Monday, 6 June 2011

Wooster on ‘The Master Minds’

Blimey, Jeeves, reckon the old noggin is in need of some education.

Indeed, Sir? What brings you to that conclusion?

Been watching one of my favourite Avengers episodes, Jeeves. Usual thing, mad lot of derry-do cads up to no good with King’s honourable country. Old Steed and his frilly infiltrate the bounder’s nest.

Sounds most exciting, Sir.

Indeed, Jeeves, indeed. Well… seems said establishment needs an entry exam. White papers, list of questions… usual rot. Touch of the old sixth form, smell of the polished wood floors, ticking of the old wall clock…

I understand precisely, Sir.

Exactly. Well Steed, good old Etonian, well trained in empire building, taught in the ways of diplomatic crafts, does the sporting thing…

Which is, Sir?

Cheats of course, Jeeves. What else is a gentleman of the hallowed corridors of the Drones club expected to do? What!

Most sporting indeed, Sir.

Now, no need to be sarcastic, Jeeves. There wouldn’t be any of this empire building if we’d spent our time swatting instead of throwing the leather against two foot of willow.

Interesting that you should mention cricket, Sir.

Enough Jeeves! Anyway, as I was saying, old Steed, in need of some informative solutions turns to… you’ll never guess this, Jeeves, turns to… oooh, choking on my breakfast gin and tonic… turns to…

Mrs Peel, by any chance Sir?

Blimey, Jeeves. Spot on! Lucky guess! Can you imagine? The frilly whose leather Glastonbury boots go right up to her neck! Say the wrong thing and you’d biffed into next week! Don’t know what Steed was doing.

The same Mrs Peel who beat you four times at chess, Sir? The same Mrs Peel who had to rewrite your lecture to the boys of Market Snodsbury Grammar School? Mrs Peel who had to translate the menu after you ordered two ‘serveuse’ and got, shall we say, in rather hot water? Mrs Peel who…

All right, all right, Jeeves… don’t labour your point. Anyway, to return to my argument… where was I? Oh yes. Well, there was I enjoying the charm of the episode, Steed frowning in the exam, and his smiles to the attractive fellow student, hiding the paper from peepers. Top it all, through my laughter I see his answers are ‘Dubhe, Polaris, Alioth and Schedar’!

Most droll Sir. English schoolboy humour. No doubt followed by “Achernar and Acrux’.

Indeed, Jeeves. And I’m wiping the tears from my eyes when this chappie next to me starts explaining the fundamental philosophy behind the whole scene. Well, Jeeves, it’s a shocker to discover that what you in your ignorance thought was a jolly romp is in fact a thesis in psychology and I’m taking gin and tonic by the barrel full to keep my mind cool. By the end the poor old noggin feels like it’s been bashed repeatably with a willow bat…

Or one of Mrs Peel’s specials to the head, Sir?

Hmmm. Well, now I can hardly look at the title to this episode without getting a severe headache and an urge to flee to the sanity of the Drones Club.

May I make a suggestion, Sir?

Go ahead, Jeeves.

Is a possible that this organization was devised to do just that, Sir. To distract us from empire building by turning English gentlemen into, as you so eloquently put it… swats and philosophers?

By Jove, Jeeves. Diabolical! I see your point! A country of swatting, philosophising intellectuals! Lord, it beggars the mind to think what damage that would do to global affairs. Jeeves, you are a wonder.

One must keep a steady head in such affairs Sir.

Jeeves, get the wickets out. Time for a spot of leather on willow I think.

Excellent decision Sir. I feel confident the country remains in safe hands.

‘Jeeves and Wooster’ copyright P.G. Wodehouse. This homage written and illustrated by Ian Duerden.

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