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The strange case of....
Posted by: jon brierley (
Date: October 15, 2002 03:29PM


“Jeeves,” I said, “rally round.”
The man shimmered in, exuding braininess.
“What do you think of Thursday, Jeeves?”
“I have always found it a most agreeable day, sir, especially in summer.”
“No, no. The name; Thursday. Do you not think it carries echoes of bells and trumpets and what-not?”
“Am I to understand it is the name of a young woman, sir?”
“The most beautiful woman I ever met. Jeeves; I am in love.”
“Indeed, sir. I take it your acquaintance with the lady is of a recent nature, sir?”
“Last night, Jeeves. I saw her across a crowded room, and our eyes met, and I felt like that chap who wanted to be a glove.”
“You are doubtless referring to Romeo, sir, in Shakespeare’s play; would that I were a glove upon that hand.”
“That’s the chap. Well, I felt just like him when I set eyes on Miss Next.”
“Miss Next, sir?”
I stopped and looked sharply at him. There had been a definite what-is-it in the way he had said ‘Miss Next’, as if he had just come across a pair of purple spats in my drawer. I drew myself up.
“Yes, Jeeves, Miss Thursday Next. Do I detect a note of disapproval in your voice?”
“By no means, sir. But if I might venture to remark -”
“Remark away, Jeeves, but have a care you do not bandy a woman’s name.”
“Indeed not, sir. I was merely about to point out that I understood Miss Next, despite her title, to be a married lady.”

I sat down rather suddenly at this point.
“Married?” I said, a trifle weakly.
“Yes, sir. To a Mr. Park-Laine, I believe.”
I brightened at this news.
“Now there, Jeeves, you are wrong. Miss Next – Thursday – distinctly told me that this Park-Laine character was completely out of the picture. I must say I didn’t quite follow everything she told me, but I gathered that Mr. Park-Laine does not in fact even exist.”
“This is technically correct, sir.”
“Well, there you are then.”
And then he dropped his other bombshell.
“However, sir, I gather that from Miss Next’s point of view, you do not exist either.”
I pinched myself on the leg, and it jolly well hurt.
“Ow,” I said. “I feel substantial enough to me.”
“Quite, sir. Miss Next, on the other hand, regards you as a fictional character.”

I stopped aghast. In fact I felt like I’d stopped several ghasts.
“Fictional?” I repeated.
“Yes, sir. She thinks of you as no more than a figment of the imagination.”
“She does, does she? Who’s imagination, exactly?”
“A Mr Wodehouse, I believe.”
I felt a bit deflated, I must admit. I was having difficulty summoning up any finer feelings for a beazel who thought I was fiction. As usual, Jeeves came to the rescue.

“If it is any consolation, sir, you might like to know that Miss Next is herself fictional.”
“Really? Good heavens. Who writes her, then?”
“A Mr. Fforde, sir.”
“No, Fforde, sir; with two fs.”
“Ah. Well, you can tell him from me, he writes tough women.”
At that point a nasty thought struck me.
“These books this two-fs person writes – I’m not likely to be in one, am I?”
“No, sir, nor I.”
“That’s a relief, anyway. Why not, though? Why this Next character, but not us?”
Jeeves smiled enigmatically.
“We’re still in copyright, sir.”</HTML>

Re: The strange case of....
Posted by: ScarletBea (148.177.129.---)
Date: October 15, 2002 03:49PM

<HTML>OH GAWD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!~

I loved it :D</HTML>

Re: The strange case of....
Posted by: jon brierley (
Date: October 15, 2002 03:57PM

<HTML>Oh good...the drop of anti-boredom devices worked if we can only get the imagination supply re-connected....</HTML>

Re: The strange case of....
Posted by: ScarletBea (148.177.129.---)
Date: October 15, 2002 04:11PM

That might be harder and involves a reduction of work to be done ;)</HTML>

Re: The strange case of....
Posted by: poetscientistdrinker (
Date: October 15, 2002 06:49PM


(falls off chair laughing...)

