Friday, October 02, 2015

27 Ways to be a Modern Major General

The self-help column at the New York Times recently featured a piece by Brian Lombardi giving a couple dozen tips on how to be a "Modern Man."  For men who want to go to the next level, adding military prowess to an already-impressive list of abilities which include correctly identifying brands of women's shoes and plugging in the phone each night, I offer the following:

27 Ways to be a Modern Major General

1.  Have information vegetable, animal, and mineral.

2.  Know the kings of England.

3.  Understand equations, both the simple and quadratical.

4.  Quote the battles of history in order, from Marathon to Waterloo.
5.  Teem with news about binomial theorum

6.  Share cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse.

7.  know the mythic history of King Arthur.

8.  Be very good at integral and differential calculus.

9. Answer hard acrostics.

10. Show good taste in paradoxes.

11.  Identify paintings by Raphael and Gerard Dow.

12.  Know the croaking chorus from the Frogs of Aristophanes.

13.  Hum a fugue, having heard the music before but once.

14.  Write a dry cleaning list in Balylonic cuneiform.

15.  Tell every detail of Caractacus' uniform.

16.  Know what is meant by "mamelon" and "ravelin."

17.  Demonstrate, at sight, that you know the difference between a javelin and a rifle.

18.  Be wary when conducting sorties and surprises.
19.  Know precisely what is meant by "commissariat."

20.  Learn what progress has been made in modern gunnery.

21.  Be sure that women in a convent aren't more tactically knowledgeable than yourself.

22.  Have a smattering of elemental strategy.

23.  Know how to ride a horse.

24.  Be plucky and adventure-y.

25.  Be an orphan, or lie about being one.

26.  Have a couple dozen daughters all the same age.

27.  Avoid at all costs blights upon the family escutcheon.