Bertie’s Guide to Being Beau

Greetings! It is I, Bertram St. James, Exquisite — also known as Bertie the Beau. (Because I am. Very.)

Today I shall (attempt to) teach you all how to be more beautiful, more elegant, more….more…how can I put this?

Oh, very well, I’ll say it. More like me. (Which is of course the goal to which you all aspire.)

First, you must shun all cats. Cats have one goal in life, and that is to ensure that you are as covered in cat-hair as they are. This proves that cats are selfish, vain beasts, and do not deserve the company of such beautiful creatures as us.

Second, you must get your beauty rest. Twelve hours a night should do, but if you insist on staying up late to watch the fascinating dramas on the TeleVision Device (such as Heroes, starring the very beau Hayden Panettiere and Sendhil Ramamurthy) and find you only have eleven hours for sleep, do take a nap the following day.

Third, wash your face in cream seven times a day. (This, by the way, is yet another reason not to keep a cat, who will take far too much interest in such a procedure–after which, one’s face is sadly scoured and red.)

Fourth, you must pay your valet well. (Or your lady’s maid, if you are a lady.) Allow your man to sneak a bit of your best brandy — after all, pettiness never won loyalty — but do not allow him to drink too much of it, or you will find your haircuts uneven and your coats poorly brushed.

Fifth, and most important: be born beautiful.

Those, in short, are my guidelines. What are yours? How do you recommend treating your valet (or lady’s maid)? Do you have a cat, and, if so, how do you manage to stay beautiful?

Yours in elegance,

Bertie the Beau

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15 years ago

I have four cats, and I am beautiful with or without cat hair. Cats keep me humble and enhance my joy.

15 years ago

Yo had me until #5 :Þ

Diane Perkins
15 years ago

georg, I have 4 cats, too! Or rather, I take care of 4 cats. None of them are technically mine, but I’m the one who cleans the litter boxes (don’t shudder, Bertie!)
My cats all hate each other.

jackietoo, I’ll bet you are born beautiful! I’ll bet you are!

Cara King
15 years ago

Yes, Bertie, I suspect you’re going to be outvoted on the cat issue! But we much appreciate your beauty tips. Perhaps some of us just value cat companionship more than we value being ornamental.

I must say, I am glad I’m not a Regency dandy! I haven’t that much time to sleep. (And doesn’t it get boring after a while?)

In any case, thank you for being an ornament for us. You are always superbly decorative.


Keira Soleore
15 years ago

#3 would negate #5

All that cream would mean I’d be covered in spots all the time, thus eliminating any beauty I might’ve imagined I’d been born with.

15 years ago

Ohhh… What am I to do…

Here I am trying to come awake after the second or third night of six-hours-or-less of sleep, with a cat outstretched on my lap (My feet are propped on a desk with no knee support, so I’m currently damaging my Tibia for my 12+ pound cat). And I run into this post.

I need a haircut and I have no valet. Actually, the cat acts as a valet – in the middle of the night he will pick whatever portion of my hair that he feels needs the most attention and begin to groom. Usually this places his collar (and its attached bell) right by my ear. Did I mention the six-hours-or-less of sleep recently? Raspy tongue on my scalp. Wow. But he does a decent job, I’ve been told. I’ve offered the cat some of my wine, but he always turns up his nose at it. I offered him brandy once, but his whiskers curled like ribbon.

Any non-cat-inflicted grooming I’d choose to do at the moment is seriously limited by home repair occuring in my, um, in the area of my house where one would expect to make oneself beautiful.

We won’t go into how I looked when I was born, other than to steal the Rodney Dangerfield line – the doctor slapped my mother.


Elena Greene
15 years ago

Alas, Bertie, on too many days my beauty regiment consists of…showering. But I am glad there are people like you who raise the aesthetic appeal of our world.

15 years ago

Oh well, I’m not meant to be a dandy. . . a) cat, b) what beauty sleep? c) eww, creams on my face, yuck! d) I’m the maid around here (see point a), and e) besides, there can only be one Bertie, male or female. 🙂


Amanda McCabe
15 years ago

Bertie, do you have any beauty lotions you might recommend? For those of us who don’t care for straight cream…

As for cats–I have two, plus a highly shedding Pug dog, and suggest a lint brush. Or 5 or 6, to place at various locations around the house. 🙂

Bertram St James
15 years ago

I need a haircut and I have no valet.

This is indeed tragic, my friend Rob. Perhaps the Red Cross might help?

besides, there can only be one Bertie, male or female.

Oh, so true, Milady Lois! You have wisdom beyond your years.

Bertie, do you have any beauty lotions you might recommend? For those of us who don’t care for straight cream…

Well, Mademoiselle McCabe, you might try grinding up partridge tongues (I suggest two score), then force them through a fine sieve with a drachm of white wax, some oil of sweet almonds, and one ounce of clarified mutton-suet. You might find this preferable to cream (though I really cannot fathom why you would.)

Bertie the Beau, at your service

15 years ago

I was born beautiful. Well, I don’t really remember it, but my mother has frequently commented on how I was a beautiful baby, and why would she lie? Though most newborn infants of my acquaintance resemble large red lizards.

So I started all right, I guess. But it is clear that by feeding cream to cats rather than washing in it I have ruined my chances. What a pity! If only I’d had your guidance earlier…

Hmm. Partridge tongues. Do you think they’re expensive?


15 years ago

Thanks, Diane, I appreciate the kind words.

And Bertie…I’m sorry but now all I can think about are all those mute little partridges running around in the woods. Eek!

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