I Have No Idea What’s Going On Here.

After taking a sip of his morning potato juice and putting aside the news sheet Lord Buxtingtoncheth motioned to the underbutler Digby.

“Pray tell my good man if you would, where is the Lady Anesthesia this morning?” he queried interrogatively.

Digby straightened the wastrels of his tunic coat.

“I am given to understand she is breakfasting in her room m’lud.”

Upstairs Lady Anesthesia sat up in bed. She’d tried to counter her insomnia with a novel, but after writing two chapters had given it up as hopeless.

Back in the dining room Lord Buxtingtoncheth’s eldest daughter Primrose, already dressed on flocculent muslin, entered, and promptly tripped over her sister Chrysanthemum. The son Hawthorne then entered and joined the dignified tangle of extremities on the Polynesian carpet.

–selection from Sceptre Over Skegness by R.A.L.B.G. Wavell, O.B.E.


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  1. Gina W.

    The funny English names reminded me that many years ago when the Harry Potter books were at the peak of their popularity, my Russian husband asked his niece in Moscow if she had read any of the Harry Potter books. She said that she had tried to read one book but was put off by all the weird English names. Instead she said she liked the Russian version of Harry Potter, called, “Tanya Grotter”. I just now read about the series and it turns out that “Tanya Grotter” is a blatant rip-off of the J.K. Rowling books. The series hasn’t been published outside of Russia because of the legal trouble. Anyway, your post today made me Google all of this and learn someting new for the day. Thank you. Now I can go home and sit on the couch and watch mindless TV without any guilt because I’ve reached my knowledge quota for the day.

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      At the risk of causing your knowledge quota to exceed its limit there was another legal dispute over Harry Potter when the author of The Legend of Rah and Muggles sued Rowling. I can’t find the specific article where I read this but I remember the woman’s own lawyer said, “She hasn’t got a case.”
      And there were ripoffs of the Harry Potter books in China in which Gandalf showed up as a character.
      Everybody wants to get in on the act, I guess.

  2. Spoken Like A True Nut

    Naturally, my first passing thought upon reading this riveting literary treasure was of a clip from the Simpsons.

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      When I first wrote it I thought it was the result of falling asleep during Downton Abbey. It’s actually more comforting to think I might have been channeling Bart Simpson. Or maybe Jimmy Stewart who was across the street from the Simpsons house at the time.

  3. Ann Koplow

    This reminds me of a psychologist I met 20 years ago who — whenever somebody said “I have no idea” about something — always said, “You must have some idea.”

    Must you?

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      It’s possible, I think, to be so ambivalent about something that you have absolutely no idea, but maybe that absence of an idea is an idea in itself. It’s just an idea that defies expression. But then that gets into the question of whether a tree falling in the forest makes a sound if no one’s around to hear it. Is an inexpressible idea really possible? I’m afraid this line of thought could quickly take me down a rabbit hole, and the hole in my backyard is disquieting enough already.


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