LEAST FAVOURITE FURRY UNCLE
It's an utterly charming piece.
But it made me sad.
I haven't felt needed or wanted in a long time.
Entirely aside from which, my bed is no longer suitable for snuggling, despite all the stuffed animals. There are too many books along one side. Since I started sleeping alone again over two years ago I've turned the entire left side of the bed into a library annex, so that if I wake up in the night there's something to do.
If someone wanted to join me, I would probably tell them to bring a book.
You will be pleased to know, however, that I do not smoke in bed. Doing so is rather like getting drunk by oneself in an unheated garret drinking cheap eau de cologne for want of a better source of alcohol.
A first step towards confirming inapproachability.
That much a bachelor I cannot be.
When I feel like smoking I head toward the kitchen and close the door, so that the whisps of tobacco do not trail into my apartment mate's bedroom while she sleeps.
That's both an enduring habit and a courtesy toward her.
She's doesn't smoke, and I put up with that. Gladly.
The idea of living with another smoker does not appeal, and it is extremely unlikely that anybody would ever appreciate or even like the smell of my pipe tobacco in their living quarters.
Besides, too many people have grown up considering smokers of any kind somewhat leprous, and both cigar smokers and pipe smokers no longer remind people of a favourite uncle or aunt, but instead arouse anger and exaggerated gagging sounds. You wouldn't believe how many times some refined female person on the other side of the street or even several blocks away has spotted me smoking my pipe, clapped her cupped hands to her delicate breathing apparatus, and rushed off looking green and desperate.
She probably has no favourite uncle or aunt, poor thing.
And what a horrible emptiness of the soul to derive moral satisfaction from that pointless little bit of theatre!
You recall that Mole, Ratty, and Badger were all pipesmokers?
You'll grant that all three of them were splendid fellows.
Good eggs, with solid ethics and morals!
Whereas the stoats and weasels who illegally took over Toad Hall and acted repulsive to everyone were probably non-smokers and self-righteous prigs about it.
Who would you rather hang around with - those three exceptionally likeable pipe smoking creatures I first mentioned, or that bunch of vile-mannered self-indulging reprobates?
I find it significant that no mention is made whatsoever of feminine counterparts to Mole, Ratty, and Badger. But beyond doubt several of the wriggly criminals squatting in mr. Toad's family mansion were female.
They probably threw out all the ashtrays, too.
Who the heck would want to snuggle with them?
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