the idea of his hands down his pants” – lol! I think that’s where tighty-whiteys come in handy, even if they’re not as sexy as boxer briefs..;) Thanks for reading Anya :)

    – Jeannette Sheehy

  • Zolton
    Zoltonabout 5 years ago

    You rock! ha ha. Great story Jeanette. : )

  • Cheers Zolton! I love seeing toffs in unusual situations. I used to commute by train to London every day, and often if the train was crowded, you’d see smartly dressed city gents sitting on mail bags in the mail carriage, solemnly reading their Times..always made me smile. :)

    – Jeannette Sheehy

  • Matt Penfold
    Matt Penfoldabout 5 years ago

    Like Anya, I’d like to know where exactly he kept the cutlery LOL. A well told story Jeannette, I love the name ‘Tristan Hamilton-Ffoulkes’ :-)

  • thanks Matt :) At first Ponsonby-Smythe came to mind, but I settled on Hamilton-Ffoulkes..I love the double ff in that name. Glad you liked the story. :)

    – Jeannette Sheehy

  • Alison Pearce
    Alison Pearceabout 5 years ago

    Wonderful story!!

  • cheers Alison! :)

    – Jeannette Sheehy

  • filfil
    filfilabout 5 years ago

    His mother would have been so proud. Excellent writing!

  • thanks so much filfil :)

    – Jeannette Sheehy

  • Cathryn Swanson
    Cathryn Swansonabout 5 years ago

    I did not expect the end!Haha.
    Great story, nicely done.

  • thanks so much for reading it Chanel..glad you liked it. :)

    – Jeannette Sheehy

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