Monday, March 20, 2006

Why I like Wodehouse

Here are some classic examples of his writing. People who have known me for sometime now would have got this one forwarded from me at least once - you folks can skip this one :-)! Or maybe, you can laugh all over again! Enjoy :-)!

Wherever a man could bulge with muscle, he bulged. He even bulged in places where one would not have expected him to bulge.

Say what you will, there is something fine about our old aristocracy. I'll bet Trotsky couldn't hit a moving secretary with an egg on a dark night.

It was the look which caused her to be known in native bearer and halfcaste circles as 'Mgobi-'Mgumbi, which may be loosely translated as She On Whom It Is Unsafe To Try Any Oompus-Boompus.

You could tell it was classical music, because the banjo players were leaning back and chewing gum; and in New York restaurants only death or a classical specality can stop banjoists.

Her departure left behind it the sort of quivering stillness you get during hurricane time in America, when the howling gale, having shaken you to the back teeth, passes on to tickle up residents in spots further west.

The adjective "cross'' as a description of his Jovelike wrath ... jarred upon Derek profoundly. It was as though Prometheus, with the vultures tearing his liver, had been asked if he were piqued.

Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing glove.

He walked as if on air, and the whole soul had obviously expanded, like a bath sponge placed in water.

The cloud was passing from what, for want of a better word, must be called Lord Emsworth's mind.

The more I see of women, the more I think there ought to be a law. Something has got to be done about this sex, or the whole fabric of Society will collapse, and then what silly asses we shall all look.

He had the look of one who had drunk the cup of life, and found a dead beetle at the bottom.

It was a confusion of ideas between him and one of the lions he was hunting in Kenya that had caused A. B. Spottsworth to make the obituary column. He thought the lion was dead, and the lion thought it wasn't.

She looked more like Marilyn Monroe, than anything human.

Behind every poor, innocent, harmless blighter who is going down for the third time in the soup, you will find, if you look carefully enough, the aunt who shoved him into it.

I turned to Aunt Agatha, whose demeanor was rather like that of one who, picking daisies on the railway, has just caught the Down express in the small of the back.

"Are you," asked Lord Emsworth, ``interested in pigs, Mr Er-Ah-Umph?"
"Plimsoll," said Tipton. "Pigs," said Lord Emsworth, raising his voice a little and enunciating the word more distinctly.

If he had a mind, there was something on it.

. and if there is one thing which gives the man of sensibility that sinking feeling, it is the cold accusing eye of a ptarmigan, or whatever it may be that has had its internal organs removed and sawdust substituted.

She was feeling like a mother who, in addition to notify him that there is no candy, has been compelled to strike a loved child on the base of the skull with a stocking full of sand.

He might have been a motion picture star whose face had launched a thousand bags of popcorn.

Mr Waddington's expression was now that of a cowboy who, leaping into bed, discovers too late that a frolicsome friend has placed a cactus between the sheets.

It was obvious that only the fact of his having no soul prevented the iron from entering into it.

Presently, the door opened and his head emerged cautiously, like that of a snail taking a look around after a thunderstorm.

Looking soiled and crumpled, like a Roman Emperor who has sat up too late over the Falernian wine.

It looked something like a pen wiper and something like a piece of hearth-rug. A second and keener inspection revealed it as a Pekinese puppy.

He tottered blindly towards the bar like a camel making for an oasis after a hard day at the office.

It was as if nature had intended to make a gorilla and had changed its mind at the last moment.

He was a long, stripy policeman, who flowed out of his uniform at odd spots, as if Nature, setting out to make a constable, had had a good deal of material left over which she had not liked to throw away but hardly seemed able to fit into the general scheme.

Bingo uttered a stricken woofle like a bull-dog that has been refused cake.

One half of the world doesn't know how the other three-quarters lives.



Rahul said...

Another gem:
"Boyhood, like measles, is one of those complaints which a man should catch young and have done with, for when it comes in middle life it is apt to be serious"

Humourous, but profound. When I look back at all the stupid things I growing up, I realize it was good I got it out of my system then. Else I would be really obnoxious by now :)

Shilpa said...

Here are some more:

Quote 1:
At the age of eleven or thereabouts women acquire a poise and an ability to handle difficult situations which a man, if he is lucky, manages to achieve somewhere in the later seventies.

Quote 2:
It is a good rule in life never to apologize. The right sort of people do not want apologies, and the wrong sort take a mean advantage of them.

Quote 3:
He had just about enough intelligence to open his mouth when he wanted to eat, but certainly no more.

Quote 4:
I always advise people never to give advice.

Floridora said...

I thought that at my advanced age I was quite through with Wodehouse. Then this morning I found myself at the dictionary looking up "ptarmigan" again.

Saranya Kishore said...

Arey what Arch.
Me already feeling guilty for not having completed reading so many of the books I started off with reco from blogs, now I am going to feel for not having read PGW.
Someday, when I have lot of time at hand. ;)

Nice quotes.

madsies said...

"Wode" is the best! Enjoyed the read!
I had double commented , thats why the delete!

Archana said...

Rahul, Shilpa :-D - PGW rules :-)!

Floridora - hey, you are back :-)! Ah, Wodehouse is for all ages :-))!

Saranya - hmm, I don't think "lot of time" will ever happen ;-)! Appo, appo time kidaikira-appo padichikanum :-).

Madsies - I know :-)! Not to worry, I'll delete the deleted comment. Huh, that statement does not seem to make sense. Oh well, you understood what I am trying to say :-)!

Rahul said...

At the age of eleven or thereabouts women acquire ...

If I am anything to go by, that must be true ;-)

Archana Bahuguna said...

I have read only 2 P G Wodehouses. And I really loved them. But after reading these hilarious pieces, I think I should start reading more of them. I do have one lying in my book shelf .. and I think I will start with that.

Archana said...

Rahul - lol - so you are still acquiring your "poise" :-)!

Archana - yup, yup, do read the one that you have. I am reading a PGW now and last night I was laughing out aloud all by myself (I think I must have scared the ghosts, if any, in my house ;-)).

Arvind said...

here is an exhaustive collection of lines from Wodehouse novels.

Pip Pip and Toodle-oo,

Archana said...

Arvind - thank you :-D! That was a really nice list! Nice to meet another Wodehouse fan!