Friday, March 22, 2013

The Wodehouse cure

{Photo by rocketlass.}

Among people who are willing to countenance the possibility that ghosts exist, one of the most common explanations for haunting--for why this person returns be-sheeted while that one sleeps peacefully in the grave--is that the person died with some important business left undone on this plane.

If that's the case, the new collection of P. G. Wodehouse's letters may explain why no one has ever seen the Master's ghost wandering the stately homes of England, harrying aunts and aiding nephews. For with the next-to-last letter in the book, undated but from very late in Wodehouse's life, and addressed to Godfrey Smith, editor of the Sunday Times magazine, Wodehouse discharged a duty:
Jeeves's bracer does not contain dynamite as is generally supposed.

It consists of lime juice, a lump of sugar and one teaspoonful of Mulliner's Buck-U-Uppo. This, it will be remembered, is the amount of the Buck-U-Uppo given to elephants in India to allow them to face tigers on tiger hunts with the necessary nonchalance.
Imagine the loss to humanity had Wodehouse gone to his grave with this recipe a secret!

Now to lay in a store of Buck-U-Uppo. Next time I'm in New York, I'll have to stop by the Butler Supply District and claim a case or two.

1 comment:

  1. And once you claim your case or two, here's just the thing for mixing your cocktail: