Princess Penelope Pricklepants presents this practical guide to manners, politeness, and related topics to you, dear reader. This guide is not presented out of any concern that you are impolite, ill mannered, or uncouth, but only because this is a topic which she, as royalty, has a deep and extensive knowledge about. In this guide she hopes to share some insights, thoughts, tips, and pointers with the hope of helping to make the world a more polite, well-mannered, and generally delightful place.
Lesson 1: Hats
It’s perfectly delightful for hedgehogs to wear hats indoors, so long as they remain on the head, or so long as they fall in a delightful or pleasant way when wandering about. Hats with straps are not delightful at all though, as we illustrate in this helpful example:
If you look carefully, you will note Princess’ gentle concern at the impoliteness of the hands that put this hat on her. Do not under any circumstances ever strap a hat onto a hedgehog. It’s distressingly impolite.
Lesson 2: Tea Parties
Tea parties are always wonderful places to practice manners, politeness, and that sort of thing. For our example tea party, the kind and gracious models Artemis along with her daughter Arteminica are hosting a small party for our delightful guest to help guide the teaching of lessons in manners.
At tea parties, hats are optional, as you see in the following illustration. Also, note how Princess shows an interest in whatever things happen to be on the table, in the room, on the couch, under the table, or in any other interesting spots.
Lesson 3: Peeing
If you happen to pee on a couch (and who doesn’t pee on the couch at times?), it’s polite to make sure that any photos of the event don’t include unpleasantly specific details.
Lesson 4: Eye contact
If there are guests who have eyes, try to look at them sometimes, this is polite.
Lesson 5: Unexpected guests
If an unexpected guest shows up, like Princess’s special friend, Pick, who is also a hedgehog, though a different species, be sure to greet them and make sure they feel welcome to the tea party. You may wish to compliment them on their colorful quills or other interesting qualities, like the ability to stand remarkably still for very long periods. If you happened to poop on the couch while meeting the new company, be sure to be discreet, have a helping hand clean it up, and be sure to thank the hosts for using a plastic couch that’s very convenient for taking care of such things quickly and discreetly.
Lesson 6: Climbing under the table
If a guest should try to climb under the table during a tea party, this isn’t considered polite. Gently remind them to try to remain above the table, perhaps with an unassuming hand gesture, as Arteminica illustrates here. Also remind them that while in general wearing hats to indoor tea parties is polite, it’s considered extra-polite to remove your hat before climbing under the table.
Lesson 7: Toppling over other guests
If, while politely wandering about under the table, you happen to inadvertently fling one of your friends on the ground, be sure to say something polite, for example, “Oh, pardon me, I didn’t mean to knock you over.” Also remove your hat as a gesture of respect.
Lesson 8: Stepping on friends
If you inadvertently clobber a friend, and stomp on their hand and/or arm, try being subtle about it. Helpfully lighten the mood by wandering off a bit to sniff at something.
Lesson 9: More knocking and fleeing
If you happen to knock a friend over while trying to climb under their chair, and they inadvertently kick another guest in the head, be sure to say, “excuse me.” Note also that the hat has been respectfully removed.
Lesson 10: Helping hands
Sometimes the hand friends might grab you and hold you in poses. If they do, make sure to let them know that you appreciate their gentle help, and that you are sorry if you accidentally stab them a little with your quills. If you do this, you’ll be sure to knock their socks off, or if you are incredibly polite, you might even manage to knock their feet off.
Lesson 11: More under the table dealings
Since hedgehogs are burrowing animals, it’s incredibly difficult to not climb under tables. Really, it’s mind-bogglingly challenging. It’s virtually impossible to resist the alluring dark area under there. When you do climb under the table, if a guest should spill their tea, be sure to apologize for any spilled tea.
Lesson 12: Flinging guests backwards while fleeing tea
Tea parties can be stressful for hedgehogs, and you might feel the need to leave seconds after sitting/being set on the couch. While we may have already covered, this, as a gentle reminder, when flinging friends backwards in their chairs towards the ground as you leave the table, which is a truly delightful thing to do, be sure to do so as politely and with as much grace as possible.
Lesson 13: Toppling techniques (advanced)
At tea parties people will be flung backwards and thrown to the ground, this is a natural and inevitable development. When you do manage to throw a guest from their chair, spilling tea cups, and flinging hats aside, be sure to do so with as much grace and elegance as possible.
There’s only one proper way to end a tea party, and that’s by ensuring that tea cups are spilling, and guests’ limbs are flailing as they hurtle towards the ground with chairs toppling backwards. If you follow this simple guide, you’ll be sure to have a very delightful tea party with many very memorable moments.
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next: Princess Pricklepants’ Continued Guide To Politeness, Manners, Delightfulness, and Grace In Common Situations