Friday, March 31, 2017

They would have been bad cops

I have been disgusted by the tactics and personalities of many of the managers I had to deal with in my career (thankfully, not all of them). I occurs to me that those individuals would have been very dangerous to society had they been given law-enforcement powers.

Allergic to wealthy women

Nor did the periodical through which he was glancing do anything to induce a sprightlier trend of thought. Its contents consisted almost entirely of photographs of female members of the ruling classes, and it mystified him that the public should be expected to disburse hard cash in order to hurt its eyes by scrutinizing such gargoyles.

(from Full Moon, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Lucknow: a little history from Wodehouse

You actually can pick up a little historical information from the novels of P. G. Wodehouse if you follow up his leads. For instance: "It was with something of the emotions of the beleaguered garrison of Lucknow on hearing the skirl of the Highland pipes that he came at long last out of a sort of despairing coma" (from Full Moon). He referred to the prolonged defense of the Residency within city of Lucknow during the Indian Rebellion of 1857. I had never heard of the battle, but evidently it is a fairly prominent event in British history.

The Relief of Lucknow.jpg

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

How do you spell "dumb blonde"?

Veronica Wedge, if the dumbest, was certainly the most beautiful girl registered among the collateral branches in the pages of Debrett's Peerage. With the brains of a peahen, and one whose mental growth had been retarded by being dropped on its head when just out of the egg, she combined a radiant loveliness which made fashionable photographers fight for her custom.

(from Full Moon, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Lord Emsworth is dotty

The fact is, old  girl, we've got to face it, Clarence is dotty. He was dotty when I married you, twenty-four years ago, and he's been getting dottier and dottier ever since. Where do you think I found him just now? Down at the pigsty. I noticed something hanging over the rail, and thought the pig man must have left his overalls there, and then it suddenly reared itself up like a cobra and said, "Ah, Egbert." Gave me a nasty shock. I nearly swallowed my cigar.

(from Full Moon, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Monday, March 27, 2017

A man of many roles

[Lord Ickenham] was a man who in his time had played many parts, and he took a pride in playing them right. It was his modest boast that there was nothing in existence, except possibly a circus dwarf, owing to his height, or Gina Lollobrigida, owing to her individual shape, which he could not at any moment and without rehearsal depict with complete success. In a single afternoon at The Cedars, Mafeking Road, in the suburb of Mitching Hill, on the occasion when he had befriended the pink chap to whom he had alluded in his talk with Albert Peasemarch, he had portrayed not only an official from the bird shop, come to clip the claws of the resident parrot, but Mr. Roddie, owner of The Cedars, and a Mr. J. G. Bulstrode, one of the neighbors, and had been disappointed that he was given no opportunity of impersonating the parrot, which he was convinced he would have gone on broad, artistic lines.

(from Cocktail Time, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Saturday, March 25, 2017

A "friend" in need

His circle of friends, while passing him over when the wanted someone to translate James Joyce into English or to explain the Einstein theory to them, knew that if they were in trouble, they could rely on his help. True, this help almost invariably made things worse than they had been, for if there was a way of getting everything muddled up, he got it, but his intentions were excellent and his heart in the right place.

(from Cocktail Time, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Friday, March 24, 2017

If it itches

          "You have a sensitive skin?"
          "Yes, I have. Very."
          "I suspected that that was the reason why you were behaving like a one-armed paperhanger with the hives. Watching you at work, I was reminded of the young lady of Natchez, whose clothes were all tatters and patches. In alluding to which, she would say, "Well, Ah itch, and wherever Ah itches, Ah scratches."

(from Cocktail Time, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Thursday, March 23, 2017


One of my father's older sisters was named Dulcie. The name means "sweet." I do not recall that I ever knew anyone else with that name. However, in the television series Cimarron Strip, the main female character was named Dulcey (same pronunciation).

Image result for jill townsend

You can usually count on it

In old detective movies and television shows, if someone steps out of a phone booth, the odds are that said individual is about to be shot.

Image result for man in old phone booth

Lloyd Lindroth on Peter Gunn

Lindroth was a very fine harpist who appeared as a murder suspect in the Peter Gunn television episode entitled "Blind Item." He was noted for his on-stage flamboyance. In this episode he plays a jazz version of "Tea For Two." Very nice. Here is a LINK of a Youtube video of him.

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Humphrey Bogart - the burning question

If he had not been a famous movie star, would Bogart have been considered glamorous?

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Why a moated grange?

