Saturday, February 29, 2020

It's killing me!

     "It woke me up," said Mr. Bennett complaingly. "And I had had great difficulty in dropping off to sleep. I was in considerable pain. I believe I've caught the mumps from young Hignett."
     "Nonsense! You're always imagining yourself ill," snapped Mr. Mortimer.
     "My face hurts," persisted Mr. Bennett.
     "You can't expect a face like that not to hurt," said Mr. Mortimer.

(from The Girl On the Boat, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Thursday, February 27, 2020

The man is in trouble

Billie knew all. And, terrible though the fact is as an indictment of the male sex, when a women knows all, there is invariably trouble ahead for some man. There was trouble ahead for Samuel Marlowe. Billie, now in possession of the facts, had examined them and come to the conclusion that Sam had played a practical joke on her, and she was a girl who strongly disapproved of practical humour at her expense.

(from The Girl On the Boat, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Happy with his underclothes

Eustace Hignett looked up brightly, even beamingly. In the brief interval which had elapsed since Sam had seen him last, and extraordinary transformation had taken place in this young man. His wan look had disappeared. His eyes were bright. His face wore that beastly self-satisfied smirk which you see in pictures advertising certain makes of fine-mesh underwear. If Eustace Hignett had been a full-page drawing in a magazine with "My dear fellow, I always wear Sigsbee's Superfine Fetherweight!" printed underneath him, he could not have looked more pleased with himself.

(from The Girl On the Boat, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

She couldn't fall in love with him!

     "You've been refusing your oats the last few days, and that's a sure sign. Is he that fellow that always around with you and who looks like a parrot?
     "Bream Mortimer? Good gracious, no!" cried Billie indignantly. "As if I should fall in love with Bream!"
     "When I was out in British East Africa," said Miss Hubbard, "I had a bird that was the living image of Bream Mortimer. I taught him to whistle "Annie Laurie" and to ask for his supper in three native dialects. Eventually he died of the pip, poor fellow."

(from The Girl On the Boat, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Monday, February 24, 2020

What a girl's smile can do

Sam had been feeling a good deal of a fellow already but at the sight of her welcoming smile his self-esteem almost caused him to explode. What magic there is in a girl's smile! It is the raisin which, dropped in the yeast of male complacency, induces fermentation.

(from The Girl On the Boat, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Make him look better?

     "But what I came about, Bertie," said Gussie, breaking off abruptly as if this dip into the past pained him, "was to ask if you could lend me that tie of yours with the pink lozenges on the dove-grey background. I shall be dropping in at the Vicarage tomorrow morning, and I want to look my best."
     Apart from the fleeting thought that he was a bit of an optimist if he expected a tie with pink lozenges on a dove-grey background to undo Nature's handiwork to the extent of making him look anything but a fish-faced gargoyle, my reaction to these words was a feeling of profound relief that I had had that talk with Corky and obtained her promise that she would lose no time in choking Gueeie off and putting him on the ice.

(from The Mating Season, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Fishy looking

Jeeves, in speaking of this Fink-Nottle, had, if you remember, described him as disgruntled, and it was plain at a glance that the passage of time had done nothing to gruntle him. The eyes behind their horn-rimmed spectacles were beaming with fury and resentment and all that sort of thing. He looked like a peevish halibut. In moments of emotion Gussie's rememblance to some marine monster always became accentuated.

(from The Mating Season, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Friday, February 21, 2020

Casey Jones TV series

For a television program that appeared to be focused mainly on the juvenile market, the plots in this series were unusually intense. The situations involved any number of cliffhanger situations that were unusually well conceived. Alan Hale, Jr. was the star, and had just a little too much of the Skipper from Gilligan's Island, but still did a good job. Definitely worth watching. Available on YouTube.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

She would be a plain-spoken aunt

This was nasty news, and I found myself chewing the lower lip a bit in undisguised concern. This sudden decision to follow me to Totleigh Towers could mean only one thing, that Aunt Dahlia, thinking things over, had become mistrustful of my will to win, and had felt it best to come and stand over me and see that I did not shirk the appointed task. And as I was fully resolved to shirk it, I could envisage some dirty weather ahead. Her attitude towards a recalcitrant nephew would, I fears, closely resemble that which in the old tally-ho days she had been wont to adopt towards a hound which refused to go into cover.

