Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Madeline Bassett’

ashokbhatia

Dear All,

As an Executive Secretary of the Animal Division of the International League of Happiness, I hereby appeal to all of you, especially sociologists, linguists, litterateurs, politicos and legal luminaries amongst you, to quickly evolve a purely vegan code of conduct for the usage of English and also to push through some judicial reforms, thereby facilitating happiness in the animal world.

Several species of animals are miffed at direct as well as indirect references to the members of their respective tribes, often in a derogatory manner. They believe that the tendency of Homo sapiens to use references to animals of any kind is to be curbed. They also plead for some legal reforms to be pushed through.

Some of the species which have already registered a protest with us are as follows:

  • Potato Chip, the famous race horse, takes a jaundiced view of the fact that politicians…

View original post 1,318 more words

Read Full Post »

Dear All,

As an Executive Secretary of the Animal Division of the International League of Happiness, I hereby appeal to all of you, especially sociologists, linguists, litterateurs, politicos and legal luminaries amongst you, to quickly evolve a purely vegan code of conduct for the usage of English and also to push through some judicial reforms, thereby facilitating happiness in the animal world.

Several species of animals are miffed at direct as well as indirect references to the members of their respective tribes, often in a derogatory manner. They believe that the tendency of Homo sapiens to use references to animals of any kind is to be curbed. They also plead for some legal reforms to be pushed through.

Some of the species which have already registered a protest with us are as follows:

  • Potato Chip, the famous race horse, takes a jaundiced view of the fact that politicians in several countries indulge in what is euphemistically referred to as ‘horse trading.’ He says he has no rights to demand a stoppage of such behaviour on part of our politicos, but would like the allusion to his breed in the said term avoided.
  • Wilfred, the alligator, is unhappy that the simple act of expressing pseudo-sadness is often referred to as someone ‘shedding crocodile tears.’
  • Bartholomew, the well-known canine in the service of Stiffy Byng, is not amused that top honchos in management are often referred to as ‘top dogs.’ What makes him even sadder is the use of the phrase ‘barking up the wrong tree’, which, he feels, makes light of the kind of sterling service his species renders to human beings, alerting them of imminent dangers and even saving their lives at times.
  • Augustus, the cat, takes a strong exception to the fact that junior employees across companies often use an expression which refers to her species as a tough and terrorizing boss in our democratic times. To say that ‘when the cat is away, the mice will play’ reflects a Theory X mindset, whereas human beings should be worrying about popularizing the Theory Y mindset instead.

  • The Empress of Blandings threatens to refuse her daily feed till the time the expression ‘bringing home the bacon’ gets obliterated from everyday use. Lord Emsworth is deeply disturbed about this unforeseen development, especially because the next local Shropshire Agricultural Show is not too far off. Queen of Matchingham, the prize sow of Sir Gregory Parsloe-Parsloe, heartily seconds the notion of adopting such a non-violent protest, following in the footsteps of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • Aunt Elizabeth, the hen with a much dreaded foul temper, has registered a strong protest against the use of the phrase ‘don’t put all your eggs in the same basket.’ If finance experts continue with this practice, she demands a share of the returns earned thus. Use of the term ‘hen pecked’ is also improper.She is of the view that meek and submissive husbands are more to be pitied than to be censured in such a manner.
  • Bovines point out several aberrations in the language used by human beings. (a) ‘A man’s meat could be another’s poison’ is a phrase which is objected to by all bovines. (b) Members of this species take a jaundiced view of the concept of ‘the milk of human kindness.’ They feel that the time is now ripe for human beings to openly acknowledge the benevolent kindness they, the bovines, show towards them, the humans. Keeping their calves starved while providing copious supplies of milk for human consumption is not their idea of fun in life. (c) Nor is it pleasant to know that one is being reared only to be slaughtered one of these days, when their Guardian Angels happen to be on a vacation. (d) Business magnates who label some of their verticals as ‘cash cows’ could soon find bovine herds protesting at their doorsteps with loud moos and a substantial deposit of excreta on their otherwise sparkling premises.
  • Bill the Parrot takes a satirical view of the expression ‘birds of a feather flock together.’ He is also consulting legal experts to find out what steps he can initiate against Twitter which clearly infringes on the rights of all avian tribes.
  • Members of the piscine species are upset about the usage of the term ‘fishy business.’ They also feel that they have not been given due credit for the supreme sacrifice made by one of their own in getting a matrimonial alliance between Bertie Wooster and Honoria Glossop scratched. After all, getting gobbled up by as many as 23 cats is not their idea of fun in life. Rupert Psmith, the Secretary General of the International League of Happiness, who despises anything related to fish, strongly urges all of you to cease and desist from using this term.

