Be thou a Scoundrel

Max Flynn Cardinal Richelieu_La_Rochelle_1881_Henri_Motte_1847_1922

Cardinal Richelieu, a scoundrel of epic magnificence

(image- Henri Motte public domain wikicommons)

How to be a gentleman scoundrel: a beginner’s guide

Ahoy there fellows!

Some of you are sitting there amongst your lard, dribbling onto your nerdy-sloganed t-shirt, wishing you had the courage to pillage, plunder, and shag your way across the land. Always desired to be a scoundrel but not sure how to go about it? Fear not -Lord Flynn is here to lead you into corruption.

All right, here we go! Grab yourself a cigar, pour yourself a brandy, and let’s get to it!

1) You are unique among your fellows. There is none other like you: nor shall there ever be!

If you grasp nothing else, grasp this: (how often I’ve said that; usually in a crowded theatre)

Unlike all those around you, you alone retain the innocence of childhood.

You look around in all situations. In a church, at a wedding or a funeral? Excellent. Ponder the priest for a moment. Suggest to your lady (you have contrived to be seated next to the prettiest one, yes?) that he’s probably wearing a pink bra and a pink thong under his robes. You’re in a position to know, having occasionally impersonated a priest yourself. If she reacts in horror, well and good!

2) Live the high life, but never pay for it

If you arrive at an expensive restaurant dressed in finery, accompanied by a lady attired in the latest Parisian fashions, are your hosts likely to suspect that, once sated upon quail and champagne, you’ll abscond, sans payment? Of course not. People are foolish, and determined to believe that appearance equals reality. By enjoying their largess and absconding without recompense, you are teaching them a valuable lesson! It is you who should be leaving them a bill, for instructing them in the ways of life! Handing out free life lessons -you noble beast!

3) You control life. Life does not control you!

Everyone around you is living in fear. Fear of losing their job. Fear of their boss. Fear of the next bill arriving. Fear of their wives. (Imagine that!) You alone are free.

Death is the great motivator. Death is coming, and, to be honest, old chap, it’s coming much sooner for you. Why? Because unlike your fellows, desperately clinging on to the bland life, trying to seize a few more years, you live for fun. You take huge risks -constantly.

You are an unstoppable force of nature. You are like a cyclone -you cannot be tamed. You will have things your way, no matter what. You will take the huge risks that others dare not- and the devil damn the consequences!

You make things happen! So swagger out that door with all sails set for adventure, eh?

4) Thou shalt mock all lesser mortals

How can people (namely, gullible ladies) appreciate your magnificence unless you contrast it with the boredom and banality of all other mortals? What better way to throw your gilded qualities into sharp relief than to ridicule the bald, the fat, the married, and, lowest of all on the scale of life, those with children?

Parade about in the devil of a jolly mood, swigging whisky and choking down cigars, monopolising waiters and servants, piling your demands upon the world to the detriment of others…

Yes, life’s at it’s finest when the shortcomings of others are stripped bare. Regale your ladies with what an enchanting time they are having, quaffing champagne and feasting on quail and pheasant, (which you’ve no intention of paying for) while at the next table fat sweaty Nigel and his ugly pencil-nosed wife attempt to placate their screaming brats, all the while being doused in their linguine and mushroom sauce, courtesy of two year old Ralph, whose antics have already earned the ire of all other patrons.

Put your (Jermyn Street) brogues up on the table, squeeze one of your ladies’ thighs within an inch of her secret garden, (preferably rub the knuckle of your little finger against her moist slit, but only when others are watching), and laugh the laugh of a rogue! Egad!

5) Live for scandal: it is the spice of life

Let us be quite clear here: you are an adventurer, boldly and fearlessly probing boundaries that lesser men dare only dream about. Others fear to break the priceless vase: you go ahead and do so to revel in the uproar. Understand, nothing is worse than being ignored. That is the function of lesser men, such as accountants and people who watch television. It is your place to revel in emotional upheaval wherever you go. To shock, to appal, to outrage, these are the actions that quicken your heart, free your spirit, allow your soul to take flight. Life is but a game, too quickly snuffed out. Rage against the coming darkness! It is forever. Burn brightly while you can.

6) There is one thing that seduces women above all else: it is daring

Be wary of public adulation, it quickly fades, and does you no good. Worse, when you turn to darkness, you will be seen as weak, pitifully courting attention as your fame wanes. No, court the darkness always. Understand, women have no moral compass. Why do they flood murderers and mindless criminals with adoring letters and marriage proposals? It is because these specimens dare to differ, dare to do what others do not.

7) Thou shalt be incorrigible even as an infant

Urinating upon the priest during baptism is merely average: you need to have sprayed him with curry-flavoured diarrhoea!

The notorious rake starts young: you must be the darling of young women and the bane of elderly disciplinarians, even at pre school. No high shelf must be beyond your reach, there must be no cupboard door you cannot open, no paint tube you have not decorated the place with.

Understand, lesser infants attempt mischief, then give up upon encountering resistance. The rake merely become more determined: if things are too high for you, build a mountain out of boxes, toys, or fat children. Climb curtains and drapes, pull them from their fittings. Spill drinks on all and sundry, tear your own clothes and the clothes of others, rip your teacher’s brooch from her breast. Upon being punished, merely take the mischief up a notch. The sophisticated mind will find amusements at every turn.

Even locked in a cupboard, thou shalt bang, hiss, moan, and go eeriely silent for long periods. When your teacher, frightened by your uncharacteristic silence, opens the door, shriek in her face and grab her glasses. Dance about with them, just out of her reach, skipping this way and that. Offer them to other children, only to withdraw them as your charges reach toward them, so they become the more desired, a treasure that all other children want. That your companions should be drawn into your wickedness at all times is your goal. Do not fear that they will outshine you: they are too timid for that.

Never forget, none is your equal. No matter what others may attempt, you are wilder, funnier, and more outrageous than they could ever be. In short, you are unique, a star of shining brilliance they can never match, but merely stare at in awed admiration.

8) Live for fun, always

Seek never validation or acceptance. Live always three steps beyond your pursuers; confound them at every turn.

Break all the rules all the time; be the darkness to society’s light; revel in your notoriety.

There is always some new outrage you can enact; always a new source of fun.

Live like a devil; you will have the devil of a life!

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