"My dear old Beefy, you must be feeling like Mariana at the moated grange." This quote if from Wodehouse's Cocktail Time. For those of you who, like me, are not up on your classic quotes, this is from Shakespeare's Measure For Measure, which is was the inspiration for Tennyson's poem Mariana.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Stuart Whitman

He was far from being the only one, but actor Stuart Whitman had one of the prototypical "cigarettes and whisky" voices. Sounded like he must have just walked out of a smoke-filled bar.


The sad fact is that the qualities which can make a man a military hero do not necessarily translate into qualities that make a man admirable in the other arenas of life.

The English just have a way of expressing it

"Yo ho," said Lord Ickenham. "In fact, I will go further. Yo frightfully ho," and it was plain to both Bean and Egg that they were in the presence of one who was sitting on top of the world and who, had he been wearing a hat, would have worn it on the side of his head. He looked, they considered, about as bumps-a-daisy as billy-o.

(from Cocktail Time, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Masterpiece of composition

If you want to listen to a masterpiece in the art of musical composition, try Mendelssohn's Italian Symphony. Every theme in it is one that will stick in your mind and make you whistle it all day. It is not spectacular, since it was written "in the Italian style" of that period, but it is a marvel of efficiency and fully qualifies to be listed among the musical masterpieces of all time.

Fathers don't have the money

When it comes to bidding for Mama's heart, fathers just can't compete. All they can pay is a roof over her head and food on the table and clothes on her back - and that's not much in the currency of this economy. Children (and later grandchildren) have hugs and smiles. That is why, in Mama's day, Daddy usually falls into the "when I get around to it" category - AFTER the children and grandchildren are taken care of. Father's just don't have the money to compete in that auction.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Pretty, but hard

There is a class of actresses who are beautiful, but whose countenances have a hard look about them, as if there were some deep-seated meanness about them. Obviously, how they look may have nothing at all to do with their actual personalities, but they do look that way. One example is Dorothy Green, who was a familiar Hollywood face in her day. There was just something about her face that made her look as if she were about to do battle.

Image result for dorothy green

Ray Middleton

I am not a big fan of musicals, so I do not keep up with them to any degree. But Ray Middleton was a leading man in musicals for thirty years. My acquaintance with him came because he was a featured singer for a while on the Edgar Bergen radio show.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

A great Hope line

Hedy Lamarr: "All of us can't been Eric Augustine.

Bob Hope: "You'd be amazed how many of us are."

From My Favorite Spy. Hope is burlesque comic Peanut White impersonating ugustine, who is an international spy.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Morally nearsighted

"An educated man, a cunning man, Arnold Soper was morally  nearsighted. He was firmly convinced not only that every man had a price, but that the price was cheap." (from The Rustlers of West Fork, by Louis L'Amour)

People who are habitually immoral have difficulty in comprehending how honest and upright people think; and probably the reverse is also true.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Calculated risks

          "Well" - she was reluctant to leave - "take care of yourself. You take too many chances."
          "Not me," He shook his head. "Only a fool takes chances. That isn't bravery, not one bit. The good fightin' man never takes a chance he can avoid. You have to take plenty you can't help, an' only a fool wold go to gamblin' with his life."

(from The Rustlers of West Fork, by Louis L'Amour)

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The danger of unused minds

"Hopalong nodded. Carefully he went over in his mind all he had heard. He had the retentive memory of a Western man, but he was taking no chances. Upon what he had just heard his life might well depend, and even more  than his life, the lives of Pamela  and her father."

The passage above is from The Rustlers of West Fork, by Louis L'Amour. It illustrates one of my chief concerns about our modern age, that we are allowing our minds to atrophy through lack of use. Consider how active men's minds were in a day when the use of their memories might just preserve their lives.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Poetic description

"The morning air was clear and pleasant, and every breath was like a long swallow of fresh, cool mountain water."

From The Rustlers of West Fork, by Louis L'Amour. I thought that was a nice description of a beautiful morning.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Barney Fife on McHale's Navy

In the fourth season of the McHale's Navy television program, Don Knotts was a guest star. Here is a LINK to that episode.

The wrong vested interest

People who are trained to fight and kill and who are gung-ho about it have a vested interest in getting into actual battle. They feel can test and prove their worth only by actual combat. Thus the military has a need for occasional conflict in order to keep themselves sharp.

