Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Fit Three, Page 19, Panel 3 … Family & Kinship Patterns of 19th-Century British Yahoos: Avuncular Boojumery?
"A dear uncle of mine (after whom I was named)
Remarked, when I bade him farewell —"
"Oh, skip your dear uncle!" the Bellman exclaimed,
As he angrily tingled his bell.
Yes, yes, yes, that’s all very well, dear reader … aren’t you clever to have remembered that Lewis Carroll’s devoted colleague, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, was named after his dear uncle, Robert Wilfred Skeffington (gesundheit) Lutwidge.
I also know that you have made arrangements to force your attentions upon some local chorus girls and impress upon them the coincidence of the Snark’s origins; how Lewis Carroll commenced that poem’s composition in the town of Guildford on July 18, 1874 — the precise time and place where Dodgson himself was playing the role of "dear uncle" whilst nursing a terminally ill, tubercular nephew.
But there’s more. While going through an old dustbin the lid flew off and you emerged clutching the proof positive of an avuncular trifecta : a dog-eared account of dear uncle Robert Wilfred Skeffington Lutwidge being fatally wounded by a lunatic armed with a large rusty nail, the point of which had been recently sharpened in anticipation of its lethal purpose.
Enough of these dear uncles and these dear readers! It's this defective pen of mine, it will not draw uncles properly — curse these cut-rate penmongers! This hand-me-down drawing of a telegram of a newspaper clipping of a photograph of a simulated second-hand uncle will have to do for now … at least until that time when all our "dear uncles", like laughter, are doomed to disappear.