Greetings, lovely guests! How To Be a Proper Lady is coming out tomorrow — WEE!! — and I’ve brought Miss Viola Carlyle to the ball with me. Viola, I would like to make you acquainted with our guests.
How do you do, everyone. <peering about a bit anxiously> I thought I was to meet Lady Beaufetheringstone.
Oh, she hasn’t come down yet. But don’t worry! She’ll adore you.
<squawk!> Pants on fire! <squawk!>
You have a parrot?
Not me. Albert is Lady B’s pet.
I was a sailor for fifteen years and I never had a parrot.
<squawk!> You win some, you lose some!
I think I’m not so worried about meeting our hostess anymore.
<squawk!> Yo ho, yo ho! <squawk!>
What did he mean by “pants on fire”?
Ha! Nothing. But we’re wasting time! Before Lady B comes out I wanted to give our lovely guests a quiz. It’s called “Are You a Proper Lady?”
Viola lifts a brow in a gesture I can only imagine she’s adopted because of all the time she’s spent with Jin Seton, her hero.
<squawk!> Her hero in more ways than one! <squawk!>
I will never know how it is that the bird reads my mind.
What do you think, Viola?
You’ve asked me – <looking out at our guests> of all the beautifully gowned and coiffed women in this ballroom now — to assist with this quiz? <setting fists on hips> Katharine…
Oh, come on! I think after the training you’ve had–
Torture I’ve endured, you mean to say.
–in preparing yourself to enter society as a lady, you’re the best person for this. I can’t very well give a quiz about the challenges of being a proper lady without you, now can I?
All right. But you are a Merciless Creator.
I’m fine with that. And please recall, I gave you Jin.
I rest my case. Okay, shall we begin? Let’s see how many proper ladies we have in the house today. We’ll start with an easy question.
Ha! Even I knew the answer to that one.
Have a little respect, please? Here’s another.
I see where this is going, Katharine.
What? These are perfectly reasonable questions. Now let’s move on to something a little more intimate.
I don’t see why a person can’t choose more than one of the above answers.
Yes, but I don’t know how to do that with the software.
I beg your pardon?
Oh, you just sounded so ladylike! Which brings me to our next question.
You included that last one for yourself.
Complaints, complaints. You know, I have a degree in history, not quiz making. I’d like to see you try this.
Don’t mind if I do.
That is not the kind of quiz I intended, Viola.
Your quiz was not as interesting.
You’re really right. Okay, I think even you’ll be happy with my final question.
<squawk!> No competition! <squawk!>
I agree completely, Albert.
There we have it, ladies! Are you a proper lady or a hopeless case? What qualities do you think make a proper lady in our times now? To celebrate the release of How To Be a Proper Lady, I’ll send one randomly chosen commenter today a $25 gift card to Amazon.com!