Modern living calls for a continual update of the rules for gentlemanly conduct. For centuries a static code of life, new realities have changed the dynamics of what it means to be a gentleman in this modern world. Observe:

A gentleman wears a shirt when getting arrested on an episode of COPS.

When appearing before Congress to request a bailout for your failed bank or investment firm, a true gentleman removes his diamond encrusted hat when entering the Capitol Building.

A gentleman expresses sincere regret for torturing prisoners. He does not smirk when doing so.

When shopping in WalMart, a gentleman never tramples anyone to death, no matter how low the price of those green polyurethane patio chairs he’s always dreamed of owning.

When a gentleman attends a dog fight, he never sits close enough to the fighting pit to get his clothing stained with blood and canine body parts. When the dog on which he has wagered is slain and it is time to settle his accounts, he does so promptly with good grace and never brandishes a pistol.

While it is true that a gentleman should keep up keep up with current technology, he is under no obligation to purchase a new iPhone every 6 months. He is also cognizant of the fact that few people are interested in the clandestine sex videos he makes with his state-of-the-art tiny video camera if his partner is not a celebrity.

A gentleman never convinces himself that illegal downloading is not stealing.

A gentleman never comments negatively on the religion, sexual orientation, ethnic background or political views of his codefendants at his bank fraud trial. That is simply bad form and earns no sympathy from juries.

If a gentleman is a serial killer, he never taunts the police.

When a gentleman is forced to alter his appearance after being profiled on America’s Most Wanted, his does so with taste and dignity, lest he suffer the embarrassment of being arrested in a flowered mumu.

Similarly, when a gentleman cross-dresses, he picks a flattering ensemble and makes sure he is close-shaven. A five o’clock shadow on even the most attractive transvestite betrays a regrettable lack of breeding.

A gentleman never commits the incredible faux pas of wearing a thong bathing suit, no matter how booty-licious he considers himself.

When a gentleman is a scientist, the lack of volunteer subjects for one’s dubious experiments is no excuse to use one’s children as laboratory rats.

It is unseemly for a gentleman to bestow cute names on his sexual organ. “Say hello to my personal assistant” should suffice. Also, while there are many schools of thought on how to delicately refer to a woman’s nether regions, most of the terms such as “pussy,” “va-jay-jay” and “poontang” border on the crude and vulgar. The phrase “slippery triangle” should serve admirably.

When cyber-stalking someone, a gentleman never e-mails his prey from a friend’s computer. To avoid detection, he avails himself of the public access terminals at the Public Library, and only during normal business hours. Breaking into a library to send your dirty e-mails is the act of a cad.

When a gentleman is the dictator of one’s poverty-stricken nation, he limits his bullet-proof limousine collection to 4 vehicles. He always instructs his chauffeur to honk his horn in a timely fashion before running over any of his subjects attempting to call his attention to their starving children.

When holding public office or heading a major corporation, a gentleman always keeps his stealing within the limits of decency. It is considered rubbing it in to hang a Renoir in one’s guest bathroom.

When attempting to instigate a war, a gentleman always takes pains to point out that the intended target nation is filled with Godless subhumans deserving only of annihilation and the eternal damnation of hell fire. Only then is it permissible to commence their slaughter and take what they have. 

It is not permissible for a gentleman to take a tax deduction for gifts to his mistresses unless they are legitimate professional business associates, such as proteges and personal secretaries. Very personal secretaries.

A gentleman always pretends to care about those less fortunate than himself. Always keep a straight face when feigning concern. To do less would be unseemly. The ladies seem to like that sort of thing, and a gentleman likes the sort thing only a lady can offer; her slippery triangle.

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