Town Mouse

Life in Ti­tipu

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

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

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