Being A Modern Ogre

From time to time, everyone gets lonely. Unlike others you know who have formed tightly knit groups, you have always just kind of tended to be a solitary soul. Frankly, it’s hard to deal with people on a regular basis. You’re not exactly the social butterfly. You’ve never been very outgoing, certainly could never be described as an extrovert, and sometimes you’d prefer if everyone just left you alone. But sometimes, even someone like you could use some company. Unfortunately, you’re an Ogre – and not the civilized kind.

ogre-uncivilized

Yes, a lot of Orcs and Ogres have kept up with modern times, but you’re not one of those. You’ve managed to somehow fall behind the curve and it has greatly impacted your social life as the rest of the world passed you by and took your friends with it. Once upon a time you were fairly standard for an Ogre, but several of your friends have long ago settled down with a nice woman who has gotten them into shape. In fact, since then, they haven’t really come by your place that much either. At first you thought they were sick, but they’ve clearly decided she smells better than you do – not that it was much of a contest.

This makes things tricky. Simply being an introvert or anti-social is a hard enough mountain to climb. But an anti-social backwater Ogre? Even the ice breakers generally involve a lot more screaming than you’re willing to tolerate. You can’t remember the last time you invited someone to dinner where the guest didn’t bring a pitchfork. And let’s not forget the shed. Frankly, you’re a little surprised that so many women were interested enough to get there. Maybe it was the intimidation factor, the wealth, your reputation, or that fabulous beard – it’s kind of hard to tell.

bluebeard

Regardless, now that the season of parties is upon us, you’re looking to make some invitations and try again. If you’re ever going to get back in touch with your brethren, you’re going to have a lot of catching up to do. Hopefully, this time, nothing will get set on fire…

Better Homes And Ogres

ogre-house

The first thing to remember is that it’s not them, it’s you. I know, harsh, but you’ve been isolated for so long you’ve lost all sense of normality. This happens to everyone, but it’s particularly dangerous for someone like you since you’ve grown so used to your status quo. As the rest of Orc and Ogre society moved on and got modern innovations like plumbing, you’ve kept to the old ways. When’s the last time you cleaned your clothes? How many human bones are lying around the house? Did you ever feed that donkey that wandered into your territory? What’s that smell…?

Please tell me you at least buried the donkey.

Anyway, the point is to try to address your own problems so you can make other people comfortable enough to actually spend time with you and without weapons. So, first, let’s deal with the elephant…well…mammoth in the room…

Grooming

ogre-bath

Unfortunately, some of that smell is not the donkey. As mentioned before, you’re one of the last hold outs, a relic of a bygone era who brings a bit of shame to your people. You may not notice, but there has been some fungal growth and you’ve simply gotten used to it. We can’t be entirely sure how that happened, but we can know that it should probably be addressed before you try to go anywhere or deal with humans, Orcs, or other Ogres. So, this may take extreme measures: try bathing.

clawfoot

Invented in approximately 3300 BC, the bathtub (as humans call it) is a vital piece of equipment for maintaining social status. You will wish to fill it with water, heat it to a comfortable level, and then sit in it for a period of time. As you do so, you will wish to use another invention made several centuries later: soap. This should be rubbed against surfaces which require cleaning, preferably creating a lather much like the foam that occasionally forms in your mouth from time to time. Together, the soap and water will slowly begin to peel away the ambergris-like material that has caked across your skin.

ambergris

This will soon make the water somewhat sludge-like and distinctly Ogre colored. This is your cue to empty the tub, wash it with bleach, then fill again. Repeat this process until the water in the tub can be seen through. At this point, you may consider yourself somewhat presentable. Please now do the same for your clothing.

There, don’t we smell ple-…tolerable now? Good, now it’s time to do something with the beard. In recent years Orcs and Ogres have taken great pride in their facial hair, much like the Vikings of old, braining their beards and working intricate designs into it. This is becoming a little less popular with the advent of hipsters, but so long as you avoid the ironic t-shirts or old-timey clothes you should be fine.

beard
It could even be functional

So have at it, it did seem to be the thing that got you all the attention back in the day, what with the room full of women that once flocked to your magnificent beard–

Actually, while we’re on that subject.

The Mess

blood-stained-room

So, you may recall the mention of that shed. I know, I know, we’re not supposed to talk about it, but the truth remains: people are turned off by a room full of corpses. In fact, it’s probably good to remove anything that remotely resembles a torture chamber, mass grave, or casually discarded skeleton. Yes, these are part of your charm, but they can be a bit off-putting on any day other than Halloween.

Though, side note, if you leave a few of these things for Halloween it’ll be fine so long as you deal with the smell.

The smell is of utmost importance. There will be things consumed at such a party and no one likes to be driven to nausea and vomiting before the first couple rounds. It’ll happen eventually, but you’d like the place to smell fresh and clean before the party and back to your normal after. In fact, this is probably a good metric for how well the party went because it’ll tell you just how crazy the guests actually got. If it’s like you never cleaned in the first place: you won!

aftermath

But, while on the point of consuming things, there’s another thing worth discussing…

Food &Table Manners

table

No good party is without some form of food, whether it be buffet, barbecue or…okay I was about to say fine dining but, let’s be honest, not your thing.

First things first, while it has been out of style for some time, you’ve also been out of touch. Try not to eat anything currently living – especially nothing cute or human-like. People don’t like this, it’s not something they want to be involved with. In fact most people do their best to pretend it’s never happened. The only time that you could be even remotely allowed is if you have an intentionally morbid theme party. But, even then, try to avoid anything baby shaped that’s made of meat – strictly cake at most.

duff-baby-cakes
Even that is a little much

And once you do eat it, there are certain conventions among people that must be followed. First, unless it is a finger food that is served on a tray, we try to avoid shoveling food into our mouths with our hands. I know, you’re cleaner than you’ve ever been before, but it’s still worth noting because your friends adopted utensils years ago. Also, we try to take smaller bites, no devouring something whole, as it is seen as rude here. No reason to be ashamed, however, because humans do the same from time to time.

And, as for what you serve: anything that you can make a lot of and have appear fresh and untainted. Yes, your constitution means you could eat just about anything and not get sick, so that’s not something you’ve had to worry about before. But humans are a gentler folk and the rest of your friends are doing their best to blend in with the fragile little things. As such, something light, easily shared, and, once again, fresh but not living.

sharpening

Though, final addendum on the subject, realizing how that could be misconstrued. When saying fresh, it is not the opinion of this blog or any other sensible advice column to slaughter the animal at the table or in front of the guests. Yes, fresh free range meat is often more popular now than something factory farmed, but no one likes to see how the sausage gets made. Try to do all preparations long before anyone actually arrives to your door.

Follow these words, and you too can become a modern Ogre, like your friends before you…

Oh, right, and maybe next time we talk about anger management.

(I write novels. I’m also anti-social. But I still have a twitter account so I can pretend to be otherwise.)

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