Bertie Takes a Bath

Oh my, isn’t my face red. I meant to hit the little keys to make the title of this “Bertie Talks About Bath.”

But somehow, it doesn’t say that.

And I cannot decipher how to change it. Please forgive me. I never talk about indelicate things, such as — well — you know. At least, I never talk about them by accident.


Bertie Talks About Bath

Bath is dreadfully boring. I have no idea why you all like it so much.

I will concede that it is a pretty little town. Some of the buildings are aesthetically pleasing. As are a few of the ladies.

But save me from those Bath tabbies! Those plump, red-faced, elderly women who always tell one “stand up straight, Bertie!” and “drink your water, Bertie!” and “meet me at 9 o’clock in the morning, Bertie!” and “Dance with my ugly grand-daughter, Bertie!” (Very well, I admit that they don’t phrase the last command with those precise words. But that’s the meaning, I assure you.)

It’s enough to give one chills, even in this weather.

My reply to the tabbies:

1. As far as I am concerned, there is no 9 a.m. There is a 9 p.m. I could meet you at 9 p.m. (But I won’t.)

2. I’d much rather drink wine, thank you very much.

3. I am standing just as straight as is fashionable. No more, no less.

4. Dancing is too too fatiguing. I’d much rather have more wine.

Those are my ruminations on Bath.

I have never read Miss Austen’s novel Northanger Abbey, so I cannot say whether or not I care that it will be filmed in Ireland. Ireland is a beautiful country, but — oh, you know. It would be quite splendid if only there weren’t so many Irish folk living there.

Yours elegantly, as always,

Bertie the Beau

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16 years ago

Dear Bertie, Old Thing,

I believe the phrase you were looking for is: “Bertie, dear, won’t you stand up with my grand-daughter? Such a charming girl, and so accomplished.” Is that right? Ah, well–one cannot expect a tabby to change her–er, stripes, I suppose.

As for the Irish, just let me whisper a word of warning: a statistically improbable fraction of all Americans claim descent from Ireland, so it might be as well to temper your observations a trifle. However elegant they may be.

Your obt. svt.,


Diane Perkins
16 years ago

Todd, omigosh. I’m one of those statistically improbable ones! When I was well into my 30’s I asked my mother and aunt, “So during which potato famine did our ancestors come over from Ireland?” They gave pensive looks and replied, “Ireland? I suppose there was an Irish ancestor somewhere but mainly our family came from Alscace Lorainne.”
Mon Dieu!

16 years ago


Or maybe “Mein Gott!” Well, I mean…Alsace Lorraine, you know… 🙂


Cara King
16 years ago

Funny, Diane — I have a crew of ancestors from the Alsace area too! Though I also have a bunch of Irish ones. And a fair number of “well, the last name was Stevenson, so we’re guessing maybe English” random who-knows types… 🙂


Bertram St James
16 years ago

Now my face is red again! Todd, old chap, I take back my remark about the Irish. Too, too rude of me. So sorry. (No need to call me out now, by the way.)

Particularly as I have discovered the most wonderful Irish creation — a delicacy known as “Fortunate Charms.” With yellow moons, white stars, purple clovers, or something like that. Delicious.

Bertie, going back for another bowl

16 years ago

Bertie, Mon Vieux,

Call you out? Perish the thought! I am a man of peace. And besides, to perforate your exquisite waistcoat would be a crime against art–rather like throwing a brick through a stained-glass window.

I am rather fond of Fortunate Charms myself. Have you tried Commodore Crunch? Or Apple Knaves?


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