Advice to Youth - 2 -Panache

Advice to Youth – 2 - Panache

Well, Young Man, the subject of the last lecture was Women and we have covered the subject quite extensively, thanks to contributions from students in attendance such as, reading from left to right, “lisapreston”, Feline Prophet, Lee B, “glassvisage”, “manlypoetryman”, “jcwinn228”, Gypsy Willow and last but not least, that world famous producer of beautiful children, Cheryl. Many thanks to all of them and their high grades shall reflect the value and appreciation of their contribution.

Leaving frivolity aside, how does a pimply, insecure trouble maker like yourself can possibly hope to succeed in life? Street fighting is not an Olympic sport as yet and it is unlikely to impress those around you, unless they are regular guests of HM Prisons.

The answer, to put you out of your misery, is Panache. From the blank, fish like, stupefied expression on your blemished face I would venture to assume that you are not familiar with the word. Let me explain:

There is no translation of this unique French word in any language, so I can only illustrate it by example. In the 17th century the French and English armies faced each other across a few yards of no-man’s land, in the centre of which lay a ruined and deserted farmhouse, which had been pounded to rubble by cannon fire.

Despite the mysteriously high mortality rate at that particular spot, a group of French officers decided to stroll over to the ruin for a spot of lunch in the form of a picnic. They ambled over and while their servants prepared the lunch, they enjoyed a glass of wine in full view of the British, who were understandably miffed by such arrogance.

British officers are well known for their Christian charity and forgiving natures, but they tend to draw the line when they are given the finger, even figuretively as in this case. They also tend to like french wine, so the temptation to wander over and exchange pleasantries in accordance with the tradition of the time in such cicumstances was ireresistible. In consequence, a bunch of them sauntered over, armed to the teeth and spoiling for a fight.

The French being a courteous and civilized race, properly got up from their luch out of politeness, with mouthfulls of chicken and frog legs being leisurely muched. It was the custom of the period in such cases to first fire a volley from the single shot pistols the officers carried and then dive in with foils to finish off anyone still standing after the first volley was fired. Consqently, whoever fired the first shot had quite an advantage.

The French do not speak with their mouths full as their mothers are quite strict on this point, so they waited for the first one to properly swallow his nibble and after delicatly wiping his moustaches with a silk hadnkerchief he said on behalf of all the slow eaters: “Après toi, monsieurs” or, in free translation that you can properly comprehend, “Go ahead you poor chumps, have the first shot but before the day is out we shall have your guts for garters”.

That then is Panache. The apparently casual indifference to adversity in all its forms, including death.

So what lessons are to be learned from all this?

1. If you are on the British side and a nutcase offers you the chance to shoot first, take it and make sure you don’t miss, as you simply don’t know what this madman is capable of.

2. If on the other hand you are on the French side and having made your sporting offer you see that the other side cannot take a joke and is ready to take you up on it, shoot the bastard in the balls before he has a chance to raise his pistol, as anyone without a sense of humour deserve to die in excruciating pain.

3. Most importantly, please note that the only ones who had no say in the matter were the French servants who prepared the food and whose lives were in as much danger as those of the officers, aka The Bosses. So, the lesson from this is that if you are going to die anyway and if you are not going to be allowed to shamelessly grovel for your life since you are required to die with equal panache as the officers, you might as well be an officer. In other words, get a proper education and try to become the next inventor of the company which will compete with Google.

Further lessons shall be be provided only by request.

I am sure that you will have pleasure from visiting some of my own favourite authors on HubPages, who are:

Zsuzsy Bee, Gypsy Willow, _cheryl_ , Joy At Home, lisadpreston, Feline Prophet, Lee B, glassvisage, jcwin228, sunflowerbucky, tonymac04, IzzyM, Merlin Fraser, Internetwriter62, gaming-guru, Ladybird33, Nicole Winter and i scribble.

You may also enjoy reading:

ADVICE TO YOUTH - 1 : What advice would you give to an inexperienced young man?

“Go West Young Man” has already been done, so if one is to give Advice to Youth one must try to think up ways and means to keep Youth from falling asleep during the advice giving process.


