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Posts Tagged ‘Milk of HUman Kindness’

 

The 24th of March, 2020 dawned upon us as any other normal day. Denizens of India were going about their daily chores with as much zombiness as they could muster. Flowers were in bloom. Birds and bees were going about doing whatever they normally do. Trees were swaying in the gentle breeze coming in from the Bay of Bengal. In other words, God was in heaven and all was well with the world.

However, by 2030 hours in the evening, our world had turned upside down. The Indian government imposed a comprehensive lockdown across a country comprising 1.3 billion persons. The Prime Minister himself appeared on our TV screens and announced this decision. By the time he finished, a mere three and a half hours were remaining for the decision to take effect.

This sudden whammy left all of us twiddling our thumbs trying to figure out as to how to survive the depressing phase staring us in the face. This was one of the harsher slings and arrows of fate which had hit us. Initially, a sense of shock and awe prevailed. Gradually, reason started reoccupying its throne. Travel plans had to be junked. Medical issues came to the forefront. For the digitally illiterate, banking transactions went for a toss. Gadgets at home needing urgent repairs were left in a limbo. Some missed their daily dose of morning newspapers. Our hearts might have bled realizing the plight of migrants, but we took a jaundiced view of the humble house maid coming in to earn a living. Many other challenges tested our grey matter no end.

Even today, the virus continues to offer a unique experience to most of us, whether by way of making us fearful of its ferocity or by snatching away many of the degrees of freedom we have always taken for granted.

 

The Guardian Angels

It is not that yours truly has been very brave or wise in handling the depressing effect of virus-induced extended lockdowns so far. Much like the V-shaped and W-shaped depressions which plague many of our economies – developed or otherwise – these days, the dark forces of depressing thoughts have been frequently snapping at my heels.

As a loner whose cooking abilities are limited to boiling milk and eggs, and whose procurement related negotiation skills are outdated, life only got tougher in the post-lockdown phase. The horizon of mundane challenges expanded to include sourcing of fruits, vegetables, groceries and medicines. For someone like me who is battered by multiple health risks and is rather shy and diffident, especially in the presence of the members of the fairer sex, the challenge is even mightier.

Luckily, my Guardian Angels who, I am told, go around these days with their fancy i-Pads keeping a track of their favoured ones, noticed my name flashing in a deep red colour on their screens and decided to pitch in. Gradually, a host of characters straight out of the many narratives of P G Wodehouse started popping up around me, making me smile – even laugh occasionally – assisting me in keeping my body and soul together, besides keeping me emotionally afloat and cheerful. Thanks to the virus, a transient family came into existence, with the tantalizing possibility of lingering bonds of friendship which may survive the vagaries of time.

 

Some Supporting Characters

Here are some of the honourable mentions in this context:

Aunt Dahlia and Uncle Tom, my next door neighbours, who keep offering delicious lunches in a routine manner. Their large house is surely not a patch on Brinkley Court. Nor do they have Anatole around. The lavish spreads are an outcome of the culinary skills of Aunt Dahlia, who only calls me a blot on the landscape if she finds me not tucking in enough of the lavish spreads she whips up.

Uncle Tom, besides worrying about taxation blues, could share a great deal of spiritual knowledge. One of his tips to invite a state of happiness is to sing one of his favourite songs at least three times a day without worrying about the reaction of either the humans or the asses around.

At their doorstep, one is apt to find Augustus catching up on its beauty sleep. If awake, his supercilious body language does not encourage one to endeavour to tickle it behind the ears.

Piggy and Maudie, who take care of my pangs of hunger at dinner time, ensure that their dinner spreads are full of nutrients and soluble vitamins, a sentiment that would meet a hearty approval of Laura Pyke.

Piggy happens to share my passion for poetry, books, movies and general affairs, and a personal meeting with him never fails to uplift my spirits. Likewise, a brief session with Maudie on spiritual matters is invariably enriching.

When it comes to being woolly headed, I could offer competition to Lord Emsworth. But I have neither a big castle nor a large estate to take care of. Nor do I have the need to hire a bevy of supporting staff to take care of my affairs. However, someone cast in the mould of Beach the butler, my Man Friday, takes care of mundane upkeep of my modest abode. On this angel falls the burden of ferrying my dinner from Piggy and Maudie’s home every night. How he dodges the ‘oh’s and ‘ho’s of cops enroute in these locked up days and manages to bring home the bacon, so to say, is praiseworthy.

