I want to take a minute before I go on with my grim story to address the e-mails I have been receiving about my choice of real estate agent and my apparent naiveté.
Month: February 2015 (Page 1 of 2)
Big news. There was a break-out last week from the Tired Fawn, or, as we like to call it, the Last Roundup. This is where families commit their loved ones when they can no longer be bothered to look after dribbling relatives.
Make no mistake, I love my club, and to return to the inner sanctum after our sojourn in Mexico was a thrill of the first order. I pulled open the large door the other day and swept into the lobby of the edifice that is nearest and dearest to me, gazing about at the touchstones of a lifetime.
Then, turning a hard right, I entered the very heart of the club, the Senior Reading Room, a place where the famous and the infamous had rested their backsides and watched our bay by the sea while bringing order to their teeming minds.
It was here that Churchill threw up his Canadian champagne (Pol Park-Ranger), also where the Duke of Windsor (Edward VIII) set his cap at a fetching chambermaid that he saw passing, and where Princess Margaret, after 13 glasses of straight vodka, said, “Damn you, Mummy!” and fell face first into the Friday stew.
The room has been a witness to a great many occurrences both good and bad, such as the first time one of our prime ministers realized he was incontinent and another proposed marriage. Sweet and sour, as it were. My point is simply I am back once again at my station by the window in the Home of Homes.
I won’t drag my welcome out any longer but to say that when the lunch chime rang, I took my seat at the High Table with the huzzahs of my old friends ringing in my ears. The reason I had returned at such a canter that morning was the club lunch dancing in my mind: Four months without overdone roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes and the greenest peas in Christendom, not to mention the hand-made “Up Island” horseradish.
I flagged down Rogers, my favourite waiter and bartender, and made known my immediate wants, telling him not to spare the horses, and returned to my story about how our Mexican maid had got the upper hand on the cats and taught them a lesson they will never forget.
Suddenly Rogers’s hand touched my shoulder, indicating a chat behind the club potted palm was required. He was worried about my reaction. All my compatriots were looking at their hands as I stood up and disappeared behind the large weed.
“Sir, Cook thinks what you have ordered is very bad for you and only serves it at dinner, not lunch. We have gone more or less vegetarian during the day with no martinis since you have been away, but you can have kale and pasta with ice water.”
I glanced at my shoes as my toes curled inside the oxfords. I had the same feeling I would have if I had been told the Socialists had come to power. It did not make sense! I swayed at the news and everything went black. I was later told that I collapsed into the poor palm with my head protruding out the other side.
Then a huge shout went up, “Surprise!” from all the mems, and Cook appeared with everything I had ordered. While it had all been in fun, it damn near killed me there and then, which would have been quite a story. It was a good joke, though, because I could not imagine life at the club without the ingredients of a club lunch. I was so overwrought I had two helpings of the raisin pie a la mode. Yum yum, eh?
After a perfect lunch and a collective letting-out of the belt a notch or two, I was approached by two old friends, Harry Wone (the W is silent) and George Smallpiece, seemingly in need of advice.
Usually I designate Wednesday mornings at 10 bells as my time for handing out the bon mots, but as I had been away for an extended time, I felt an exception should be made.
I turned my gentle eyes towards them and asked what I could offer. Both, it seems, had been trying to find wives on the internet, something that has so far been an unmitigated calamity. Now these men are not the fairest of the club as far as handsome goes and are not naturally charming. However they are honest, earnest and collect stamps and coins.
I asked to see the descriptions they had given of themselves on the internet and was not surprised that they were unrecognizable. “Blond and fit” said George’s; he is heavy, bald, has a patch over one eye and shouts “Hey” every few minutes for no reason.
Harry at least gave his age but also said he was “not ill,” and “likes sports.” This is a man who needs a walker and plays bridge rubbers rather than rugby.
I asked what happened when they met their counterpoints. Were they not found out? George said they always asked to meet in very dark places, but this frightened the women, who rarely made an appearance. I simply advised them to tell the truth as it would come out anyway, and that way they would meet someone not frightened, with the same interests. whom they could see in the daylight.
Sometimes it is so easy to be right. It is good to be back.
Copyright Major’s Corner 2015.
No sooner had I returned to Victoria, B.C., in late September 2011 than Eddy the Realtor phoned me with the happy news that Sergio, our developer, had decided not to tile our terrace. This was because he said we bought our condo for a fraction (55 per cent) of what he thought it was worth. In his mind he had been taken
Our time is almost up here in God’s playground, and I point my nose north with a healthy sniff. Only a few more weeks in this life-giving Eden and I will return to my club chair a healthier and more centred mem, once more within shouting distance of my dear martinis.