Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Return of the Incomprehensible Letter of Uncle Ponsonby


Snickering aside, I must admit I am innocent of the term "roflmao!!", except to hazard a guess that it means "rolling on the floor laughing with the former Chairman of the Chinese People’s Republic". And I'm amazed that anyone still currently alive knows what "plus-fours" are. But it's appropriate to the Sam Sneed symbolism.

At the risk of being a pair of ragged claws scuttling across the floors of silent seas, I think we should move on now to the second bedroom, which features a sunny bay window for a dreamy sunshine seat and leads on to a third hideaway that could be an office retreat. We're walking...we're walking...

Careful not to mind the wee transparent folk dancin' about the radishes in the gaaarden outside the window. They're on strike, they are, for more mistletoe and better conditions when settin' the table for the divil with the pooka abroad as i'tis so that the fetch of their future lover may come through the window and eat of the food except for the blackberries, which the pookas have spoiled and paralysed the cattle so we won't be after havin' any blackberry-and-beef sandwiches at all at all.

Discarding our Irish accent, we open the door of the den, and what do we find but (no, not hockey players selling girl scout cookies) a letter sitting on the dusty rolltop.

Along with the usual unpaid bills, this morning's post brought a letter which I had returned unopened a fortnight ago Tuesday, but which the post office, in its usual vindictiveness, has delivered again -- this time attached to a piece of flypaper which proceeded to stick to my hands, nether parts, and any scrap of furniture I could scrape it off on.

The letter, it turns out, is from Uncle Ponsonby, now living in a local department store's "Spring Fashions" show-window in Gravity Falls. (Bored with the retirement home, Uncle Ponsonby struck a deal with the store's owners to replace one of the "Mature Snowbirds" mannequins damaged in the last of many Jute Mill explosions and floods. Although busy remaining perfectly immobile in public view, he occasionally finds time to write.) The letter is a short one, so I quote it completely:

"Mae bys Mary Ann wedi brifo a Dafydd y gwas ddin yn iach. Mae'r baban yn y crud yn crio. A'r gath wedi scrammo Johnny bach. Sospan fach yn berwi ar y tan, sospan fawr yn berwi ar y llawr. A'r gath wedi scrammo Johnny bach."

We had no idea that Uncle Ponsonby felt that way.

We quickly took up our Etruscan dictionary to pen him a return letter (he has steadfastly refused to speak anything but Etruscan since the Grand Duchess took off with the footman (no, not the Eternal footman), but alas, the words wouldn't come. There isn't very much you can say in Mary Ann's situation, and she would probably be better off giving Johnny a wide berth at this juncture, judging by that "a'r gath wedi scrammo" comment. But there just is no accounting for people's eccentricities. And you really can't give advice to people.

On a lighter note, they have since rebuilt the Jute Mill, absolutely no Inuit have died of snakebite so far this year, and the seal population in Saskatchewan is doing just fine, thank you.