Emerald Stoker, a long time friend and a tough cookie on some days, is otherwise one of those soothing and sympathetic ladies you can take your troubles to, confident of having your hand held and your head patted. She keeps calling me up frequently, not only to check if I am still alive and kicking but also if I happen to be under the grip of any depressive thoughts and need to see Sir Roderick Glossop. I have reason to believe that she keeps a distant track on my emotional peaks and troughs, often directing Guardian Angels in my immediate vicinity to ensure that I remain in a cheerful state of mind.

An architect by profession, she also happens to be a passionate cook. On several occasions, she has shared with me the exotic vegan stuff whipped up by her for the day. All this support from her comes even as she battles severe problems in her personal life.

Jeeves in my life during this phase happens to be a movie maker. He also wears many other hats. His driving and networking skills are exemplary. A globe trotter, he, like all others on this list, suffers from an abundance of the Milk of Human Kindness.

He has the knack of ferreting out sensible movies from the many online streaming options which are in vogue these days. When he shimmers in with a cup of his spiced tea or lays out a lavish breakfast spread, one would need to have a ready supply of tissue papers handy so as to keep one’s drooling under control. Whenever the Guardian Angels are in a celebratory mood, he ensures a ready supply of tissue restoratives.

Angela and Tuppy Glossop

At the start of the lockdown, Jeeves introduced me to Angela, a sprightly spinster who popped up in Pondicherry to soak in its unique ambience, but got stuck due to severe mobility restrictions imposed then. The same fate befell Tuppy Glossop, a friend of hers and a space scientist to boot. My house was blessed by their presence.

Besides a sense of decency and an ample supply of the Milk of Human Kindness coursing through their veins, their sincere efforts at dishing out something which I would find to be palatable endeared my heart. They took over the procurement as well as the household management functions rapidly, the result being that one never had to miss one’s vitamins.

As someone who relishes the pleasures of the table and also aspires to be a sous-chef, Tuppy, in one of his finer culinary experiments, even succeeded in making a ‘perfect circle’ puffed-up chapatti.  Angela was quick on the uptake and sharpened her skills at cooking delicious lentils and kheer (a kind of pudding popular in India).

Both have been going out for beach walks together but I am not aware if any dispute concerning Angela having spotted a shark in the waters ever arose between them. Perhaps the credit goes to the sharks which avoid being in shallow sea waters around Pondicherry.

Pauline Stoker, a fashion designer, a marketer and a fitness enthusiast, keeps popping up with her home-cooked stuff on several days, brightening up the evenings with her effervescence and charm. Often accompanied by her well-mannered Kid Clementina who is sorely missing opportunities to put sherbet in ink pots these days and is invariably struggling to complete her home work online.

Captain Biggar and Galahad happen to be neighbours who pitch in occasionally to spice up the proceedings. One ensures a ready supply of several works of P G Wodehouse borrowed by him from a library nearby. Another offers a fresh perspective on current affairs over a steaming hot cup of tea. He has even ensured home delivery of farm fresh milk, duly sourced from contented cows.

All this is not to say that my immediate family, stationed about 8,000 kms away, does not bring in emotional succour by ardent enquiries made almost every other day. Each interaction with them is akin to a tiny drop of the elixir of inner bliss. Then there are relatives, friends and cousins who are keeping in touch, sharing their experiences during the lockdowns.

 

Meditation and Spiritual Upliftment

Twice a week, the group gathers for a spot of meditation at my place, thereby retaining the members’ sanity and equipoise.

The positive spin-offs of the virus are many. Lesser noise pollution. Minimal traffic. Greener environment. Virtual meetings. A unique time to relook at ourselves and our priorities in life closely. Better sharing and caring between neighbours. A hastening of the onset of Industrial Revolution 4.0.

On the flip side, at least three friends have so far handed in their dinner pails during the 90-day period under reference. For yours truly, some fresh challenges have popped up on the health front. I shall be deceiving the public if I were to say that such incidents do not dampen my spirits. However, help is at hand to pull me out of a deep emotional pit whenever necessary.

The eventual result is a kind of spiritual upliftment, perhaps of the kind that vicars experience when someone like Thos happens to be around.

An Abundance of the Milk of Human Kindness

To sum up, the Guardian Angels are keeping loneliness, depression and negativity at bay. An openness in making new friends, a tendency to help others nearby in whatever way one can and a positive frame of mind facilitate a healthy dose of laughter, mirth and joy. All efforts are being made to keep the body and soul together, so there is no shortage of feel-good hormones in one’s system.

