Etiquette with Warren Ellis

Comic writer and internet phenomenon Warren Ellis lays down the law on correct and proper behaviour.

Warren Ellis Photography Zoetica Ebb

How much is it okay to socialise with your ex if they have a new girlfriend/boyfriend?

Why are you socialising with your ex? The ex is obviously dramatically inferior in some way, or else they wouldn’t be your ex. Do you associate socially with the contents of last week’s rubbish? Of course you don’t. Snap out of it.

Can I shout at my mother-in-law when she steals my alcohol?

I’ve actually discussed this with the relevant authorities, and it turns out that when she steals your booze it’s entirely legal to cosh your mother-in-law with any household object smaller than, say, an armchair. [Note to Ed: the ‘relevant authorities’ are actually just me doing a funny voice. Should we mention this? Might be, I dunno, a law thing.]

What drink does one order to go with some prime rib rare?

Dog piss. Big steaming carafe of it. I mean, if you’re ordering prime rib rare, you’ve obviously got no palate anyway, so what does it matter? Battery acid in a rusty metal can. Makes no difference. Humans cook meat with fire until it has stopped pulsing and squirting. This is what separates us from the animals, and also the Welsh.

They probably keep half a cat in the kitchen freezer
just for people like you – because you won’t be
able to tell the difference.

Ordering good meat rare sends a signal to your waitstaff that you would just as happily tuck into a freshly-killed baboon’s arse. They probably keep half a cat in the kitchen freezer just for people like you – because you won’t be able to tell the difference.

Having met a person at a party whose religious or political views you find abhorrent, and having attempted, and failed, at finding some middle ground on the subject of faith or political power, at what point is it merely advisable to twat them, and at what point is it absolutely necessary? Does finding your debater attractive and within your lustobject parameters affect this?

What you’re really asking is: is it bad to shag a Nazi? And obviously the answer is: depends on the nature of their moustache.

At what age is it best to crush a child’s dreams so that they have an easier time stepping in to the status quo?

A child is a poison missile that you aim at the future.

You fool. You do not do such things to children. A child is a poison missile that you aim at the future. You encourage, fund and resource their dreams to the fullest extent of your capability, knowing that your reward will be the pain and misery of generations yet unborn.

This column appeared in Filament Magazine Issue 3: December 2009. Warren Ellis is far too busy writing novels, comics and marshaling his Holy Slut Army at www.warrenellis.com to provide a 23-word biography. Jene will be back soon, so please continue to email questions to etiquette@filamentmagazine.com. Photograph of Warren Ellis by Zoetica Ebb.

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