The President’s Club Ball – An Etiquette Guide

For reasons that may never be fully explained, this year’s all-male President’s Club charity function has provoked some controversy, not to mention outlandish reports of ungentlemanly behaviour.

Luckily, everyone who attended the event was apparently deeply concerned, and appalled by the reports, at least according to their PR agencies, and immediately left after dinner without seeing anything untoward whatsoever. For those rare few that didn’t retire for the evening we’d like to offer this handy etiquette guide for next year’s event, should there actually be one.

1) Attending all-male social occasions

Generally, men don’t require safe spaces away from the unwanted attention of women, so choosing to spend your spare time at an all-male gala dinner may seem a strange choice in 2018. Likewise dictating the colour of your staff’s undergarments may also seem a touch unseemly, though a possible exception to this rule is if you are actually an underwear designer and planning this year’s Spring/Summer collection.

2) Enquiring if a lady is a prostitute

The nature of capitalism suggests that should the lady in question actually be a lady of the night then she will inform you of such at an appropriate juncture and probably produce her rate card for you to examine. If not then it is probably safe to assume she is in fact just a regular lady, though quite probably regretting all the decisions that have brought her to this point.

3) Touching

Should you find yourself clinging to the hand of a woman half your age who is not your daughter, then it is possible you may indeed be straying into dangerous waters. In fact, anything that could be described as groping, grasping or fondling by those who don’t realise how flattered they should be by your attention is best avoided. Pulling them into your lap is also a no-no, unless a runaway carriage is about to do them harm and your lap is literally the only safe place at hand. If you must do something with your extremities, consider sitting on them.

4) Exposing your penis

There are few occasions where producing your member, be it flaccid or fully engorged, is considered acceptable in a social setting. The only one that leaps to mind is if by some strange confluence of events beyond your control it has somehow caught fire and you require immediate assistance putting it out. Additionally, there are indeed hostelries where it is permissible to suggest a lady remove her underwear and dance on a table for you. If you are unsure if you are actually in one, then enquire with the barkeep whom I’m sure will be happy to confirm your location.

5) Prizes that involve lunch with Boris Johnson

A digression perhaps, but finding yourself at any function where people are actually bidding to have luncheon with the Foreign Secretary may in itself indicate you have made poor lifestyle choices somewhere along the line. Other potential indicators of such are attending any event where Vernon Kay is on the guest list, or where there is an option to bid on plastic surgery for your wife.

6) Non-disclosure agreements

For many unaware of your completely altruistic motives, the fact that you took the time to draw up a five-page, non-disclosure agreement for your staff might suggest you had an inkling as to your guest’s potential behaviour when let loose on the free bar. Perhaps in future consider providing items that are of more practical use for your hostesses, like pepper spray or potent anti-nausea medication.

And remember, charity begins at home – and for all attendees of the President’s Club dinner past and present – it might be best if you stay there.