As we gear ourselves to getting used to a long term presence of the virus, or its subsequent off-shoots which it plans to unleash upon us in the days to come, we would do well not to forget that it is here to teach us a rich lesson: that true happiness lies not in material comforts but in sharing a part of what we have with others who, at that point in time, may be in dire need of. Of being able to put ourselves into others’ shoes, anticipating their needs and trying to address the same. Adjusting to what is and not repenting what is not; accepting that life is never perfect. Cultivating a sense of gratitude.

To put it simply, keeping human values on the top of our dealings with those who deserve the same; being humane. As one of my professors would put it, by adopting the Spandan (heartbeat) approach to life.

(Allusions to characters from the works of Wodehouse are purely imaginary; depending upon some personality traits of the real persons alluded to here. No offence is meant to either of the two categories.)

(Illustrations courtesy Mr Sanjay Mohan and the world wide web)

 

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Even though the dark clouds of a virus envelop us and Life makes us glum,

Many of us bask in the brilliant rays of humour which greet us in the form of a narrative Plum;

Our suggestion to all clueless politicians and caregivers is never to despair,

We support all your lockdowns, we write this merely to make you aware.

 

With his head bulging at the back, many a problem Jeeves can still solve,

Ordering stuff online and keeping scheming aunts away with a goofy resolve;

Keeping at bay girl friends who wish to improve Bertie’s grey cells,

Arming him with some quotes from Spinoza which he uses over phone, casting transient spells.

 

Jeeves keeps shimmering in with one of his pick-me-ups on a tray,

While the master sharpens his skills at sock-darning, forgetting all shades of grey;

An article on ‘What the Well-dressed Dictators are Wearing’ is being whipped up by him,

Alas, the chances of the next issue of Milady’s Boudoir coming up soon are rather slim.

 

The pride of the Wooster clan is close to his heart, the feudal spirit intact,

For the sake of an aunt, restoring a stolen cat to its owner is part of a pact;

For the happiness of an uncle, thirty days without the option is no big deal,

At the end of which he merely aspires for a delectable Anatole meal.

 

Uncle Tom is not amused by the sudden downturn in his earnings,

His solace lies in keeping a tighter leash on the tax wolves’ yearnings;

Aunt Dahlia continues to ensure that Anatole keeps them both in good humour,

Relishing a unique phase of togetherness where the silver collection is safe from any intruder.

 

 Lord Emsworth potters about his gardens in a state of bliss,

Thanks to Gladys, he no longer hesitates to tell McAllister to call it quits;

The sanctity of the moss-covered yew alley is being maintained,

The Empress is in the pink of health, thanks to the advice of Augustus Whiffle being entertained.

 

The Bingeese love enjoying their quite life, sans the fear of a

Laura Pyke popping up at home,

Bingo Little ensures a cup of afternoon tea while Rosie works on her next tome;

Rosie keeps a sharp eye on the internet banking transactions of her dear hubby,

Lest he be attempting to fund one of his sporting impulses with the support of a buddy.

 

Florence Cray is delighted at the prospect of finishing Spindrift-2,

Edwin the Scout plays fire fighting games on his tablet new;

Madeline is delighted at seeing the stars shine so very brilliantly,

Pauline plays tennis on the roof top of her high rise diligently.

 

Unless you speculate, you do not accumulate, is what Ukridge keeps doing online,

Many of the doctors we know in Plumsville are already co-opted by WHO on the front line;

Mr Schnellenhamer whips up the script of his next medical thriller, extending his range,

Nodders having been persuaded to go on leave without pay, surviving only on the juice of an orange.

 

Gussie is delighted that his newts no longer complain about the quality of water,

Of another notebook with juicy comments on Pop Bassett he claims to be an author;

To deliver speeches at schools only in the video conferencing mode he is braced,

Non-availability of tissue restoratives ensures he faces no risk of feasting on orange juice duly laced.

 

Ashe Marson provides online tips to all those wanting to remain fit,

Larsen exercises, brisk walks and cold baths form a part of his wellness kit;

Troubles of the lining of the stomach unite those who are young at heart,

Forsaking the pleasures of the table and allowing Prudence to win over Greed being a worthy art.