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Comments 22 comments

Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

What a timely lesson. Panache has gone out of fashion lately. I hope sufficient spotty youths read this to bring it back. Well told Sir!

De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK Author

Thank you Child ... Praise indeed from the Master! (or Mistress in this case) ... :-))

Lee B profile image

Lee B 6 years ago from New Mexico

So fun to read! I particularly like the last piece of advice.

De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK Author

Thank you Lee. There must be something wrong with me, because I cannot help smiling at my own jokes :-))

glassvisage profile image

glassvisage 6 years ago from Northern California

Thanks De Greek! :)

De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK Author

Thank YOU for taking the trouble to come by :-)

Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 6 years ago from India

What a great example of panache! I hope your son is reading all this! :)

De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK Author

I am trying to copy your wonderful style, Feline Prophet and one day I hope to become almost as good as you :-))

Thank you for visiting :-)

prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

This is good advice for us. I get new lesson here. Thank you very much.

De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK Author

You are welcome .. :-)

_cheryl_ profile image

_cheryl_ 6 years ago from California

What a great wise and humorously put lesson! Love your writing De Greek =)

De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK Author

Ah... so you are not sick after all. My fatherly instincts kicked in when you failed to comment about this and I thought that you might be ill, Cheryl... :-)

_cheryl_ profile image

_cheryl_ 6 years ago from California

Thanks for thinking of me! I've just been so busy lately and have'nt been able to keep up with my hubpages addiction lol! I always look forward to reading your work. =)

De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK Author

Thank you child :-)

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS

I'm intriqued again. You introduce such IN-TER-EST-ING things & they stimulate further considerations! What crops into my(devious female) mind here is another French noun, Élan & interesting differences in the 2 words' definitions which occur to me to almost perfectly pinpoint some major differences in the genders!

Panache, while indicating dash & verve, has a 2nd meaning: plumes or feathers, especially on a helmet, derived from Italian pinnacchio, plume, from Late Latin pinn?culum, diminutive of Latin pinna, feather, wing. Certainly decorative and impressive. um. Fits the advice for a young man to assume the quality exteriorily.

Élan is about enthusiastic vigor & liveliness, having a list of synonyms such as: animation, bounce, brio, dash, esprit, life, liveliness, pertness, sparkle, spirit, verve, vigor, vim, vivaciousness, vivacity, zip. Informal ginger, pep, peppiness. Slang oomph. Difficult to not contrast a sense of external show and essential nature. ;)

De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK Author

Wow! Nellianna, you are a mine of information :-)

Thank you for passing by. Love your observations. Do you have any medical background?

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS

Wow indeed. Thanks! I Njoy your hubs & posts which are always thought-provoking & non-intelligence-insulting, which is fun.

But - gracious me, I've no medical background whatsoever! (just an accomplished 'Dr. Mom' with the home remedies!) But I'm curious now - why do you ask?

De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK Author

You seemed to know a lot about psychology, child :-))

I am off to bed. It's after midnight. Hope to see you tomorrow :-)

ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas

Very well done De Greek it is also kind of ironic because I used to use that word "panache" as a slang for a ahhmmm part of a woman's anatomy and I still do, its kind of a secret between my sisters and I. You know how Oprah calls it the "vajayjay" well we call it the "panache" never mind why but when I first saw this I cracked up. Okay I will keep my vileness to myself. LOL.

De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK Author

We De Greeks are very literal in what we say, becasue our minds are pure! Your sisters and yourself should show the proper respect for the language of Shakespeare. I have been to see his house you know. Shakespeare's I mean. When my wife and I came out, I had a look around and as theire was no one there, I reverentially kissed the door frame :-))

tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

How did I miss this one? Mind you, I've commented I think on every one of your other Hubs. That means it's time for another, my dear brother Dimitris. You are tending to do what a headmaster once wrote on my school report: "McGregor seems to be resting on his non-existent laurels!" So please find some real laurels to rest on! LOL!

Love and peace


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK Author

Brother Tony, we Great Authors are now concentrating on our latest work of art, that being a novel in the works :-)))

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