It started sometime in the 18th century, one morning last week. I was sitting at my breakfast table eating a little meal of pince-nez and fob watches marinated in Marsala when Nick came galloping up on a runcible spoon.
"Who the devil are you?" I said, not realising that, my mouth being half-full of crumbled fob, what I was saying would come out as a half-squeal, half-screech: "Don't hurt me! Women and children first!" An understandable mistake.
Anyway, furthermore, and to cut a short story long, Nick threatened to run me through with his lapels if I didn't accompany him forthwith, not to mention straightaway.
As we proceeded along, Nick began to tell me the details of his little scheme: he had begun a group blog, and he would consider himself greatly dishonoured if I could participate. I naturally found myself moved by his tale, and would have complied there and then. But quite suddenly, Nick said this:
"What is your opinion on periwigs?"
"Periwigs, sir, periwigs. Do you grow them? What is your opinion on their cultivation?"
"Only if authentic baroque instrumentation is available", I replied, vaguely.
This conversation ringing ominously in my ears, we arrived at the beach where the cameraman and the other members of Snarkeology had already arrived.
Tim, Jo, and Pettstar greeted me with a welcoming chorus of jeers and growls. As I drew nearer to them, they insisted on pressing cups of hot cocoa and bovril on me, even going to the lengths of pouring it over my face and into my trousseaux and dashing the empty cups over my heads. (Something of a faux pas, as in my family, this is never done until after dinner, but I was more than willing to let that slide.)
Meanwhile, the cameraman had set up his equipment on the sand. This being the eighteenth century, cameras had not as yet been invented, and so the doughty tradesman had to improvise, which he did, (somewhat in the manner of Ellington.) He set up the rolls of film on long trestle tables, and then proceeded to yodel in an aleatoric manner at them, at a distance of exactly 25 feet, all the time ensuring that we were within hearing distance of his right ear*.
The results, I'm sure you'll agree, were remarkable:
Jo (centre) was attempt to foment revolution amongst Nick (left) and Tim (right), though they were having none of it. Note the beaver, by the way. The beaver is very important.
This is Pettstar: she was just putting the curtain back on this when the picture was taken. I considered showing this picture, in which she appears in a slightly more benevolent mood, but eventually decided against it. It scares the hell out of me.
I'm not actually sure what happened in this picture, but anyway, that's Nick (right) holding me down in the teapot in an effort to intoxicate me. To the left, Frank, the bunny from Donny Darko, has appeared for some reason. Let this serve a lesson to all the little children out there: do not commit dangerous excesses on green tea, and read the Psalms every morning.
These are just a bunch of Satan worshippers who happened to be out for a Sunday stroll at the time. They take a nice picture.
And this is myself (left). I had encountered the beggar on the right drowning in the surf and dragged him out of the high tide with my left ear. He immediately vowed to be eternally in my debt, and now works around my house as a kind of serving man. I call him Saturday**.
It was certainly a capital day, and I look forward to working as closely with each and every member of Snarkeology as the words 'keep away from me!' and 'take a long walk off a short pier' will allow!
*I asked him that evening how he filmed a movie, and he replied that it was done in exactly the same fashion in a moving train, so long as the upholstery has been covered thoroughly in mammoth fur.
** I checked with the registrar of names, and apparently Thursday, Friday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday were all taken.