Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Watoosa the Reckless

Those of you who have kept up with my transition to Maine may have heard that I was working for a little town newspaper. Today I gave my two weeks' notice after only being employed there for about two months. Many reasons contributed to my decision, all of which are too dull to bother discussing. What greatly pleases me is the realization that I can just quit the job because it is not what I wish to do. I'm rather gun-shy of work-related stress after several years of miserable work as a production editor in the bowels of Hades, and though this recently deceased job never amounted to the stress that I encountered at that dolorous den of torment, I have a merry, freeing feeling as a result of resigning. So, call me reckless, for that is how I am feeling.

I'm not altogether reckless, mind you. I'm not running off to start a skydiving business or to slaughter pigs, and I have freelance work to keep me busy. I just feel as though I have more control over my own destiny at the moment, and I'm a wee bit tipsy with that power. Tra la, tra la la la...

Now for the bookish bit. The title of this blog post comes from P.G. Wodehouse's Jill the Reckless, one of the tall stack of Wodehouse novels I checked out from the well stocked main library branch yesterday. I've been thirsty for Wodehouse of late, and that thirst must be sated! My one problem is that I have difficulty remembering the novels I have and haven't read by him. The Jeeves and Bertie episodes are especially hard to distinguish, but it's a pleasant problem to have. As a result, I began Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves the other day, and after several chapters realized I had read it once before. But no matter! This one has some of the best similes in the first few chapters, and it contains many winning Wooster-isms, in particular Bertie's snappy habit of abbreviation. Here they are for your afternoon enjoyment:

Bertie on Madeline Bassett: "She's one of those soppy girls, riddled from head to foot with whimsy. She holds the views that the stars are God's daisy chain, that rabbits are gnomes in attendance on the Fairy Queen, and that every time a fairy blows its wee nose a baby is born, which, as we know, is not the case."

Bertie on Gussie Fink-Nottle: "He looked like a halibut that's taken offence at a rude remark from another halibut."

Bertie on Stiffy Byng's dog Bartholomew: "He biteth like a serpent and stingeth like an adder."

Bertie on his Aunt Agatha: "...the one who eats broken bottles and turns into a werewolf at the time of the full moon."

1 comment:

hayumbone said...

Ah, Bertie -- no literary character quite turns a phrase like he does. An argument could be made for Wilde's characters, but they were his somewhat smarter precursors.