  • Bears and bulls look askance at being used as motifs for collective human behaviour in the stock markets.
  • Peter the snake is surely not enamoured of ladders but is surprised that a popular game of humans uses its name without prior authorization. If prompt steps are not taken through the right channels, a suit of infringement of copyrights could soon be on its way. A win in such litigation might leave the reptile hissing gleefully all the way to its bank.
  • Percy and Edgar, representing the tribe of swans of all sizes and shapes, whether angry or otherwise, are upset with the expression ‘cooking each others’ goose’, which, they feel, projects their brethren in a poor light. Right Honourable A B Filmer and many others could soon face another backlash. All of them are hereby advised to plan their boating trips accordingly. Moreover, they are of the considered opinion that the use of the term ‘duck’ in some sporting activity lowers their dignity, since it signifies a nil score.
  • Newts are none too pleased at the prospect of humans with negligible intelligence being addresses thus. Their pride is hurt. ‘Pissed like a newt’ is another rude expression which hurts them deeply. They are not clear as to why they should take the rap for persons losing control over their own gulping down of tissue restoratives in bulk.
  • Eustace the monkey is of the considered view that what his genetic successors refer to as ‘monkey business’ is a perfectly legitimate activity not to be sneered at. A delegation of his tribe is soon planning to get a legal notice issued to Homo sapiens, asking them to stop using such derogatory references to a species which ranks pretty high up in its IQ rankings.
  • The tribe of worms and caterpillars, adept at popping up in salad bowls and thereby meriting a sullen and reproachful look from the person on the table, is up in arms at one of their bluish limbless amphibian members being recently christened as Dermophis Donaldtrumpi. Most of these distant cousins happen to be blind to subtle shades of life and can merely make out the difference between light and dark. Also, they prefer to remain underground. But for them to be labelled after a President who downplays climate change and its ecological impact is a cause of serious concern. They believe that a reference of this kind is against their public relations policy. Moreover, anything that threatens the availability of green leafy vegetables and lettuce which they love nibbling in the company of their loved ones does not meet with their approval. They also detest crawling out of their dens early in the day, only to be devoured by an early bird.
  • Lions happen to be somewhat depressed these days. They feel that they are never allowed to tell their side of the story whereas hunters, who have not ended up garnering an obituary column, often keep walking away with all the glory. As advised by Wadswordth Hemmingway, the lawyer turned golfer, they have already filed a petition in the International Court of Justice, requesting that Principles of Natural Justice be followed.

Your kind support to quickly evolve a vegan variety of English is earnestly solicited. Linguists of other tongues may also follow suit and rid their respective languages of all idioms which have a link to the animal kingdom. It would be highly appreciated by all animal rights organizations across our planet. Appropriate legal reforms also need to be pushed through.

Such verbal and judicial weeding out would contribute towards our cause of ensuring a greater level of happiness in the animal kingdom.

With a cheery pip pip!

Madeline Bassett

Deputy Secretary – Environment

International League of Happiness

 

Note:

Iconic former French film star and the Brand Ambassador of our Animal Division, Brigitte Bardot, has already asked President Emmanuel Macron for a Christmas “miracle”, with closed circuit TV in abattoirs and a curb to hunting.

(Another post in the same vein: 

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2017/03/08/an-ass-ass-erts-itself)

Read Full Post »

Whether in literature or in fine arts, we relate to characters when we find an inner connection. There could either be a similarity in personality traits, or in the challenges faced. When this happens, we laugh with the person. We cry with the person. We willingly suspend our own beliefs and virtually start living the life of the character.

