Monsieur Chariot

Monsieur Chariot
That Dazzling and Luminous California Metropolis known as The City Of The Angels, USA
June 08
Offering Discreet Tutelage in the Metropolitan Arts to Inquiring Gentlepersons of Variously Misguided Social Persuasions


Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 20, 2010 7:11PM

Have Yourself a Merry Little Apocalypse

Rate: 75 Flag


You'll excuse me for saying so, but it seems that these days, one can't turn on the television, read a newspaper or peruse a blog without encountering someone shrieking about The Looming End of All Things!

Why just yesterday on the television, some blatherskite insisted that the globe is ready to go up in flames like a child's marshmallow on a stick, held too long over a cosmic campfire. Turning it off and picking up a newspaper, I read about marauding hordes of Muslims, Abortionists, Homosexuals, Liberals and Gun Owners, marching on Suburbia to decimate life as we know it with bombs, devastating efforts to provide healthcare, shocking marital inclinations and antique muskets.

Crumpling the rag into a ball and logging on to my antique computer, I sink into a bloggy swamp of condemnations regarding glittering capitalist skyscrapers so high and tottery they collapse under their own weight, crushing hordes of unemployed demonstrators below. Caterwauling in the streets, bellowing in the media and finger-wagging on the blogosphere have become so continuous, so rackety and obstreperous, that sophisticated gentlepersons shrink behind eyelet curtains, wishing never again to emerge from cloistral apartments.


Well, I say! With Doom lurching 'round the next corner and Gloom raining down one's head, 'what to do?' is a question that begs an answer. Perhaps, like me, you are not the New Robespierre, blood-spattered hero of the Coming Revolution. Perhaps you've a stomach too delicate for the for rivers of innocent bloodshed as you march triumphant over the corpses of thousands, banners waving heroically, toward the New World Order. Perhaps, like me, you're just one of The Insignificant, history's humble unsung, hoping only to survive the coming conflagration with a little style, a little imagination — a little poise.

With the Humble Gentleperson in mind then, allow me to make the following recommendations for a Merry Little Apocalypse:



  1. Throw an Apocalypse-themed Cocktail Party.  That's right. It is high time we stopped ranting on the internet, crawled out of our bomb shelters and threw an appropriately dramatic cocktail party for friends and neighbors. Consider doing so weekly. At some point, the world may very well end, you know. And what will refined persons be doing when the moment presents itself? Wailing in sackcloth and ashes in a ditch somewhere? Staring, goggle-eyed, at a monitor in a dark bunker? Er, no thank you. The end shall find us impeccably dressed, dropping bon mots and cocktail partying like it's 2999.



Albert Trummer, mixologist and co-owner of Apotheke, gives the flaming absinthe show at his cocktail lounge. Caplin/Bloomberg.



Absinthe in Hell (a personal favorite)

2 oz absinthe herbal liqueur
1 tsp brown sugar
2 - 4 oz water

Pour 3/4 of a full shot of absinthe in a parfait glass. Put a brown sugar cube on a spoon with holes in it and rest it on the rim of the glass. Pour the remaining 1/4 of the shot of absinthe onto the brown sugar cube, light the brown sugar on fire (put the flame under the spoon). Let the flame burn for a minute while the brown sugar drips into the glass and caramelizes. Stir the caramelized sugar into the glass. Add the water to the glass, stir again and serve.





2. Stop Leaning so Hard on the Panic Button, will you?  Look outside your window and consider the persons bickering and dickering and apocalypticizing on the village square: do you see any stylish people there? Of course you don't.

Sophisticated persons do not lean on panic buttons; the stylish strive to maintain poise, and do not take pleasure inciting excessive fear, anxiety and madness in the streets, thank you.

Besides, it upsets the kennel.



  Courtesy Eyes Wide Shut

3. Adopt a Mysterious Disguise.  When the End is the Trend, and hysterical mobs take to the streets in search of immediate recompense for the horrors of life, standing out in any way will not be a very good idea. Why, you ask? Because mobs are looking for scapegoats, Dear Reader. And before you can shout, "Power to the People!," you could find yourself swinging on a noose from the nearest tree.

To eliminate any mob-threatening individuality from your person, M. Chariot recommends cloaking oneself with the following, stylish disguises:



Masks.  What says "I'm nobody" more clearly than a mask? Once masked, elegant persons may move unnoticed through torch-carrying throngs, effortlessly deflecting the murderous, civilization-destroying intentions of the agitated.


veils.jpgVeils.  Exhibit no personality whatsoever - with a veil! Gentlemen may consider the mysteriously cocked hat + high scarf combination. Or, if widespread intolerance, vengeance and rage indicate the complete fashio-nnihilation of your silhouette, consider the cape.




