Thursday, 17 May 2018

Wot Oh Old Boy! The missing piece.


That evening, after our walk in the gardens of the stately home of Sir Ivor Status and his lovely wife Lady Eva Status-Too, we all met in the grand dining room for our evening meal.

And what an example of magnificent opulence that was. The room was so large that you needed binoculars to see the person sitting at the opposite end of the long table we sat at. By the way, and as a sideline to enlighten you, did you know that the word binoculars is always in the plural? The singular of binoculars is telescope. But I digress.

As soon as I entered the room I noticed that the curtains were drawn. Everything else was real.

The table was real, the chairs and the rest of the furniture, as well as the carpets and the magnificent chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. They had to hang them there because anywhere else would have been out of place.

The table was already laid with all the cutlery and glasses in the right place; not that I would know which place was which to lay a table. I certainly don't know the etiquette of which cutlery to use for which meal. There were at least three knives and forks on either side of each plate. I suppose this is in case you drop one of them when eating and it saves you having to search for it under the table.

I was first to arrive at the dining room. Apparently, one has to wait in one's room until the butler, Hugo Snob, rang a big gong four times to summon everyone. I did not know that. There certainly was not  any instructions in my room like you get in hotels telling you what to do. Come to think of it, there was no chocolate on my pillow either. These posh people missed a trick or two there.

Anyway, I got there first and was met by Lady Eva Status-Too. She was very distraught. Apparently, she had received a letter which made her cry. It was written on an onion.

She told me that her husband Sir Ivor would sit at the opposite end. They always sat at opposite end of the very long table, even when dining alone, to give the serving staff some exercise. She summoned me to sit next to her.

"We are a trifle early," she declared, using the royal we in order to save my embarrassment and included herself in the apparent mistake. "About thirty minutes too early," she emphasised, "perhaps we shall have some coffee before we start," she asked the butler.

Within seconds the housekeeper, Matilda Curtsy, brought in a huge jug of coffee, a smaller jug of milk and two cups and saucers. As I said, I know nothing of posh etiquette, like putting the coffee or the milk first in the cup; so I decided to do exactly what Lady Eva did.

She started by removing the cup from its saucer. I did the same. To my surprise, she poured some milk in her saucer. I was confused, but did just the same and poured some milk in my saucer. She then put the saucer on the floor and called her cat to come and have a drink!

To add to my embarrassment, as I was about to drink my coffee, the butler banged the gong loudly four times. I was startled out of my non-upper class senses and spilled the whole cup of very hot coffee on my lap. I stood up suddenly in extreme agony brushing the hot liquid off my trousers to save my manhood from being burnt into oblivion. Lady Eva, thinking this was a lower-class tradition, deliberately spilled a drop of milk on her lap and stood up to join me in the dance.

Eventually the rest of the guests arrived. Sir Ivor Status sat at the opposite end of the table and on either side of him were the actress Varicose Vain and his step-sister professional lion whisperer Claudia Armoff. In conversation, Varicose Vain revealed that she had been on a peanut and melon diet. Sadly the peanuts had no effect, but I could see from her décolleté low cut dress that the melons were very successful.

As luck would have it, next to Claudia Armoff they put the subject of her secret, or not so secret, admiration the hapless detective Hair-Cool Carro. Albeit he was totally unaware that she had amorous plans towards him.

Opposite Hair-Cool and next to me was the musical producer Walter Dumnote. And finally, a late arrival sitting opposite me was Miss Maple Syrup, a long time friend of the family and busy know-it-all by habit rather than profession.

Hugo Snob, the very tall butler supervised the housekeeper, Matilda Curtsy, and the maid, Sheila Flirt, serve us a small bowl of very transparent liquid. As another sideline, I learnt later that Hugo was so tall that he had to stand on a chair every morning in order to reach to shave himself and trim his moustache.

I did not know what the bowl of liquid before me contained. I thought it was to rinse our fingers before we start our meal so I placed my hands in the bowl which turned out to be very hot soup; or consomme, as they call it in upper circles.