What a negative, self-defeating interest! War is NEVER productive. It is only and always destructive of life and property. That is one reason that civilian leaders must exercise judgment in their handling of the military and always keep them strictly in check.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Not enthusiastic consent

          Geraldine reflected. "I think the best plan is for me to cable him today to return at once, as you are now prepared to give your full consent to our marriage."
          Lord Wivelscombe sat for a moment in thought. "You consider that the best plan?"
          "I do."
          "What's the next best?"

(from "The Luck of the Stiffhams," by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Friday, March 10, 2017

Things were NOT going well

There was a silence, broken only by the sound of Nelson ordering a mixed vermouth. Percy tontinued to stare before him like a man who has drained teh win-cup of life to its lees, only to discover a dead mouse at the bottom.

(from The Amazing Hat Mystery, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Thursday, March 09, 2017

The Rules of Chivalry

In the matter of her loved one's acts of chivalry towards damsels in distress, a fiancee holds certain definite views. If the damsels he assists are plain, he is a good chap and deserves credit. If they are pretty, he is a low hound who jolly well gets his ring and letters back by the first post.

(from Young Men In Spats, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

One unhappy butler

Beach walked slowly away across the lawn. His head was bowed, his heart heavy. It was a moment when a butler of spirit should have worn something of the gallant air of a soldier commissioned to carry dispatches through the enemy's lines. Beach did not look like that. He resembled far more nearly in his general demeanour one of those unfortunate gentlemen in railway station waiting-rooms who, having injudiciously consented at four-thirty to hold a baby for a strange woman, look at the clock and see that it is now six-fifteen and no relief in sight.

(from Heavy Weather, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Trigger in Sherwood Forest

Roy Rogers' famous horse Trigger made his movie debut as the mount of Maid Marian in the Errol Flynn version of Robin Hood in 1938.

Lynne Roberts-Roy Rogers in Billy the Kid Returns.jpg

Chunk out the rascal!

Hugo Carmody was not unsympathetic, but he had a fair mind and privately considered the fact that Lord Tilbury had acted with great good sense. Obviously, felt Hugo, the whole secret of success, if you were running a business and had Monty Bodkin working for you, was to get rid of him at the earliest possible moment.

(from Heavy Weather, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Backed into a corner

Another interval for rest and meditation succeeded. Miss Ukridge paced the floor with knit brows; while I sidled into a corner and stood there feeling a little like an inexperienced young animal-trainer tho has managed to get himself locked into the lions' den and is trying to remember what Lesson Three of his correspondence course said he ought to to in such circumstances.

(from Eggs, Beans and Crumpets, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Monday, March 06, 2017

Not at my best

There are certain people in this world in whose presence certain other people can never feel completely at their ease. Notable among the people beneath whose gaze I myself experience a sensation of extreme discomfort and guilt is Miss Julia Ukridge, author of so many widely-read novels, and popular after-dinner speaker at the better class of literary reunion. This was the fourth time we had  met, and on each of the previous occasions I had felt the same curious illusion of having just committed some particularly unsavoury crime and - what is more - of having done it with swollen hands, enlarged feet, and trousers bagging at the knee on a morning when I had omitted to shave.

(from Eggs, Beans and Crumpets, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Saturday, March 04, 2017

What makes a young man popular

"I think the trouble with Freddie," said the Crumpet, "is that he always gets off to a flying start. He's a good-looking sort of a chap who dances well and can wiggle hs ears, and the girl is dazzled for the moment, and this encourages him." (from Young Men in Spats, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

There you have it, fellows - what it takes to get off to a good start with the ladies. I can't help you much with the good-looking part: you are on your own there. But learn how to fox trot and how to wiggle your ears, and you are two-thirds of the way home.

Different heads for different folks

It's a curious thing about old George Tupper. There's a man who you might say is practically directing the destinies of a great nation - at any rate, he's in the Foreign Office and extremely well thought of by the Nibs - and yet his size in hats is a small seven. I don't know if you've ever noticed that Tuppy's head goes up to a sort of point. Mine, on the other hand, is shaped more like a mangel-wurzel, and this made the whole thing rather complex and unpleasant.

(from Eggs, Beans and Crumpets, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Grand Exalted What?!

"That is Uncle Joe, taken in the lodge regalia of a grand Exalted Periwinkle of the Mystic Order of Whelks."

(from Egg, Beans and Crumpets, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Der Fuehrer's Face

This novelty tune was a wartime slap at the Germans by the Spike Jones band.



Rannygazoo: now there is a useful word - and colorful, too. It means "Nonsense, deception; foolishness, fuss, exaggeration."