5.7.15: Boot Camp For Butlers, The History Of The Graham Cracker

May 7, 2015

Serving today’s ultra-rich may not be so much about finicky Downton Abbey-esque table settings, but it often involves lots of unexpected duties. On today’s show, we’ll talk to a writer who enrolled at the nation’s foremost “Butler Boot Camp,” where students learn to navigate the whims and habits of today’s elite. Then, the story of Sylvester Graham and his signature snack: the graham cracker, which was borne out of philosophy that promoted chastity, temperance, and the prohibition of alcohol, tobacco, caffeine and spices. All of which could excite our animal desires. 

Listen to the full show

Butler Boot Camp

For about 20k, students can learn how to oversee and care for today’s great estates at something called, Butler Boot Camp at the Starkey International Institute of Household Management in Denver, CO.  Freelance writer John P. Davidson attended the camp and wrote about it for Harper’s: "You Rang? Mastering the Art of Serving the Rich."

The Bizarre History of the Graham Cracker

Adee Braun wrote about Sylvester Graham for The Atlantic, which reveals how the inventor of the graham cracker had some radical ideas about diet and sexual urges.

Read the article: "Looking to Quell Sexual Urges? Consider the Graham Cracker."

The Woman Who Made Playboy A Great Read

  In 2005, writer Amy Grace Loyd was hired to revive Playboy’s traditions of stories from the likes of Hunter S. Thompson and short fiction from Margaret Atwood, or that scandalous interview with Presidential candidate Jimmy Carter.  Amy was Playboy’s Fiction and Literary Editor for seven years, and she wrote in Salon about some of the ribbing she took for a job she loved. Her first novel, The Affairs of Others is now out in paperback.

A Suspicious Man in Wing-Tip Shoes

A true tale of how Playboy magazine inspired one young man to briefly enter a world of petty crime. This story is from the "True Story Podcast."

You can listen to this story again at PRX.org.