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← A Christmas Offering! - Jeeves and the Family Tree

A Christmas Offering! - Jeeves and the Family Tree - Comments

keddaw's Avatar Comment 1 by keddaw

Pedant alert... Bics were not in common usage at the time of Jeeves and Wooster. The Biro was invented in 1931, J W was 20's-30's but Biro's were not patented until 1938.

EDIT - apologies, I did mean to say a hilarious and well written piece perfectly in the style of Wodehouse.

Tue, 22 Dec 2009 17:29:00 UTC | #425398

Sally Luxmoore's Avatar Comment 2 by Sally Luxmoore

Fantastic! Quite cheered me up after listening to that 'Fingerprints of Dog' rubbish.
It is now printed out and will take pride of place next to its sibling article in the Atheist Christmas book.
I love the delicious little Wodehousian details such as 'regions north of the collar stud' and 'hirsute banana-stuffer'. This is, once again, beautifully done.
Thank you, Richard, for curing my irritation and putting a festive smile on my face!

Tue, 22 Dec 2009 18:02:00 UTC | #425413

sheaponline's Avatar Comment 3 by sheaponline

Fantastic. And you have the characters spot on. I can help but see Fry and Laurie in the roles, either.

Tue, 22 Dec 2009 19:23:00 UTC | #425443

Mr DArcy's Avatar Comment 4 by Mr DArcy

“But Jeeves, wait a moment. I can see that this bowls Genesis middle stump. But where
does it leave God? It sounds from what this Darwin bimbo says, that there’s not a lot left
for God to do. I mean to say, Jeeves, I know what it’s like to be underemployed, and
underemployed is what God, if you get my drift, would seem to be.”

I mean that's absurd. How can God be underemployed with all those millions of prayers coming His way at all hours and requiring action or inaction right away! God will never join the celestial dole queue, Zeus forbid!

Nice piece prof, old boy! Absolutely spiffing!

Tue, 22 Dec 2009 19:53:00 UTC | #425456

InYourFaceNewYorker's Avatar Comment 5 by InYourFaceNewYorker

Funny story, Richard. Thanks for posting it!

Tue, 22 Dec 2009 21:59:00 UTC | #425504

Arwen's Avatar Comment 6 by Arwen

Brilliant! I loved the Great Bus Mystery, and an extra story is icing on the cake.

I was feeling a bit down this christmas, but the Atheist's Guide to Christmas, and the posts on this & other websites, have shown me that celebrating christmas/solstice/whatever goes back so much further than Jesus, it's a universal human celebration to spend time with the people that you care about, and reflect on the year that's been.

So Merry Christmas Richard, and thanks for showing me a beautiful perspective on life & the world.

And Merry Christmas to everyone!

Tue, 22 Dec 2009 22:15:00 UTC | #425511

Follow Peter Egan's Avatar Comment 7 by Follow Peter Egan

I say, that's bally good. You really have an ear for Wodehousian wit, Richard. More where that came fom would certainly be welcome.

I always liked Bertie's disgust for the mawkish Madeleine Bassett, who thought the stars were "god's daisy chain".

Tue, 22 Dec 2009 23:57:00 UTC | #425535

Notstrident's Avatar Comment 8 by Notstrident

Dawkins and (albeit ersatz) Wodehouse at the same time! Splendid, splendid, EXPONENTIALLY SPLENDID! Thank you!

Wed, 23 Dec 2009 01:31:00 UTC | #425556

Thurston's Avatar Comment 9 by Thurston

V. entertaining.
I hope these forays into fiction are practice for a scientific novel in the spirit of Sagan or Asimov.

Wed, 23 Dec 2009 01:44:00 UTC | #425561

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 10 by mordacious1

This wasn't published, so I guess they can be called Jeeves and Wooster this time.

Btw, If you HAVE to spend the holidays being around relatives that believe in invisible friends, you might as well play ATHEIST BINGO based on the remarks you hear:

Wed, 23 Dec 2009 02:41:00 UTC | #425572

SmartLX's Avatar Comment 11 by SmartLX

What changed? Why is RD able to use their real names all of a sudden? Is it just because he doesn't intend to publish this one?

Wed, 23 Dec 2009 02:42:00 UTC | #425573

squeegee's Avatar Comment 12 by squeegee

Very good, thoroughly good humour. Fry and Laurie would be perfect I agree sheaponline.

Wed, 23 Dec 2009 05:22:00 UTC | #425586

Richard Dawkins's Avatar Comment 13 by Richard Dawkins

What changed? Why is RD able to use their real names all of a sudden? Is it just because he doesn't intend to publish this one?
Yes. If I ever did publish it, I'd replace 'Jeeves' with 'Jarvis', 'Aunt Dahlia' with 'Aunt Dafila' and 'the Drones Club' with 'the Dregs Club'. I wrote this one for the 'Nine Lessons and Carols for Godless People' and was advised that the copyright issue would not arise because it was not for publication.


Wed, 23 Dec 2009 06:49:00 UTC | #425594

secondsoprano's Avatar Comment 14 by secondsoprano

In most jurisdictions, putting something up on a public blog is "publication"

Wed, 23 Dec 2009 07:00:00 UTC | #425595

Richard Dawkins's Avatar Comment 15 by Richard Dawkins

In most jurisdictions, putting something up on a public blog is "publication"
OK, let's stop this particular sub-conversation right here. No useful purpose served!

Wed, 23 Dec 2009 07:18:00 UTC | #425598

SaintStephen's Avatar Comment 16 by SaintStephen

That was immensely enjoyable. Thank you, Richard!

