You are the proud owner of a peer. Whether you have chosen your peer for its distinguished feeding, or because it looked so cute and lovable, this book is for you. If you are a new peer owner, we recommend that you read this book carefully before attempting to train your peer. However, if you are a longtime peer owner, you may wish to turn directly to the chapters you are concerned with. In either case, we hope that you enjoy this book and use it frequently.
There are many people who made this book possible, and we would like to specially thank Lord Shallowear, who, at great personal risk, infiltrated the ranks of the PSN and ISN to gain much needed inside information. We are proud to add that, as a result of his research, Lord Shallowear has recently become a peer owner himself.
We are also indebted to our peers, without whom this book would have been impossible and unnecessary. Their quirks, tantrums, and training problems were the basis for much of this book.
We regret that we were unable to cover the individual peers and their particular problems, due to the lack of space and a real concern for our personal safety. However, we invite all of you to send us anecdotes about your particular peer, which will be published in our forthcoming book: _Owning A Peer for Fun and Profit._
Lord Wayward and Lady Burned-Out
Peers first seem to be honest, trustworthy, thrifty, local and kind, but you will soon find out that they have some undesirable habits and must be housebroken. They are tricky and often tactless and probably underhanded, as you will observe when your peer meets one of its own kind. Also, you will notice that they are universally cruel to their young. This becomes most evident when their wishes are thwarted. Peers have an almost childish need to have their own way and have been known to throw fits or sink into manic depression when they cannot.
Life with your peer will always be exciting and challenging. Although you may not like it all the time, it will broaden your horizons and stretch your mind - to the breaking point. (Get the hip boots out now!)
General Care and Feeding
In most cases, you will find that the peer you have chosen has only the most rudimentary training, so you must supplement this with the training necessary for them to function in polite society. This training consists of Discipline, Table Manners, and Court Etiquette.
This is the most necessary item in your peer's development - learning who is master and must be handled with care to prevent breaking its spirit. When a peer first misbehaves, slap it firmly on the nose while saying, "No, No! Bad Peer". If this unacceptable behavior continues, stronger measures may be necessary. One peer owner's method is to pick it up by the scruff of the neck, shake it till its eyes rattle, then throw it against the wall. This method has been highly recommended and is very effective. WARNING: DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES BEAT KNIGHTS AS THEY ONLY ENJOY IT.
Peers have notoriously bad table manners and may have to be retrained from scratch. A bib is usually necessary until they acquire some basic skills. Once these skills have been learned, you may decide to let your peer sit at the table on a trial basis. WARNING: DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE LET YOUR PEER SIT IN A HIGH CHAIR AS IT WILL FALL OUT AND HURT ITSELF.
Teaching your peer to behave in court is the most difficult, if not impossible task you will face. They are prone to sudden outbursts, having nothing to do with what is going on in court, and will utterly embarass you. It is your responsibility to alter this behavior, if you can. Refer to the section on Discipline for proper methods of instruction. In severe cases, refer to the chapter on Peer Diseases, particularly Hoof in Mouth Disease. If you manage to train them to sit quietly and attentively during court, congratulate yourself. WARNING: LAUREL OWNERS SHOULD DISREGARD THIS SECTION - MIRACLES ARE NOT POSSIBLE.
Most peers will consume vast quantities of anything, except in some cases where they have an aversion to liver or green things. You must be careful not to overfeed your peer as it will eat everything placed before it until it bursts, and then you will have to clean up the mess.
Peers have been known to sit up and beg for cheesecake, strawberries, scotch, oysters, coffee, amaretto, and any type of alcohol.
Most peers have harmless fantasies of obtaining great power and influence; these are normal and should be encouraged. However, some fantasies are totally unrealistic and sick. Fantasies which include hunting small harmless animals, praying for burglars to break in, wanting to command Roman legions, strange sex acts with men in swimming shorts, and even more bizarre relationships with farm animals such as pigs and sheep should be discouraged.
If any evidence of such abnormal fantasies should appear, drastic measures may be necessary such as making them listen to the top ten Irish hits by Slim Whitman, or watching Love Story ten times, or reading the Corpora without yawning, or any other appropiate disciplinary treatment to shock them out of their sick behavior.
Hoof in Mouth
A major disease among peers, varying in severity. This disease can be recognized by frequent outbursts of sarcasm, insults, and generally tacky comments. Laurels seem to have the mildest cases with rampant outbursts directed only at each other. Knights are most likely to contract this disease after consuming vast quantities of alcohol. Pelicans have the most severe cases, generally, and will lash out at anyone or anything in earshot.
Also called "Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, I'm gonna eat some worms." 'Nuff said.
Also called, "The kingdom will fall apart without me." Once only a Pelican disease, this has lately spread to the Knights. It requires vast amounts of coffee, patient reasoning, and a strong arm holding them back to combat this disease. Care must be taken that they don't go too far the other way, in which case they hallucinate about Pelicans lying belly-up all around the kingdom. Fortunately, Laurels will never suffer from this disease, as they don't care anyways.
This disease affects mostly Laurels, who believe that everyone is persecuting them. The other two species are unaffected, as Pelicans think they can outwit anyone else, and Knights KNOW that everyone is out to get them (and their new armour).
WARNING: THIS IS AN EXTREMELY IMPORTANT SECTION. IF YOU READ NO OTHER SECTION, READ THIS. THE LIFE YOU SAVE MAY BE YOUR OWN.
The spy networks are inter-related groups whose sole ambition in life is to get everyone, especially you, in trouble. Until recently, little information was available on the two main groups, but with the aid of Lord Shallowear, we have identified them fully. For ease of detection, we will use the same classifications already in use in Meridies.
PSN - (Peer Spy Network)
This is the largest group and consists of peers, those related to peers (spouses, associates, children, etc.) and those who have sold out to the peers. They report directly and only to the peers all information, gossip, slander, and secrets they can feret out in any way possible.
ISN - (Independent Spy Network)
This group consists of any member of the populace. They will sell out for personal profit, advantage, or just for the fun of it , to either and/or both sides. WARNING: THIS IS THE MOST DEVIOUS GROUP AND GREAT CARE MUST BE TAKEN AROUND THEM.
AIA - (Associates Intelligence Agency)
This close-knit, tight-lipped, select group, dedicated to preserving the lives and freedom of all associates, combats the other spy networks at any opportunity. This is the only group to supply us with reliable and free information upon request, at great personal risk and danger to their organization.
In conclusion, you can see that owning a peer can be more troublesome than owning any other pet. However, it does have its rewards......We haven't figured out what they are yet, but there have to be some ........ If you figure out what they are, please let us know immediately. Send all information to:
General Delivery, The Storvik Post
Yours in Slavery,
Wayward and Burned-Out
WARNING: The Chirurgeon General has determined that possession of this book can be hazardous to your health. In case of accidental discovery, use the attached self-destruct kit or swallow immediately, using one of these phrases to allay suspicion.
1. "What book?" (Only works on Knights)
2. "It's my new high-fiber diet"
3. "I thought I'd light a fire to warm the place up."