From Perfect Behavior, by Donald Ogden Stewart:
A bachelor, accompanied by a young unmarried woman, when stepping accidentally into an open coal or sewer hole in the sidewalk, removes his hat and gloves as inconspicuously as possible.
A young man, if run over by an automobile driven by a strange lady, should lie perfectly still (unless dead) until an introduction can be arranged; the person driving the car usually speaks first.
An unmarried woman, if run into and knocked down by a taxicab driven by someone in her own "set," usually says "Why the hell don't you look where you're going?" to which the taxi driver, removing his hat, replies "Why the hell don't YOU?"
In order to listen to music intelligently—or what is really much more important—in order to give the appearance of listening to music intelligently, it is necessary for the novice to master thoroughly two fundamental facts
The first, and most important of these, is that the letter "w" in Russian is pronounced like "v"; the second, that Rachmaninoff has a daughter at Vassar.
CORRECT BEHAVIOR AT A PIANO RECITAL
The same procedure is recommended for the piano or violin recital, with the possible addition of certain phrases such as "Yes—of course, she has technique—but, my dear, so has an electric piano." This remark gives you a splendid opportunity for sarcasm at the expense of Mr. Duo-Art and other manufacturers of mere mechanical perfection; the word "soul"—pronounced with deep feeling, as when repeating a fish order to a stupid waiter—may be introduced effectively several times.
"On Monday next comes All-Hallows-Even,
My grandmother's maiden name was Stephens."
"On Hallowe'en you may see a witch
If you don't look out, you funny fellow."
This invitation would of course be worded differently for different circumstances, such as, for example, if the name of the people giving the party wasn't Weems or if they didn't live at 1063 Railroad Ave., or if they didn't have any intention of giving a dinner party on that particular evening.
[New (old) evidence that this was a "thing"!:]
An elderly lady with a closed umbrella, for example, desiring to take a street car, should always stand directly under a large sign marked "Street Cars Do Not Stop On This Corner." As the car approaches she should run quickly out to the car tracks and signal violently to the motorman with the umbrella. As the car whizzes past without stopping she should cease signalling, remark "Well I'll be God damned!" and return to the curbstone.