Class Act: Improving On the Lost Art of Calling Cards


There was a time, long forgotten now, when calling cards were a mandatory accessory for the well-appointed gentleman or lady. Serving a different purpose from the dreary business card, the calling card was a social statement; you thought highly enough of yourself to presume strangers would share your self-interest. Calling cards gave us your name, a byline, possibly your contact information – much like our blogs are set up today. When you arrived at a party or social function, you handed the white-gloved butler or doorman your card, who would then grandly announce your arrival to the gathered crowd.
Making a breathtaking entrance was an art form in itself, though altogether different, a matter which will be handled in a subsequent post.

I have a sneaking suspicion that not all calling cards made truthful statements about the announcee. For example, when a pedophile moved into a new neighborhood, do you think he went calling door-to-door on his new neighbors, handing out these:


And sure, Priests and Pastors came a’calling on new parishioners with a little white card that gave you their name and church address, but that didn’t necessarily include all of the information you’d maybe like to have about the religious organization vying for your worship. We know at least a few of those altar boys came home from church practice a little worse for wear. When the post office’s machinery damages my mail, they put it in a sealed plastic envelope, and send it to me along with their apology. I think the honest men of the clergy would have scored high points if they’d sent little Johnny home with one of these courtesy cards:

And let’s not ignore the coaches and camp counselors who got busy with other people’s kids:

And poor intentions toward the virtue of others is not restricted to innocent children. Wouldn’t you be better prepared to handle office politics if on your first day at the new job, the Human Resources manager handed you this card:

Integrity goes a long way toward garnering other’s respect. Who wouldn’t appreciate the mugger who showed the class to  properly introduce himself: 

We’ve all heard of hospitals making the most horrendous medical mistakes. Why not avoid the legal run-around, and just present the patients concerned family with a courtesy card which outlined the nature of their latest botch-up?
Custom calling cards for all occasions would be a must-have for professional victims:

And before that heartbroken family next door goes paying for Lost ads and posting “Missing” flyers all over town, those new foreigners might earn admiration by being direct:

Presenting a well-crafted calling card would also ease the awkwardness when printed with those off-handed comments we’d rather not risk actually making and embarrassing questions we’d feel safer not asking aloud:

Calling Cards written with integrity would likely be appreciated by men when hunting for a suitable life mate:
I, for one, am all for bringing back the lost art of presenting calling cards when introducing ourselves. Think of all of the potential confusion that will be avoided when we dispense with false or premature good impressions. If you know you are a douche bag and we receive your calling card announcing you as such, why, there’s just no good reason to waste our time trying to figure you out. Your calling card has done the work for us.

What would your calling card byline be, if you actually told the truth?

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Categories: 4 LAFFS, Product Reviews, View Finder | Tags: , , , , , | 23 Comments

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23 thoughts on “Class Act: Improving On the Lost Art of Calling Cards

  1. I think douches should have nametags saying that permanently sewed onto all of their clothing, too. I don’t trust them to give me a calling card.

  2. Ah. The Art of the Name Tag. Saves on paper and therefore spares the environment, too. I am for it.

  3. OMG. Yes these cards’ time has come. Let’s get honest.
    Linnie W
    Let Me At Your Shrubs (you didn’t like them anyway)

    • You might make a lot of insincere friends with that byline, people who just want their shrubs pruned. I would immediately invite you to tea at my place, then get called out on an emergency while leaving you alone in the yard, pruning shears strategically lying beside the overgrown arborvite.

  4. Nah. I would like other people to give me a calling card, but I prefer to keep them guessing. For as long as I can.

    • Me too. I would pretend I had upgraded to a more honest byline when I wrote:

      Embarassingly Wealthy Lady of Liesure

  5. Ahahahahaha! I think, to be fair, a panel of unbiased citizens should conduct an interview and help decide an honest byline. Because, let’s be serious…does a douchebag really know he’s a douchebag?
    Hilarious, Spectra!

    • HaH! I just laughed out loud – too true. Of course a douchebag thinks he’s awesome and everyone else is the problem. I vote on the panel idea. We form a committee and then sit down, based on our evaluations, decide on the byline. Women naturally do this anyway, don’t we?

  6. Oh man, this was all kinds of hilarious! I did a total spit-take at this gem: “a few of those altar boys came home from church practice a little worse for wear.” Ha!
    You should totally have these printed up and sell them.

    I think my by-line would be: Waiting for you to shut-up so I can say something way more interesting. I would run out of these in like an hour.

    • Now there’s an honest byline! Besides, what you have to say definitely is more interesting. I think I’d need a variety of bylines ready for different situations. I’ve known a few pathological liars in my day. When they get to practicing their lying craft, I’d just toss one of these cards down on the table and make my exit: Spectra – listening to your lies since 1976. Or, “Shut up. Now. biotch.”

  7. mjcache (Mel Cope)

    Hey Spectra, I enjoyed your clever and zany response to my ridiculous writing blog, so I cruised over and realised my reply of ‘tellin’ it how it is ‘ totally sums you up. Enjoyed your very entertaining blog.
    The Mystical Gnome says Hello. He’s drunk on red cordial… again.

    • That drunky little gnome needs a recovery program. Like ‘Celebrity Gnome Rehab’. But the first step is admitting to himself that he is a gnome, or he is doomed for failure.

  8. Hahaha. This is what the world needs. Johnny HappyPants might just haunt my dreams!

  9. I read this yesterday, but I guess I forgot to comment. So I’ll leave my calling card as Half-wit. That should give me plenty of freedom to do just about anything.

    Also…I wanted to let you know Spectra’s Dizzy Clinic for Mildly Insane Men has become a real need in Two Pan. Now your calling card can read….Salve Mistress for Your Itch.

  10. I shudder to think what my card would say. This is so funny! You are simply hilarious.

  11. Your style rocks!

  12. These are great! Although I’m not a Catholic priest, I think everybody could use a ‘Sorry I molested your child’ card once or twice in their lives. Or have I said too much?

    • Honesty should be rewarded by society more often. Then maybe there wouldn’t be so much secrecy when people break the law.

  13. Very cute. I am not artistically gifted enough to make calling cards such as the ones you presented, but I can think of examples we should have received. A very common one would be “Hello. My name is Rover. I am a neglected dog in your neighbor’s yard. I will bark all night while you are trying to sleep.” Or, Hello, My Name is Jack. My friends and I will have a drunken party on my roof all night long while you try to sleep.”

    So my wife and I moved to five acres in the woods on an island. Then we got a whole series of calling cards:

    “Hello. I am Mr. Eagle. Next to me is Mr. Coyote, Mr. Raccoon, Mr. Owl, and Mr. Hawk. We will try and eat your chickens. You do want to share, don’t you?”

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