Sunday, September 5, 2010

True Stories of John, 2 - Response to Bracknell

To hear John read today's story simply click the triangle on the left to begin streaming or click this text to download the MP3.


“I’ve always been of opinion that a man who desires to get married should either know everything or nothing. Which do you know?” –Lady Bracknell from Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest

I came upon Lady Bracknell interrogating her daughter’s suitor. Being written by Oscar Wilde, she was a bit of a cock. I took the abuse with him until she asked his age. He said he was twenty-nine. I’d turn twenty-nine tomorrow. She said that was a good age at which for a man to marry.

Then she asked, “I’ve always been of opinion that a man who desires to get married should either know everything or nothing. Which do you know?”

I did the only sensible thing. I got up, carried the play into the bathroom, and responded to the page. It made an unhandsome woman, but it’s seldom you like your in-laws.

“A little of both, madame. The first inclination is to play Socrates and say that I know nothing, but that plea still got him killed. The second inclination is to impress you by claiming omniscience, but any question you should pull from your pocketbook will puncture it. Thus I’m reduced to being earnest. Everything or nothing? I know a little of both. Raise any subject and I can tell you everything I know about it. Just as true, raise any subject and I will tell you far less than the whole of it. In my reply I’ll say a little bit of everything, leaving around it a gaping periphery of what I’ve missed. It’s quite a nothing to be pursued by. It haunts me. The only solace will be when I’m wed to your daughter. There is nothing like a wife to educate a man on how he knows nothing, while she can know everything for him.”

I don’t think she liked me. The suitor answered, too, and the Lady Bracknell replied to him instead. So I turned 29 a bachelor.

5 comments:

  1. Aw, that was cute! It's seldom you like your inlaws... lol awesome.

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  2. So sorry the old woman wouldn't like a honest man like your MC, heh.

    This is the first time I listen to your story. Thanks for posting the audio too, I like how you narrate it. :)

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  3. This was also my first time trying out the audio. You've got a knack for narration, and pace. This story made me giggle. I'm not sure I'd want Lady Bracknell as an inlaw.

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