A few days ago I spent the weekend in a superbly huge and luxuriously furnished stately home in England. I was the guest of the owner and gent who wanted me to help him write his memoirs for posteriority.
As soon as I arrived in a vintage Rolls Royce which my host had kindly sent to the railway station to pick me up I was met by the butler, Hugo Snob, who asked me to wait in the library where my host would join me.
At first I thought I had to get back into town and wait in the library there. But the butler, looking down his nose at me because he was very tall, took me to the library they had there in the stately home. A few moments later the housekeeper, Matilda Curtsy, brought in a trolley with refreshments of elderberry cordial drinks.
As is customary in such ample surroundings and the etiquette of the occasion I was kept there waiting for about twenty minutes or so. I was then joined by my host, Sir Ivor Status and his beautiful wife, Lady Eva Status-Too.
"Jolly good of you to join us, old boy!" Sir Ivor greeted me, "may I introduce my lady wife Eva ..."
We sat down to discuss the proposed book which I was to write about this man's life, when we were joined by other guests who had also been invited for the weekend, apparently, just to meet me. Or was it so that they might vet me as a suitable candidate to author such an illustrious publication.
In turn, the butler announced as they came in, the famous theatre actress Varicose Vain, who had the lead role in the London production of "The importance of being stupid".
She was followed by my host's step-sister, the beautiful professional lion whisperer who goes by the name of Claudia Armoff.
Then the famous impresario and musical producer Walter Dumnote wearing a monocle on his left eye.
And finally the famous French vegetarian and amateur detective Hair-Cool Carrot.
"Eet eez pronounced Carro ..." he corrected the butler, "you do not have ze T ... Hair-Cool Carro ... no T. Jamais ... Never 'ave the T".
Which explains perhaps why we only had coffee throughout the weekend.
Hair Cool had a waxed moustache and wore pince-nez reading spectacles. He always carried a walking stick, mostly out of habit rather than necessity. He waddled left and right when he walked in very small steps as if he had a coin wedged in his bottom.
Sir Ivor suggested that we get to know each other by relaxing in the wonderful gardens and that we would meet again for dinner later that evening.
To help me gain some background material for my book I made a point to mingle and get to speak to all those there that weekend; including the staff like the gardener Ernest Deadwood, the young maid Sheila Flirt, and the chauffeur Otter Gas.
It's amazing what one can learn about people by just listening and keeping one's conversation to the minimum. And it seems these upper-class and affluent people are not short of a skeleton or two in their cupboards.
Apparently, Sir Ivor was having a secret affair with the actress Varicose Vain whenever he visited London, and had seen the production of "The importance of being stupid" at least a dozen times.
At the same time he was also very friendly with the maid Sheila Flirt who was courting the chauffeur Otter Gas; who in turn had not told anyone that he was gay and preferred the confirmed bachelor and gardener Ernest Deadwood, who did not care for any one in particular because he was devoid of all prejudice and disliked everyone equally.
In turn, and unbeknown to anyone, Lady Eva Status-Too had had many a secret rendez-vous with the monocled impresario Walter Dumnote; and had often accompanied her husband to London only to feign a headache at the theatre and go visit Walter in his piano room.
The butler Hugo Snob had a weakness for wine and also for the housekeeper Matilda Curtsy and had bought her a couple of minks and ermine but the animals bit her fingers and she had to go to hospital where the poor creatures were treated for shock.
Sir Ivor's step-sister, the professional lion tamer Claudia Armoff, had a really hot passion for the vegetarian and amateur French detective Hair-Cool Carrot, (pronounced Carro), whose darkened grey cells had not fore-warned him of her animal affections.
For too long she had held the notion of taming him with real red meat and share with him the delights of a steak tartare rather than a carrot with no tea. However, the hapless and clueless detective, with a penchant to walk like Charlie Chaplin and an affectation to refer to himself in the third person, had totally missed any advances, overt as they may be, from Claudia Armoff and her open arms of passion.
Now that you know the background information I have gathered about Sir Ivor Status and his family and friends, I need your advice about the book I am to write about him.
What should the title of the book be?