(from The Code of the Woosters, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

He sounds funny

     From his earliest years, there has always been something distinctive and individual about Gussie's timbre, reminding the hearer partly of an escape of gas from a gas pipe and partly of a sheep calling to uts young in the lambing season.

(from The Code of the Woosters, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

That's a cow?

     So I wasn't expecting the heart to leap up to any great extent at the sight of this exhibit. But when the whiskered ancient pottered off into the shadows and came back with the thing, I scarcely knew whether to laugh or weep. The thought of an uncle paying hard cash for such an object got right in amongst me.
     It was a silver cow. But when I say "cow," don't go running away with the idea of some decent, self-respecting cudster such as you may observe loading grass into itself in the nearest meadow. This was a sinister, leering, underworld sort of animal, the kind that would spit out of the side of its mouth for two-pence.

(from The Code of the Woosters, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Monday, February 17, 2020


"He spoke with a certain what-is-it in his voice, and I could see that, if not actually disgruntled, he was far from being gruntled, so I tactfully changed the subject." (from The Code of the Woosters, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Yes, Virginia, "gruntled" is a word. It means "pleased, satisfied, contented." Sir Pelham was entirely proper in his usage of it.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

One more fact in his favor

     "Good-bye," said Eve. "Thank you for being so hospitable and lavish. I'll try to find some cushions and muslin and stuff to brighten up this place."
     "Your presence does that adequately," said Psmith, accompanying her to the door. "By the way, returning to the subject we were discussing last night, I forgot to mention, when asking you to marry me, that I can do card tricks."
     "And also a passable imitation of a cat calling to her young. Has this any weight with you? Think! These things come in very handy in the long winter evenings."

(from Leave It To Psmith, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Saturday, February 15, 2020

What makes and excellent girl

As he approached her now, he was thinking pleasantly of all those delightful walks, those excellent driftings on the lake, and those cheery conversations which had gone to cement his conviction that of all possible girls she was the only possible one. It seemed to him that in addition to being beautiful she brought out all that was best in him of intellect and soul. That is to say, she let him talk oftener and longer than any girl he had ever known.

(from Leave It To Psmith, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Friday, February 14, 2020

That's "Psmith"

     "The name is Psmith. P-smith.
     "Peasmith, sir?"
     "No, no. P-s-m-i-t-h. I should explain to you that I started life without the initial letter, and my fther always clung ruggedly to the plain Smith. But it seemed to me that there were so many Smiths in the world that a little variety might well be introduced. Smythe I look on as a cowardly evasion, nor do I approve of the prevalent custom of tacking another name on in front by means of a hyphen. So I decided to adopt the Psmith. The p, I should add for your guidance, is silent, as in phthisis, psychic, and ptarmigan."

(from Leave It To Psmith, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Murder investigations

There were times when being the detective in charge of a murder investigation was a great deal like being a bookkeeper. You added facts instead of figures; you subtracted errors instead of debits; in the end, if you were lucky, you balanced the books. If you didn't the first time, you kept at it until you did.

(from Murder Within Murder, by Richard and Frances Lockridge)

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Love's strange ways

Love's silken bonds are not broken just because the female half of the sketch takes umbrage at the loony behavior of the male partner and slips it across him in a series of impassioned speeches. However devoutly a girl may worship the man of her choice, there always comes a time when she feels an irresistible urge to haul off and let him have it in the neck.

(from Jeeves In the Morning, by Sir Pelham Wosehouse)

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

A new experience

     The change into something loose. The well-earned dinner. The quiet evening. Bed. That was the year in, year out routing of a man like Chichester Clam, Sundays and holidays excepted, and it was one ill calculated to fit him for the raw excitements and jungle conditions of Steeple Bumpleigh.
     Steeple Bumpleigh must have come upon him as a totally new experience, causing him to wonder what had hit him - like a man who, stooping to pluck a nosegay of wild flowers on a railway line, is unexpectedly struck in the small of the back by the Cornish Express.

(from Jeeves In the Morning, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Monday, February 10, 2020

Uncle was young, too?

