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Learn to keep the ...shut

The untimely opening of big fat mouths resulting in those inane debates about freedom of speech is, perhaps, the best time to uncork the Wodehouse spirit, writes Kushalrani Gulab.

india Updated: Sep 15, 2008, 20:35 IST
Kushalrani Gulab
Kushalrani Gulab
Hindustan Times

It's.......but,......and........(that is)
However, you will not since...........on! Get it? ............

If you haven’t got it, you’ll have to excuse me for a bit while I step into a cubicle in the loo and mutter dark imprecations to myself because clearly, my attempts at telepathy are not working. And I need telepathy if I’m to put my plan into effect. My plan to not write this column any longer, that is. (The fact that I can hear you break into wild cheers at this announcement proves that telepathy does work. Still, could you tone it down a bit please? My feelings are ever so slightly hurt.)

Ideally, of course, I shouldn’t write anything at all. I figured there could just be a blank space with my mug and name above it, and, every Tuesday morning I’d sit in the lotus position, concentrate hard, and transmit my column to you via telepathy. But for some peculiar reason (boss types are so unreasonable), Ye Ed refuses to let me do that, so here I am still. The reason I don’t want to write this column any more is not because I’m lazy. Or at least, not just because I’m lazy. It’s because I spent all of last week watching the kerfuffle that happened when a former film star opened her big fat mouth and said something she need not have said.

That big fat mouth incident was instantly followed by several other big fat mouth incidents courtesy other people who don’t know how to keep their big fat mouths shut either, leading to gag orders and ridiculous non-debates about freedom of expression and the right we all have to say whatever we like, whenever we want to. Then a presidential hopeful in America opened his big fat mouth and said something about putting lipstick on pigs, which turned into an enormous media circus.

All this was fun to watch, but it struck me that perhaps the only way to stop the hysteria is to stop talking altogether. So I phoned Ye Ed and suggested that I do my column by telepathy. Which was not met by silence as I had hoped, but with a rather loud opposite.

The good thing about the lipstick on a pig statement, however, was that it reminded me that it’s been a long time since I last re-read P.G. Wodehouse’s Blandings Castle stories, so I’ve been very happily immersed in Summer Lightning since. Who abducted the Empress of Blandings, that pre-eminent pig, winner of the silver medal in the fat pigs class at the Shropshire Agricultural Show, with great chances of winning the silver medal for a second time? Was it the Efficient Baxter, the secretary who never allows his employer a moment’s rest? Or was it Sir Gregory Parsloe, whose own pig is also entered in the Fat Pigs competition?

I don’t know yet, or at least, I can’t remember. So I’ll close my big fat mouth now, and get back to my book.

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