Annibale Carracci's 16th century fresco depicts the marriage of Bacchus to Ariadne led by satyrs and woodland creatures in a mad frenzy.

4. Let The Dogs Out.  To stave off premature Apocalyptomania, be sure to enjoy regular and total self-destruction. The ancient Greeks reveled in a holiday called the Bacchanalia, in which participants would get ripped to the nips and roam the countryside like wild animals in a dangerous, murderous and orgiastic frenzy. This mad bit of wanton self-destructiveness served as an effective emotional counterbalance to the tensions inherent in a highly-developed and stringently demanding civilization.

Take a lesson from Greek history and shake things up in your own tightly-coiled life. Break free of the crushing expectations of modernity by occasionally marinating overnight in spirits and assorted pharmaceuticals, then kick your CEO in the nether regions and burn down your own house. In the nude, of course. Individual self-destructive acts such as this can be bracing; more satisfying than you imagine. But more importantly, letting it all go to hell occasionally diminishes the all-too-human tendency to bring on a full-scale Apocalypse in which an entire, glorious, centuries-old civilization is required to go up in flames to satisfy roiling, individual disappointments.



5. When Others Say Holocaust, Think Comfort and Style.  Were you aware that the latest international "chatter" indicates a pending terrorist attack aimed directly at your living room settee, Delicate Reader? Say pshaw! No need to let total annihilation discourage one's weekly conversation parties!

Maximize your safety and comfort in a Shrapnel-Deflecting Snuggie, in fashionable Camouflage Green or Camouflage Mauve. The As Seen On TV Apocalypse Snuggie is made of super-soft fleece and a double layer of flak, plus roomy oversized sleeves that leave your hands free to defuse bombs while remaining cozy and warm. Machine washable. Imported.



6. Avoid Excessive Depression.  Bad form, I say. Can we muster a little poise, for once? Haven't we had an entire epoch's worth of depressing books, films, blogs, lifestyles and what have you? Let's leave "depression" to the Old Way of going about things, if you don't mind too terribly much. Without doubt, the Post-Apocalyptic World will necessitate a bit of vivacity, a devil-may-care, "que sera, sera" attitude. High spirits will be essential to digging oneself out of the rubble and starting anew once everything has gone to merde.



Courtesy OldPixels.com

7. Fall Madly and Passionately in Love.  What brings Love into sharper focus than Death and Destruction? This is your moment to have the romantic interlude you've always dreamt of: a rapture among the ruins.  Imagine: you and your lover writing sonnets, singing arias and kissing with abandon while bombs burst in air.

And there's a bonus: if you and your amour manage to survive the conflagration, you'll be responsible to populate the earth once again. What better way to ensure a marvelously perfect and benevolent new race, than by having it spring entirely from your own loins?



 Courtesy OldPixels.com

8. Practice Impeccable Manners. Always recommended on this front, regardless of the occasion. 




vBulletin analytics

Your tags:


Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:


Type your comment below:
First! (I've always wanted to do this!) I'll be back...
Well, this was just pure joy to read. And brilliant. And..why not? Why not have the times of our lives if this is truly the end of the times of our lives? I don't have much capacity for the talk of the end of the world. The 15 years I spent as a "born again" was saturated with talk of the return of Christ, the end of the world and all sorts of unsavory lectures that were the ultimate of Debbie or Don Downers. As dire as things are, and I don't doubt that there are some dire things happening, I find it almost arrogant to even conceive that I might be living during the "end times". It would be statistically pompous of me to believe that. But if it's true, then what spectacular times we are truly living in! Your list was superb and I was quite happy to see that good manners were a part of it, despite my belief that they are becoming more and more obsolete, much to my dismay. Highly rated, as usual.
Oh, Monsieur Chariot, you do make the impending apocalypse sound so full of potential! But a question, if I may: isn't "Absinthe in Hell" simply one of the many rituals originally used before drinking the original form of absinthe (or, as the rabble would call it, 'the real shit')? At any rate, this matters naught. I thoroughly enjoyed this post full of quite brilliant advice, especially about the button. And now that I see that Jane Austen seems to have invested in a snuggie, I might just go ahead and do the same! Hearty thanks and Happy Holidays to you, good monsieur!
Yes, why worry about the Apocalypse when it can turn a cocktail party into an excellent theme party? On the other hand, the seems to be a bit too Roman...it didn't work out so well for them. rated.
Mon cher Monsieur Chariot, if this is how the world will end, well, I find it a stylish, sophisticated way to go! SO much more classy than being bodily assumed into Heaven sans clothes. And by all means, let's lose the rude people and those who lapse into depression or hysteria.

