Some residents of Plumsville might be interested in this news release from the Nordic branch of PBC, the Plum Broadcasting Corporation.
It is a well documented fact that the epidemic of Wodehousitis peaks at two times in a year. One, around the 15th of October, the day on which P G Wodehouse was born. Two, around the 14th of February, the day he decided to start regaling his Guardian Angels instead.
This is not to say that the epidemic is dormant during the rest of the year. It merely subsides a wee bit, popping up here and there, irrespective of caste, creed, religion, sex or ethnicity.
The medical fraternity continues to be clueless as to how to contain the dreaded epidemic. Researchers of all hues continue to be baffled at the unique kind of drug resistance displayed by those who suffer from Wodehousitis – they exhibit no desire to be rid of the affliction.
It is learnt from reliable sources that residents of Plumsville, a euphimistic term deployed to identify those suffering from acute Wodehousitis, could go to any lengths to celebrate their shared suffering from the dreaded affliction. To them, cultural, linguistic and continental barriers do not count. Man-made boundaries do not matter.
Take the case of one Morten Anersen from Norway and one Ashok Bhatia from India. On the 15th of October, 2016, the two decided to put their nose bags together and meet up at the Little England Tea Rooms (LETR) at Vollen in Norway.
It is understood that wide-ranging talks were held between the two on the occasion. The atmosphere was said to have been highly cordial and congenial. The couple running the show at LETR, Henning Edin Lyche and Liv Kjersti Lyche, when forewarned about the specific occasion being celebrated, revived the best of Drones Club traditions. British high tea was served with much enthusiasm and attention to detail.
The talks are said to have covered the following topics:
- BREXIT: Whether Wodehouse, had he been around these days, would have approved of Brexit. The conjecture of the duo was in the negative.
- The Technological Twist: Would he have continued churning out juicy narratives, with his trademark old world charm, replete with eccentric lords, super-intelligent butlers, domineering aunts, goofy females, woolly-headed bachelors, romantic cops and kids who could motivate even vicars to aspire to higher levels of spiritual upliftment? Especially, in this age of technology and the Internet of Things? The guess was in the affirmative. Probably, at best, telegrams might have got replaced by WhatsApp messages and phone calls by Skype or Viber calls.
- Of dyspepsia, class distinctions and scarabs: Some ever fresh lessons from ‘Something Fresh‘ came up for discussion. Larsen Exercises, brisk walks and cold baths and the need to have a digestive system which keeps firing at all twelve cylinders, were mentioned with much enthusiasm. The socio-economic divide between Aline Peters and Joan Valentine, inter alia, came under the duo’s lens. The correlation between being a millionaire and being a collector of scarabs was discussed.
- Real People and Real Books: Many facets of Wodehouse’s personality were discussed. The fact that he modelled his characters based on real life people was mentioned. So was the fact that books like ‘Types of Ethical Theory‘, once used by Florence Craye to attempt to uplift the intellectual leanings of Bertie Wooster, really did exist.
- The Nietzsche Taboo: Surprise was expressed at the fact that Friedrich Nietzsche, held to be basically unsound by a person no less than Jeeves, was also born on the 15th of October, though the year of his birth was 1844. There were mutual confessions that Jeeves’ world was taken rather seriously. Hence, no attempts were likely to be made to read up any of Nietzsche’s works.
- No darts, please: Out of respect for the excellent interior design of LETR, as well as for several other customers present, plans to throw some darts were deferred.
- Potential members: It was noted with much regret that such eminent members as Geir Hasnes, Jo Ingebrigt Spalder, Jens Magne Andreassen, Oystein Moe and others could not join in the festivities.
- Of 2017: It was hoped that a meeting planned some time in either April or May 2017 would attract better attention of Plum fans based in various parts of Norway. A strong need was felt for a local Jeeves who would be able to spare some time and coordinate the affair.
It is reliably learnt that Liv Kjersti Lyche, the delicately nurtured better-half of the owner of the place, a charming lady in the mould of Mrs Spottsworth, had spent some time during her teens in India, learning the art of dishing out piping hot samosas and chicken tikka sandwiches.
She also turned out to be a Plum fan, thereby adding some more sparkle and warmth to the proceedings. Another round of animated discussion is said to have followed, wherein ‘Laughing Gas‘ was merely one of the several works of Wodehouse which had popped up.
The meeting is said to have generated much laughter and camaraderie and reconfirmed the presence of Wodehousitis in the Nordic country which already boasts of more than 40 works of Plum translated into Norwegian. It also set a precedent of sorts in terms of achieving Gender Diversity for the Drones Club.
Vikings are believed to have had a stiff-upper-lip approach to life in the distant past. Gallows Humour is said to be a typical Scandinavian offering.
Folklore has it that the sense of humour of Indians also leaves much to be desired. If it has been there, perhaps it has been more of the loud and overt kind.
But goofy gatherings of the kind reported herein above indicate that those inhabiting Nordic and Asian regions of the world these days perhaps relish not only a chuckle or two but also a loud guffaw once in a while. Subtle humour of the Wodehousean kind appears to have gained currency in these regions.
One wonders if the Humour Quotient of Homo Sapiens tends to improve in tandem with their gradual evolution over a period of time. If so, sunnier days are ahead. Further research by anthropologists and historians is strongly recommended to validate this hypothesis.
The global per capita density of the epidemic of Wodehousitis also needs to be studied further.