MARK TWAIN ON ETIQUETTE.
Etiquette varies according to one's surroundings. In the mining camps of California, when a friend tenders you a "mile" or invites you to take a "blister" - vulgarly called a drink - it is etiquette to say, "Here's hoping your dirt'll pan out gay." In Washoe, when you are requested to "put in a blast," or invited to take your "regular poison," etiquette admonishes you to touch glasses and say, "Here's hoping you'll strike it rich in the lower level." And in Honolulu, when your friend, the whaler, asks you to take a "fid" with him, it is simple etiquette to say, "Here's eighteen hundred barrels, old salt." But "drink hearty" is universal. That is the orthodox reply the world over. In San Francisco, sometimes if you offend a man, he proposes to take his coat off, and inquires, "Are you on it?" If you are, you can take your coat off too. In Virginia City, in former times, the insulted party, if he were a true man, would lay his hand gently on his six-shooter and say "Are you heeled?" But in Honolulu, if Smith offends Jones, Jones asks (with a rising inflection on the last word, which is excessively aggravating,) "How much do you weigh?" "Sixteen hundred and forty pound - and you?" "Two ton to a dot - at a quarter past eleven this forenoon - peel yourself, you're my blubber!"
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