As many of you know, Bertram St James (one of the most noted Tulips of Regency society) mysteriously traveled in time, arriving a few years ago in our world of McDonalds and baggy jeans. He likes to turn up here at Risky Regencies on occasion to share his observations of modern life…but he has not been around recently.

In fact, I have not seen him in ages — although he promised he would share his thoughts on Valentine’s Day. But as far as I can tell, he, his valet, and his massive wardrobe have gone off somewhere…but where?

Breaking news: I still do not know precisely where Bertie the Beau is, but I did receive a telephone call from him. The transcript, which interrupts your regularly schedule Valentine’s Week Post, is as follows:

Cara: Hello?

Bertie: Why do they say “dial nine for an outside line,” when one only needs to dial “nine” when one is inside? Or does “inside” pertain to the telephonic callee? But how am I to know whether the individual for whom I am calling is out of doors or in?

Cara: Bertie, is that you?

Bertie: Who else possesses such mellifluous tones?

Cara: Um, yes, of course. How are you, Bertie? I haven’t seen you in ages.

Bertie: I am beautiful as always — need you ask? Oh, and is a “pants press” a new model of weight training machine?

Cara: Bertie, are you in a hotel?

Bertie: I cannot tell you where I am — who can say whether an insect is eavesdropping on the wire?

Cara: Wait — how are you paying for all this?

Bertie: Oh, never worry about money. Dreadful thing. Have you been watching the Lost Show on your TeleVision Box? Did you know they have the Lost Show at the Beverly Hilton?

Cara: Bertie! You didn’t — you aren’t — my visa — the Beverly — aarghh! [unintelligible sputterings follow]

Bertie: Oh, dash! I mentioned the name of the place, didn’t I? Now I’ll have to move again. Do you know if the Bel Age has huge-screen TeleVision Devices?

Cara: Why are you in hiding anyway???

Bertie: Why else, but relations? You recall that my great-aunt Lavinia Sophia Eugenia Kumquat sent notice to the periodical known as In Touch, reporting my nonexistent engagement to Miss Keira Knightley?

Cara: Yes…but wasn’t that a while ago?

Bertie: Aunts have very long memories. Quite like elephants. Come to think of it, my aunts resemble elephants in more ways than just that. If you could see–

Cara: Elephants don’t matter! Are you hiding from your Aunt Lavinia Soph–er, whatever her name is?

Bertie: Oh, she was bad enough. I still deny ever meeting the fair Miss Knightley! (I can deny it if there are not photographical pictures of us on the spiderweb, can I not?) And I certainly never became engaged to anyone. Though I admit that, in her green dress, she is the loveliest “Valentine” any gentleman could want! (Not that I do.)

Cara: So you’re not hiding from your aunt?

Bertie: No indeed — one aunt was not enough to cow me. But two are.

Cara: You now have two aunts in this century?

Bertie: Isn’t it dreadful? My Aunt Gorgon — that is, Aunt Gordon — has somehow joined my Aunt Lavinia Stuffy Aged Kumquat. Aunt Gorgon always pokes me when I do not sit up straight — but how can one be truly elegant without a subtle languor? And she’s not the worst of it! No, she brought along my Uncle Bucephalas Augustus Hund, who always wants me to tramp through nature — nature! the very idea! — and shoot at deer or birds or some other dirty creature with one of those shooting things. And as he’s quite a bit stronger than I am, I think it best just to go to ground and hope he cannot smoke me out.

Cara: I see.

Oh, dear, that sounds like his knock now! Oh, good, my man has indicated I can escape via the balcony. Adieu! Happy Valentine’s Day!

[End transcript.]

So, there you have it. Poor Bertie! (And I do hope he isn’t charging it all to my credit card…)

who wonders if Bertie has yet discovered Godiva chocolates