Merci et Joyeux Noel!
M., Hola and Feliz Navidad! This was a joy to read, and if the End Is Near, why, yes let's make it stylish and go out with flair.

As with all your contributions, this is worthy of The New Yorker.


I don't believe in end time prophecy but if I did, I would want to go with you--avec elan. (Sorry that I don't know how to type accents.)
Eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we shall be ruled by Republicans. An epicurean.
Every generation goes through this: O, I'm ending, & the world must be, too. That's where a lot of this is coming from. It was bound to be bad once us boomers got to this stage: there's a lot of us, and we are especially whiny.

But by throwing in the economic worries with bogeymen like gay people and immigrants, you ruin an otherwise good post. That's a specious comparison. The economic problems are quite real, while the "problems" with gay rights etc., are shadows. It comes off as glib, and more than a little heartless.
i heartily concur with remaining stylish and poised if and when the bonfires combust around us, and i love the idea of falling madly and passionately in love (have done so a few times already and it's a divine state) though i draw the line at the 'springing from my loins' part.

rated for many things but particularly the use of "rackety" and "cloistral." oh, and Amy A's comment is excellent. ;
Extremely entertaining. And right on the money!
Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder, Monsieur.

We need you here to keep us on the path as we head towards 2012. I for one am a firm believer of bacchanalian pleasure!
M. Chariot, I fear the Dionysian revelry you advocate heralds the end of the world. Please reconsider.
Enjoy Regular and Total Self-Destruction~
well, if you *insist*...
Amy's comment is brilliant, I hoist my drink, for tomorrow, who knows what hell they will unleash.
20th!... I'll also be back to savor this incredible post!
I think the impeccable manners would have to include a man's diffusing of bombs for gentleladies. I would do it in a snap, an if a snuggie was not available, I would still do it
The fruit of my loins is spoiled rotten... but if I did manage to get to the other side, I'd definitely be opening an absinthe parlor and whipping up a few of those hats with veils (wouldn't want to scare the customers away, you know).
I'd like nothing more than to spend the next apocalypse with you.
Ha, bring on that apocalypse and let the re-population begin!
A Psychedelic journey into today's and yesterday's madness. Great show!

As I always say, "Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder."

OK, I'll duck and run now . . .
Words, all of them, to live by in the years to come.

Cheers My Darling,

(call me)
Ah you humans....... always up to no good. The "End of Times" now, is it? Well, we chats have decided to let y'all have yer fun. Tink and I and a select few others (all of the felixian persuasion, of course) will retire genteelly to some lovely thorn bushes under a marvellous elm tree.

We shall, of course, take with us only a few trusted humans who have proven to have some knowledge of feline needs and comforts. Certain Nigerian Princesses come to mind, along with one Veronica person and, for our cultural edification and amusement, a Romantic Poetess. Others may apply providing such applications are accompanied by suitable offerings of Fancy Feast.

So apocalyptionize as you will, human riff-raff, we'll observe the niceties and seriously mourn your loss - for at least a whole minute. Then, quite naturally, we'll get on with re-populating the world with more sensible creatures as rulers of this domain; namely we of the felixian race.

That's it! M. Chariot you have inspired me. Henceforth I shall, quarterly until the end of the world, host a bacchanalian apocalypse masquerade cocktail party!


Yes, let's go out in style. If I'm going to go down, I want to do it wearing something fabulous with a glass of Champagne in one hand and a joint in the other. Que sera sera.
The end times just keep coming. This seems like a good way to deal with it, now and the next time.
Hilarious and fun! Where do I sign up?!
I've got the absinthe, purchased in Paris. But drinking it with a cube of burning brown sugar? That sounds so bourgeois, not decadent enough. But in these End Times, what the heck...
"Avoid Excessive Depression." Indeed: one's depression should always be balanced. The consummate counsel from the consummate gentleman.
What scathingly, brilliant ideas! Excellent read. Thank you.
You would be the perfect post-meltdown dinner guest, Monsieur C. Always polite, unfazed by change. And you'd bring your own cunning little sterno can, with which to re-heat the "rat innards surprise."