 

Rozzers keep a ceaseless vigil on ‘criminals’ who move around freely without a mask,

 Their sinister ‘Ho’s and ‘Ha’s and investigative techniques make easier their task;

The risk of getting their helmets pinched has all but vanished,

But the practice of getting pushed into water bodies is yet to get banished.

 

Indoor and online games of all kinds have risen to the kids’ defences,

Would-be step-fathers not coughing up protection money face consequences;

Rogue ones, when in love with Hollywood divas, start behaving angelically,

Priests need them around so as to be hotter on their jobs and to evolve spiritually.

 

Entrepreneurs and business honchos await the new normal to unfold,

Psmith helping them to recast operations into the Industrial Revolution 4.0 mould;

Sally and Joan Valentine inspire them online to worry more about sustainability,

Scaling up their efforts to contribute towards creating an inclusive society.

 

To put it simply, God is in Heaven and all is well with many amongst us,

While providing succour, our Guardian Angels are not missing the bus;

The elements are in a better shape, flora and fauna lead a contented life,

With males wearing skirts, spouses are delighted, families missing many a strife.

 

  The challenge we face now is an opportunity to evaluate our priorities anew,

The value of interrelationships, quality time with loved ones who may be few;

Realizing that Mother Earth needs to be treated with greater respect,

That all of us play a role in maintaining civility by way of a public debt.

 

The virus has thrown many V-and-W shaped depressions our way,

Teaching us never to allow the dismal forces of despondency to make us sway;

Having a chin up attitude, no matter how dark the skies may look,

The sun is surely shining somewhere, smiling benevolently above a babbling brook.

 

The victory of Homo sapiens shall need an analytical frame of mind,

Besides empathy, compassion and gestures kind;

Many of our delicately nurtured leaders across the world have already set the bar high,

The so-called sterner ones may now reveal their milk of human kindness and refrain from making us sigh.

 

 Plum’s works carry life lessons which we continue to pick up and apply,

Many of us are surviving the lockdowns so far on his works’ supply;

Upcoming ones would afford us an opportunity to keep devouring more,

Soon, we may look back at this phase of mirth and make it a part of our family folklore.

 

(Related Posts:

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2020/04/11/who-ropes-in-doctors-and-paramedics-from-plumsville-to-counter-corona-virus-part-1-of-2

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2020/04/14/who-ropes-in-doctors-and-paramedics-from-plumsville-to-counter-corona-virus-part-2-of-2

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2020/03/23/psmith-shares-with-lord-emsworth-a-smart-marriage-plan-to-ward-off-corona-virus)

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There come some truly humbling moments in one’s life when, while imagining that one’s Guardian Angels are surely in a benevolent mood, one suddenly wakes up to a reality which appears to be quite to be contrary. Scales fall from one’s eyes. One realizes with sudden horror that one had perhaps been promoted to the post of an honorary Vice President of the Global Association of Morons, exuding negative vibes to all the hapless souls around. Or, as P G Wodehouse would have put it, one looks ‘like the hero of a Russian novel debating the advisability of murdering a few near relations before hanging himself in the barn.’ 

Yours truly was recently in a suburb of a city known as Trondheim in Norway. Nudged by my hosts, I had decided to take a walk on a relatively lonely road overlooking the fjord. Seagulls were having a gala time, hunting for their supper. A gentle wind was blowing, creating small ripples in the water. Several boats belonging to a bunch of houses nearby were gently rolling in the mild waves, awaiting their turn to be able to provide satisfaction to their masters. Motor boats were occasionally sipping across, leaving trails of white foam in the otherwise bluish-green waters. The sun was on its home run, rushing to get a well-earned night’s repose.

To be able to access the beach, I had been advised to cross a railway track which lay between the beach and the road. Somehow, given the low level of my intelligence, I had not been able to locate the point from where one could cross the tracks. Having taken a walk along the road, I had been unsuccessful in locating either an underpass or an over bridge across the tracks. Nor did I imagine one coming across an unmanned railway crossing in an advanced country like Norway. Having temporarily given up hopes of being able to make it to the beach, I decided to sit on one of the several benches which dotted the road. The bliss of a contemplative communion with Nature is unique. I was relishing the same.

Two young girls, perhaps around 8 years of age, passed me by, accompanied by a devoted member of the canine species. The latter gave me an inquisitive glance. Having quickly ascertained that I had nothing of interest to offer, it continued to march onwards to greener pastures. After some time, the trio returned, with the canine in tow. The girls were enjoying their ice cream bars and merrily chatting between themselves in Norwegian.