As a member of the tribe of the so-called sterner sex, I confess I have shades of quite a few characters etched out by P G Wodehouse. These could be males, or even females.

Amongst males, when it comes to notions of chivalry and a chin up attitude towards the harsh slings and arrows of Fate, Bertie Wooster becomes my role model. When the summons arrive from someone higher up in the hierarchy, and the prospects of a severe dressing down cloud the horizon, I meekly surrender and follow the messenger, trooping down to face the firing squad. Even if one is being led to the gallows, the chin should invariably be up. Also, when a pal in need has to be bailed out, no effort can be spared to bring solace to the tormented soul.

Jeeves is obviously a role model when it comes to advising others on solving the intricate problems of their own lives. The pleasure I get thus is readily explained. One, I am not obliged to follow the advice myself, so there is a comfort and a sense of objectivity to the whole act of dishing out advice. Two, it proves to be a short-term interaction. Pretty soon, the party of the other part realizes that my grey cells are but a fraction of those of Jeeves. They then do a vanishing trick the speed of which would embarrass an Indian fakir of yore doing a rope trick. They start avoiding me like the plague. Whenever they run into me next, they start checking if my head indeed bulges at the back, or if my eyes shine with the legendary keenness of his intelligence.

Rupert Psmith is another role model. Unlike him, I confess I could not woo females by lying without batting my eyelids while spending time with them on a boat adrift in a lake. But I could surely thwart an attempt by gang lords to skin a close pal alive. I could also persuade a young lass wanting to commit suicide to give up her homicidal thoughts and instead walk out of my office with a song on her lips, eyes sparkling with renewed hope. Her reasons could be as whacky as her boy friend having not ‘liked’ her social media post about the sharks she encountered while splashing about in the waters near Cannes. A dash of the occasional gift of the gab, you see.

When it comes to uplifting the intellectual level of some dim wits whom I happen to know, I take after the likes of Florence Craye and Vanessa Cook. I advise them either to read a Peter Drucker tome or devour some scholarly articles in reputed management journals which get unleashed on hapless managers at regular intervals. If they desist, I recommend to them one of my own books, so they might become sharper at managing their careers.

In matters of physical fitness, Ashe Marson and Honoria Glossop happen to secure my adulation.

When churning out a dreamy whodunit, Madeline Bassett and Rosie M Banks don the mantle of being my muse.

I cannot afford to have an Empress of Blandings on my humble premises. But as to forgetfulness, you could be forgiven to believe that I happen to be a cousin of Lord Emsworth.

At home, I have always tried to maintain matrimonial harmony by simply walking in the footsteps of Bingo Little. Before my bitter half decided to hand in her dinner pail, I tried to ensure that she never missed a steaming hot cup of tea first thing in the morning. When there was a spiritual event she wanted to attend, I normally rallied around by ferrying her to the same. Whenever a friend like Laura Pyke passed by, I retained my sangfroid and tolerated all the dietary restrictions imposed on me. To deliver satisfaction to her had invariably been my motto.

The mood of my Guardian Angels has seen some swings of late. Quite a few bouquets have come my way. Some brickbats – deserved as well as undeserved – have also got hurled at me. Fate has been busy targeting me with some harsh slings and arrows. But by doing so, it has ensured a spiritual awakening of sorts. Quite a few scales have fallen from my eyes.

Be that as it may, the chin remains up. The brow is not furrowed. The upper lip is not stiffened. The protective shield provided by the Wodehouse canon does not fail me.

Read Full Post »

ashokbhatia

The code that Bertie Wooster follows while interacting with the denizens of Plumsville has several finer shades to it.Code of the Woosters Cover 3

Here are some more examples, as gleaned from The Code of the Woosters.

Being a Boy Scout and a Bulldog

Bertie is invariably happy when playing the role of a boy scout. Performing little acts of kindness makes him happy. When Aunt Dahlia sends him off on a mission to sneer at the cow-creamer in an antique shop, he does not mind his morning plans getting changed.

When he arrives at the shop on Brampton Road, he runs into Sir Watkyn Bassett, CBE. The bulldog strain in the Woosters comes into play. He does not run away. He stands firm.

