So, Mr Franks thinks that his Lordship can’t manage to tie his own bow tie, does he? Well, Mr Franks is in for a surprise. Mr Franks is in for a big surprise. The fact is that Mr Franks has begun to make too many assumptions about his Lordship. This is the danger in keeping a gentleman’s gentleman for too long. He begins to forget who is the gentleman, and who is the gentleman’s gentleman. He begins to presume. He begins to suggest. He begins to ask impertinent questions. Fold back end A, and hold tight between the thumb and forefinger.
Has his Lordship been invited for Christmas? Has his Lordship been invited? Has his Lordship been? The invitation, Mr Franks, is implicit in the relationship. Has not his Lordship been accommodated every Christmas? Every Christmas since the purchase, that is? Has not his Lordship’s presence, every Christmas since the purchase, been de rigour? Has it not been expected? Has it not, Mr Franks, become a tradition in the family? Mr Franks should not concern himself with the issuing of invitations, nor should he comment upon them. It is not, Mr Franks, the job of a gentleman’s gentleman, to indulge in such speculations. Hold firmly against neck, and pull end B tightly around.
Are you suggesting, Mr Franks, that his Lordship’s presence is not requested? Are you implying, Mr Franks, that his Lordship’s presence is not desired, greatly desired in fact? Do you suppose, Mr Franks, that his Lordship’s presence has in some way to be borne, rather than to be enjoyed? Has his Lordship been invited? Are you seriously suggesting Mr Franks, that his Lordship is to be regarded as uninvited? Is that the absurd misapprehension, Mr Franks, that you are labouring under? Pull end B up and over, and tuck in behind.
And why, Mr Franks, why would one make such an absurd assumption? Is it, Mr Franks, that you believe something other than that his Lordship is a respected and welcome guest, a much-loved guest in fact. Is it, Mr Franks, that you believe his Lordship is in fact unwelcome? Well, Mr Franks, let us stop to consider for a moment the implications of such an assertion. Oh yes, Mr Franks, for it is not his Lordship alone who might feel slighted, wounded even, by such an imputation. Consider the situation of his hosts. Are they not touched also by this baseless and vile insinuation? Wrap around again and tuck through loop created.
What, Mr Franks, are we suggesting of them? Do you seriously believe that they would rather his Lordship did not join them for Christmas Dinner? Is that what you are suggesting? And why, Mr Franks, would they harbour such feelings? Was it not his Lordship who lifted them out of the poverty into which they would undoubtedly have fallen had his Lordship not taken their ailing and time-expired business off their hands, at a price, his Lordship might remark, that was only marginally, if at all, below the market value? Surely, Mr Franks, you cannot have forgotten that? I think you will find, Mr Franks, that his Lordship’s hosts have not. Pull out until both sides are equal.
And let us remember, Mr Franks, that there are other good reasons why his Lordship’s host would wish to nurture and retain his Lordship’s good will and attention, not least the use of his Lordship’s helicopter, which I think, Mr Franks, the gentleman in question would have been hard to put to replicate out of his own resources. Oh no, Mr Franks. It is not the omission of an invitation that his Lordship might be expected to concern himself with. Indeed, the receipt of one would imply a distance between his Lordship and his hosts that would of itself undermine the assumption of mutual trust and fondness in which his Lordship holds them. Take end A and fold back. Grip between thumb and forefinger.
The fact is Mr Franks, that it would be absurd to think that the gentleman in question would ever be so foolish as to cast into doubt the continuing state of warmth and mutual affection that exists between him and his Lordship. Ha! Mr Franks, you will be suggesting next that there lurks in the gentleman’s mind a lingering resentment, driven no doubt by his shrewish and boring wife’s infantile obsession with them, that the family cats must be set aside for the duration of his Lordship’s visit. I’m sure, Mr Franks, that you are becoming of the opinion that his Lordship’s company, with all its attendant generosity and intimacy, could be easily done without in favour of that of a pair of elderly, overweight and flea ridden moggies. Oh yes, Mr Franks, his Lordship is convinced that you are falling under the sway of that illusion. Take end B and pull tightly around neck.
The fact is, Mr Franks, that the years are less kind to some of us than to others, and his Lordship is of the persuasion, Mr Franks, that in regard to that, you have somewhat of a head start on his Lordship. In fact, Mr Franks, it is becoming apparent to his Lordship, and to other members of his Lordship’s entourage, that the years have wreaked a toll upon Mr Franks that it would be best not to ignore any longer. Pull end A up and over, repeat and stuff into the loop created.
It is a matter of known fact, Mr Franks, that advancing years, coupled with a tendency to listen to and take note of ill informed and malicious rumour circulated among the lower echelons of the workforce by people who have little knowledge and less intelligence, will lead to the making of ill-judged, unwelcome, inappropriate, and damaging assumptions. The fact, Mr Franks, of his Lordship acquiring his title by purchase, is neither here nor there, but serves only to illuminate, by the comments they make upon it, those within a sickly society who are driven by greed, envy and jealousy of those to whose levels of success they could not even dream of aspiring.
This in itself, Mr Franks, is sufficient to lead his Lordship to look very closely at the desirability of the continuation of situations in which his Lordship feels he is being brought into contact with such hurtful and ungrateful suppositions. Has his Lordship been invited? I think, Mr Franks, that you will allow, that in reference to the mouths of horses, that his Lordship is better placed than Mr Franks to judge, and that in reference to the validity and credibility of remarks attributed to people, with whom Mr Franks cannot in any way claim to have an intimate relationship, his Lordship may be depended upon to have a more accurate and reliable opinion than those which others might venture to put forth. Pull out until ends are equal.
His Lordship, Mr Franks, is in fact, rapidly coming to the opinion that an unpaid holiday of indeterminate length and in no particular location, would be the best that Mr Franks could hope for in the near future, which his Lordship looks forward to him discovering in, approximately, five minutes’ time.
His Lordship in a Mirror by Brindley Hallam Dennis was read by Clive Greenwood on Tuesday 10th May 2011 at the Liars' League Pride & Prejudice event at the Phoenix, Cavendish Square, London.
Brindley Hallam Dennis has published the novella A Penny Spitfire (Pewter Rose Press, 2011), and That’s What Ya Get! Kowalski’s Assertions (Unbound Press, 2010), and around 100 short stories. As Mike Smith he has published poetry, plays and critical essays. He blogs at http://Bhdandme.wordpress.com/