12 December 2008

Eyes and Ears - 12/12/2008

All good people read good books
Now your conscience is clear
- Tanita Tikaram

After the last couple of weeks of rewarding but fairly heavy going reading, this week required something uplifting, something to be read for the pure pleasure of it. And so I turned to my old desert island standby: PG Wodehouse. Specifically, the Jeeves and Wooster books. I've tried other Wodehouse but nothing does it for me like the sheer silliness of Jeeves and Wooster.
The old lemon throbbed fiercely. I got an idea.

As for Gussie Finknottle, many an undertaker would have been deceived and started embalming on sight.

Had Stinker encountered Spode on the football field, he would have had no hesitation in springing at his neck and twisting it into a lovers' knot. The trouble was that he was a curate, and the brass hats of the Church look askance at curates who swat the parishioners. Swat your flock and you're sunk. So now he shrank from intervening and when he did intervene, it was merely the soft word that's supposed to turn away wrath.
"I say, you know, what?"

My Aunt Dahlia has a carrying voice... If all other sources of income failed, she could make a good living calling the cattle home across the Sands of Dee.

"Have you ever seen Spode eat asparagus?''
"Revolting. It alters one's whole conception of Man as Nature's last word.''

It was the sound of aunt calling aunt. Like mastodons bellowing at one other across a primeval swamp.
You get the picture. I hope.

I'd never read any Wooster until 1988 when I was laid up in hospital with tubes sticking out of me everywhere, recovering from a burst appendix. I was nearly out of my mind with boredom and constant vomiting when one of my uncles, Raffles, brought me in a stack of Woosters to read. Not only did they make me laugh until I literally hurt, each evening when he came to visit the two of us would recite our favourite lines to each other.

Which, you know, made a for a bright and pleasant change from quoting Leonard Cohen.

Every home should have at least one Jeeves and Wooster book in its library - indeed, even if it happens to be the sole book that constitutes its library. It is, as Homer Simpson says, good for what ails you.

Radio hb:
Contact - Big Audio Dynamite
Motorhead - Corduroy
All Your Jeans Were Too Tight - American Music Club
World, Shut Your Mouth - Julian Cope
Raise the Alarm - Big Dog

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