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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
What to say, what to say
on January 10, 2010
Everybody has those moments -- you have a problem or a personal encounter, and you can't think what to say. "The Recently Deflowered Girl: The Right Thing to Say on Every Dubious Occasion" provides you with the right thing to say on... well, occasions that involve being deflowered. It's a prim, genteel little guide with a deliciously naughty theme, and Edward Gorey's pen-and-ink drawings just make it better.
Anyway, every page presents you with a dilemma centering around deflowerment, which usually encounters some kind of problem: blind dates, marimba players, at a doctor's office, at a gypsy seance, after a wedding (not by your hubby), during a whodunnit by a Chinese detective, in a Moroccan harem, by a famous crooner, after eating possibly drugged lychee nuts, by an old friend of your family, by a complete stranger, in a Parisian dive in front of all the patrons, and so on.
In every situation, the person who "takes flower" presents you with a somewhat awkward response after the fact -- refusing to tell you their name, debunking an alibi, the revelation that Things Aren't What They Seem, the awkwardness of using the elevator the remark that your parents are in the next room, the return of your husband while you're having sex with the bellboy, et cetera. Sometimes these are absurd, sometimes they are all too likely.
Fortunately, Miss Hyacinthe Phipps has advice for each of these scenarios -- she provides a witty and appropriate quote for each scenario ("How did your wife get HER parents' consent?") and a little nugget of wisdom afterwards ("Your sorority can probably arrange for a later curfew by applying directly to the Dean of Women") which usually ignores basic post-flower awkwardness or embarrassment, and focuses on the real issue at hand.
The biggest problem with "The Recently Deflowered Girl" is that it's too short -- there are a scant twenty scenarios of awkward flower-taking etiquette. However, it's still immensely fun for the short while it lasts, especially since most of it is written in a sort of manners-book style -- sort of if Emily Post had written a guide to post-coital witticisms and awkward situations.
It's a bit stilted, but very funny since there is no effort at titillation, just witticism ("At seance conducted by smooth-talking gypsy, you ask him to produce spirit of Rudolph Valentino. Spirit of Valentino appears and you are deflowered"). And each scenario is accompanied by a tasteful little pen-and-ink picture of the people involved, usually a the most social awkward part of the entire encounter -- sometimes in a state of undress, sometimes just in the street, at a party, or whatever.
Miss Manners never got half so entertainingly naughty as "The Recently Deflowered Girl: The Right Thing to Say on Every Dubious Occasion." It's too short, but still immensely funny.