Town Mouse

Dis­ap­point­ing driz­zle

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

DIS­TRIBUT­ING pocket money be­fore the school fête, I is­sued a stern warn­ing against the pur­chase of bulky junk or fluffy toys. I was com­pletely ig­nored. Min­utes later, one child stag­gered to­wards me with a large bag con­tain­ing a fluffy ptero­dactyl and snow leop­ard, jew­elled cloth­ing, two bags of shells and a large mar­ble block with a pro­ject­ing coil of plas­tic. No one—in­clud­ing the pur­chaser—could sug­gest any plau­si­ble pur­pose for this last ob­ject. Nev­er­the­less, my ir­ri­ta­tion was an­swered by a hurt stare and the bril­liantly ex­tem­po­rised re­buke that it had been ac­quired spe­cially for me as a present. I broke it an hour later try­ing to use it as a can­dle­stick. No one will be­lieve this was an ac­ci­dent.

To make amends, I threw my­self into prepa­ra­tions for an en­su­ing pi­rate party, man­u­fac­tur­ing two card­board pis­tols, a pa­per wig of di­shev­elled hair, a tea-towel ban­dana and, by pop­u­lar de­mand, a round of that fa­mous pi­rat­i­cal party fare, lemon driz­zle cake. My wife has made the lat­ter pop­u­lar, but she’s away, so the bak­ing fell to me. The chil­dren were char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally en­cour­ag­ing. They knew my cake wouldn’t be up to stan­dard, it was ex­plained, but it didn’t mat­ter be­cause their friends had been warned al­ready. I hope I con­founded their low ex­pec­ta­tions. JG

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