Your point is intact, here: doomed or not, we must be civil, and dress appropriately.
I thought I was reading the New Yorker. ~r
Spoken like someone who's truly well fed.

And here I thought endless war, crushing poverty and global pollution were unsustainable. Lets stop pretending we're helpless and on the Titanic. I'd rather throw a victory party than a quitters party.
Monsieur, your words are a beacon in this dark pit of faux pine scents and screaming apocolyptia.

I have donned my highest heels, my couture snuggie and the butler packed a lovely basket with appropriate charcuterie, delicate sweets and colder bubbly. Time to fire up the Packard and head for the hills!

avoir un sauvages temps..
This is so visually beautiful, as well as witty. Double winner! Happy New Year, sir.
No one and I mean NO ONE writes and shows photos with the elan of Monsieur, whatever would be do without you. Be well and know you make all of us feel so much more poised (love your use of that word) than we would be without you, our Open Salon and Table Talk gem of a man. All love,
You certainly have a way of putting the Party in the Apocalypse, Monsieur. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got a bit more self-destruction left in me. Cheers! XOXO
Glad the editors fixed the headline on your article. Congratulations on the EP.
At last, a sane response to eh Apocalypse . . . thank you, M. Chariot for sharing your impeccable illumination with us!
"To stave off premature Apocalyptomania, be sure to enjoy regular and total self-destruction."

Laughed my Snuggie off and spilled my absinthe!
Only a creative and highly skilled Photoshop master such as yourself could make a snuggie seem an elegant sartorial choice. If OS had a national treasure, you would most certainly be it.
Monsieur, your bon mots brightened my day - as always!
What an enjoyable read.
People need two x's read.
On my way to thee party`
I got thirsty. In a` 7/11`
I bought Wild Turkey.
I bought one six-pack.
I gulped.
I downed.
Sip 6- beer,
Sip one pint,
get refunds,
drink in line,
gulp prepay,
get refund ?,
buy 6- more?
Shop at?
Lancaster Brewery Company Preserves Great brews without chemicals`
no toxics`
I am suggesting? Enjoy good Friends who Brew Great Fellowship Safe Arenas.
Peace on Earth.
Sip Milk Stouts.
Stout Brew Oh.
Lactose Yeast.
A PA. Brews.
In NY. 5- cent.
$.05 refunds.
In line Ya sip.
Sip six beers.
Go to bashes.
no sour mash.
whiskey dizzy.
sip Adam wine.
H2O is water.
Sip Adam's Wine. No Whine. Adam's Wine is simply pure clean water. Sobriety.
Great inspiration.
I'll go to 7-11 agin.
No sip bathtub gin.
Ya get `no refunds.
Congrats for a EP.
send Ed a thanks.
Send postal mail.
No peeper peep.
Ed wears halter.
Botoxed Halter.
Bourbon drunk.
O Eats for three.
Eat pick-up truck.
silly. no eat halter.
be nice to lawyers.
they sip skim milk.
no invite de lawyer.
that's be more fun.
more food for free.
Thank Ya's Yummy.
Love Ya Mommies.
Honor thy Pa Paw.
Another fine piece by MC! You might want to consider adding to your recommendations the purchase of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse action figures, so that the kiddies also can enjoy the end of the world.
Ah! I feel like I can BREATHE. That was such a refreshing pin to the overly inflated news-apocalyptic messages of the time.
Also, don't worry, these dooms-day types tend to do this every 100 years, and around any sort of depression, war, or disaster. They've been saying it's the end of the world for the last 2,000.
My dear fellow! You have just provided our cure!
Need I say more?
More Highly Rated Than Usual & With Pinkies Extended
I'm afraid the Apocalypse has put on weight.
A brilliant guide to ensuring that the worst of times is also the best of times. You show us, too, that there is a third alternative to Tom’s “…not with a bang but a whimper” — with a party! Kudos for the illustrations as well as the prose.
Merci beaucoup for an enjoyable guide to the end times. I plan to order my Apocalypse Snuggie and stock my bar appropriately right away.

Joyeux Noel Monsieur!
This was absolutely FABULOUS! You are a real treat. :-)
You are devilish and sensible, particularly on points 6, 7, and 8. Rated and favorited, dear fellow!
You reminded me of Omar Khayyam's Rubaiyat:

"Ah love! could you and I with Him conspire To grasp this sorry scheme of things entire, Would not we shatter it to bits - and then Re-mold it nearer to the heart's desire!"

