“Madder than ever!!”

in And for a Laugh...

“Madder than ever … and common too!!” … a true story of the sort that makes Pissed-off Toff reflect that it is probably worth struggling on …

The reader will of course know about White’s, the smartest club in St James’ and probably in the whole world, and stuffed to the brim with Old Etonians, as is right and proper. The Prince of Wales and his two sons are ex officio members, as is also right and proper. So it’s a thoroughly sound place, and long may it flourish.

Anyhow, I hear of a marvellous exchange that took place there the other day. On being asked after the young man who was seeing his daughter, the elderly Earl of X had this to say: “Chap forced me to go along to Wilton’s with him! Thought he wanted me to put him up for White’s!! Turned out he only wanted to ask if he could marry m’daughter.” Which sets out the earl’s priorities with admirable clarity.

But whilst one sympathises with the noble lord’s annoyance at being dragged out of his club and round the corner as a reluctant guest in a hideously expensive restaurant, there to rub shoulders with all sorts of vulgar upstarts who didn’t go to Eton and whose names do not feature in Debrett’s, the experience was nevertheless informative in its way. “I thought he was a barista,” said the beleaguered nobleman, refering to his prospective son-in-law. “At least he could have made me a decent cup of coffee. Turns out he’s a lawyer!!!”

Indeed, the poor earl’s in-laws, prospective or otherwise, seemed to be a cause of generalised distress to him, because when subsequently asked after his daughter-in-law (the future Countess of X), he had this to say: “Madder than ever. Common, too.”

I much hope that I will one day meet this most excellent peer of the realm; and in the meantime, I raise a glass of champagne in a toast to his very good health.


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