918. Audrey was a snob

918boar

Audrey was a snob. She was having a dinner party. This wasn’t any ordinary dinner party; for example, Doctor and Mrs Girling-Johnstone would be there. Doctor Girling-Johnstone was an important gynaecologist, and although his wife was merely a receptionist for a law firm, having them for dinner was quite a catch.

Then there was Mabel Donnithorpe and Denise MacPherson. Everyone knew they were an item, but everyone pretended they weren’t. They not only added a degree of mysteriousness to a dinner party, they added a touch of frightful modernity. Who these days would dream of staging a successful dinner party without at least a token nod towards the rainbow community?

Jane and Archie Simpson were also on the list. Rumour had it that Archibald was destined for a knighthood in the New Year. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Audrey had inadvertently invited an ordinary person to her dinner party and the next thing he was a knight of the realm?

Audrey planned the occasion meticulously. Only wild meats would be devoured – she was calling it her “Wild Dinner Party”. It was a fabulous joke; wild boar, wild venison, wild duck. Of course, the cost of getting wild meat was exorbitant, but who cared? And the work required in preparation; the soaking, for example, of the meats in icy salted water to remove the gamey taste.

And then the flowers! Audrey paid four times as much for the table flowers. They were perfect! Simply perfection in a vase.

The guests arrived.

“Oh, Audrey, I don’t know how you do it!” said Angela Girling-Johnstone. “This wild meat is perfection. It’s so ungamey in taste. You’d swear it came from domestic animals. Divine!”

“Oh, Audrey,” swooned Archie Simpson. “The table flowers are so perfect I was convinced they were artificial.”

“They’re not silk?” exclaimed Mabel Donnithorpe. “Audrey, you’re a genius!”

Audrey was pleased. The extra cost of making wild game taste like meat from the supermarket and natural flowers look synthetic was worth every penny.

39 thoughts on “918. Audrey was a snob

  1. thecontentedcrafter

    Audrey IS a snob! [What a sad life you have just described] I saw a double barrelled name ‘Girling-Something’ just a day or two ago [can’t remember in what context now] and it struck me as I’d never come across it before. I’m curious as to the etymology – must ask Mr Google………

    Reply
    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      The name in the paper was Girling-Butcher. I taught Girling-Butchers from Waipukurau, and strangely the surname was in the paper (from Taranaki) just yesterday. I wrote the story with that name ages ago, changing it to Girling-Johnstone – which was a mess-up of people I knew of called Goring-Johnstone!

      Reply
      1. thecontentedcrafter

        Thank you for clearing up in what context I saw it. The name apparently derives from ‘Couer de Lion’. Coming down variously as Girdelyon, Gerlyn, Gerling to Girling. Thought you might like that 🙂

        Reply
  2. Cynthia Jobin

    Audrey was obviously an amateur…too anxious, trying too hard. Like Hyacinth Bucket…kind of comical, and pitiful, really… someone who has no idea of, or talent for, what it takes to be a real snob…

    Reply
    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      I found that teaching in Christchurch NZ which has some really rich families. The new rich would arrive ostentatiously in their helicopters. The old rich would arrive modestly and humbly. The kids of the new rich spent everything on themselves. The kids of the old rich used to give most of their weekly pocket money to various school appeals. The new rich are no longer rich. The old rich plod on rather comfortably thank you!

      Reply
  3. Susanne

    I must invite Audrey to my house for dinner. Perhaps she can make my shabby chic look elegant. Or elegant look shabby chic. O fuddle duddle. I think I’m in a muddle. Do you think there’s a way I can make the vegan (or is it vaygan) dinner I’m going to make on Saturday taste like meat? Or should I stick with my usual making meat taste like crap?

    Good story, Bruce. Your stories capture the weirdness of human nature with pith and vinegar.

    Reply
    1. Cynthia Jobin

      It’s been a while since I heard “piss and vinegar” which was a favorite phrase of my mother’s. I think I even put it in one of my poems…nice to know it’s in Canada too, even if lisped.

      Reply
  4. arlingwoman

    Audrey succeeded in all her efforts, didn’t she? Goodness. She is indeed a bit like Hyacinth Bucket (without the long suffering hubby). I really like the look on the face of your wild boar. I bet that one escaped and is living in the forest eating acorns and has very long tusks…

    Reply
      1. arlingwoman

        They actually scare leopards. I saw a nature show once where it looked like a leopard was going to eat a piglet, but daddy boar started walking toward it and it slunk off…

        Reply
    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      Thanks Sylvie! And I loved your comment on Cynthia’s site. I hope you feel more welcome here. My partner is French and finds NZers overbearingly racist.

      Reply
      1. Sylvie G

        Being racist is not a New Zealand specialty. One only needs to watch the BBC (I have a little addiction to the BBC and RT, the Russian tv, and Al Jaezera) to see that racism and or xenophobia exists everywhere. I Have learned to be my best friend and I think it is very empowering. Everybody should try it ! However, I still find New Zealand far, because I have family and friends in other parts of the world and travelling is a lot of work. Sometimes, however, it feels good to be far (when bombs are exploding, for example). All in all, very happy here 🙂

        Reply
        1. Bruce Goodman Post author

          The things I dislike about this country (and it might be found in other countries as well) is the price of housing (renting or buying) and the fact that they think rugby is a major sport throughout the world!

          Reply
          1. Sylvie G

            I agree so much with the housing market. Insane ! I am a big fan of the All Blacks, although I did not know a word about it when I arrived. I took a long time, but I am totally converted now ! And yes, it is a well kept secret in other parts of the world.

            Reply
  5. noelleg44

    Just had wild boar in Germany – it is quite unlike pig (pork) – very rich and not gamey! Venison is always a bother to fix. Great turn about on this story.

    Reply

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