Sunday, 20 April 2008

CLASS-CONSCIOUS

It's funny but people of a certain class seem incapable of speaking at any volume lower than a loud-hailer. Maybe this is due to having to converse on a daily basis along the full length of baronial banqueting tables.

At any rate, the Duke and Duchess were the only other people sitting in our local restaurant and seemed totally unphased by the fact that - munching away on our penne pasta - we couldn't help but hear every word of their conversation as they went through the next six months of their social engagements with reference to a gold-crest-embossed diary.
"So, next week we've the Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Abbey - we have the tickets for that, don't we..."

"And we're confirmed with the Dean for afterwards."

"Excellent! Then it's just two weeks until Moscow. Of course, it's only for four days, so we shouldn't have to take too much. Then we've a bit of a lull after that, yes?"

"Well there's Roberta's exhibition preview - which we simply have to go to..."

* Grunt *

"And Philip's book launch at the Royal Institute or the Royal Society of Arts or wherever it is - the invitation is on the mantelpiece..."

"Yes, I'm rather keen to go to that - quite a coup to be having it there, I think..."

"After that, we can take things a bit easier - at least until the Sherbourne Abbey Festival and Glyndebourne..."

"That's the Monteverdi, isn't it?"

"Yes, we opted for that rather than the Britten. And if you remember we have four tickets because we didn't get to The Pearl Fishers..."

"Who are we taking?"

"Well we thought about Lucinda and Tristram..."

"Yes. That would be good. Haven't seen them in ages and Lucinda would love it..."

"Except - I think they may be away surfing that weekend..."

"Well, let's check and see and if not maybe we can think of someone else..."
We were on the point of volunteering when the Duke, unwrapping one of the mini-lollipops that the management always deliver with the bill, announced with determination and finality...

"Well that's all very good... Then all that's left to do is deal with America..."
Which, undoubtedly, they will!


13 comments:

LisaH said...

The shocking thing is that neither the Duke or Duchess seemed to mention your caption competition.

Boll Weavil said...

Surely they were just freeloaders hamming it up for an audience.There isn't really anyone around in the world with names like Lucinda or Tristram are there ? Did they just say 'Charge the bill to my account' and bugger off without paying ? If so, that's an old one.I've used that myself a couple of times.The English fall very easily for pompousity.It comes so naturally to us !

Boll Weavil said...

In response to Lisah's point that was because they knew they would have had no chance of winning but it does just prove my own assertion.They were obviously frauds.

Boll Weavil said...

Hello Mr B ! Hope you're well but why are you online this early in the morning ! You should still be in bed ....

Brian Sibley said...

LISAH - I only gave you an edited version of their conversation; there was a whole half hour where they debated which of several very funny captions they were going to submit - fortunately for other entrants, the QEH and the Abbey (not to mention Moscow and the eternal problem of dealing with America) obviously drove the matter out of their mind and they, regrettably, missed the deadline...

BOLL - Funny thing was - considering we were only on pasta - our bill that night was twice what it normally is... Odd that......

BOLL (again) - They might have won with the one that cleverly used no less than 20 different words including the letters 'c', 'a' and 't' (I particularly admired they way they worked in 'catamite', but as I said (above) they obviously forgot, unlike others, to send through that all-important e-mail...

The Judge's results, by the way, are expected shortly and will be published on Tuesday...

BOLL (once more) - I'm fine (thanks for asking) but not sure why you would suppose that I would be lying-in on this beautifully, dull, grey, murky, Sunday morning!

As to why I am on line so early, that just shows what a very sad individual I am... :-)

Brian Sibley said...

GILL writes...

The Duchess has requested that I convey the following message:

"I believe that Mr Sibley may be confusing money with class. No genuine aristocrat would own anything as vulgar as a gold embossed diary, and very few in fact, now have any liquid wealth.

I too deplore the ostentation of the nouveau riche"


Herewith conveyed!

Brian Sibley said...

Dear DUCHESS (via GILL) - Thank you for this insight into aristocratic circles of which my knowledge is, naturally, extremely limited...

I am, of course, acutely aware that the 'Duke and Duchess' we encountered have nothing whatever in common with Your Grace...

Ryan Rasmussen said...

As Theoden said, "Let them come." We'll be ready for 'em -- unless, of course, we're in the middle of yoga class.

Brian Sibley said...

RYAN- Yoga?? Blimey, that would scare them! Fox and deer hunting is one thing - but yoga...

Eudora said...

I have a question for you, Mr. Sibley and friends, specially aristocratic, a question that yesterday I discussed in my circle of spanish middle class.

We know about the titles of Sir and Lord trough the world of the performance (sir Laurence, sir Alec, sir Hugo etc...), if a sir have a wife, his wife h become a lady (lady Olivier, lady Guinness, lady Latymer) right?. But, what happen if a Sir have a husband?, would be he another sir too? Sir Brian and Sir David, for example...

Thank you for your responses and pardon my ignorance, the kingdom of Spain have no court.

LisaH said...

What an interesting point by Eudora - Sir Brian and Sir David would be very grand, but it certainly hasn't happened until now.
Gosh, Buttons would certainly have to wear his bowtie all the time if he were living with two 'Sirs'.
But of course since we're still in the ages of inequality, it wouldn't be Dame Mary and Dame Barbara, for example, because the husbands of Dames (the equivalent of knights) don't get a title.

Brian Sibley said...

EUDORA - Well that's an interesting question... No doubt someone, somewhere in the corridors of power, has thought about this issue, especially since Civil Partnerships between members of the same sex now have the virtually the same legal standing as a marriage between a man and a woman...

However, Sir Elton John has a civil partner, but he is not Sir David Furnish, and I think it will be many years - probably never - before the British constitution is ready to embrace an honours system that features Sirs and Sirs and Ladies and Ladies...

Before that happens, we may well have scrapped all such honours and titles and - who knows - even become a republic... ;-)

Brian Sibley said...

LISAH - Bit unfair that: about the men not getting the same privileges as a women gets when a man is knighted. Equal Rights for Men, I say!! ;-)