Life in Titipu
OUR household is currently in thrall to The Mikado. It all began when a well-meaning aunt played the children a recording of Three Little Maids from School Are We. To my surprise, they were captivated and, as someone who has long enjoyed Gilbert and Sullivan, I was pleased to feed their enthusiasm. Over the past few weeks—and with the help of Youtube—their familiarity with the operetta has ripened into expertise. The first sign that things were getting out of hand was the experience of being woken, early one morning, by the first three lines of A Wand’ring Minstrel, I, repeated like a mantra from the foot of the bed.
Since then, living with garbled excerpts of life in Titipu has become steadily more trying. Most recently, an unpopular instruction regarding getting homework done was answered by a rendition of Behold the Lord High Executioner, with accompanying bows of mocking obeisance. As the children laughed, I had the uneasy sensation that home life was becoming a vaudeville extension of the plot. A recent birthday gift, however, promises a welcome change in enthusiasm. It’s a DVD of Star Wars and I feel more confident that I can deal with Darth Vader. JG