Greetings once again, O warm and welcoming Denizens of the Twenty-first Century! It is I, Bertram St. James…as you can tell by my (exquisite) portrait which accompanies this epistle.
I thought I would share with you my Impressions and Ruminations on my first months in your time period. (For those of you who may be new to this Risky Regency salon, please know that I was a happy and handsome inhabitant of the year 1812 until just a few months ago…when somehow, I came here….no, I mean, came now. No, that doesn’t sound quite right either, does it? Oh, bother it all. You know what I mean.)
ASPECTS OF THE YEAR 2005 THAT I QUITE LIKED:
1. I simply adore Showers. In fact, I adore all of the Plumbing I have so far encountered in the Twenty-first Century.
2. The astoundingly low price of Books. I now own a Complete Shakespeare.
3. The fact that when one sees Shakespeare performed, no one cuts out the indelicate bits. In fact, as far as I can tell, new indelicate bits are added in.
4. Twix, Snickers, Hershey, Ms&Ms, Godiva (thank you for suggesting the last, Madame McCabe.) Chocolate Candy. What an invention.
5. Messrs. Johnson and Johnson’s Dental Floss.
6. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. What beautiful people. I could stare at them all day (and sometimes do.) Jennifer Lopez is also an aesthetic pleasure.
7. Public Libraries.
8. Electricity-powered Clothes Irons. Now one’s man is much less likely to singe one’s Clothes. (Not that mine ever did. Except that one time.)
9. Electricity-powered Lights. They are ever so much brighter than even the best beeswax candles, or any oil lamp I have ever encountered. Moreover, they do not smoke, they do not need tending, and they do not set one’s house on fire when one’s man is careless. (Not that mine ever did. Except — oh, never mind.)
ASPECTS OF THE YEAR 2005 THAT I FELT WERE QUITE UNNECESSARY:
1. I feel quite sad whenever I notice Tea adulterated with such things as maple and mango (whatever they are). Why are 2005 people not happy with simple Tea? Do you modern folk find the flavour of Tea so repulsive that you must needs cover it up with such things? If you must drink Vanilla Mango Maple Chai Licorice concoctions, why put Tea in them at all??? And do not try to tell me it is for Tea’s Stimulative Properties. It did not take me long to learn what “De-Caffeinated” means. Why not drink “De-Alconated” Wine, for heaven’s sake?
2. While I’m on the subject, let me add that I don’t understand why modern folk do not drink more. And by “drink more,” I mean wine, beer, ale, brandy, sherry, port…even gin. Not water. Not milk. Not “Energy Drinks.” Wine strengthens the blood and knits the bones! Please, do try to drink your bottle a day. It does a body good.
3. Safety Razors. Shave with a proper razor, for Heaven’s sake. How otherwise can you have a truly smooth chin?
4. Men’s Clothing. (Shudder.) Why are men so ashamed of their legs? Are they all turned Puritan?
5. Freeways are ugly things. Do away with them all, and I assure you, you will all be much happier.
Let me take this Opportunity to wish you all a Happy New Year! And may you all have the good fortune to grow half as elegant as I am in 2006.
Bertram St. James, Exquisite
Dear Mr. St. James,
Thanks as always for sharing. I can’t quite share your aversion to fruit-flavored teas, but I do enjoy your insights!
I wonder, have you had a chance to view what any of our so-called “Reality TV”? What do you think of it?
Bertie the Beau
I have now asked around, and have been informed what “Reality TV” is. I confess that I had not yet discovered what the poorly-functioning mirror in the corner of the drawing room was.
As for “Reality TV” — we had our own version of it. We called it the Royal Family. Much the same, I think.
Dear Mr. St. James:
Thanks for your reflections–I agree with you, although I think most men are not as nimble with a razor as you seem to be. I am quite certain styptic pencils wouldn’t do as well if they were, hence the safety razors.
Maybe they’re all shaving on the freeways?
Shaving on the Freeways? That could explain a few things. Such as why all the vehicles I ever see on the Freeways are at a dead stop.
I think cell phone use on freeways is even more common than shaving on freeways — and that may be why they always seem to be at a dead stop. 🙂
Of course, there are a lot of close shaves on the freeways.
As for that poorly-functioning mirror in the corner of the drawing room…
I must warn you, Mr. St. James, that though TV is usually nowhere near as wonderful as chocolate, it can have ill effects unless moderation is observed. Please be careful!
Dear Bertie, Old Thing,
I think that shortly after you departed the Regency, a new chapter was added to the Royal Family’s long-running show, “Who wants to be the biggest public laughingstock?” This was a mad scramble to produce legitimate children to inherit the throne. A remarkably unsuccessful scramble, considering how many illegitimate children they had managed to produce…
I share your delight in Public Libraries and the (relatively) low price of books. And your, er, admiration for Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Lopez. Have you had a look at Naomi Watts? I just watched her in a film, and her front teeth had me mesmerized the entire time. Right up there with Gwyneth Paltrow’s neck.
As for freeways–well, at least they’re free.
Your most obedient,