Having crossed me, the girls went ahead a little. Then, suddenly, one of them returned to where I was. Her outstretched hand carried a few coins of Norwegian Kroner, the local currency. She addressed me in clear English.

“Please, sir, these are for you.”

I looked at her dumbstruck. I could not fathom her thought processes.

“No, thanks”, I bleated.

“We want you to be happy. Please accept this.”

My first reaction was shock and surprise. Then came to me an appreciation for the kind of etiquette and manners this young girl friend of mine had. While I was contemplating giving her a long lecture on what money could or could not buy one in life, she was giving me a sympathetic look, a faint smile on her face. She was obviously enjoying one of her daily acts of kindness, a la Edwin the Scout. I dismissed the thought of a lecture, deciding not to spoil her day.

“No, thanks. I do not need this.”

Disappointed, she turned and started to walk away. An idea struck me then.

“If you want to see me happy, perhaps you could do me a favour?”

She turned and walked back up to me, happy to be of some assistance. Fearless, composed and courageous, she looked enquiringly into my eyes.

“For some time now, I have been trying to find a way to the beach. Do you think you could help me, please?”

She was obviously delighted at this suggestion. Excitedly, she gesticulated and tried to indicate to me the spot down the road from where the tracks could be crossed.

“If you have some time, could you please show me where exactly the spot is?”

“Sure….come along.”

She took me to a dead end in the road. Next to this was a wooden gate, held in position by a loose metal chain. She took it off, showing me from where exactly to cross the tracks. I thanked both of them profusely. Goodbyes were exchanged. The pet wagged its tail tentatively. The trio resumed their walk towards their respective abodes.

I confess to being a bit woolly headed, much like Lord Emsworth happens to be. But I have neither a big castle nor a large estate to take care of. Nor do I have the need to hire Scottish gardeners or to worry about such important things in life as the calorie count of the Empress of Blandings or oversized pumpkins winning prizes. Having been born a single child to my parents, I am spared the trauma of being bossed over by someone like Constance. On Parva School Treat days, I don’t have to go pottering about, judging cottage gardens in villages and running into girl friends in the Gladys mould, made of far sterner stuff than that of mine.

But the episode brought home few things very clearly.

One, on that fateful evening, I must have been radiating negativity in very large doses, turning all radioactive materials which appear in our Periodic Table green with envy. Sure enough, a Byronic gloom had enveloped me.

Two, kids in advanced countries are perhaps brought up believing that money can buy anything, especially if the intended recipient appears to hail from a dark continent faraway.

Three, their benign motives deserve to be commended. So do their courage and fearlessness in approaching desolate-sounding strangers, with an idea to bring some sunshine into their lives. Perhaps when they grow up, they might be taken through some migrant camps, or even deputed for some time to one of the emerging economies, so they could understand the kind of deprivations a major part of the humanity puts up with.

The fact remains that there is no shortage of the milk of human kindness coursing through their veins – a sentiment that Bertie Wooster would surely approve of. One merely hopes that the heat of advancement in age does not make the milk evaporate, come what may!

 

(Comment:

In the famous story ‘Lord Emsworth and the Girl Friend’, it is the latter which seeks protection from the former’s irate head gardener. Having done the needful, Lord Emsworth feels like a man amongst men. However, in the encounter that yours truly had, the party of the other part turns out to be the benefactor.

In case you wish to look up a visual version of the original story, please check out the following link:

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2019/06/08/lord-emsworth-and-the-girl-friend-a-visual-version)

(Illustration courtesy: Suvarna Sanyal)

 

 

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ashokbhatia

One of the sterling qualities Bertie Wooster possesses is that of breaking any bad news gently to those who are apt to shiver from the base of their toes to the top of their heads upon receiving it. There is a great deal of finesse to his approach. Seldom do we find him rushing abruptly into a conversation which involves the party of the other part finding itself at the receiving end. CodeOfTheWoosters

In ‘The Code of the Woosters’, we find that he uses an ultra-soft approach while trying to convey a disturbing news. This is true not only for a pal like Gussie Fink-Nottle but also for a quirky character like Pop Bassett.

