Tuesday, January 12, 2010
A good retort to a posh remark
I was reading in the bath this morning (Posh Bird and the ilk always have baths in the morning, preferably with lemon verbena scented soap, rose oils and a toga clad youth to hand over the queen-sized fluffy white towel*), and just about the time I was trying to turn the hot tap with my big toe to warm up a bit, I came across this in Rachel Cusk's novel, 'The Country Life'. It quite put me off my stroke. In this scene, Stella Benson, a paranoid and tricksy 29 year old has moved to the country to work as an au-pair for a disabled, bright, teenager.
'There you are.' Martin folded his arms with satisfaction. 'That's why things are better off in our hands. We know how these things ought to be done.'
'Who is "we"?' I enquired.
'The upper classes,' said Martin, his face crumpled and white, like something botched and screwed into a ball. I caught a glimpse of the cavity of his mouth, dark and moist.
'I do apologize,' I said sarcastically. 'I didn't realize that was who you were.'
'Our family,' intoned Martin, 'has lived in this house since the seventeenth century, and in this area since long before that.'
'Does that make you upper class?' I was becoming quite irritated, in a desultory fashion. 'I'd have thought it just makes you local.'
* (No. Really posh baths mean brown water out of the tap, the hot water running out after half an inch and small, scratchy towels that are frequently mistaken for the dog bed lining.)