Mark Steyn Writes Best Line of Campaign

Sometimes you read a line and slap the desk and say, “damn it, I should have written that!”

No one who has chortled as frequently as I over the misadventures of Bertie Wooster and Gussie Fink-Nottle (or, “Spink-Bottle” as Aunt Dahlia would have it) cannot love this line, but dammit, I should have written it:

Barely a month ago, Cain and 9-9-9 were riding high, an embarrassment of a different kind, and Gingrich was still a single-digit asterisk. But, like Gussie Fink-Nottle, we are all Newt-fanciers now.

It was, in fact, Aunt Dahlia who — apprised that Bertie was off to visit Totleigh-in-the-Wold in order to save the impending nuptials of Fink-Nottle to the “ghastly girl” Madeline Bassett and thus prevent his having to marry her, himself — who asked in a bemused voice, “how is the old newt-fancier?”

It was so obvious, and yet I missed it!

Steyn did not. He does admit to getting a thing wrong now and then in his excellent piece, the Gingrich Gestalt, which I recommend you read fully.

After you’ve digested it, though, if you have not availed yourself of the merriment that is Wodehouse in his fullest flowering, go to Amazon right now and order this small, inexpensive book as a post-Christmas gift-to-yourself. It will have you laughing out loud and your shoulders will be lowered for the first time in months.

And then read Right Ho, Jeeves. You could read that first, I suppose, in order to better understand exactly how Aunt Dahlia came to call Gussie “Spink-Bottle” and Bertie became threatened with marriage to The Bassett, but I really do recommend you begin with Code of the Woosters and then read back. Glorious, madcap humor from a bygone era — downright zany stuff, I say! Your life will be richer for having read it!

My day is brighter, just for the thinking of it all!

UPDATE: Hitchens on Wooster and Wodehouse (thanks to Dry Valleys).

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