Tuesday, February 28, 2006

A Smell of Satisfaction Prevails Throughout

Bertrand Russell relates a story told by William James:

A man found that whenever he was under the spell of ether he knew the secret to the universe but, when he came out of it, the secret was lost to him. Finally, after enormous effort and many failed attempts, he was able to write it down one afternoon after it came to him from the ether. When he had slept off the effects of the drug, he looked to his note. It read: A smell of petroleum prevails throughout.

I don’t know about that, but a bottle of port is a delicious companion on a lazy afternoon.

It also does wonders for the sounds of a melismatic travesty wafting in from another room when one’s wife is watching American Idol and one is trying to listen to the Luna album Penthouse.

By tradition, port is always passed to the left around a table (to port, as it were). If ever the passing is suspended, it is considered bad form to ask the person then possessing the bottle for the port directly. Rather, one should ask the person who has the bottle whether they know the Bishop of Gloucester (or anywhere else). If they reply that they do not, one should then inform them that the Bishop is a nice fellow, but he never remembers to pass the port.

It seems unclear what one ought to do if the person so queried does, in fact, know the Bishop of Gloucester (or anywhere else). Engage him in a conversation about bishoping?

Alternatively, you might switch to a drink that is less fussy about decorum.

Barring that:

Try the Fonseca 20 year old Tawny or the Taylor Fladgate 10 year or the Dow's Colheita.

Please enjoy them with a P.G. Wodehouse novel.

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