The question about what the super rich do when they get together has come up many times in several different ways. In the last post you may recall I was attempting to answer the question about whether or not they play board games.
In my world of the old-guard rich, the answer is no. But they do engage in another type of parlor game that requires wit, mental agility, and stamina. It's called repartee, or sparring.
They chitchat, they drink, and they banter all through the evening. There's laughter with each level of excess, and the drunker they get, the louder the laughter. These mindless conversations almost always involve a degree of self deprecating humor, poking fun at themselves (or at each other) for some stupid little thing that's happened in their day-to-day lives. Nothing too mean or probing mind you, just silly stuff like:
"Can you imagine? Escada declined my order!" a fat lady said one evening, which brought some serious chuckles!
" Forgive the way I look tonight. The minute she finished washing my hair my hairdresser went into labor!" More laughter!
"When the pharmacy dropped off my husband's Viagra the dogs grabbed it and chewed up the bottle! We didn't dare go outside!" Which brings howls!
Dame Covington, explaining why she was late one evening, told everyone that when she was caught doing 50 in a 30, she scolded the cop and asked him, "Why did you stop me, young man, can't you see I'm in a hurry?"
Once when I got rooked into tending bar, a few old gentlemen clustered around the bar were discussing what their actuaries said about how much longer they have to live. "Six, eight, ten years", some of them bragged. But reaching for his fourth gin and tonic, one old buzzard replied "Twenty-five, thirty minutes tops!" Which brought down the room!
This kind of playfulness is always going on at cocktail parties and events around here. And the thing is, the laughter seems genuine and everyone seems to be having a good time. In fact, it all seems to be in the great tradition of Oscar Wilde, who's repartee among the British upper classes is well known if not renowned.
I think it was Wilde's stage play "An Ideal Husband" wherein the lead character Sir Robert Chiltern was berating himself for something or other, and one of his old cronies said "You needn't put yourself down old man, your friends will do that for you."
Now that's the kind of repartee that legends are made of!
This blog is so entertaining!ReplyDelete
Well, okay. Who are you, Anonymous? Thanks for dropping in, and for the kind words.Delete
I found your book listed on Goodreads and immediately bought a copy, which led me to this blog, and just wanted to say how much I'm enjoying your writings. Thanks so much for all the information, and all the laughs!ReplyDelete
You're so kind to say that, Mildred! That you got a few laughs here and there is the best review I could hope for. Do stop by anytime.Delete
I absolutely adore this post! All I can say is: more please!!!ReplyDelete
You think I should start a gossip column somewhere, Doll? I had fun writing this post, too. Your inquiry about rich people losing things is coming up next, btw. Probably Wednesday or Thursday of next week.Delete
Thanks for the lift! Andrew
hey I don't know if you remember me. I posted a comment on this blog in late 2011. I was going through a tough emotional time during that time and was contemplating suicide (which I discussed with you). I also talked to you about the MCAT. I'm currently a first year medical student and very much alive. Thank you for your encouraging comments.ReplyDelete
That's awesome to hear! Of course I recall your message, and do appreciate your happy, updated information. (You may have noticed I deleted those messages after a few days, for reasons of privacy.) Thanks so much for stopping by, and great good luck in your new career! In your field you can be of help to so many, which is the best joy any of us could hope for.Delete