Jun 6, 2017

A Venerable Gentleman I Happen to Know Gives Us His Thoughts on Some Important Matters

"Most men (and some women)," said my ancient friend Colonel Poddleswot one day at the club, "should own a Library. We hear occasional laments for the loss of the manly arts: changing a tire, building a deck, holding at bay a den of black mambas. Yet who will speak for the 'manly' custom of owning a fair-sized library?"

"Indeed," said I, slipping into Poddleswot's City of London manner despite myself. "But books, you



know, are so Boring."

"That is OK," said he, recognizing my limitations and taking his diction down a notch or two. "You don't have to actually READ the bloody things, I assure you. Just having them on the shelf will act by osmosis to improve one's understanding of history, science, religion, politics, the arts, metallurgy, and even the mating rituals of the tsetse fly (a chief preoccupation of mine, incidentally)."

"Oh good," said I, "that's A Relief." There would still be plenty of time for masturbation, and just goofing around online, in the colonel's world.

"Of course most books are full of LIIIIIIIES," said Poddleswot, drawing out the word for so long, and with such emphasis, that a fine mist of brandy (and who knows what) sprayed out from under his giant white moustache and mutton chops. He harumphed and repleated the losses incurred in this little skirmish with the Lord of the Flies.

"But that is OK too," he added, instantly restoring my relief.

"The Medium of printed text, itself," he continued, "raises one's general critical capacity, so that one at least has a fighting chance to beat through the thicket of untruths and deception, and get out the other side. Or at least get Somewhere. You haven't got a chance in hell if you stick to Screens, and screen-based Lies."

"Ho-ho," I laughed, "that must be why 'they' are rolling all this Tech out, eh Poddleswot? Eh?"

But as I went to elbow him genially in the ribs he gave my arm a sharp whack and continued on:

"In addition, a good library Impresses Company. Especially" --- and here he gave me a foul chauvinistic wink as only a British colonel of some bygone era can --- "that finer class of ****s who fancy themselves a bit too good for the average bloke!"

"Ah yes, THOSE ****s," said I (only ironically, of course! and with deference to the colonel's cultural limitations), and we both raised our glasses to our mouths and became lost again in the smoky haze of the club and its background din of banter and reassuring laughter.

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