Saturday, 15 March 2008

A rather interesting, tasteless and downright lovely passage from the Mortdecai Trilogy

The old lady continued to stare fixedly at the tasteful sepia view of Tewkesbury Abbey, above my head, perhaps willing it to fall on me. I must say I rather liked the cut of her jib, while her clear distaste for the Mortdecais of this world did her credit. I have often thought of acquiring an old lady to keep as a pet. They'd be of little use for a shooting man, of course -- no nose, d'you see, and useless over marshy ground -- but for the town-dweller they are incomparable. I cannot understand why people pay fortunes for nasty cats and dogs who leave puddles and puppies and kittens all over the place when, for nothing but the cost of her keep, one can have an old lady, clean as a new pin and warranted past child-bearing. Old ladies can help one, too, in countless little ways such as marking shirts and arranging flowers: tricks which few dogs and no cats can be taught. True, they can be noisy, but I imagine that a few cuts of the whip would break them of this -- or I dare say they could be surgically muted for a trifling sum. True, too, they are a wasting asset and, if you had the bad luck to pick a poor doer, she might become bed-ridden and linger on for years; a misery to herself and a burden to others. I suppose the thing to do would be to leave, pointedly, a bottle of brandy and a loaded revolver on her commode, as one used to do with a Guards Officer who'd been caught with his fingers in the tambourine.
People shouldn't keep people if they're not prepared to look after them, don't you agree?

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