Manners: What do you say dear?

Those of us of a certain age remember Captain Kangaroo. SO much better than, excuse me for thinking this, Sesame Street. Captain was gentle, kind, and instructional in subtle way. He certainly taught us about the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace (says Alice). He taught us knock-knock jokes. He taught us to be kind to grandparents. (how? by gently awakening grandfather clock so as not to frighten or startle him). Grandfather clock always had stories to share. Sometimes a book would be read. One of the ones that sticks out in my mind is REALLY applicable in today’s world. It would be a good one to make a PSA about, or require people to read and remember before engaging in debate! I am going to put the book content here. Know this: if you want this book, here is the Amazon link. It is worth having…..


What Do You Say, Dear—A book of Manners for all Occasions by Sesyle Joslin (Pictures by Maurice Sendak)

The intro page says “A handbook of etiquette for young ladies and gentlemen to be used as a guide for everyday social behavior”

“You are downtown and there is a gentleman giving baby elephants to people. You want to take one home because you have always wanted a baby elephant, but first the gentleman introduces you to each other. What do you say, dear?”

“How do you do?”

“You are picking dandelions and columbines outside the castle. Suddenly a fierce dragon appears and blows red smoke at you, but just then a brave knight gallops up and cuts off the dragon’s head. What do you say, dear?”

“Thank you very much”

“You are a cowboy riding around the range. Suddenly Bad-Nose Bill comes up behind you with a gun.. He says, “Would you like me to shoot a hole in your head?” what do you say, dear?

No, thank you.

You are a nurse and you rush to see a patient because a dinosaur bit him. You bandage him all up, and he says, “Oh, Nurse, you have saved my life. Thank you.” What do you say, dear?

“You’re welcome”

You have gone downtown to do some shopping. You are walking backwards, because sometimes you like to, and you bump into a crocodile. What do you say, dear?

“Excuse me”.

You are at a wedding party because you are the bride. You have a fine husband and an enormous wedding cake and you are going to live happily ever after, only first you are very, very hungry. What do you say, dear?

“Would you please pass the cake?”

You are at the Princess’ ball, and she is telling you a secret, but her orchestra of bears is making such a fearful lot of noise you cannot hear what she is saying. What do you say, dear?

“I beg your pardon”.

You go to London to see the Queen. She says, “Oh you must stay for dinner. We are having spaghetti.” so you do, and there is spaghetti for the appetizer, spaghetti for the main dish, and a spaghetti salad. By the time the Queen’s guard brings spaghetti for dessert, you cannot fit in your chair any more and you want to leave the table. “What do you say, dear”?

“May I please be excused”?

You are flying around in your airplane and you remember that the Duchess said, “Do drop in for tea sometime”. So you do, only it makes a rather large hole in her roof. “What do you say, dear?”

“I’m sorry”.

You are a dangerous pirate and you have captured a fine lady to take on your ship. Every morning when you untie her so she can eat breakfast, she says, “Good morning. How are you?” What do you say, dear?

“Fine, thank you. How are you?”

All you friends come to your house for a party. The Princess brings her orchestra of bears and they play two dances, but then they wan to eat everybody up. “What do you say, dear?”

“This is the end. Goodbye”


Isn’t that a refreshing story???

About Kate Kresse

I love to write, I love to talk, I love to uplift people when I can. I am a woman in love with life. I am a wife, mom, tutor, writer, and I am a perennial optimist. (OK not every single minute but you get the point! :-)
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4 Responses to Manners: What do you say dear?

  1. Caddo Veil says:

    Wow, Capt Kangaroo–that takes me back, Kate!!!

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