Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Day Two-Forty-Seven: Omming with style

Not off to a good start on this nobleman thing, diary. I might've predicted that Libby and I would suck at table manners, and, hey. There's no disappointing my expectations when they're set so low. That's exactly what we were learning today, to boot: table manners!

Libby wasn't the slightest bit happy to learn that we'd be snobbing it up like a couple of nobles. (Libby's never happy about anything, in case you hadn't noticed.) She has the same opinion of the aristocracy as me: they're jerks. She's not QUITE as negative, 'cause they tip her more often than they tip me, but she'd still rate the average noble at about two out of ten on the shitty-to-awesome metre.

Did she come along? Of course she did. Libby's my wife. My main squeeze. She'd do anything for her little Draggy-Waggy. 'specially when he hints that the family might get a pay increase. She grumbled, but she went along with it.

Our messenger dude from yesterday showed up again, and when he's NOT confronted with a horribly-bleeding and over-acting guard, he's rather a nice chap. His name's Harold, and he's the son of the castellan. Could use a few more meals to beef up his skinny body, but emaciation doesn't stop him from being shyly kind. Didn't judge us for bein' commoners or nuthin'.

Unless, of course, he was given extra money NOT to be a prig.


Now I wonder if he's actually a jerk. This insight of mine, it is a curse, diary.

Harold led us to a pair of changing rooms on the second floor of the keep, in the thick of the nobles' wing. I could tell from a single glance that Libby had made most of the furniture in both of 'em, though all her intricate designs were covered in gaudy orange draperies and giant crests bearing the king's head. A maid ushered Libby into her changing room, and Harold led me into mine.

Man, diary, aristocratic clothing SUCKS. Everything is tight as hell! My bits were pokin' out everywhere! I have skinny thighs, and you could see the bones right through the fabric! Harold also made me put on this STUPID cravat, tucked into a silly-looking jacket, and to complete the horrid image he brushed my hair! AND washed my face! What is WRONG with nobles?

I was fairly patient with the process. I grumbled, but I let Harold do his job. Libby wasn't quite so accepting: about three minutes into the changing she started cursing at the maid for 'rubbing her hands all over my bosom' (her words, not mine), and when Harold 'n me peeked outside for a look we found the maid on the floor outside the room. Crying. She had a black eye.

(Really, though, she shoulda known better. You don't touch Libby's bosom. There are murders if you touch Libby's bosom.)

Libby stomped out of the changing room a few minutes later, her dress haphazardly shoved onto her overalls. She refused to make any alterations, and she refused to apologize when she saw the maid on the floor. I don't suspect the poor girl will be helping us again.

Harold sheepishly led us to a private dining room overlooking a small garden. Inside we met the castellan, who greeted us cordially (but refused to shake our hands) and invited us to sit down. We did.

"Wrong!" the man bellowed, his many chins wobbling. (Watching his face made me crave a bowl of pudding.) He waved his hands towards the ceiling. "Up! Up! Do it again!"

When I asked HOW we might change our seating method, he ordered us to do it 'more airily'. So I took a deep breath when sitting down. Libby laughed; the castellan was not amused.

"No, no, no." He pushed back the chair at the head of the table, and, wiggling his hips, he delicately sat. His paunch made the action look anything but airy. "You see? Just like that. Refined. You try, m'lady."

Libby plopped down in her chair and draped one leg over the arm. Then, to complete the 'airy' requirement, she aimed three elbow farts at the castellan. It was my turn to laugh.

"See here!" The castellan pounded his fist on the dinner table. "I've been ordered to whip you two into shape! The king knows full well that you could embarrass him at his son's wedding - "

"It's my daughter's wedding, too," I cut in.

"She's a bit of a bitch," Libby added.

"She is not!" I cried.

"- AND I INTEND TO TURN YOU INTO RESPECTABLE HUMAN BEINGS," the castellan finished. "By the end of this week you will seamlessly blend in with the rest of the nobles in attendance. If you fail to do that, then the king will disown you both!"

"Can he disown the parents of his soon-to-be step daughter? I kinda doubt it, but that's just me." Libby picked up one of the forks at the table, a weird, corkscrewed hunk of cutlery, and attempted to scratch a design into her chair.

"WILL YOU STOP THAT!" The castellan grabbed the fork and hurled it across the room. "How DARE you besmirch one of our chairs!"

"Hey, she carved it in the first place," I pointed out. "It's, like, half hers."

"Yeah, what he said. Can I take off this piece of crap dress? It's crushing my lungs."


"You won't what? Make sense, man. I thought nobles're smart, or somethin'." Libby rolled her eyes. "Education ain't worth a dime, says me."

"Here here," I chimed in, raising my empty glass to toast my wife.

Five minutes of shouting later, after a lengthy argument about the merits of his education, the castellan stormed from the room. He left Harold in charge of teaching us, adding as he swept out the door that he hoped we would NOT attend the wedding.

The rest of the day didn't go much better. Neither Libby nor I understood the importance of the hundreds of different pieces of silverware. Why switch forks with every bite when you can eat with one? And, really, who needs a spoon? Just pick up your bowl and guzzle! Libby's totally with me on that one! Even Harold seemed t'second guess all the stuff he's been taught over the years!

Once we'd established that we would gab with or without food in our mouths, Harold gave up. He acknowledged that the king's not necessarily the neatest eater in the world, and, thus, probably won't care what we do with our cutlery. He let us go in the early afternoon, promising that he would arrange a separate table for us at the wedding festivities. Guess we dodged an arrow there, 'cause I wouldn't wanna eat with any prissy nobles.

Libby and I spent the rest of the day sitting at our dining table, making fun of the stuff Harold had tried so valiantly to pound into our brains. It was so similar to the stuff The Baron and Driscol had tried to teach Logan a few months back that you'd think I woulda had an easier time acceptin' the reality of noble table manners. BUT, no, I still think all that nonsense is a bunch of just that.

Danged nobles. I might want a spot more money, but I never wanna turn into one of them.

Mmmmm, eating food with your fingers,

Dragomir the Guard


  1. A nice day of bonding with the wife. How sweet. Speaking of which, either Libby or Eve needs to win the fav character contest.

    1. AGREED. I don't want to draw Dragomir again, I draw him all the time.

    2. THAT'S WHAT I'M SAYIN', man.

  2. Hell yes! That's how we roll. That's how we stick it to the man. Completer and utter disregard for their nonsense! What? You think this makes sense! Sure it does! Just look how much sense it makes! Oh, I guess it really doesn't make sense and everything you believe in is a lie. Well. Sorry about your luck.

    Suck it, Upper Crust!

    This is why Libby is my favorite character.

  3. HEY! Having over a hundred utensils for a single meal is just practical! How else am I going to cut-twirl-fold-tie in a knot-build a bridge-and eat my spaghetti in a single bite? Psssh, you commoners just don't understand the intricate manner upon which nobles eat.

    (Also: I agree that Libby should win Favorite Character. She is pretty funny when she gets her lil'moments of glory in the story.)