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Inferno Etiquette

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chicago-fire1.jpg

Mark Twain’s list of 27 items to be rescued from a boardinghouse fire:

  1. Fiancees
  2. Persons toward whom the operator feels a tender sentiment, but has not yet declared himself
  3. Sisters
  4. Stepsisters
  5. Nieces
  6. First cousins
  7. Cripples
  8. Second cousins
  9. Invalids
  10. Young lady relations by marriage
  11. Third cousins, and young lady friends of the family
  12. The unclassified
  13. Babies
  14. Children under 10 years of age
  15. Young widows
  16. Young married females
  17. Elderly married ditto
  18. Elderly widows
  19. Clergymen
  20. Boarders in general
  21. Female domestics
  22. Male ditto
  23. Landlady
  24. Landlord
  25. Firemen
  26. Furniture
  27. Mothers-in-law

“In either ascending or descending the stairs,” Twain wrote, “the young gentleman shall walk beside the young lady, if the stairs are wide enough to allow it; otherwise he must precede her. In no case must he follow her. This is de rigueur.”