Walter Dumnote, sitting next to me, saw what I did and raised his eyebrows in surprise only to drop his monocle in the soup. He put his hand in the soup to retrieve his monocle and others at the table noticed him and thought this was a new fashion in London circles and they too placed their hands in the hot soup.

When they served the main meal, Hair-Cool Carro made a point of refusing to be served meat. "Oh non ... pas pour moi," he told the maid Sheila Flirt who did not understand him, "Carro, he does not eet ze meat ... he will be satisfied with the vegetable seulement ... only!"

"I think the potatoes have been roasted in goose fat," teased Claudia Armoff, sitting next to him. "They should be OK, won't they?"

"Oh ... mille tonnerres," declared, Hair-Cool, "vraiment, Hair-Cool, he must not eet zem ... but tonight he is hungry ... so he weel make an exception!" (Pronouncing the last word in a strong French accent).

After the meal we retired to the library where some read books, others milled round the piano, and Walter Dumnote challenged Varicose Vain to a game of backgammon. As they set up the game they realised that there was a piece missing. One of the small discs used for backgammon was not there.

Suddenly, Hair-Cool came to the fore to play detective with Miss Maple Syrup volunteering to help him. She suggested that we search everyone to see if they had taken the missing piece.

Claudia Armoff, no longer hiding her amorous intentions towards Hair-Cool, nor hiding anything else judging by the short mini skirt she was wearing, insisted that she should be searched by him alone. "He is, after all, a proper detective," she declared putting Miss Maple Syrup in her place.

"Oh non mademoiselle," refused the hapless detective as he dropped his pince-nez spectacles, "Carro, he cannot do ze search on ze female person ... eet eez not appropriate, n'est ce pas?"

"Spoil sport," muttered Claudia as she sat down on the armchair by the window, "and who is going to search you Monsieur Carro? Shall I do it?"

"Mais c'est impossible ... insupportable ..." he said, stepping backwards and nearly falling over into the fireplace, "Carro ... he is beyond reproach. Beyond any suspicion; n'est ce pas?"

He stopped for a moment as if in deep pensive mood, "Et maintenant ..." he continued, "Carro ... he is burning his bottom in the fire!"  

After further discussion, it was decided that Miss Maple Syrup would search the ladies whilst Hair-Cool would search the men.

Search over, and the missing backgammon disc had not been found. No one had noticed that Walter Dumnote had dropped his monocle once again and replaced it by accidentally putting the missing backgammon disc on his eye instead.

I said nothing and retired to my room.



  1. Well, are you getting ready for the big wedding? Plan on celebrating? Would love to hear a full report from you when after the royal festivities, Victor!


  2. YES, Victor, where will you be for the festivities? We want your comments!

  3. I can so visualize these events, Victor! The 'finger-bowl' incident reminds me of once being served chilled consommé at an elderly relation's NYC apartment. Anxious not to make an oaf out of myself, I refrained from spitting it out all over her starched table linens ... but just barely.

    1. Hi Mevely,

      I have never been good at etiquette at the table. There are too many rules, it seems.

      Glad you enjoyed this episode.

      God bless you.

  4. I LOVE the play on the names and once again you had me giggling all the way through.

    1. Keep giggling, Terri. Another episode hopefully here soon. I wonder what will happen next. Can't wait.

      God bless.

  5. Absolutely hysterical, Victor! Thanks for the smiles today, my friend.

    1. I hope to be able to keep up with this, Martha. We may well have a book being written as we speak. I say TO BE CONTINUED at the end of each post but I really don't know what I'll write next. Hoping for inspiration.

      God bless you, my friend.

  6. More laughs as I read your story. Look forward to the next one. : )

    1. Thanx Happyone. I am looking forward to the next episode too. I don't know what I will write. Thank you for your encouragement which keeps me going.

      God bless you.

  7. Another hilarious episode, Victor. I liked it when the cat got the milk, cracked me up. :) Looking forward to the next episode.
    Enjoy the upcoming weekend.

    1. Many thanx, Bill. I am scratching my head to come up with the next episode. Hopefully something will come to mind.

      Have a good weekend and God bless.

  8. Replies
    1. Thank you Christine. I hope to keep going with another episode.

      God bless.



God bless you.