"A book of Verses underneath the Bough, A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread - and Thou Beside me singing in the Wilderness - Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!"

"Drink! for you know not whence you came, nor why: Drink! for you know not why you go, nor where."
But of course! Pip pip.
you had me at blatherskite...
Why couldn't we have had Ground Launched Cruise Missiles (GLCM) as elegant as yours?

(And what is up with the fruit of Gabby Abby's Loins? Aiiiee?)
I will print this out for future reference (because when the rapture comes the internet will be the first devil's tool to be smited).
I'd happily spend the Apocalypse with the young lady in the Eyes Wide Shut photo clip. I think I even have a similar mask laying around here somewhere.

Brilliant advice as always, Monsieur.
My dear Monsieur Chariot ~ indeed, this is beautifully done! I like the term "blatherskite" and will add that to my vocabulary immediately! A joyous holiday to you!!
This is my "go to" primer for the season and beyond. Merci.
This is high art as I have grown accustomed to from you Monsieur all I can do is quote Jim Carroll:
But it ain't no contribution
To rely on an institution
To validate your chosen art
And to sanction your boredom
And let you play out your part
Okay, after 77 comments, here I am, late as usual. But the important thing is that these are all valid points to consider and make use of. Leave it to a gentle person such as yourself to remain level-headed in these troubling times. I especially enjoyed your author tags, good reading--that. It's unfortunate that I am unable to accomplish number 7, but will definitely work on adopting a disguise, as this seems most practical, especially while riding the bus, as you well know.

Then again, burning down my house in the nude seems like it might just do the trick. It's been so long since my last orgiastic frenzy. Thank you Heloise, once again for your no-nonsense advice and insight into surviving modern life.

Seriously, your writing is magnificent. I always enjoy it.
Excellent guidance for handling the various looming disasters, assaults, contretemps, and apocalypses coming our way! I shall avail myself of some of your remedies, particularly since I am growing increasingly weary of depressing events in our democracy in decline.

I am also going to find a way to use "blatherskite" at least once a day.

May this holiday season bring you much joy and minimal discomfort :D
as always, your writing is among the most elegant and wittiest in OS

(you have disappeared from my favorites' list, an aberration that must be corrected immediately)
I've been absent from OS for some time. But then today, as I was checking my E-mail, there it was, a notice that I had a message from Monsieur Chariot! I'm so glad I was able to enjoy this before the end came, because I was led to believe I had until 2012!
ahh, brilliant, thank you m. chariot! i am inspired to order a camouflage mauve snuggie and peek through eyelet curtains with my sufficiently masked and veiled yet nude companions while sipping an absinthe in hell, which i was this close to inadvertently making myself once since i had run out of white sugar cubes, the crucial ingredient I was missing being the flame, which would've made it an absinthe purgatorium perhaps, a very poor cousin.
people don't get it. v. v. nice piece of satire mister. instead of congratulating mister on his remedy while the end is happening, how about facing up to the magnitude of our state and how all of 'this' influences us - because it does. What is news? media loves chaos and they choose it well.

I want Bliss. Happiness and pleasure you can buy in any market at a price. But bliss you cannot buy for yourself or for another. Happiness and pleasure are time-binding. Only in total freedom does bliss exist. Bliss, that strange sense of joy, has no motive. You cannot possibly seek it. Once it is there, depending on the quality of your mind, it remains timeless, causeless, and a thing that is not measurable by time. Meditation is not the pursuit of pleasure and the search for happiness. Meditation, on the contrary, is a state of mind in which there is no concept or formula, and therefore total freedom. It is only to such a mind that this bliss comes unsought and uninvited. Once it is there, though we live in the world with all its noise, pleasure and brutality, they will not touch that mind. Once it is there, conflict has ceased. But the ending of conflict is not necessarily the total freedom. In this explosion of bliss the eyes are made innocent, and love is then benediction.
Yay Monsieur! P.S. nobody does the End Times and Revelations like Jack and Rexella Van Impe!
I will print this out on fine vellum and keep it close at hand. Except for that Absinthe in Hell recipe; that I will commit to memory.
Absolutely brilliant reading, M. Chariot! Thank you!
Who needs an apocalypse or children? Fall madly passionately in love because it's possible.
My good friend Monsieur Chariot! Always a pleasure to read your writing and witticisms! I'll keep my fingers still, for you have said it all so well!