This was news to me. I had never pictured Uncle Percy as a bird who had gone about with rackety sets as a young man. In fact, I had never pictured him as ever having been a young man at all. It's always that way. If an old buster has a bristling moustache, a solid, lucrative business and the manners of a bear when aroused when hibernating, you do not probe into his past and ask yourself whether he, too, in his day may not have been one of the boys.

(from Jeeves in the Morning, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Sunday, February 09, 2020

Stilton in Parliament?

     "And if you have any influence with him, endeavor to persuade him to chuck all this policeman nonsense and stand for Parliament, as she wants him to."
     "I'd love to see Stilton in Parliament."
     "So would I, if it means healing this rift."
     "Wouldn't it be a scream!"
     "Not necessarily. There are bigger fatheads than Stilton among our legislators - dozens of them. They would probably shove him in the Cabinet."

(from Jeeves In the Morning, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Saturday, February 08, 2020

Kent Taylor trivia

We know Taylor best from his portrayal of Boston Blackie on the TV show.

He was married to Augusta Taylor for 57 years.

The "Kent" half of his name was, along with Clark Gable, the inspiration for the Clark Kent, Superman's alter ego.

His trademark was a pencil-thin moustache.

Friday, February 07, 2020

You will still get the blame

The spine, and I do not attempt to conceal the fact, had become soluble in the last degree. You may wonder at this, arguing that I was not responsible for the disaster which had come upon us. I had nothing to fear. But a longish experience has taught me that on these occasions innocence pays no dividends. Pure as the driven snow though he may be, or even purer, it is the man on the spot who gets the brickbats.

(from Jeeves In the Morning, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Thursday, February 06, 2020

It ain't her looks

Aunt Agatha is like an elephant - not so much to look at, for in appearance she resembles more a well-bred vulture, but because she never forgets.

(from Jeeves In the Morning, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Wednesday, February 05, 2020

Nether Wallop?

     "Well, she comes from the Middle West, and seems to be trying to be twice as Bohemian as the rest of the girls down in Greenwich Village. She wears her hair bobbed and goes about in a kimono. She's probably read magazine stories about Greenwich Village, and has modelled herself on them. It's so silly, when you can see Hicks Corner sticking out of her all the time."
     "That one got past me before I could grab it. What did you say she had sticking out of her?"
     "I meant that anybody could see that she came from somewhere out in the wilds. As a matter of fact, Bill tells me that she was brought up in Snake Bite, Michigan."
     "Snake Bite? What rummy names you have in America! Still, I'll admit there's a village in England called Nether Wallop, so who am I to cast the first stone?"

(from The Indiscretions of Archie, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

Now there's a soprano!

"It wants a woman to sing it. A woman who could reach out or the last high note and teach it to take a joke. The whole refrain is working up to that. You need Tetrazzini or someone who would just pick that note off the roof and hold it it till the janitor came round to lock up the building for the night."

(from The Indiscretions of Archie, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Monday, February 03, 2020

Never book a composer

Wilson Hymack pushed as much of his hair out of his eyes as he could readily with one hand, cleared his throat, looked dreamily over the top of a photograph of Archie's father-in-law, Mr. Daniel Brewster, played a prelude, and began to sing in a weak, high, composer's voice. All composers sing exactly alike, and they have to be heard to be believed.

(from The Indiscretions of Archie, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Sunday, February 02, 2020

Someone has to say "no"

     The trouble was, a man could not escape from himself, and wherever he would go, in the kind of country in which he could make a living, there would always be a need for a Matt Coburn. 
     There were a lot of good folks in the world, but there were a lot of others who underneath the veneer were savages, savages just waiting for a chance to do what they wanted to do if they could do it without fear of punishment. And nature and the years of living had given Matt Coburn the kind of stuff it took to walk the dark streets and bring restraint to those who hated restraint.

(from The Empty Land, by Louis L'Amour)

Saturday, February 01, 2020

Subliminal problem solving

Long ago he had learned that problems could often be solved by the part of the mind that worked beneath the surface; that, given the element of a problem, it was the nature of the mind to attempt to solve it, or at least to cope with it. The first essential was to see clearly what the problem was, to frame the problem correctly, and the means of solving it would often come without too much working at it.

(from The Empty Land, by Louis L'Amour)