Utility, Gallantry: Hanky.


I started carrying a hanky a while ago. I have since uncovered an unspoken brotherhood of handkerchief carriers among my friends. I want to encourage more people to adopt this ‘old-fashioned’ habit. After all, it’s quite clear to me that more hankies = less war.

I am writing this to extoll the virtues of the humble handkerchief. Not as a fashion accessory to be worn in the breast pocket of a jacket, but as an essential tool for the modern, go-getting, chivalrous and occasionally bearded man.

P.S. I bought some from these guys once: http://bit.ly/bJaPdS, they were very nice and the service was very friendly. For the frequent user I recommend a patterned handkerchief – the pattern hides a multitude of sins.

I currently have a moustache. I’ve trimmed it so it isn’t rolling over my upper lip as the sensation of chewing hair all day makes me want to gag, but it does creep in at the corners of my mouth whenever I’m eating. As such, devouring a sandwich within eyeshot of anyone but my closest friends and relatives has become a shameful and disgusting melee of mayonnaise, hair and slobber.

Enter: Handkerchief.

By carrying this simple square of cloth around, I can avoid all the unnecessary embarrassment and scorn brought about by my lack of hand-eye coordination or prehensile moustache. It is a masterpiece of utilitarian design. Napkins? PAH! You don’t get a napkin with a Tesco’s sandwich do you?

I concede that napkins are an acceptable, disposable alternative as an extra, rather than in lieu of a handkerchief. But the primary benefit to the handkerchief carrier is complete and total readiness for mopping, wiping, sneezing and general spill containment.

An example:

I was recently in a club after midnight, surrounded by people who made me feel very old and uncool. I was standing one-person back from the bar silently judging everyone for their lack of bar etiquette when the young lady immediately in front of me was jostled by her neighbour. Her drink was spilled partially on her chest and her boyfriend looked on, helpless and unsure as to whether or not to start a fight.

Enter: Handkerchief.

I was able to offer a crisp, unsoiled, cotton hanky with which to dry herself. The look she gave me, along with the smile and ‘WOW! Thanks!’ is how I imagine Sir Galahad was treated. It even elicited a handshake and a free drink from her boyfriend. Cool points: +100.

So there: Fight averted, damsel rescued, drink purloined, festivities maintained and chivalry upheld. Begin carrying a hanky today – you won’t regret it.


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