A Resilience of Nature

These are his feelings when, prodded by Jeeves and Stiffy, he agrees to go and tell Pop Bassett that he plans to marry Stiffy.

It has…

View original post 943 more words

Read Full Post »

Ms Ragini SGH, an ardent fan of P G Wodehouse, has whipped up a composition which all residents of Plumsville would cherish.

Someone once suggested writing a clerihew
Not too sure about it ‘coz the word to me was new;
I decided to try it with some of Plum’s characters
It requires great skill along with other factors.

 

Let’s begin with Lord Emsworth
His vocabulary was stunted at birth;
The most that he managed to speak
Made him sound like a pip squeak;
Many doubted his ability mental
But he was just shy and gentle.

 

Aunt Dahlia’s master chef Anatole
Often baked a huge Swiss roll;
Layers and layers of chocolate cream
Truly a sweet n delightful dream.

 

An interesting character is Gussie Fink Nottle
Who kept newts in a bottle;
He studied their habits in great detail
Identifying the male and the female;
In this study he was totally engrossed
By every character bossed;
For years he preferred staying in the country side
From crowds he always tried to hide.

 

Madeleine Bassett
Far too frivolous to be an asset;
Whenever it rained
She felt hurt and highly pained;
A fairy’s teardrops
Couldn’t be reported to cops.

 

As for Dear Bertie
He tries very hard not to be flirty;
Before he knows it he’s hooked
Waiting to be cooked;
Between Bobbie and Madeleine
He can but jump in vain.

 

Gally Lord Galahad,
Knows how to drive everyone mad;
With every smile
His friends run from him a mile;
He’s incorrigible,
Always on the lookout for the gullible.

 

Angela at Cannes saw a shark,
Tuppy thought it was probably a tree bark;
They had a huge spat
Heatedly giving each other tit for tat;
Angela decided to act tough
Told Tuppy he was ill mannered and rough;
Their engagement she did break
And wished Tuppy would go jump into a lake.

 

Hey Nonny Nonny!
A few words in favour of aunt Connie;
Whose brothers are weird
But her grey cells well oiled and geared.

 

Writing about Honoria I did consider
But that I felt would create quite a stir;
She’d quote lines from Nietzche
Bertie, she would verbally flay;
‘Coz he said she had a lion tamer’s voice
To befriend her would be much against his choice.

 

(Permission to blog it here is gratefully acknowledged.)

Read Full Post »

The code that Bertie Wooster follows while interacting with the denizens of Plumsville has several finer shades to it.Code of the Woosters Cover 3

Here are some more examples, as gleaned from The Code of the Woosters.

Being a Boy Scout and a Bulldog

Bertie is invariably happy when playing the role of a boy scout. Performing little acts of kindness makes him happy. When Aunt Dahlia sends him off on a mission to sneer at the cow-creamer in an antique shop, he does not mind his morning plans getting changed.

When he arrives at the shop on Brampton Road, he runs into Sir Watkyn Bassett, CBE. The bulldog strain in the Woosters comes into play. He does not run away. He stands firm.

A Resilience of Nature

These are his feelings when, prodded by Jeeves and Stiffy, he agrees to go and tell Pop Bassett that he plans to marry Stiffy.

It has been well said of Bertram Wooster by those who know him best that there is a certain resilience in his nature that enables him as a general rule to rise on stepping-stones of his dead self in the most unfavourable circumstances. It isn’t often that I fail to keep the chin up and the eye sparkling.

The Chin-up Attitude

When Bertie decides to go and search Stiffy’s room for Gussie’s notebook containing some juicy references to Pop Bassett and Roderick Spode, he is not very delighted at the prospect of carrying out his own plans.

I hate these surreptitious prowlings. Bertie Wooster is a man who likes to go through the world with his chin up and both feet on the ground, not to sneak about on tiptoe with his spine tying itself into reef knots.

When a butler tells Bertie that Madeline Bassett desires him to spare a moment for her, he can foresee the impending doom.

I gazed at the man dully, like someone in a prison cell when the jailer has stepped in at dawn to notify him that the firing squad is ready.
I braced myself with the old Wooster grit. Up came the chin, back went the shoulders.
‘Lead on,’ I said to the butler, and the butler led on.

