“Walk Loudly And Carry A Small Stick”

The section “Mudpies and Fishfrys” of my blog examines the peculiarities of typical (and sometimes atypical) tendencies of human behaviour. That being said… the following is the first piece of what I hope is to be many.

Installment 1 of Mudpies and Fishfrys:

We’ve all seen him before. The man with the purposeful stride. His back as straight as an arrow. Long, sweeping steps measuring multiple feet. His wide-eyed stare with a slightly upturned brow. His head turning side to side in rhythmic fashion. His head exhibiting the same pecking movement of the pigeon. He is the perfect embodiment of unbridled confidence. From where does his aplomb originate?

It is in the toothpick. Regular or mint flavoured. Square or round. Sharp or blunt. And idle it is not. It does not rest in its newfound damp, dank, humid home of the man’s muzzle. It moves from left to right in rapid succession often following the example and timing of the turbit thrust. If not on the lateral move, the pick of choice may have more of an elliptical or circular motion. This is not an enterprise for the greenhorn. Nay, it is for the expert. The first fiddle. The top sawyer. Novices must learn from the mistakes made in the days of yore. We’ll miss you Percy (see dedication).

Other items of mention which, when coupled with the toothpick, make for terrific tandems:

* The rolled up newspaper in one hand. And most often, like its superior, it remains not motionless. It strikes the other hand which is now palms up in anticipation of the said gazette. When this is done, it not only gives the feeling of confidence to the individual, it is also a neon light display of purpose. Now showing: “Man on a Mission”. This action must only be done at key moments when there is a need of a temporary confidence boost. This is due to the fact that the nature of this action is to be short in duration. It would be folly to disregard this. To do so would turn the short confidence boost into a protracted feeling of idiocy.

* The coat pitched over a shoulder and hanging on a crooked finger. Why else do you think this is done on the catwalks of high fashion?

This article is dedicated in memory of Percy “Icarus” Kipstein 1957-2001. Cause of death: multiple splinter wounds in the kisser due to overconfidence.

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