Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Absent-Minded Journalist

Ran across some funny anecdotes from GK Chesterton's life the other day in an article by Katherine Whitehorn recalling some of the stories people told about "this strange, shambling bear of a man." She tells it like this:

"They remember him as boisterous and huge: an American coming to London in the 1930s remarked on his vast figure, despairingly draped by his women-folk in a cloak and a wide hat, leaning his pad against a wall to write an article and reading it aloud as he went; 'The delightful thing was,' he said, 'that no one took the slightest notice.'

They recall his cracks: his dislike of jelly ('I can't stand food that's afraid of me') or his reply to the lady who asked why he wasn't out at the Front: 'If you go around to the side, madam, you'll see that I am.'

And there's a stream of stories about absent-mindedness; not just the telegram AM IN MARKET HARBOROUGH WHERE OUGHT I TO BE which might happen to anyone; but the splashing, followed by a thud, heard outside his bathroom door, followed by an even louder splash and the groan 'Da#%it, I've been in here already.'"

I had never heard that last one before. Something about that made me chuckle loudly and uncontrollably to myself in the library the other day.


Tara said...

tee hee... those quotes made me like the guy even more.

Tony Tanti said...

That bathroom quote made me laugh out loud here in my office.