En Passant

In an otherwise-unmemorable piece on woke-scolds ending Comedy As We Know It, NRO mouthpiece Jay Nordlinger says this:

I received a note from my old friend Larry Shackley, a longtime NR reader and a great admirer of P. G. Wodehouse. In fact, Larry is reading through the complete Wodehouse — complete — right now.

…as though this were somehow unusual.  Maybe it is, for Murkins who — for shame — don’t know who Pelham Grenville Wodehouse was.

To call P.G. Wodehouse one of the most-read humorist writers of the 20th century is to understate the thing — he is quite possibly the greatest humorist writer, ever.  Here’s a personal indicator.

When I left South Africa in 1986, I brought with me three suitcases of clothes, my cameras and a few other things I couldn’t bear to part with.  I brought only two books with me (from a library of well over a thousand), and those were The World of Psmith (a compendium of three books) and The Jeeves Omnibus (another compendium).  Both were written by P.G. Wodehouse.  I reasoned — correctly as it turned out, in those pre-Amazon times —  that I wouldn’t be able to find them here.

And there was just no way I was going to live in a house without Wodehouse.

Now, a lot of people don’t “get” Wodehouse because most of his situations are concerned with utterly trivial concerns — trivial maybe to us, nowadays, and certainly only non-trivial to the English upper classes circa 1928.  (One story involves the “theft” of a wonderful cook by one titled twerp from another titled household.)  But that doesn’t stop the brilliant writing from making one burst out with uncontrollable laughter occasionally.

And it should be said that Wodehouse himself was very much a fervent socialist — his take on the peccadilloes of the English upper classes is almost invariably satirical — yet his satire is not the bitter waspishness of Private Eye  magazine, but gentle and almost indulgent.  Look at these idiots, he seems to say, see how foolish and inconsequential they are.  One of my favorite lines from the Bertie Wooster stories comes when Bertie is beset with looming trouble and catastrophe, and says to his long-suffering “gentleman’s gentleman” Jeeves as he is being dressed for dinner:

“At a time like this, Jeeves, I wonder whether the length of one’s trousers actually matters,” and receives the gentle rebuke:
“There is never  a time, sir, when the length of one’s trousers doesn’t matter.”

Wodehouse left England for a career as a Hollywood scriptwriter, only to become embroiled in the Cold War-McCarthyism of the Fifties.  How ironic, then, that he, the one-time socialist, should write of that time:

“Humorists have been scared out of the business by the touchiness now prevailing in every section of the community. Wherever you look, on every shoulder there is a chip, in every eye a cold glitter warning you, if you know what is good for you, not to start anything.”

What was practiced on the socialists of that era is being repeated with even more venom and coldness by the P.C. (and mostly socialist) tribe of today.

Anyway, enough of that.  I think I’ll marmalade a slice of toast, and go and read A Pelican At Blandings, featuring the wonderfully-named Galahad Threepwood of whom it was said (and I paraphrase) that he was so ardent a party animal that he hadn’t slept till age fifty.  And if anyone should think that I resemble Galahad’s elder brother Clarence, the Earl of Emsworth, who looks with utter bewilderment on the modern world and prefers to retreat to his library and read — well, you’d be absolutely correct.

Worldly Goods

Not many people can tell a story like Taki, and this excerpt, about him signing his will at a lawyer’s office in Switzerland, is one of his gems:

An eerie business is the one about death and making a will.  One becomes a judge and jury of one’s friends, dispassionate and coldly rational, “reward and revenge standing at his elbow ready to nudge his pen.”
Not in my case. I’ve already made a will long ago and turned everything over to the mother of my children.  Let her deal with it, I simply cannot face it.
When I signed the will in front of a lawyer and notary public, the lawyer asked time and again if I was in my right mind.  (It’s a Swiss requirement.)  “Not really,” I answered, “but she’s got a gun pointed at me under the table.”
The Swiss did not find it funny and demanded I get serious.
“I’m seriously out of my mind,” I repeated, “but I don’t wish to be shot in cold blood.”
They threatened to walk out, so I gave in and signed after categorically stating that I was turning all my assets over of my free will.
I could almost hear them thinking what an idiot I must be.  The Swiss do not believe in letting easily go the root of all envy.

It should be remembered that the old Greek fart is himself heir to a considerable fortune derived from his family’s shipping business — no wonder the Swiss thought he was crazy, leaving it all to one person.

Dept. Of Righteous Shootings

From Charlotte N.C. comes this wonderful news:

Police say a gas station customer was acting in self-defense when he took matters into his own hands Thursday morning, shooting two suspects who tried to rob the store.
Chaotic moments broke out just before 4am at the 7-Eleven in the 4800 block of Brookshire Boulevard.
Police say the two teenage suspects, identified as Qwanterrius Stafford and Brenna Harris, first robbed the customer of his wallet before turning their attention to the store clerk.
“They immediately went straight to him, pointed a gun at him, within inches of his face, very aggressively pointed a gun at him,” Sgt. Brian Scharf with CMPD said.
They had no idea that customer inside had a lawfully concealed gun until he fired shots at both suspects.
Stafford, 16, died inside the store, according to investigators. Harris, 17, got about a mile and a half away on Saratoga Drive before police took him into custody.

[pause to let thunderous applause, jeers and catcalls die down]

Given the names of the would-be property-redistributors, I’m not even bothering to play “guess the race” of the choirboys.

Suffice it to say:

Good Guy 1.5, Goblins 0

You may all go do your Happy Dance now.

Buycott

As stated earlier, I’ll be moving today, and you know how much stuff you need when you move in, right?  Then we have this situation:

Home Depot Co-Founder Bernie Marcus told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in a recent interview that he plans to donate a part of his fortune, which has a net worth of $5.9 billion according to Forbes, to Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign. He said that although Trump “sucks” at communicating he should be given credit for boosting jobs in America and taking strong stances against China, Iran, and North Korea.
Following the article’s publication in late June, some shoppers at the home improvement supply giant expressed outrage over the 90-year-old’s decision and vowed to boycott the store. The hashtag #BoycottHomeDepot also started to emerge on social media.

But as author and political commentator Dan Bongino‏ notes:

“Liberal boycotts are a joke, just like liberals. The best thing for your business is a liberal boycott. Your sales will explode after lunatic libs announce their ‘boycott’. Just ask Chick-fil-A.”

So guess where I’ll be getting all my household hardware needs for the next week or two… and there’s a branch just a few blocks away.

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