Sir F. Chook, Inventor of Leopard Oil

Likeness captured upon a daguerrotype machine in Japan, July 1891


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

Two Oilmen in Charing Cross Hotel

Penned upon the 8th of June, 2010

(seated on a large wicker chair) Say now, are you here for the Exhibition of Drilling?
ENGLISH OILMAN: (seated at table) Oh, yes, I am. I’m here representing Northern Morgenthaum. And yourself..?
AMERICAN: Lanyard Caine; Caine Oil, New York. I’ve come here to recruit – I need a damn good tutor to teach elocution to the crude oil. It’s part of our new refinement process – you’ll be hearing all about it once our product’s on the market, I promise you.
ENGLISH: Have you been to London before?
AMERICAN: Not for a long, long time. I’ve been away from civilisation, on the derricks. It’s been hard, but rewarding, hopping from one derrick to another… I’ve been working on my biggest derrick yet for the last six months.
ENGLISH: Ah, sure, I follow you. Funny they all had the same name, though.

(a lengthy period of building acquaintance follows)

AMERICAN: Who’s that man over there, with the scar running to his ear?
ENGLISH: That’s Major Carlisle. He’ll tell you he was a champion Prussian scar-duellist, but he really just worked as an apprentice in a hotel kitchen. The head chef chopped one of his jowls off because be put the custard in the bowl upside-down.
AMERICAN: Great Scott… wait, which hotel did he work at? I’m having my dinner here tonight; I don’t want to be served a stuffed face!
ENGLISH: Don’t worry – they wouldn’t have the bloody cheek. No, it’s French food here – this new style they call l’amalgame de l’héraldique et la cuisine. Lions rampant on a bed of sautéed greens; that sort of thing.

(the wheels of social intercourse are further greased, until-)

Besides, I think I’d make a fine mother.
VICAR BYSTANDER: (flabbergasted) What! You’re the opposite of a fine mother! You’re composed of pure anti-mater! If you came into contact with a mother, there’d be a violent reaction!
AMERICAN: (sotto voce) Hey now, that’s hardly a way for a preacher to talk to a lady!
ENGLISH: (sotted voce) Nooo, they’re old friends. They love to wind each other up.
AMERICAN: (contemplative pause) Does that mean… they’re screwing?
ENGLISH: I gather you’re still getting to the grips with the English idiomatic.
AMERICAN: I don’t think I have one of those in my room – just the Transatlantic telegraph and some French letters.

(and so evening turns inexorably to night)

AMERICAN: Well, I’d best hit the sack, or come morning, I won’t be able to hit the bricks and my secretary will hit the roof.
ENGLISH: What a hoot. I’ll turn in, too – I’ve got a paper comparing the relative merits of oil of shale and boiled snails to present tomorrow. Toora!
AMERICAN: So long!

(both stand, shake hands and proceed full into opposite bar-room doors)

If you so desire, you may follow any commentary upon this missive with the aid of our “RSS-O-Matic” apparatus.

Neither remarks nor trackings-back are currently permitted, so as to focus your attention better upon the wisdom herein.

Further remarks are not permitted.