A KINDER GENTLER ENGLAND
An England before the blitz, before the depression.
An England where an individual of Anuritic persuasion could steal a motorcar and drive off, happily going 'poop poop, poop poop' to himself, in cheerful imitation of vehicular noise.
I've always admired mr. Toad. No, not because we are in any way alike - I did not steal a car, though I did crash one, and we shall not speak of the small aircraft - but because of the sheer joyous incorrigibility of the beast.
Mr. Toad is deliciously wicked. In a very innocent sort of way.
Which is why the sentence passed on him is so heart-rending.
"To my mind" observed the Chairman of the Bench of Magistrates cheerfully, "the only difficulty that presents itself in this otherwise very clear case is, how we can possibly make it sufficiently hot for the incorrigible rogue and hardened ruffian whom we see cowering in the dock before us."
Twenty years in the slammer. For a non-violent crime.
"Then the brutal minions of the law fell upon the hapless Toad; loaded him with chains, and dragged him from the Court House, shrieking, praying, protesting; across the market-place, where the playful populace, always as severe upon detected crime as they are sympathetic and helpful when one is merely 'wanted', assailed him with jeers, carrots, and popular catchwords; past hooting school children, their innocent faces lit up with the pleasure they ever derive from the sight of a gentleman in difficulties ---[CUT]--- past sentries who coughed in a horrid sarcastic way...."
Schoolchildren, carrots, and sarcastic coughing! No one deserves that.
Especially not someone who looks so dashing in tweeds.
Mr. Toad has the kind of bright cheerful optimism that makes you root for him and hope that all ends well, even though you know that his type are disruptive, and usually make a mess of things. Mr. Toad, despite his wealth and his mansion, is the quintessential little guy.
Mr. Toad is, in fact, every man's 'everyman'.
We all wish at times to act like him, and get away with monumental acts of madness.
Poop poop, poop poop!"
At some point today, close your eyes and imagine that you are enjoying a beautiful summer day in England - trees, wildflowers, gentle zephyrs. Indulge your amphibian side.
You will feel much better despite the stock market and the riots.
Please ignore me as I steal your motorcar.
It's for a very good cause.
Poop poop, poop poop!
NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.