Saturday, 15 March 2008

another gem (after a night on the Pastis)

For years I had believed that these lines:

'Shot? So quick, so clean an ending?
Oh that was right, lad, that was brave;
Yours was not an ill for mending,
'Twas best to take it to the grave'

were about a horrified young Edwardian who had discovered that he was a homosexual. I am in a position to correct literary history in this matter. The lines are about a horrified chap in early middle age who has discovered, one morning, that he has no head for Pastis. This, you see, was not the common hangover of commerce, it was a Plague of Egypt with a top-dressing of the Black Death. Quite clearly incurable. I touched the bell.
'Jock,' I said hollowly, 'pray bring me a pot of tea -- the Lapsang Souchong Tips I think -- and a loaded revolver. Mine is not an ill for mending: I propose to take it to the grave but I wish to blow the top of my head off first. I have no intention of spending eternity with the top of my head in its present condition.'
He started to steal away.
'Oh, and Jock,' I added, 'when you bring the tea-tray I implore you not to let the spoon or other cutlery rattle against the revolver.'

Yes, more brilliance from The Mortdecai Trilogy. I've spent this evening cackling my head off on the couch with a bottle of wine, thankful that it is not Pastis (which is just absinthe without the wormwood, you know).

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