Wooster's tortured metaphors are just gut-busters for me. I must have laughed out loud more than half-a-dozen times! Well, perhaps I should be more precise. Here is a little chart, based on the well-known 7-point Funny Bone Scale:

Wed, 23 Dec 2009 08:02:00 UTC | #425601

jel's Avatar Comment 17 by jel

wonderful, thank you richard. i only wish i had been able to hear you read it. have a great holiday everyone.

Wed, 23 Dec 2009 09:09:00 UTC | #425606

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 18 by Stafford Gordon

Jolly good.

Wed, 23 Dec 2009 09:16:00 UTC | #425607

Oromasdes1978's Avatar Comment 19 by Oromasdes1978


That was truly hilarious, thank you for sharing that with us - you have a great command of words, especially the Wodehouseian ones, it is a pleasure to read.

With all that talk of evolution by natural selection, like Bertie, I feel all inspired now - just got find out who wrote that book you mentioned...The Greatest Show on wouldn't happen to know would you? :)

Wed, 23 Dec 2009 09:26:00 UTC | #425608

bendigeidfran's Avatar Comment 20 by bendigeidfran

'what has somewhat over-dramatically been called ‘Mount Improbable'

Lol! I have to agree with Pip'78 above - that was hyper-hilarious.

Wed, 23 Dec 2009 09:45:00 UTC | #425609

Vaal's Avatar Comment 21 by Vaal

Excellent. Made me laugh, as it should. I would love to see this on TV. I can just see Steven Fry and Hugh Laurie doing the sketch, although they are probably a bit old now :(

Have you sent this to Steven Fry, Richard? I am sure it would elicit a guffaw or two. Great material for any future debates! Wit is a great tool for exposing the crassness of creationism.

PG Woodhouse is a pleasure to read, and even Fry and Laurie cannot do justice to his books. There was a fabulous quote where Wooster compares the laugh of a woman to a "troop of cavalry charging over a tin bridge". I know that woman. LOL

Wed, 23 Dec 2009 09:59:00 UTC | #425613

ridelo's Avatar Comment 22 by ridelo

The loveliest ad I've ever read!

Wed, 23 Dec 2009 10:28:00 UTC | #425617

Jay G's Avatar Comment 23 by Jay G


Could you possible re-write this in "American"?

Wed, 23 Dec 2009 12:52:00 UTC | #425639

bendigeidfran's Avatar Comment 24 by bendigeidfran

Comment #444233 by Jay G mean with an 'American' double act? How about a compromise - Laurel & Hardy.

Wed, 23 Dec 2009 13:25:00 UTC | #425642

Jay G's Avatar Comment 25 by Jay G

How about Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis?

Wed, 23 Dec 2009 13:31:00 UTC | #425644

Richard Dawkins's Avatar Comment 26 by Richard Dawkins

Could you possible re-write this in "American"?
Hm, with the best will in the world, that would be difficult. Like re-writing Guys and Dolls in 'British'. But thank you for the suggestion.


Wed, 23 Dec 2009 13:39:00 UTC | #425645

hungarianelephant's Avatar Comment 27 by hungarianelephant

26. Comment #444240 by Richard Dawkins

Like re-writing Guys and Dolls in 'British'. But thank you for the suggestion.

Aw. Why not?

The Godalming Motor Company requires a thousand pounds
But we are not presently in possession of a thousand pounds
And precations have been taken to secure the entrance
To the gymnasium of Ashton Comprehensive School
There's the stockroom behind the Rose and Crown
But the landlord of the Rose and Crown is not well equipped to protect illicit activity on the premises
And things being as they are
The back of the police station would not be appropriate
So the Godalming Motor Company it is
Though unfortunately we do not have the necessary thousand pounds

Oh, right. I see what you mean.

Wed, 23 Dec 2009 13:49:00 UTC | #425646

Jay G's Avatar Comment 28 by Jay G


The section describing how natural selection is non-random is very good. (meaning that even a non-scientist can easily understand it) No need to translate that part into "American".

Thank you and happy holiday

Wed, 23 Dec 2009 14:29:00 UTC | #425654

zeroangel's Avatar Comment 29 by zeroangel

I tried looking for Jeeves and Wooster on Hulu last night, sadly it wasn't there.

Is there a website where one can view all the episodes for free? Hugh Laurie and co. are hysterical. I loved Black Adder but I never saw Jeeves and Wooster (American here).

Oh course, House, MD is great too.

Wed, 23 Dec 2009 17:42:00 UTC | #425682

Richard Dawkins's Avatar Comment 30 by Richard Dawkins

Excellent actors as Fry and Laurie are, I actually preferred the earlier dramatization that the BBC put out in pre-colour days, with Ian Carmichael as Bertie and Dennis Price as Jeeves. The trouble with being in black and white is that the BBC will never show it again. The Carmichael/Price version stuck MUCH more closely to the Wodehouse original for the plots, whereas the Fry/Laurie version was messed about by script-writers who thought (wrongly) that they could do better than the master. They thought nothing of running two stories into one, taking elements of one plot and grafting them into another. The worst crime of the Fry/Laurie version was a scene in which the main characters rushed about in drag. That NEVER happened in Wodehouse, and I find it hard to imagine. Carmichael gave Bertie an eyeglass (i.e. monocle) and a stutter, which was a bit of a liberty, since Wodehouse never mentions either. But oddly enough, I got used to both and didn't mind them. Stephen Fry tells me that Wodehouse buffs have arguments about whether Bertie WOULD have worn an eyeglass (even though it is never mentioned in the books). If anybody has any means of finding a recording of any of the Carmichael/Price episodes I would LOVE to hear of it.


Wed, 23 Dec 2009 17:59:00 UTC | #425685