I received an invitation to attend a swish sophisticated cocktail party, and decided to wear for the occasion my second-best bib and tucker.
On the evening itself, with the party in full swing, I was leaning insouciantly against a mantelpiece when I was approached by a fellow guest.
“You are a grown man,” she said, “Why are you wearing a bib?”
I embarked upon a lengthy explanation of the phenomenon known as involuntary slobbering, citing certain vivid examples both from my own experience and from the historical records. I prattled for quite some time, holding my interlocutor spellbound, until one of my exemplary slobbering vignettes caused her to interrupt me.
“Spiro Agnew?” she cried, so loudly that she caught the attention of guests on the far side of the room.
“Indeed so,” I said, “And I will not qualify my assertion with that weasel-word allegedly.”
At this, she executed a startled little jump, and confessed to a terrible fear of weasels. I told her they only alarmed me when they went pop! up and down the City Road. More than once, I added, such weasel-popping had caused me to slobber involuntarily. I was pleased, momentarily, to have brought the conversation back to my chosen topic, but my new companion was now fixated upon weasels, and insisted I join her in a search-and-destroy mission in case any weasels had infiltrated the cocktail party.
“With what,” I asked, “Shall we destroy any weasels we might hunt down?”
“Well,” she said, “What is that?” and she pointed to my tucker.
“That is my second-best tucker,” I said, “It goes with the bib.”
“We can use it to smother any weasels we find!” she cried, and she took me by the hand, and led me away from the drawing room towards another part of the house where, she hinted, there might be weasels.
I never did get the chance to finish my exemplary slobbering vignette featuring the thirty-ninth vice president of the United States of America. But the weasel-frightened lady gave me her telephone number, so one evening soon I will call her, and tell her the rest of that tale, and several others, until the cows come home.
Please keep us posted.
In the unaccountably-successful TV series “I’m a Nonentity – Get Me Out Of Here,” I’m told there is such a thing as “Bush Tucker Trial,” in which anyone suspected of having made a tucker or bib for ex-POTUS George W Bush is subjected to the full majesty of the law. Strange what passes for entertainment these days.
On reflection, Frank, it might be safe to wear you second-best Sophie Tucker next time.