Can You Undress in 20 Seconds? | At-Home Etiquette

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Can You Undress in 20 Seconds? | At-Home Etiquette
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Can You Undress in 20 Seconds or Less?

By Brett and Kate McKay on Aug 03, 2016 01:52 pm
Undress in 20 Seconds 1(1)
Saving someone who is drowning is more difficult and dangerous than many people think (heck, even realizing someone is drowning is hard — the signs don’t look like you think they would.) A person who’s drowning can be panicked and clutch, kick, and grab at you as you try to rescue them, dragging you both underwater. And simply carrying someone through the water to safety who isn’t fighting you is more physically arduous than you’d imagine. For this reason, the first recourse to saving a drowning victim should be to extend a rope, oar, or stick to them from the shore, or from a boat, rather than getting in the water yourself.

If the victim is too far from shore to be reached with an implement, you’ll need to jump in to get them. It’s best to disrobe before you jump in, especially if they’re in open water, and a ways away. Clothes and shoes will only weigh you down, and make a difficult task much more difficult. The weight of your soaked garments may end up sinking the both of you. Of course every second matters when you’re trying to save someone, so you have to be able to undress with lightning speed.

The 1952 edition of the Handbook for Boys (the Boy Scout manual), admonishes young men to be able to strip down to their underpants or swim trunks in 20 seconds or less, holding up 15 seconds as the ultimate goal. The manual includes a diagram of how this can be accomplished, which we have recreated above. The original illustration lacked captions, but the sequence seems to go like this:

Remove coat while removing your shoes.
Slip your shirt off your shoulders as you step out of your pants.
Remove your arms from the sleeves of the shirt. (It’s hard to tell from the original illustration, but the figure may be re-buttoning one of the buttons on his shirt here, perhaps to turn it into a more effective towing device.)
Peel off your socks as you clamp your shirt between your teeth.
Jump into the water.
Extend your shirt to the victim to hold onto. Even when you get into the water with the victim, it’s best to have them hold onto something and tow them ashore, rather than getting close enough to get clawed, grabbed, and/or kicked. If you don’t have something to extend to him or her, swim behind them, and wrap your arm around their chest, keeping their head above water. Swim ashore.
Throughout every step, you should keep your eyes on the victim, so you don’t lose track of where they are, and know if they slip underwater.

The Handbook for Boys advises Scouts to “Practice undressing as quickly as possible when you get ready for bed each night.” Sage advice, for when it comes to saving lives, it’s just as important to know how to dress quickly, as it is to know how to undress in a flash!

At-Home Etiquette for Teens

By Brett & Kate McKay on Aug 03, 2016 09:06 am
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Editor’s Note: This excerpt is from Etiquette for Young Moderns, a book originally published in 1954 . While the advice is geared towards teens, it also applies to those older “children” who have moved back in with mom and dad!

“What are ‘at-home’ manners?” you may ask. “I’m not expected to jump out of my chair every time Mom goes through the room, am I — or to forgo the best part of my lamb chop when the rest of the family picks up the bones with their fingers?”

Of course not. But “informal” manners are quite different from no manners at all! Remember when, in the foreword of this book, etiquette is defined as “a way of showing that you’re thoughtful of the other fellow”? Well, at home, particularly, good manners are exactly that. The “veneer” side of courtesy counts for little; considerateness, cooperativeness, dependability, and a pleasant disposition are the “Big Four” contributions expected of you.

More specifically:

DO keep your room clean and uncluttered. Nothing is more discouraging to Mom, when she brings in your laundry, than to find an unmade bed, a desk cluttered with papers, and your clothes scattered over every spare inch of chair and floor space. Your room, as your private domain, is also your responsibility. Remember that, and do a good job in the maintenance department.

DO put things back where they belong — in any part of the house. If you’ve borrowed the screwdriver, return it to Dad’s tool chest, Mom’s scissors to her sewing basket, your own coat to the coat closet. It’s irritating to have to hunt for “lost” articles, and just as irritating to have to constantly tidy up a constantly-cluttered up living room.

DO respect the privacy of the other members of your family. Knock before entering their bedrooms, and never barge into the bathroom without knocking. And, while on the subject of the bathroom, be careful not to monopolize it during rush hours (usually early in the morning, and before and after meals); be considerate of the hot water supply, if limited; don’t borrow personal articles; always leave the wash basin neat and clean; and leave your laundry to soak only with Mom’s permission.

DO show up promptly at meal time. This, together with a few cheerful topics for conversation, is all it takes to make Mom feel that her labors in the kitchen have been worthwhile — although a “Gosh, this is good!” upon occasion certainly wouldn’t do any harm.

DO help with the household chores — cheerfully and willingly. Disappearing at dish-washing time just isn’t good sportsmanship. And you won’t be a “sucker,” either, if you do more than your share of the menial jobs. If you volunteer to clean up the kitchen alone when Sis wants to catch an early movie, she’ll do the same for you another time. And an unrequested car-polishing job from time to time is “good politics.”