Sir F. Chook, Inventor of Leopard Oil

Likeness captured upon a daguerrotype machine in Japan, July 1891

Lettres

Wherein the Author reflects upon certain topical & personal issues of the Day.

A trifle, some small events of the day

Penned upon the 25th of March, 2006

A curious day today.

We ventured forth, perhaps unwisely, into Colonial Capital MELBOURNE proper’s central district of business. Lured by promises of free circuses, we spend some hours navigating porridge-thick crowds, directed by frowning guides paid to stand stock still and endlessly repeat “Please mind the stair” (labourers being cheaper and more plentiful than signs in this day and age), before discovering that half the provincial population had arrived there before us.

However, as is the case in the case of the MERDRE ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS and as is the case here, the forlorn voyage home of those whose plans have failed was the most exciting part of the adventure. Firstly, we were joined on the tram-car by a lady in a top hat, black jacket and grey bustle skirt, and her gentleman in what can only be described as neo-classicically-inspired punk regalia, that is to say, the garb of a Roman officer as interpreted by a French painter and then decorated with patches, &c. Upon boarding he claimed the tram in the name of Empire. I only wish I had had the precognitive foresight to have an Earl Grey trade-card to offer to the pair, as they were clearly right-thinking individuals.

I was able to quickly recover from this misfortune when we met a preacher ideologising from atop an ornamental bulwark, lecturing passers-by about the purity of their souls and the judgement of his deity. Wishing to defend the principles of humanism, decency and SCIENCE by protesting his impoliteness, I let the spirit of The Earl Grey flow through me. Leaping utop the slick stones beside him, I clutched my hat to my breast and let loose with Sir Joseph Porter’s “Now Give Three Cheers” from HMS Pinafore. The result? Let me simply say: no citizen danced a hornpipe to HIS sermon.

And now, home again, swaddled in my dressing gown and taking notes for tonight’s wireless-telegraph broadcast (7pm on SYN 907!). The lesson? Always take care not to accidentally leave your home, but if you must, never forget three things: your hat, your calling cards and your elan!


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