Transsexual Italian waiters approaching from the right

Click to follow
The Independent Culture
FROM TIME to time I get worried letters from readers who don't know anywhere else to turn to find out about etiquette. And indeed it must be very confusing if, for example, you have lived all your life in somewhere backward and provincial like London and you suddenly come into society and don't know how to behave, so today I am dealing as best I can with some of your more anguished enquiries.

What should I do at a party if I am trapped with a man who has a compulsion to talk about those dreary things that men always talk about, such as cars or politics or sport or the new sitcom on television? How do you get away from a man like that without offending him, or, at least, without him following you?

Can I deduce from this that you are a woman ?

No. I am in fact a man at the moment, but I am due soon to have the operation which will turn me into the woman I feel I really have been all along, and which will give me not just a woman's body but a blessed freedom from conversation about cars, politics, sport, etc.

Well, there's your answer! To get away from any man in a hurry, all you have to do is go into some details about the sex change operation you are about to have! That should get rid of him!

That's all very well, but very many of us find ourselves longing to get away from someone at a party who is boring us to death and have no intention of changing sex in the near future. What do you recommend to us normal ones?

Well, I should pretend that...

And don't tell me to pretend that I am going to have a sex change operation and ask me to go into detail about it!

Oh. Ah... well, in that case, I should tell the person you are trapped with at the party that you take feng shui very seriously and that you realise you should be standing somewhere else in the room for fear of damaging your health, then move there as soon as you have said it.

When you sit down at a table in a smart restaurant, why does the waiter immediately remove the empty plate at your place?

To see if there is a tip underneath it.

Oh. When I sit down at a restaurant table with an empty plate in front of me, am I meant to leave a tip before the meal starts?

Certainly not. But you can always have a look to see if the previous diners have left something.

When you are out driving and you come to a roundabout, you're meant to give way to a car already on the roundabout. But what happens if a vehicle comes to the roundabout on EVERY access road at EXACTLY the same time? And then everyone stops and waits for someone else to make the first move? Who has precedence then?

The person with the most expensive car. Failing that, the person with the oldest car registration number. Failing that, the car with the biggest driver. Failing that, the driver who has most recently had a sex change operation. Failing that...

OK, OK, we get the point. But what happens if, when you're going round a roundabout, you accidentally miss your exit road and then have to go round again? And on your second time round you come to a car which was waiting to come on the roundabout the first time round? Do you still get precedence over that car the second time round? Or does precedence only count once? And if it counts twice, would it count a third time round?

May I ask if you are a woman driver?

What has that got to do with it, may I ask?

Nothing. I am just trying to be annoying.

Well, I am a woman driver,as a matter of fact, but I am waiting for an operation at the moment...

To turn you into a male driver?

Nothing of the sort. I am having a hernia operation.

Then you shouldn't be driving.

Can you perhaps help me ? I am an Italian waiter who is saving up to have a sex change operation, and one way I can save money is to take plates away at the beginning of the meal in the restaurant and keep them so I can sell them later to make a little money. Well, the other day I was driving to the place where they buy and sell restaurant equipment with all these plates on the back seat of my car, when I came to a roundabout, and I knew that if I stopped suddenly I might break all the plates, so although it was not my right of way...

I'm sorry. That's all we have space for. Some other time perhaps.

Comments