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.

Teacup in a Storm

Penned upon the 26th of June, 2006

Teacup in a Storm logo!

In which Sir Frederick shares the fruits of his Counter-Enlightenment with members of the public, addressing their queries on matters of Good Behaviour and Rational Dress.


To: Sir Frederick Chook
From: Irving Wellington Tinker (Mrs)

Dear Mr Sir Chook. How do you do. My husband and I are good Presbytarian sorts and we don’t go in for any of that autofellatio. We are eager to improve our station in life, and so to avoid embarrassment, we turn to you for advice. We of course attend numerous charity events (confidentially, the cost has proved ruinous) but we remain confused: when “White Tie” is mentioned on an invitation to a charitable ball, is it simply a phrase or must my husband actually wear a white tie with his best tartan suit?

Sir Frederick replies: Yes, I’m afraid he must. Don’t forget that a formal event demands a feather in one’s hat!


To: Sir Frederick Chook
From: Brigadier-General Mortimer “Ol’ Jaundiced” Shepstone

Dear Sir,
The British Empire was founded on three things: colonialism, the spinning-jenny, and weak tea. Now it seems ready to be torn down by three things: immorality, tandem bicycles, and plums. I didn’t lose both my legs fighting for Queen and country in the Bovril War so that upstart youths (the criminal classes, I call them) could laugh at me in the street and throw stones at my improbably tall hat. It’s all the fault of those Aesthetes, I tell you – they’re a pack of buggers and Red Anarchists to boot. What’s a good Tory to do?

Sir Frederick replies: Have you considered Dandyism?


To: Sir Frederick Chook
From: Mr Gregory Allegory

Dear sir,
I am a humble though sound-minded tradesman who, through unhappy accident, found himself destitute in London with no resources bar a bank-note for one million pounds. My not insignificant natural skills and talents proved useless in securing me work or accommodation, but the bank-note, despite its obvious impracticality for making any actual purchase, has secured me a comfortable lifestyle and as many fairweather friends as you care to name. I thus write to you to ask – does a red cravat go with a grey frock-suit?

Sir Frederick replies: A fall from grace is inevitable, in order to fully illustrate society’s reverence of price over value. Fasten your wardrobe with a secure padlock until your good name has been restored – if your tailor tries to remove anything, shoot him (avoid the hands).

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