Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Lord Washington

3/26/03

My name is Sir George Edward Washington. I was born in London, the son of the late Sir George Herbert Washington. My life, compared to his, has been relatively tame, but still sufficiently full of interest to warrant recording it here. As my father always said, it’s not how you live, it’s whether someone will pay to read your biography. As an example, he always brought forth his two friends; Don, the infamous robber baron, and Keith, the great pastor of Nottinghampshire. Don was a very evil person. He drank excessively, played cards excessively, robbed, killed, raped, and maimed excessively, and yet his biography would be just as thrilling as a story of H.G. Welles. Keith, on the other hand, was a saint. He took care of his flock for over fifty years, never drank or played cards, and was a vegetarian. His biography would take up five non-thrilling pages.

I was not a bright child, as my nurse used to say, not a chip off the old block. When she said this, she would turn deliberately and wink at my mother, who would show her a gimlet eye and then explain that she had no idea what the nurse could possibly be talking about. The nurse knew better. Not only was I dumb, but I was also a coward as a child. My father used to joke that this ran rampant in the family, saying that after all, hadn’t my great-great-grandfather also been a coward? My father was no American, as he proudly said, but he knew that he would never live down what he perceived as his shame.

In fact, his shame was an entirely different matter from what he imagined it to be. He thought that the other people in the House of Lords laughed at him because his peerage had been a gift, and had not been earned in the conventional way. Actually, most of the other Lords predecessors also had done nothing for their rights, so it didn’t really matter. What, you don’t know what happened? Well then, I must clue you in on how my father got to become a Lord.

It all started on a wintery day at Valley Forge. General George Washington’s troops were tired, hungry, and most importantly, cold. The General decided that the only way to save his troops would be to arrange a surrender. This he did, and in exchange for his giving back the Americas to the British, he was awarded a hereditary peerage. Thus our family was reborn. My father’s shame did not lie in the fact that he had done nothing to deserve his knighthood, instead, it was over the simple matter of his butler. We had had Thomas Aldridge as our butler for as long as I could remember. He was a genius, and indispensable to the running of our household. Unfortunately, he committed suicide when he spilled some tea over the dress of the late Dowager Duchess of Davenport. When he saw what he had done, he pulled a knife out of his coat pocket and did the ancient Japanese rite of Hari-Kari. Others in the House of Lords always joked about “Washington and his Japanese butler.” He never lived down either of his shames, but he did not die penniless. He died eventually, of course, from a rare mental disease known as Disconnectidus-Brainus. I was left all his money. And am currently spending it in riotous living. In fact, that is why I have written this story. I needed more gambling money. I guess I was actually a chip off the old block.

35 comments:

e said...

I'll send you my social security number and bank account numbers by email ASAP.

e said...

Would you also want my mother's maiden name?

Altie said...

Dowager Duchess of Davenport.- say it 3 times fast.

e- i think thats fraud.

trs- sad story.

The Real Shliach said...

e: I'll take it all.

le7 said...

VC.

(very cute).

The Real Shliach said...

Thanks!

Altie said...

:) if u have to translate the abreviation, its not much of an abrev, is it?

Vicki said...

This is from 6 years ago? Top notch.

jewpublic club said...

I'm telling you, you're proffessional in short stories

The Real Shliach said...

Vicki: Thanks!

Jew club: et tu, brute?

Qtap said...

The end of the first paragraph seems to contradict the beginning.

Elsewise, an interesting piece. I think, and I could be wrong on this, that there is an alternative fiction novel where the English actually do win the war, though not in the way you propose. I'll have to check. Your way gives all manner of contemplations that demand exploration.


Why is Sourdough not a choice in the poll? Everyone always overlooks the Sourdough.

Altie said...

and olive bread. ahem

The Real Shliach said...

Qtap: What's the contradiction?

Explore please.

Simple. I don't like sourdough very much.

Altie: What do you think Greek Olive Ciabatta is?

Altie said...

:) i thought that might be it. I voted on it twice!

le7 said...

Everything! Actually I like their multigrain bread but I'm speaking from Chicago experience...

Qtap said...

In the beginning he says that how you live doesn't matter so long as people will buy your biography, ie, it's an exciting read. Then he tells us that Don lived an exciting, immoral life, and his biography will sell. Whereas Kieth lived a good wholesome life and his biography wouldn't get you a pizza in Rome. Seems to me that he is implying a correlation between life style and biography readership. Thus, being contrary to the original statment.

The Real Shliach said...

Altie: Excellent.

le7: ?

Qtap: Why is that contrary to the original statement?

le7 said...

I marked everything. The Breadsmith product I prefer is their multigrain bread. But I have only been to the Breadsmith in Chicago.

The Real Shliach said...

Oh. I see.

le7 said...

You were just talking about Breadsmith, am I not allowed to chime in too? Is it because I'm a girl? Is it because I don't keep kosher? What?

Qtap said...

Could not Keith, in theory, have an exciting biography? Obviously he would need a ghost writer, since he is so dreadfully boring, but it could be done. And the same for Don. It's really all about the writing.

Do they even have Breadsmith outside the Midwest?

The Real Shliach said...

le7: I just didn't know what you meant when you said "everything". My apologies.

Qtap: Yes, in theory it's possible, but it has nothing to do with what I wrote here. You may argue with the general gist, but I see no contradiction in my own writing.

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=breadsmith+locations

Qtap said...

Of course you don't see a contradiction in your own writing, that would be seeing contradiction within yourself, which is something the human mind is hardwired against doing. However, I challenge you to write a biography for Kieth that would be at most thrilling, and at least mildly entertaining.

That website amuses me, with it's fancy graphics.

gimme bread said...

i like your latest poll.

now if only you would be a real good boy and buy me something (i voted for greek olive of course) and ship it to me.

i'm holding my breath

The Real Shliach said...

le7: I just realized that when I wrote "everything" in the poll I meant everything in the store, not the multigrain bread. But yes, the multigrain, toasted, goes excellently with sardines.

Qtap: So you admit that I merely contradicted what you think, not myself.

And yes, it is quite cute.

gimme bread: now if you had only said "please"...

le7 said...

No. I know. I just meant that as a side note I liked the multi grain bread.

The Real Shliach said...

When it's not toasted I like it with a thick topping of salty margarine.

Altie said...

broit mit butter...

sarabonne said...

I like pas yisroel jalapeno sourdough flute bread from Oregon's Albertsons (I'm not advertising...) lightly toasted with cream cheese. Their artisan rosemary bread is pretty tasty too.
By the way, that comment from Vicki was mine, I forgot to sign her out.

The Real Shliach said...

I figured it was from you... who is she?

sarabonne said...

Dear Momma. I was on her computer.

e said...

Yeah, I was wondering about vicki. I was wondering how your name got from vicki to sarah.

Qtap said...

I admit that you do not see the contradiction.

Cheerio said...

has no one else realized what the most brilliant line of all was?
"Washington and his Japanese butler".

The Real Shliach said...

Cheerio: There are just so many here that people don't notice 'em.

:)