P.G. Wodehouse and Us
“Remember the scene at the beginnning of The Dog Who Knew Too Much?” Admin says. “Where Bernie addresses the Great Western Private Eye Association?”
“I do, as it happens,” says Spence.
“When you wrote that, did you have in mind Gussie Fink-Nottle’s speech at the Market Snodsbury Grammar School awards day ceremony from Right Ho, Jeeves?”
“Depends what you mean by have in mind. I don’t think you can write that sort of scene without being aware of the Wodehouse version. But there are many differences, starting with the point of view, of course.”
“How about a bit of Bernie, from the opening of The Dog Who Knew Too Much? Maybe as he’s wrapping up:”
Bernie shuffled through the papers. “And I guess that more or less … brings us to the end of the prepared remarks.” What was the word for when humans talk but you can’t understand a thing? Muttering? Yeah. Bernie was muttering now. “Happy to take any questions,” he went on, or something like that.
There were no questions.
“Well, then, it’s time to, uh … thanks. Yeah. Thanks. You’ve been a great, um.” Bernie raised his hand in a funny sort of wave, a page or two flying free, and started walking off the stage. Then came the applause. I heard it for sure, but my sense of hearing’s probably better than yours, no offense.
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