Thank you, darling

I announce with some degree of relief that I have survived, barely, the reading of “Thank You, Jeeves”, by PG Wodehouse. It was given to me by Spacebunny, who I can only assume is seeking to rid the world of me by means of a lethal, albeit unprosecutable gift-giving.

Now, Terry Pratchett is a most amusing writer. Grant Naylor seldom fails to prise a smile from the reader. Our own Original Cyberpunk is no slouch in the humor department, and many is the time I have chuckled, or perhaps even snorted, when reading Douglas Adams.

But Wodehouse is the only writer who can reduce an innocent reader to desperate, painful gasps for air, as tears run down one’s face and an ominous pressure constricts one’s chest. The vision narrows, then grows dark, and there is naught to do but hope the fit passes before one’s breath leaves one’s body. It’s all in the convoluted setup, meticulous and precise, meant to finish off the unsuspecting reader as ruthlessly and efficiently as the meat-packing plant slaughters the cows.

I mean, you would not think the following exchange could be capable of rendering a grown man prostrate and helpless, but you would be wrong:

“Sorry. No butter.”
“There must be butter in your cottage.”
“There isn’t. And why? Because there isn’t a cottage.”
“I cannot understand you.”
“It’s burned down.”
“Yes. Brinkley did it.”
“Good God!”
“A nuisance in many ways, I must confess.”

I laughed. I cried. Much better than Cats.