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.
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).