Being Humane

Bertie is not fond of Sir Watkyn Bassett, CBE. He is the magistrate who had pinched Bertie for five quids by way of a fine at Bosher Street.

While being a guest of Aunt Dahlia’s, he has the audacity to make a job offer to Anatole, God’s gift to gastric juices. When Uncle Tom tells him about a silver cow-creamer being held for him at an antique shop on Brampton Road, he hatches a devilish plot to beat him to it. A sumptuous lunch made up of cold lobsters and sliced cucumber follows, making Uncle Tom miss his rendezvous with the shop keeper. Pop Bassett then nips across and buys the cow-creamer himself.

When Bertie is a guest of his at Totleigh Towers, he is not averse to getting his room searched for either a cow-creamer or a policeman’s helmet. Nothing in his record suggests that he possesses a niceness of feeling and a respect for the basic laws of hospitality.

But Bertie is a gentleman at heart. Having just given Pop Bassett a shock by stating that he intends to marry his niece Stiffy, he does not like the idea of Madeline rushing in to tell her father that she wants to marry Bertie. His humane instincts come to the fore.

I started. I could still see Pop Bassett’s face when he had thought that he was going to draw me for a nephew. It would be a bit thick, I felt, while he was still quivering to the roots of the soul at the recollection of that hair’s-breadth escape, to tell him that I was about to become his son-in-law. I was not fond of Pop Bassett, but one has one’s humane instincts.

‘Oh, my aunt!’ I said. ‘Don’t do that!’

A Stickler to Rules

When policemen’s helmets have to be pinched, there is a standard technique to be followed. Giving the forward shove before the upwards lift is the right way to going about it. But when Stinker Pinker swings into action, Constable Oates has taken his helmet off and put it on the ground. Pinker merely creeps up and grabs the desired object.

Bertie believes this to be a wrong way of pinching a helmet. He considers Stinker Pinker’s behavior morally tantamount to shooting a sitting bird.

Members of the Drones Club have strong views on these things. Even in acts of a goofy nature, rules must be scrupulously followed.

The Pumpkin Quotient

Bertie is quite clear when it comes to his ranking on a scale which measures the extent to being pumpkin-headed.

‘I can’t understand you, Bertie – the way you’re always criticizing poor Harold. I thought you were so fond of him.’
‘I love him like a b. But that doesn’t alter my opinion that of all the pumpkin-headed foozlers who ever preached about Hivites and Jebusites, he is the foremost.’
‘He isn’t half as pumpkin-headed as you.’
‘He is, at a conservative estimate, about twenty-seven times as pumpkin-headed as me. He begins where I leave off. It may be a strong thing to say, but he’s more pumpkin-headed than Gussie.’

Being aware of one’s Pumpkin Quotient is a quality many of us can learn.

Never Allowing the Upper Lip to Unstiffen

Depression comes in all sizes and shapes. But irrespective of whether it is U-shaped, V-shaped or W-shaped, we would do well to remember this advice from Bertie Wooster.

‘A short while ago, the air was congested with V-shaped depressions, but now one looks north, south, east and west and descries not a single cloud on the horizon – except the fact that Gussie’s wedding is still off, and that can’t be helped. Well, this should certainly teach us, should it not, never to repine, never to despair, never to allow the upper lip to unstiffen, but always to remember that, no matter how dark the skies may be, the sun is shining somewhere and will eventually come smiling through.’

Code of the Woosters has several facets. Each one tells us how (or how not) to lead our lives. The appeal of Bertie Wooster’s character perhaps lies in the fact that these aspects of his conduct touch our inner chords, that too in a manner which is light-hearted and liberally laced with heady humor.

(Part 4: Decodifying the Code of the Woosters)

[Related Posts:

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2014/10/20/bertie-wooster-and-the-art-of-breaking-bad-news-gently

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2014/10/26/when-bertie-wooster-decides-to-assert-himself

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2014/10/30/of-bertie-goofy-females-and-the-wooster-clan

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2014/11/09/bertie-never-lets-a-pal-down

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2014/11/16/de-codifying-the-code-of-the-woosters%5D

Read Full Post »