RANGE: These most class-conscious of all sprites haunt private school
reunions, society weddings, ski resorts, regattas, hunt club balls, squash,
racketball, and bankruptcy courts; that is, wherever the alumni of expensive
boarding schools are likely to be found.
HABITS: Preps Ghouls like to get under the (upper) crust of the well
(white)-bred. It is they who sprinkle dandruff on the shoulders of every navy
blue blazer, dab a seagull dropping on the peak of each yachting cap, add a
splash of hollandaise to every old school tie, spill a too-too embarrassing
Bloody Mary stain on every white pleated skirt, and insert a bit of spinach
(from the quiche) between the teeth of the hostess in the reception line.
The favorite trick of a Preps Ghoul is to assume the form of the former
class nerd (whose name you simply cawn’t remember), let it be known that
he has done very very well, and then . . . not recognize you!
When tormented by excessive Preppy manifestations—an outbreak of
madras, monograms, and duck prints, for example—try the Caulfield
Maneuvre: put a red hunting hat on backwards and have a nervous
HISTORY: Preps Ghouls hail, of course, from England, where private
schools are called public schools (because they aren’t) and are all named
(appropriately) after impossibly tight collars (Eton), or inflated pigs’ bladders
(Rugby). The original Preps Ghoul attended the latter institution, and wrote
the book, Tom Brownie’s Ghoul Days.
The Yankee Preps Ghouls’ ancestors came over (steerage) on the
Mayflower, to New England, where they hoped the Puritan work ethic would
apply only to the working class. Here, they tended the ivy and climbed with
They can now be found throughout America, wherever the parvenu rich
don’t want their offspring to have to compete in examinations against the
children of the intelligent.
SPOTTER’S TIPS: You will find the Preps Ghoul loitering about wherever
balding blond people of either sex look—and laugh—like their horses.