My Irish Up: How to be dashing

Mike Corrigan

Mike Corrigan

By Mike Corrigan

BN Columnist

Dashing and debonair Patrick Macnee, who played the sophisticated secret service agent who had a way with the ladies in “The Avengers”… review in Esquire 

When you need to be dashing and debonair, add that touch of class with a tie by Prada… Adv. in GQ

After a good deal of soul-searching, discussions with my therapist and inquiries into some of the more fashionable men's magazines, I have decided that in the month of May I can afford to be dashing only. I know, I know, last month my goal was to be dashing and debonair but the rentals of tux and spats and the purchase of the gold-plated cigarette lighter and the Lincoln Town Car sent me to the very edge of bankruptcy. Frankly, debonair became impossible to pull off, even before I had accumulated all of the proper accessories, due to the fact that after acquiring the lighter I couldn’t afford the cigarettes, after getting the Town Car I couldn’t afford the gas, and renting the tux cost much more than I’d planned and I couldn’t afford the Prada tie, or even the rent. Consequently, I never left the driveway in my shining black car (since repossessed — the leeches!) and in my walks around town to show off my wardrobe I was robbed of my lighter by some street urchins, who already had the cigarettes, and who also broke my umbrella and cane in a fit of jealousy. People just don't appreciate “quality” anymore.

Being simply dashing, my financial advisor agrees, makes considerably more sense for me, since to dash requires only a flaunting of convention and a good deal of devil-may-care elan. Fortunately, I have always displayed these qualities in abundance. And best of all, to dash costs nothing, which is… exactly the amount I have left in my bank account, after my overly-debonair April. Dashing is actually a sort of trompe l’oeil of the personality, as the secret of the thing is to make the rakehell best out of material possessions already owned. To dash is a matter of confidence and verve, of carrying things off with flair, thus provoking the jealous stares of the competition — and the admiring glances of the more discerning ladies.

Take yesterday. I dressed in my usual clothes but cropped my beard to a sharp point, waxed my moustache, made the best of my already-broken glasses by splitting them into one classy monocle and a wicked shard since donated to the Lions Club, dug out an old fedora and — as la piece de la resistance, as we formerly debonair men-about-town say — stuck into the hatband a blue jay feather I found on the street. Ta-da-DA, baby! Suddenly, this old man was dashing! I projected such an unexpected and understated stylishness that I scared the cat. Later, while in Cumberland Farms, a bluff fellow who probably only wished he could be dashing, muttered something companionably and gave me a nudge and a wink, in his enthusiasm for my getup accidentally knocking me into the pyramidal beer display, creating something of a ruckus, I'm afraid. But the clatter called even more attention to my boldly “styling” outfit. A young lady, finding me sprawled underfoot as she reached for a four dollar bag of pork rinds, regarded my getup and emoted with great sincerity, “Pbbbt, nice feather!” And then she laughed gaily. From the floor, I doffed my hat while the young thing, still laughing, actually bowed. She must have been moved, or why else the tears through her laughter? Her awe must be forgiven. In Lewiston, there are not a great many opportunities to rub shoulders with the truly stylish.

In America, in fact, clothes don’t make the man but they can unmake him. Your tonier businessmen are required to flaunt $1,000 suits and $10,000 watches and $40,000 cars, or how else to assure themselves that they have arrived? These men get their money by selling things to other men in thousand dollar suits, checking their $10,000 watches and roaring off in their $40,000 cars. For people who have just arrived, it is astonishing how quickly most of them leave after the deal is done.

Having been bankrupted by my foolish overreaching for the debonair in April, I have found the perfect opportunity to join my fellow success stories in New York City and Beijing. I see that the Powerball has once again pushed past $200 million. I didn’t win the last time, but today I bought five tickets. That ought to do it. I’ll be able to buy so many blue jay feathers I’ll freakin’ fly!

Mike Corrigan has recently gone through a near-death experience (otherwise known as aging) and may be overreacting to the fact that for the third year in a row he was left off the World’s Sexiest Man list altogether. Our advice: Botox. It works for us!

Please follow and like us: