May 12, 2004

Scream for Jeeves

I have just ordered a copy ("Like new!") of the out of print book, Scream for Jeeves!: H.P. Lovecraft Meets P.G. Wodehouse. How I missed it when it was in print, I have no idea, but apparently it's a collection of three Lovecraft tales as told by Bertie Wooster. The mind boggles.

Update: Perhaps my mind doesn't boggle after all...here's what came to mind after I thought about it for a bit:

I was in bed, eyeing the morning egg-and-bacon while getting outside of a stiffish brandy-and-soda, when Jeeves shimmered into the room. I don't know how he does it, and I would never dream of asking. There are things about one's man one simply isn't meant to know, what? Jeeves coughed softly, so I sluiced down the remaining B&S.

'Yes, Jeeves?'

'There is a cosmic horror to see you, sir.'

'Can't it wait until after breakfast?'

'I'm afraid not, sir.'

'I thought those cosmic thingummies were able to wait like the dickens, Jeeves. How did that Arab chap put it? Something about lying dead.'

'"That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons even death may die," is, I believe the quote you are looking for, sir.'

'Yes, Jeeves, on the spot. So why is this scaly creature in such hurry?'

'It is dripping a nameless ichor on the carpet, sir.'

'Is it. The cheek of these infernal creatures. Why, it's worse than my Aunt Agatha.'

'Indeed, sir.'

'Well, we can't have it standing there dripping all about the place. Find it a doily, Jeeves, and ask it to wait while I dress. We shall lunch at the Drones.'

'Very good, sir.'

You may wonder why I didn't simply have Jeeves escort the creature out, and well you may ask! I'm afraid there had been a chill about the flat ever since Jeeves criticized a stylish yellow veil I'd taken to wearing over my face, and I'd had to take a firm line with him. A man can't let his man play the tyrant, what?

Posted by Will Duquette at May 12, 2004 07:10 PM

Phil said:

I can't imagine.

perletwo said:

I understand that vinegar and baking soda does wonders for those stubborn nameless ichor stains. If that doesn't work, they might try pledging one's firstborn to the service of Chulthu....

Will Duquette said:

Won't work for Bertie; despite being both eligible and frequently engaged, he remains unmarried. And as he's a perfect gentleman, that means there's no chance of his having a firstborn child.

I suppose he could borrow one of his nephews....

Phil said:

Ha! I'm sure a nephew or two could be given over for the cause. What else does the urchen have to do?

Will Duquette said:

Oh, the usual...be devoured by some tentacled monstrosity (not to be described) from some cosmic plane where the geometry is non-Euclidean. On the downside, the monstrosity might not be satisified with just one. On the upside, Bertie's nephews are fairly toxic and just might prove fatal.

Will Duquette said:

Oh, and it's Cthulhu. Let's keep our cosmic horrors straight, shall we?

Ian H (not the one in Shanghai) said:

I can't wait for you to post your review. I hope the book is as good as your hypothesis. The whole concept made me giggle.

Sandra Miesel said:

Scaly? Shouldn't it be fungoid and rughose? Wooster badly needs a copy of John Bellairs' NAMEESS HORRORS AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT THEM.

Deb said:

I failed Cosmic Horrors 101 in college...what is a Cthulhu and how is it pronounced?

Will Duquette said:

Sandra, naturally fungoid and rugose beat scaly hands down, except that Bertie actually uses the word scaly every so often, and it just seemed apropos.

Deb, Lovecraft wrote a series of tales (much added to by other writers) with the idea that Earth was once inhabited by a number of evil creatures so much more powerful than humans as to be nearly divine. They've been banished for eons, and they want to come back--and there are humans who worship them and are trying to make it happen. Cthulhu is one of these beings, and the set of tales has been named after him: the Cthulhu mythos.
The stories are worth checking out, if only because Lovecraft has been fabulously influential.

Maureen said:

Cthulhu appears, in this dimension, to be a sort of incredibly huge space squid. However, in other dimensions he looks much nastier. But don't worry about what he looks like; you'll probably have lost your mind just by getting into the general vicinity of his lost city of R'lyeh.

K-too-loo, K-thoo-loo, or K- trill sound -loo.

perletwo said:

I said he could pledge his firstborn. I didn't say he actually had to *have* one. ;-)

Sorry bout the typo. Couldn't find my Cosmic Horror - to - English Berlitz phrasebook.

Will Duquette said:

I'm curious, did anybody get the "yellow veil" reference?

It just now occurred to me that in place of the yellow veil I should have had Bertie wearing a tie with a snazzy non-Euclidean check. Ah, well.

Deb said:

Could it have been a humorous reference to Hawthorne's story "The Black Veil" set in London in the 20's?

Or has Bertie joined a Islamic cross dressing cult of which Jeeves highly disapproves of their sartorial criteria?

Deb said:

And thanks for adding to my Cosmic Horror list, including a pronunciation guide.

I thought Bertie's nephews were Cosmic Horrors.....

Eric Brown said:

Yes, I caught the _King in Yellow_ reference. Nice nod. Now, if you had worked in a reference to a spherical room, it would have been complete.

Will Duquette said:

Nope, it's not The King in Yellow...good guess, though. The spherical room would logically come later in the story.