All the world’s a stage

Published 11:50 am Thursday, July 12, 2012

SCENE 1—Careful, now. Watch yourself. Remember, it’s fancy here.

Sit up straight. Use the right utensil. Small fork for the salad, large fork for the entrée. Left arm in lap.

“Yes sir, I agree.”

Be careful what you say. These are important people. Don’t use “ain’t.” And please don’t get a spot on your white shirt.

“I believe that would be a good idea.”

That’s right, be positive. Small bites. Watch those green peas. They love to roll off the fork in mid-air. Could land in your lap!

Now, wipe your mouth gently with that monogrammed cloth napkin and place on the table.

“It’s been a pleasure, sir.”

Well done! Now get out. But not too quickly. It displays a lack of poise.

SCENE 2—Laugh out loud! Remember, people think you’re funny, and you would hate to disappoint. Especially at this party.

Put your arm around Harold’s shoulders and tell him what you are thinking in his ear. Watch him laugh! All because of what you said! Ha!

There’s Jim across the room. “Hey, Jim! Come here you rascal!” Think up a story as he comes.

“How about that Saturday night? That was a helluva time, wasn’t it!”

Watch him laugh! Give a “whoop!” Watch people look at you and smile. Yes sir, people love to have you at their parties!

SCENE 3—Sit still, the preacher’s talking. Get ready to stand. Bow your head. Now file out and be nice.

“Yes Ma’am.”

“Enjoyed your sermon today, preacher.”

Watch your language, now. Make sure your tie is straight. Now, amble out to your car. Don’t drive away too fast; it doesn’t look good.

SCENE 4—Look busy. At least look busy. The last thing a boss needs to see is his employees with nothing to do. Here he comes.

“Hello, Mr. Roberts. Yes sir. Trying to finish this job up. I’ll do my best.”

There he goes. He’s out of sight. Now, take a break. No need to break one’s neck. Heck, it’s about quitting time anyway. Look busy. At least try to look busy.

SCENE 5—Alone in your room at night, lying in bed, staring at the ceiling. Darkness. Thoughts swirling. Reflections on the week. Wondering, wondering, wondering. Who is the real you?

REX ALPHIN of Walters is a farmer, businessman, author, county supervisor and contributing columnist for The Tidewater News. His email address is