My favourite Wodehouse quote is still:

"It had often been remarkes of Archie that if his brain were made of silk there would not be enough material to make a small pair of cami-knickers for a canary"</HTML>

Re: The strange case of....
Posted by: Nick (
Date: October 18, 2002 12:17AM

<HTML>I just want to add my praises - that was a wonderfully witty piece of parody ;-) You had the pen of Fforde writing Wodehouse down to a tee - excellent stuff!

Do some more, do some more ;-)


Re: The strange case of....
Posted by: ScarletBea (148.177.129.---)
Date: October 18, 2002 08:36AM

<HTML>I never read Wodehouse.... so in the end I just laughed at the story 'per se'... I suppose you found it even funnier, because you could identify the parody :D</HTML>

Re: The strange case of....
Posted by: jon brierley (
Date: October 18, 2002 09:59AM

<HTML>Well, folks, I have a terrible hangover but your kind comments have cheered me up no end. Thank-you and glad you liked it.....

Do more is the cry - well, comrades, I will, if none of you have any objections. Obviously I will do nothing that poaches on Mr. Fforde's preserves (perish the thort - the above wasn't intended to be a parody of Jasper but a parody of how a Nextian interruption into Wooster's world might have been written by PGW), but does anyone have any suggestions for further skits at all?

Note to Bea (and indeed everyone) - read Wodehouse. The man was the greatest comic author of his day, and a massive and acknowledged influence on all who followed him, including Messrs. Pratchett and Fforde. PGW wrote an awful lot and toward the end of his life the quality did drop off; start with the early (pre WW2) Jeeves stories.</HTML>

Re: The strange case of....
Posted by: Jasper (
Date: October 18, 2002 03:10PM

<HTML>Brilliant, Jon, brilliant - Plum to a tee!


For anyone starting on Wodehouse, I recommend 'Summer Lightning'....</HTML>

Re: The strange case of....
Posted by: jon brierley (
Date: October 18, 2002 04:58PM

<HTML>Well that makes me feel even better! I feel vindicated...but it's OK, I've got medication for it...</HTML>

Re: The strange case of....
Posted by: Faith (
Date: October 21, 2002 01:06AM

<HTML>SNORT!!! Wonderful, Jon, absolutely wonderful ....</HTML>

Re: The strange case of....
Posted by: Ooktavia (
Date: October 21, 2002 11:09AM

<HTML>Ok. Now EVERYONE in my hostel *knows* I am a lunatic. It is impossible to expalin to 60 backpackers of mixed nationalities that I am laughing like an incapable hyena because of one single post. For five minutes. I knew this would happen if I got involved in this world again............
BRILLIANT! Has anyonne ever wondered what would happen if Miss Next happend to meet Lord Peter Wimsey? Anyone??
Ok just me.........</HTML>

Re: The strange case of....
Posted by: jon brierley (
Date: October 21, 2002 12:33PM

<HTML>She'd get her eyes scratched out by Harriet Vane, that's what...I don't think Thurs would get on with the Wimseys, somehow; 'Placetne, magistra....' it ain't her, is it?</HTML>

Re: The strange case of....
Posted by: ScarletBea (148.177.129.---)
Date: October 21, 2002 01:05PM

<HTML>argh as much as I've read, everybody's talking about things I don't know!

ehehe Octavia, for craziness you should one of these days if you're bored go through the long threads me and Ben and Dave did some weeks ago, before my work started getting busy again.... Jasper was selling the rights of the plot to TV and all ;)</HTML>

Re: The strange case of....
Posted by: all-american-cutie (
Date: October 22, 2002 06:29AM

<HTML>Don't worry Bea, I don't know all this stuff either. I'm just an ignorant, arrogant American (LOL) All this English literature is way beyond me...
But I haven't had a chance to read any of it. Although, I'm seriously thinking about picking up some Wodehouse! LOL, Jon...BRILLIANT!

