Monday, November 26, 2012

A facetious young lady to her Aunt, ridiculing her Serious Lover,

Dear Aunt,

I am much obliged to you for the kindness you intended me, in recommending Mr. Leadbeater to me for an husband: But I must be so free as to tell you , he is a man no-way suited to my Inclination. 'Tis true, that I've always been rather partial against the idle rants of a Prophet of Doom; but am inclinable to think there may be an Extreme on the other side of the question.

The last time Mr. Leadbeater came to see me, it was shortly after breakfast-time, and he had just finished reading the New York Times.  "Cry mercy, madam!" he began by saying.  "What more vile news there is today. Our society is rotting faster than I last imagined possible." Upon this, I ran quickly for the teapot; for I thought, "Here we go again; we shall soon hear about all the latest turnings of Ledbeater's hobby-horse---his ideas about the wretched state of our Modern Times."

But I say, Fie upon his Post-Modern Luddism! and pox upon his Choleric Ramblings. At tea, he attempted to give me an account of the latest development in modern technology, "Surely, you well know of my antipathy towards I-Phones, or My-Phones, or whatever they are called---and you know how I burst forth into a volley of oaths and execrations anytime I hear about a latest addition to, or refinement of, that monstrous invention. So feast your attention upon this, A new popular mode of communication among the vulgar people is through the use of, what is called, Walkie-Talkie Apps. These Apps, it turns out, allow one lonely human creature, anywhere in the world, to tap the glass screen on his phone with the tip of his finger and say something, anything, and his words will be heard, by a chosen friend of his, at the same exact moment, whether or not the friend wants to hear it---" 

Can you not see what a man is here for an husband, my good Aunt? Yet I realized soon that he wasn't finished speaking, " ---or at whatever time of day it may be, or regardless of what the friend is doing, regardless of whether he even wants to speak with that person, or whether that person may, in fact, be the last person on earth he wants to hear from. Yet 'tis no matter, for it is of the greatest urgency that a Walkie-Talkie Message be sent upon someone's impulse, the rest of the world be damned!"

So concluded his speech, upon which he sat back down on the chair. And, dear aunt, you shall be proud of me to know, that I gave a nod of approbation to all he said in this mini-rant, and was just able to say to him, from time to time, "'Tis very wise indeed, Sir. How fascinating!" You shall be very proud to know that I composed myself marvelously upon this occasion, never forgetting how Mama taught me to handle such choleric gentlemen. Humour their vanity, she would advise me, and so I replied, "I say, Mr.Leadbetter, you have succeed in making another great observation upon the state of our modern society. But, forgive my boldness, could one not simply turn off the Walkie-Talkie feature on one's Smart Phone, so as to completely banish all such irritating messages from coming in? And do you not remember how last week you did burst forth into another rant, this time about the new development in Nintendo technology, one that allows hand-held game devices to use a special screen that will provide Three-Dimensional Viewing without the need for those atrocious glasses. You know how hideous I look when wearing those glasses!"

Mr. Leadbeater paused for a second, and then replied, "Forsooth, one could turn off the App. But it has probably been designed so as to be made very difficult for the people to figure out how to do that. I myself, 'tis true, know very little about the operation of Smart Phones." I responded with a big smile to all he said, and even blew him a kiss, which he may or may not have noticed, having wrapped himself in the cloak of Serious Pontificatings. I refilled his cup of tea, and brought him more biscuit. 

O, my good Aunt, what a man is here for an husband! I hope you may continue to demonstrate patience towards me, as I approach the end of my letter, as I have done with Leadbeater upon this and countless other occasions.  At last came the happy moment of his taking leave, but as he was putting on his coat, he burst forth, "Damn my eyes, nothing can be plainer to me than that our society is approaching a critical moment." Then, taking the last bite of his biscuit, Leabeater stormed out the door.

This, my good Aunt, may be your preferred way of traveling toward the Land of Matrimony; but I cannot help wishing for a little less absurdity, and a little more entertainment on our journey. I am willing to believe Mr. Leadbeater an honest man, but am , at the same time, afraid his Luddite long-windedness and his Misanthropic turn of temper, would better suit with a woman who more appreciates the weighty ramblings of a Lilliputian than does this particular woman, who is also

                                                                                   Your greatly obliged Kinsowman,