I have forgotten who said something like: Everything one writes is in one way or another autobiographical. Maybe it was my favourite, Blake, or even Melville, but not, I am almost sure, Camus or Sartre, as it doesn't sound very French, does it?
One's boyhood lessons fade with time, but then one has the joy of relearning if one's marbles are still unscrambled. I started my column this week in this fashion because apparently some of my aging readership are inordinately curious about the Major and what makes me tick.
I was a little startled by these letters, some of an earnest variety; I would have thought through my columns most of you would by now have a smattering of understanding of me, the club and my family. My small audience bays for more, however.
I have but a few weapons to protect myself against rudeness or naked aggression, which can come upon one quickly in this thrust-and-parry world of ours. Here is an example. When someone such as Mrs. ffrangington-Davis stares at me balefully, I return her gaze ruefully, as is my wont, which should say worlds to anyone who cares. I often then conclude with a "There!" and return to my paper, the worthy Times Colonist. Not many miscreants can stand up to that.
Apparently there are circulating dirty little books for middle-aged women that are bestsellers. They describe beatings and whippings said to induce paroxysms of "love-joy," as a great-aunt of mine referred to it, in normally sane spinsters, matrons and memsahibs. You can imagine my chagrin when, upon entering our boudoir just before dinner last week, I found Kitty, my wife of two score and 10, dressed in a brevity of clothing and handcuffed to the end of our bed.
Of course I thought we had had a break-in and my wife had been left thus so as to humiliate her. As I fiddled with the shackles I glanced at my dear girl, who appeared to be breathing not unlike a bellows. Suddenly in a husky voice she spoke: "Be a man, you fool."
So I rang 911 immediately and tried to look like a Hollywood star by assuming a stance like Gable, a favourite of mine. This seemed to unhinge my wife, and she began to struggle madly, saying, "You were supposed to make me happy!"
I began to rub my temples madly to get a picture of what she was on about as she burbled about weakchinned husbands. In an effort to make her happy, I made funny faces until the police arrived.
For some reason she has not spoken to me since and I am still in a fog as to why, although her friends at the club avoid me too. One shouted at me, "Didn't you read the book?" Well, no.
Another element that noodles about me is I have learned to refrain from becoming ill, not just because it is in itself unpleasant, but because it might require home nursing from Kitty.
You see, there are some women, particularly those soft and warm types, who make natural Nightingales of the Florence variety. Sadly, my darling wife cannot be counted amongst their ranks. She is more a "get better soon or die" type.
I had a rummy stomach due to an unfortunate attempt by my true love at a seismic and quasi-nuclear curry dish normally consumed only by tranced-out mahatmas living in the northern caves of India. I awoke at 3 a.m. thinking I had swallowed a small sun and was in agony for days.
My wife simply put me on rubber sheets and forcefed me porridge. Twice a day she would hose me down, while I tried to hold myself, shouting fiercely as I bounced around the room.
But in spite of a few speed bumps, I live a wellstructured life inside a glorious marriage, I think.
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