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April 12th, 2014

Jeeves Commiserates

I could tell by the ambient light and merciless chirping that it must be a bright and beautiful day outside– which was all to the good, but it didn't make the stabbing pain behind my eyes any less. I am not, by nature, a morning person, and no amount of larks in the meadow or snails on the thorn will ever change that.

Thus I was wracked with relief as Jeeves shimmered in, looking serene and comforting, with a cup of the needful on its usual silver tray. I managed to pull myself up to something resembling a seated position, took it, sipped it, and detected the betrayal immediately.

"Jeeeeeeeves," I said.

"Sir?" said Jeeves, turning back from where he had been putting my shoes away.

"Jeeves, what is this?"

"Your morning restorative, sir," he replied, as if he hadn't attempted to poison me.

"Jeeeeeeeeves," I echoed.

"It's tea, sir," Jeeves said, tone clearly indicative of a guilty conscience.

"Jeeves," I said. "We've been over this. You know my needs. It's not some whim or caprice, Jeeves. In order to come back from the dead in the morning I must have a bottled mocha frappuccino, microwaved for two minutes. I didn't choose that, it chose me. I am perfectly happy to defer to your opinion on many topics, but not this one. Now please be so good as to take away this rubbish and bring me my proper morning restorative."

Jeeves looked abashed, but nodded, said "Very good, sir," and carried the tray off. I fell back into the bed like a sandbag that had no business being awake yet and lapsed into inky blackness for the few moments it took Jeeves to fulfill my order. When he returned, I gulped the salve greedily. "Ah, thank you, thank you Jeeves, thank you," I managed between gasps. The coffee was quite hot.

"Well!" I finally said, as the wicked fairies poking the backs of my eyeballs with icepicks cheesed it for a bit. "What's on the docket for today, Jeeves?"

"Mrs. Gneech and yourself are paying an overnight visit to Mr. and Mrs. Antonucci," Jeeves said.

"Oh, yes," I said. "The in-laws. I don't suppose there's any way to oil out of it at this stage, is there?"

"There was never any way to oil out of it," Jeeves replied, rather ruthlessly, I thought.

I shuddered. "But that bed, Jeeves. I'm no princess, but a pound bag of frozen peas under that mattress couldn't make it less comfortable!"

"The allusion is an apt one," said Jeeves. "But remember the words of Mrs. Roosevelt. 'You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.'"

"Er, maybe," I said. "But Mrs. Roosevelt never tried to sleep on that bed, did she?"

"The possibility is a remote one," said Jeeves.

"It's like a particularly ill-tempered marshmallow, Jeeves."

"I'm sure Mrs. Gneech appreciates your pains, sir," Jeeves replied. "Keep in mind she will be sharing them. It is for the greater good."

"I suppose," I replied. Unfortunately, he had me dead to rights. "Very well. Be so good as to lay out my blue bahama shirt with the 'Route 66' motif for today, and pack the cream bahama shirt with the surfing motif for tomorrow."

Jeeves gave me a pained look. I sighed. "Jeeves," I said. "This is 2014 America, Jeeves. I can't be wearing Harris tweeds on a trip like this."

"But surely sir–"

"Don't bring Shirley into this," I said. "She might lunge for a sweater the moment it goes below 72° and cry 'It's freeeeezing in here!' But not me. Let's not mince words, Jeeves. I am a large man. I generate enough body heat to light a small city. 'Lava for blood' as Mammallamadevil used to say."

"A very colorful metaphor," Jeeves agreed.

"You don't want me perspiring all over the place do you?" I said.

"No, sir," said Jeeves.

"You don't want me smelling of sweat at the Antonucci dinner table do you?"

"Indeed not, sir," said Jeeves.

"And it's not like I'm Weird Al poking you in the eye with Hawaiian prints. They're very tasteful bahama shirts."

"Many would say that there's no such thing as a tasteful bahama shirt, sir," said Jeeves, coldly.

"Many would say that Fox News is fair and balanced, Jeeves, but that doesn't make it true. Besides, you know how the locals dress. Baggy t-shirts. Smudged jeans and sneakers. A half-size-too-small polo shirt and khaki shorts, if you're lucky! Believe me Jeeves, in those shirts I'll still be a regular Beau Brummell."

Jeeves seemed to consider this.

"I'm sorry Jeeves. I know this is difficult for you. But remember the words of Mrs. Roosevelt."

Jeeves' right eyebrow flickered, very slightly. Apparently that made an impression on him. "I had not thought of it in that light, sir," he said. "I shall attend to the task immediately."

"Thank you, Jeeves."

"Very good, sir."

"Well then, I'm off for the shower. Wish me luck, I never quite know what I'm going to find in there."

"Have a most enjoyable ablution, sir."

I never know quite to say to a gag like that.

-The Gneech

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