I arrive at eleven o’clock. The Gentleman’s Club opens at ten but to arrive then would be social suicide. Gentlemen such as myself, though thrilled by the excitement proffered by the opportunities of the club, do not wish to seem too eager. Let the boys imagine what my ten o’clock to eleven o’clock entailed—perhaps a dazzling whirlwind romance, or an invention of some import—do not let them imagine I was sat at the club, waiting restlessly for my fellow Gentlemen to arrive.
Upon arrival at the Establishment d’Gentleman, I am handed a cigarette and a copy of the newspaper by the overfriendly concierge. I open the newspaper, put the cigarette in my mouth, and wait for the concierge to light it. If I were to look up at this point (again, social suicide) I would notice twenty or so men all doing exactly the same thing. This carries on until twelve, when Big Rick arrives.
A quick moment in which to describe my surroundings: Chateau Gentleman is a leathery affair. Almost everything you could possibly imagine could be embroidered with leather is so. Leather chairs, leather sofas, leather carpets, and a leather piano make up the scene. There is a brown aura that is almost impossible to exaggerate. It is a brown place and the people who frequent El Gentlemano are satisfied with its brownness.
The clock chimes for twelve and I dutifully fold my paper and place it on my table. Looking towards the door now, me and my fellows await Big Rick’s entrance. Without fail, Big Rick barges through the great oaken door and shouts, “Let’s get Gentle!” We respond in turn with a refined whooping. “Ra-ra-ra!” we chant. What happens next is anyone’s guess.
For instance, today, Big Rick sauntered up to the piano and began the tinkling a soulful tune. Trading glances and winks, I could tell the other Gentlemen recognized Big Rick’s dancing upon the ivory. It was Roses by OutKast, and within a few moments me and the Gentlemen were belting out, “CAROLINE!!” Afterwards, Big Rick played Song 2. It was a beautiful day at Maison Gentléman.
Another day, Big Rick was holding an American football. He squatted down, called “hut! hut! hut!” for what seemed an age, then charged down the aisle and slammed the ball into an icebox. Overcome by some trans-Atlantic influence, me and my comrades rushed over and poured the contents of a gigantic teapot over his head. Then we all started chanting “ra-ra-ra” until we were red in the face.
After Big Rick’s entertaining diversion, we oftentimes find ourselves in need of a respite, and we will retire to the Dimmer Chamber. The Dimmer Chamber is very like the main hall, but it is slightly different in a way I will never be able to put accurately into words. Sufficed to say it is somewhat less-lightier. Regardless, it is in the Dimmer Chamber that we discuss ideas with a broad and assured confidence that is befitting of a Gentleman.
An example: last week, Archie Svendercast began spilling the tea, and frankly, snatching wigs with an impassioned putdown of Pitt the Elder. He put him entirely on blast when he detailed a dream he had been privy to in which Pitt the Elder had been present during the Battle of Agincourt, and had acted caddishly and incontinently. Needless to say, the ensuing row had the Gentlemen at extreme ill ease, and a portrait of Pitt the Younger was torn down by a particularly illiterate Spencer Herebold.
By the time we are inclined to leave Eine Gentlemannhaus, the black smoke of Industry is dallying against the orange-peel sky. Occasionally, a tear is shed by one of the Gentlemen, though he knows he will see us on the morrow. We do not mock the crying man, because we all understand the motivation. It is sad to return to our wives, who will berate us for our smoky, ruffled clothes and our sweaty, splotted faces. It is sad too to return to our children, who, even if they are sons, are not yet Gentlemen. If we manage to eke out a moment away from our shrill creature, we will sit solemnly at our window, staring out beyond the London smog, and dreamily consider the day tomorrow.
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