Modern Humorist - Elegant Coping Devices
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YOU USED TO THINK getting through the holidays was difficult, but then you contemplated the potentially yawning emotional abyss of Winter Wonderland 2001. But fear not! You can leave your analyst and put away the Prozac—it’s time to suffer in style. Whatever your income level, you can turn your depression into an opulent pageant.

Condition: Loss
Elegant Coping Device: A Plethora of Pillows
Recovery depends on a newfound sense of abundance. New York's Benjamin Hotel can fill that emptiness overnight with its world-famous Pillow Menu. Guests are treated to a selection of eleven different pillows, including the mixed-grain Buckwheat Makura, known for its miraculous curative properties, and the Swedish Memory Pillow, co-engineered by NASA scientists to remember the exact shape of your aching, reeling head.

Condition: Poverty
Elegant Coping Device: Wearing a Monocle
You may be struggling to make ends meet, but you don't have to look like it. Wearing a monocle adds a touch of class that says, "You can not imagine how smooth my hands are." While these relics of a more civilized era are only available in pricey antique shops, it’s a snap to make one. Buy an inexpensive pair of reading glasses at the drug store, twist them apart and make two monocles. Share the other with your friend on the dole!

Condition: Chronic Physical Pain
Elegant Coping Device: Etiquette Lessons
Nothing takes one's mind off debilitating pain like obsessing over the dictates of a highly rigid code of social conduct. Creating impossibly high standards is the surest relief for everything from migraines to an irritable bowel. How do you politely let a dinner guest know the evening is over? Where do you send condolences to someone if you only know his e-mail address? Agonize over questions like these, and you'll find the agonies of your body seem to melt away.
Emily Post Institute:

Condition: Destructive Anger
Elegant Coping Device: Opera Gloves
Though less visceral and satisfying, venting your frustration on inanimate objects is preferable to physically abusing your loved ones. Ah, but the expense! The next time you feel like punching a hole in the wall or toppling a cabinet full of fine china, slip on a pair of opera gloves. For less than $50, you can envelop your hands in calming velvet, soothing satin or mood-altering silk. When was the last time you saw a dandy punch a wall or put his foot through a gem encrusted grandfather clock? Opera gloves erect a refined barrier between your destructive urges and your cherished belongings.
Finale Gloves:

Condition: Stalled Romance
Elegant Coping Device: Ice Sculpture
If you can't get your lover to make a commitment, frighten them into submission by sending an ice sculpture to their home. Graceful and ephemeral, ice sculptures not only dazzle the eye, they also serve as metaphors for fleeting physical beauty. When your lover first receives the piece, they'll be touched by your thoughtful gesture. Once it melts, they'll find your companionship an irresistible hedge against the ravages of time.
National Ice Carving Association:

Condition: Apocalyptic Dread
Elegant Coping Device: Cigarette Holder
Worried you'll be left behind when the Lord raptures the righteous into Heaven? Imagine yourself as an evil despot in the aftermath wielding your cigarette holder! A favorite of cartoon villains like Cruella DeVille and real-life malefactors like the Penguin, a cigarette holder is the accessory for refined tyrants. Holders come in a variety of lengths to fit any activity, whether you're beating your servants or just relaxing by the pyre.
Allenbey's Smoking Accessories:

Condition: Fear of Flying
Elegant Coping Device: Big Fancy Hat
Of the many anxieties that contribute to a fear of flying, the most overwhelming is powerlessness. Regain your sense of control by wearing a big fancy hat. Making you look taller and seem more important, the big fancy hat does more for your ego than a lifetime of accomplishment. Men will feel at ease flying in a high-crown felt topper, while the ladies relax in a wide-brimmed Victorian decorated with ostrich feathers, silk flowers and a delicate chiffon trim.
Top Hats from Mike the Hatter:
Lady Cynthia:

Condition: Long Prison Sentence
Elegant Coping Device: Oscar Wildisms
Guilty as charged? Time to brush up on your Oscar Wilde! America's prisons are filled with remorseful convicts just waiting to be delighted by quotes from this flamboyant 19th-century author. Wilde, an Irishman, lived among London's social elite and never missed a chance to mock their cant and hypocrisy. His charismatic wit and disdain for the status quo are sure to be appreciated by your new compatriots in the correction facility.
The Wit & Wisdom of Oscar Wilde: A Treasury of Quotations, Anecdotes, and Observations

MH contributor Paul Bacon will be reading a version of the
above prose TONIGHT, December 5, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Little Gray Book Lecture Series
at Galapagos Art Space
70 North 6th Street
(between Kent and Wythe)
Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY
Mr. Bacon will read the piece in the guise of an elf.
Also, the organizers will be auctioning off an entire piano.

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Modern Humorist is not intended for readers under 18 years of age.