The Fickle Mistress or the Fourth Estate
It is the kind of knife-edge that a chap looks for to settle an affair of honour that began with the over-hearing of a lady's name taken in vain. The kid gloves were thrown and when no suitable remorse was shown seconds were despatched and weapons chosen. A doctor was on hand in the shaded copse on the outskirts of town where the parties were to meet at dawn. And then as so often before the miscreant backed out at the last moment, choosing to be branded forever a coward rather than feel one's cold steel.
Take the blade of that foil, sharpened to cut thick leather and leave a nasty scratch on the blackguards wrist with no TCP in sight, and balance yourself on it's very edge. That is where you find me as I write. I shall pause here to allow you to refresh your glass.
It's like this. Cast your mind back to my inglorious past, no not that bit, I mean the time when for some long indecipherable reason I proceeded to show my face at a place of wo** for a great many days in rapid succession. Now picture the nature of that endeavour. Yes that's right, I allude to the fickle mistress of fashion, curse her. Well she has once more intruded into my life of leisure and I find myself dangling over her web, within a inch of being sucked in and devoured.
I know what you're thinking - surely my record of being highly over-paid for doing little or nothing of any worth speaks for itself. Not only that but my habit of occasionally thinking about leaving the bar to telephone the office and damn well ask how it was all going surely speaks volumes about my effectiveness as a leader of men. And if that weren't enough then what could prevent me from buggering up the interview and putting an end to it all. Aye well you'd be reckoning without the OB&C. It has been made known that a spell of gainful would not be entirely unwelcome for yours truly.
So that's on one side of the aforementioned k-e. On the other is a funny old situation and no mistake.
'Dib dib dib,' went the cry. 'Arkela. We'll do our best,' was another. At least that's what I dimly recall from the 25th Rosebery Park Troop. Is that not what springs to mind when the word scout is mentioned? Who had even the faintest idea that another kind existed? Well they do.
You may recall my mentioning the befuddled ramblings I have recorded on paper over the years. Well lately I bumped into a splendid literary chap who claims these can be turned into a racy best-seller, with the names changed to protect the innocent. Furthermore he suggested that a bunch of scouts have shown interest.
What would a bunch of short trousered bob-a-jobbers want with my salacious reminisces you might ask. Well apparently these particular scouts work for film studios and are charged with looking out for books just like mine. The thought of khaki clad do-gooders with neckerchiefs and woggles dashing around Hollywood clutching the history of what an arse I was when I arrived here in the New World is quite bizarre. But then stranger things do happen at sea.
As unlikely as it all sounds I am told it's proceeding apace.
Should anyone care to salute the flag as it's currently being run up then the Trouble has let it be known that I'm off the hook as far as the Fickle Mistress is concerned. The alternative doesn't bear thinking about.
So there, you see, is my dilemma. On the one hand getting drunk and writing about shirking wo**. And on the other getting drunk and shirking wo**. It's keeping me awake in the afternoons I can tell you.
Only time will tell. I know your thoughts are with me.
Yours on the steps of the scaffold,