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The first in a series of guest posts by our etiquette expert*R.M. Banks.

Some questions require a prompt answer. Others are rhetorical. Some are neither.

At the end of the labouring day, you slide from the pneumatic swivel*chair, into the patented rainproof, and around the corner into the White Hart or Red Lion. There you are greeted by the friendly scowls of your regular drinking college and*promptly*put the oesophagus to work on 568ml of the publican’s finest. After you have expressed your satisfaction — in my experience, a long “Aaaaaaaaaaaah!” is hard to beat — you are fair game to be drawn into conversation.
“What was the name of the bloke,” says the IT consultant from Cheam with a mouthful of dry-roasted, “who was in Logan’s Run? The blonde feller*with the rubbery lips.”
“Ah-hah!” you ejaculate, and reach at once for the pocket on your Oxford bags where nests the smartphone. Wikipedia is bookmarked from the homepage — an answer is but seconds away.
But cease! You have gravely mistake*your legume-chewing interrogator’s purpose, and are about to commit a*faux pas.
Do you suppose that*the inquisitive consumer of peanuts**is not aware of the existence of the internet? Is that not, indeed, lying in a*pool of Strongbow cider on the bar before the questioner, a Samsung Galaxy S5 with all the trimmings?
The question, you ass, was intended to provoke something along the lines of a debate,*only without any nutritional content.
Let me put it another way: as with hiking, reaching the destination is not the point, and, in fact, the terminus is*to be given the swerve for as long as the feet hold out.
By all means suggest*“Charlton Heston?” or perhaps “Simon MacCorkindale?”. Throw in a “Simon Ward?” if the mood flags. But, at all costs, avoid*speaking Michael York’s name at least until last orders have been called.
And next time, leave your smartphone tied to a post outside.
Modern Pubmanship, Part 1: Smartphones