I think one thing about the US Education system is that not enough emphasis is put on reading the real classics. We get a few, like Tom Sawyer and To Kill a Mockingbird...things like that, but not a lot of "foreign" type books. I have just taken it upon myself in the last 5 years or so to start reading the GOOD stuff like Jane Austen and The Bronte sisters, etc. Still just getting my feet wet in the paddling pool, I'm afraid! But soon, I'll be splashing in the deep end with the rest of you crazies!



Re: The strange case of....
Posted by: jon (
Date: October 22, 2002 12:20PM

<HTML>JRR Tolkien once said, IFIRC, that if one person had been moved to take up studying Old English as a result of his writings he would feel it had been worthwhile.

It seems Jasper has been having something of the same effect, sending readers from TEA and LIAGB straight to the Classics shelves. So not only is reading Jasper fun, but by golly it does you good too! And you never know, it might cause a seismic shift in reading habits......

More power to the Nextian Revolution!

Increased production targets for Amusing Literate Fiction!</HTML>

Re: The strange case of....
Posted by: poetscientistdrinker (
Date: October 22, 2002 07:06PM

<HTML>The only book I have so far read that Jasper takes off is Kafka's Trial - which is actually as weird as the scene in LIAGB, and stilll unfinished (obviously Kafka had the same work ethic of Douglas Adams).

Do American's have to study 'Moby Dick'? I've read it and found it pretty hard going, although the descriptions of whaling helped me bump up my marks in a couple of essays during my degree (no, really...)

I'm waiting for the Nextian version of Beowolf - that would be a laugh. Especially as all the characters in that sound like the TB ward of a 19th century hospital...</HTML>

Re: The strange case of....
Posted by: all-american-cutie (
Date: October 22, 2002 10:49PM

<HTML><shameful blushing> Sadly, I've never read "Moby Dick"...always wanted to, but never got past the first few pages. What I did read was so depressing! I like stories that cheer me up. Probably why I don't like "Wuthering Heights" either. I know they say both those books are some of the greatest pieces of literature ever written, but they're a bear to read, if you ask me. (Granted, I did read almost 3/4 of "Wuthering Heights", but had to put it down because I wanted to just smack the crap out of both Heathcliff and Cathy for being such poo-headed dolts! Besides, I've seen the movie <GRIN> So it's not like I don't know what happens, it's just the movie was over quicker LOL)

And honestly, Ben, there's not a big push for kids here to read the classics or even books in general. I think the entire time I was in school (K-12 anyway), I HAD to read about 5 or 6 books other than ones I chose for book reports. I got to read things like "Romeo and Juliet", "To Kill a Mockingbird" (great story by the way), "Lord of the Flies", "The Old Man and the Sea", "Huckleberry Finn", and "The Once and Future King". But on most of those, we got to watch the movie afterwards! And I think most American kids, myself included, only get inspired to read the book after they've seen the movie. Which I think is rather sad indeed!</HTML>

Re: The strange case of....
Posted by: charles ronayne (
Date: October 23, 2002 10:26AM

<HTML>You've never read Jane Eyre or Great Expectations Mr. PSD sir? btw. where do you get a copy of Kafka's trial? I've been looking for it for ages but can't find it anywhere. Is it one of those books you pick up five for five pounds becuase it is supposedly a classic, but more to the point they hardly expect anybody to want to buy them?</HTML>

Re: The strange case of....
Posted by: ScarletBea (148.177.129.---)
Date: October 23, 2002 10:45AM

<HTML>Actually I've never read Dickens... it just seems too much... hmmm... dark and 19th century to me...
About the women authors, I like Jane Austen (the action bits ;)) but I'm with Twila on 'Wuthering Heights', I'm sorry, I can't understand how they say it's romantic, I also wanted to slap them! lol But I read the entire book and never saw the movie... Maybe one of these days I get back to it...
No Moby Dick, but Mark Twain.
Yes Kafka's Trial (yes, charles, I think you got the point) and Metamorphosis, who is weird until you scream lol</HTML>

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