Saturday 18 September 2010

Crashaw’s Diary (part ix)

The story so far: Philip Crashaw is the Curate to the Rev. Arthur Jenkins in a Country Parish in Dorset. The year is 1871.

Friday 25th August
Today may be the most important day of my life, for today I invented a new kind of joke. It happened like this. This morning Mr and Mrs Jenkins and I, along with several of the young people from the village, set out for a picnic on Golden Cap. Mrs Jenkins had packed a large hamper for us, with plenty of meat and drink, cold chicken, ham and tongue, all the usual things, pies, salads, jam, gooseberry tarts, and bread and cheese.

After we had admired the view along the coast we spread out the feast on the rug. However, the large size of the company meant that we were all a little squeezed for space on the rug and I found myself squashed between Mrs Jenkins and the hamper. “Is the hamper a little in your way?” the lady asked kindly. Of course, I knew that there was a joke to be made, something about the hamper hampering me. But no! instead, I replied:

“Mrs Jenkins, the hamper is not restricting my movements at all!”

I made the joke, as it were, without actually making the joke at all. But, then, oh wonder! I felt that “sudden glory” that comes upon one when one has made a joke. And yet my comment had passed quite unnoticed! (And without censure!) How delighted I felt by my new discovery! What untold possibilities await!
Presently I heard Mr Jenkins say:
“Do you think Mr Crashaw is quite all right?”
To which Mrs Jenkins replied:
“It is hot. Perhaps he should loosen his coat a little.”

Saturday 26th August
I shall call my new kind of joke an “Under-Pun”
Because it is a Pun that underpins the sense of what is said, without ever coming up to the surface!

Monday 28th August
Oh, glory piled upon glory! Tonight I made another of my new kind of joke! At supper, Margaret brought in a large trifle for dessert (a particular favourite of mine). I immediately felt that electrical prickling on my skin, which is so familiar to me and which signifies that a joke can be made. However, I said nothing. When it came around my turn to be served, I declined. Mr Jenkins was most surprised, and asked if I was well. But, instead of replying “There is no cause for concern, it is a mere trifle,” I replied:

“There is no cause for concern, it is a thing of little importance!

Oh, how glorious I felt! (My joke, once again, went undetected!) In fact, the glorious sensation that I experienced quite made up for missing out on my favourite dessert, and having to sit and watch Mr and Mrs Jenkins enjoy theirs.


Hawker's Pot said...

Reverend Hawker adds:

He could be said to have "only got what he deserved".

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