Let us admit something that most of us instinctively realize and yet rarely mention in this politically correct universe: A few people are just really bad eggs. By that I mean they are, as my late father would have said, "born on parole": dreadful chaps with very little to recommend them.
This subject was carefully debated in the senior reading room the other day when one mem had brought up the subject in a roundabout way. He had been struck by an article in the very worthy Times Colonist about an old schoolmate who had been arrested yet again. His name is, ironically, Samuel Trust, known to his school mates as "Snaky."
He is a bounder who nuzzled up to embezzlement and befriended fraud as a young boy with a vigour rarely seen since the Medici family. He has the ability to make people believe his lies, no matter how unreasonable and farfetched. Armed with a beaming smile and a gift of the gab, a devastating combo, he could have applied himself to so many righteous endeavours.
Instead he decided to do harm. Why is that, do you think?
So many of us dwell in this life with a paucity of talent and must struggle to get by. I was once described by my Great Aunt Daisy as the sort of small boy who seems to stumble into walls. Her sister, Great Aunt Jeanette, was said to have exclaimed to my father after viewing me as a newborn, "One can always try again, dear."
However, the very good news is though I have little ability, I am not known to police, nor am I languishing in a nearby prison as a guest of Her Majesty.
There were several of those types at my school who one understood from an early age were up to no good. They were incorrigible in spite of systematic canings and endless "gatings." We "normal" boys were terrified of such things and would crawl on our bellies in abject apology to avoid any of the above, while the future felons seemed to take it cheerfully as a sort of cost of doing business.
I recall vividly our class contributing allowances that normally would have been swallowed up by the voracious tuck shop to a charity for Szechuan stutterers. Mr. Burns kept the proceeds in the top drawer of his fifth-form desk, which should have been safe as houses, but not with nearby fiends lurking; it was but a memory within the week.
Mr. Burns followed a trail of candy wrappers till he found the two criminals down the Hog's Back behind the infirmary on the brink of Stage 2 diabetes.
Other school charities had also been hit by the fearful duo, including the Wall-Eyed Welsh and the Finicky Eaters of Finland. The boys in question were immediately expelled after the headmaster broke several canes over their backsides, but went cheerfully to their waiting parents' cars and were seen no more.
The odd thing about it was that the departed boys' parents seemed not to be surprised and were in fact quite calm about it. I can tell you if it had been my parents I would not now be looking forward to my second martini of the afternoon.
We at the club have had to deal with more than a few pilfering waiters, mostly crazed people from Upper Sooke, but not too much white-collar crime as the place is alive with retiree police chiefs and muttering judges in a constant state of high suspicion. The one or two we have been aware of have been dealt with and sent on their way with a flea in their ear.
I do remember one little man who was always asking for our autographs in a pleasant manner, and many of us found him ingratiating until our banks phoned us. Deeply embarrassing to many, but what can one do?
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