Asking for Pop Bassett’s Niece’s Hand in Marriage

Prodded by the inimitable Jeeves, Stiffy Byng manages to persuade Bertie to break it to Pop Bassett that he proposes to get married to her. Since this…

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One of the sterling qualities Bertie Wooster possesses is that of breaking any bad news gently to those who are apt to shiver from the base of their toes to the top of their heads upon receiving it. There is a great deal of finesse to his approach. Seldom do we find him rushing abruptly into a conversation which involves the party of the other part finding itself at the receiving end. CodeOfTheWoosters

In ‘The Code of the Woosters’, we find that he uses an ultra-soft approach while trying to convey a disturbing news. This is true not only for a pal like Gussie Fink-Nottle but also for a quirky character like Pop Bassett.

Asking for Pop Bassett’s Niece’s Hand in Marriage

Prodded by the inimitable Jeeves, Stiffy Byng manages to persuade Bertie to break it to Pop Bassett that he proposes to get married to her. Since this declaration is likely to leave her uncle all-of-a-twitter, the plan is for Stiffy to walk in and declare her love instead for Stinker Pinker. Pop Bassett is then likely to experience overwhelming relief, leading him to view Stiffy’s union with Stinker with a more kindly eye.

Even though a Justice of the Peace who has already stripped Bertie of five quid for having endeavored to steal a policeman’s helmet is viewed as a formidable foe, he does not wish to break the artificial news of his betrothal to Stiffy in an abrupt manner. A few preliminary pour-parlers are very much in order before getting down to the nub.

The conversation between Bertie and Pop Bassett first touches upon the treatment to be meted out to the culprit who has recently pinched Constable Oates’ helmet. Bertie then steers it around to the love life of newts, starfish, under-sea worms and seaweed.

Eventually, an exasperated Pop Bassett is forced to make a confession thus:

“I am afraid, Mr. Wooster, that you will think me dense, but I have not the remotest notion of what you are talking about.”

This paves the way for Bertie to overcome his diffidence and ask for Stiffy’s hand. Here is a juicy description of how Pop Bassett hits the ceiling.

There was no question as to its being value for money. On the cue ‘niece’s hand’, he had come out of his chair like a rocketing pheasant. He now sank back, fanning himself with the pen. He seemed to have aged quite a lot.

When summoned, Stiffy gives an extremely convincing performance. She stares at Pop Bassett. She stares at Bertie. She clapses her hands and perhaps even manages to blush. She then proceeds to declare her plans to marry Harold Pinker instead, making hope dawn once again in her uncle’s bosom. Understandably, he needs little persuasion to accord his approval for the two to get united in matrimony.

Avoiding the Surgeon’s Knife with Gussie

Earlier in the narrative, we find Bertie treating Gussie with a similar kid-glove treatment. Gussie has made some juicy comments about Sir Watkyn Bassett and Roderick Spode in a notebook, which he has managed to let it fall in the hands of Stiffy Byng. A scheme to make her part with the same while being charmed by Bertie has flopped miserably.

The onus of passing on this dreadful news to Gussie obviously falls on Bertie, who decides to avoid the surgeon’s knife. He shrinks from the mournful task of administering a very substantial sock on the jaw to an old friend.

While Jeeves is ordered to bring in a bottle of brandy, Gussie is first made to sit comfortably in an armchair. A desultory conversation about the weather and the crops follows. Further prattling on part of Bertie leads to a dialogue of this nature:

“Bertie, I believe you’re pie-eyed.”
“Not at all.”
“Then what are you babbling like this for?”
….”You don’t mean she hasn’t got it?”
“That is precisely the nub or crux. She has, and she is going to give it to Pop Bassett.”

I had expected him to take it fairly substantially, and he did. His eyes, like stars, started from their spheres and he leaped from the chair, spilling the contents of the glass and causing the room to niff like the saloon bar of a pub on a Saturday night.

A pat on Gussie’s shoulder starts calming him down. A reference to Archimedes who was apparently killed by a soldier and passed out smiling then follows. Eventually, Reason returns to its throne and a meaningful dialogue takes place between the two.

These are but two specimens of the extent to which Bertie Wooster would go to break some bad news gently to those in his circles.

When the milk of human kindness is sloshing about within us, we try to be gentle while conveying a piece of negative news, whether to a friend or to a foe. This is an invaluable social skill which many of us can imbibe from Bertie Wooster.

(Part 1: Decodifying the Code of the Woosters)

[Related Posts:

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/2014/11/05/some-finer-shades-of-the-code-of-the-woosters

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

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