There are times when I think my only companion is disappointment. I realize this is a rather dark thought, but there is always room for dark thoughts in this roustabout world of ours. I say disappointment because I am rarely pleased with a nephew of mine, Reggie. His father, my slow-witted brother, asked me to keep an eye on him as he waxed and waned his way across Canada.
Reggie did not glow with honours from any educational institute; in fact if there was a wanted list for such places, his face would dominate. His exasperated parents thought perhaps a trip over the plains and slopes of our great country would enhance his limited intelligence. I did not warm to the relative when he arrived referring to our Island as the dominion’s “ Outer Hebrides.” I mean to say! However blood is thicker and all that, eh? He is a pleasant-looking chap, I will give him that, but with a pronounced wildness around his closely placed eyes. His worst habit is saying whatever comes into his limited mind. “Uncle, who is this appalling woman?” shot from his lips when I introduced him to Mrs. Hynde-Quarters at the club the other day. I quickly removed him from a situation that could lead to violence with a flea in his ear about his rudeness. He seemed not to grasp his faux pas, just smiling pleasantly at the cutlery.
My wife Kitty refused to have him in our house as he once put the cats in a bag and swung them about his head to see if they would fight. Unfortunately they had just had a large lunch of blue tuna and so when released in a severe state of dizziness made a ghastly mess and continued for several days throughout ma maison. The long and short of it is I had to put him up at the club and hope against hope that all would be well, which only led to the inevitable outrages.
The following day I tried to slip past the club president General Baron de Boeuf, but he collared me within steps of my entry to the senior reading room. It seemed that Reggie had run amok during the night, first by proposing marriage to the night clerk Christy, and then doing the same to the morning maid who delivered his breakfast. There were now hard feelings between the once happy employees and a very un-club- like atmosphere below stairs. Stories were also coming to light about the disappearance of shoes that had been left in front of guests’ doors for polishing. Not to mention the missing club mustard. The general said in a very cool manner that this sort of behaviour was not acceptable in a civilized setting such as the club and that his forbearance was at an end. A verbal caning such as that made me shrink in embarrassment, and I slunk away to my wingback, rubbing my temples in fierce thought.
After two quick martinis the world rose once more to greet me and I knew what I must do. A close friend of mine has an untoward daughter (Solamain) who is mad for tennis and nothing else. Although in his optimistic moments he does say that at least she has a hobby, albeit almost a disease. My nephew, while having a curious way of thinking, has no overarching interest and therefore with an empty parking lot for a brain might have a yen for a large-thighed woman with forearms like a blacksmith and a tennis leaning.
I insisted we not meet the “Fred Perry” poster child at the club as it was now a boiling caldron due to Reggie’s proposals of marriage raining down on the female staff, so the Black Olive Restaurant and its marvelous lamb chops stood in for the club. I am delighted to report it was love at first sight for both. Reggie immediately proposed marriage and was just getting to the private school of his choice for the first boy heir, when Salomain said, “See you tomorrow at 6 a.m. on the tennis court.” He bent like a willow and they have been on the courts at sunrise for the past three days.
Copyright 2014 Major’s Corner.