Confounded machines! In the midst of writing here, the bally thing crashed, forcing me to start anew. It simply couldn't handle the strain placed on it by the Shakespearean Quote Generator
- seemed to sort of flicker around the edges, don't you know, and sway a bit. I often feel that way myself when Jeeves begins to give out his "Stay Passenger, tumty-tumty fast /
Read if thou canst, whom tumty death hath plast
," and so on. I suppose a fellow like him has no trouble fathoming it, but it's a bit much for us lesser chaps to follow. At any rate, I suppose I shall have to shove up the shirt-cuffs and begin anew.
It's a funny thing, but each passing day brings my heart closer to that man Marx's. Not the one who was all eyebrows and cigar, the other cove. He used to spout something about television which I'm quite convinced was genius.
The Dreadful Box is in our midst, following the visit of one of my nephews. I suppose in medieval times one had the same sort of trouble with town criers: pleasant enough in theory, but in practice a greater band of temperamental half-wits wandering about braying the latest rumor and innuendo could hardly be found on ITV. Still, there are a few diamonds in the rough. In particular, a cookery programme imported from America - one of those so in vogue among the Younger Generation - mentioned the most astonishing thing in my hearing just the other day.
I wasn't watching it, of course; it happened to be in my line of vision as I was perusing an improving book.
The hostess of the programme happened to mention in passing that once one has absconded - if that's the word I want - with the bulk of a mango's meat, the pit will serve one delightfully in the bath. Well, I mean to say, what?
It had simply never crossed my mind that foodstuffs could be used as a sort of soap or bath-salt. As it happened, we had a basket of fruit in the house that my Aunt Agatha -- of whom the poet Shakespeare once wrote,
I do begin to perceive that I am made an ass
-- delivered me as her rather mouldy idea of a proper Christmas offering. Still, joyful tidings, and whatnot, and (doubtless at great personal cost and effort) someone had included a mango in the dratted thing. I immediately removed myself to a remote location with a pen-knife and had at it.
I don't know if you've ever eaten a mango before. If you haven't, be well-prepared with raincoat and underwater gear upon your first expedition. Mine was a slippery beast, leaping out of my fingers like live trout at every opportunity - and being shaped rather like something you'd see in a particularly gooey rugby tournament, it had many of these. I finally had the best of it, however, if you discounted a few odd orange splashes here and there and a sharp wound or two from the pen-knife.
As I read this over, it occurs to me that one could just as well eat it in the bath, saving no doubt hundreds of pounds annually on labour and laundry-soap. However, such a hedonistic plan had yet to occur to me, which is probably just as well. If Jeeves knew I was devouring tropical fruits among the soap-suds, he would definitely twitch a disapproving eyebrow and begin with an "I fear, sir..." and the next thing we both knew, I would be giving the entire basket to the stable-boy or something. I mean, one has to draw the line somewhere.
The theory, as I understand it, is that the remaining pulp contains myriad remarkable oils, the better with which to soften and tone the skin, and the nut or seed underneath scrapes away the dead skin cells, and with them, the cares of the day. I don't mind admitting that I felt a bit of a fool washing myself with a whopping great fruit-stone, but there you have it. The mango is not a free-stone fruit; its meat clings like the arms of the devastating young ingenue in one of those giddy romantic comedies. As a result, barring actually gnawing on the thing, one is left with quite a bit of fruity stuff to serve as a sort of soft soap.
The rumors of toning oils were quite true; I suppose that's what makes the devilish fruit leap and soar about so. I'm bound to say I couldn't unearth an exfoliating surface anywhere, so Bertram's skin cells will have to find their own way to whatever serves as their Great Beyond. I did develop what I think was quite a clever method of running the backs of my thumbnails over the orange flesh to expose the wood underneath, and that at least kept me slathered with as much mango as any man could ever want.
I managed not to eat any of the bathwater-infused stuff, but it came as near as dammit several times. It's just so dreadfully sweet and tasty. A kiwi has a rough exterior, doesn't it -- or there were some grapefruits that one would think might refresh everything tremendously... I wonder....
(This is more or less a true story. This is what happens when I read great chunks of a P.G. Wodehouse omnibus and then take a long bath... with a mango pit.)
Excalibre says: I would NOT recommend this. I, like many other people, am allergic to the damn things. it's actually quite common - they're related to poison ivy (if I recall correctly) and they secrete a similar oil that's quite commonly the cause of trouble. I believe it's handling the skin that actually gets me, but rubbing your body with something akin to poison ivy in the bath is probably asking for trouble. and allergies DO develop over time in some cases.