The Genius of PG Wodehouse

· culture ·

Nobody writes like PG Wodehouse. I'm reading Piccadilly Jim at the moment (on my Treo — very convenient for those moments when you find yourself without a book), and this absolute gem made me laugh out loud. The eponymous man-about-town is recovering on the sofa after a night of rather ill-advised high jinks, and talking to his butler, Bayliss:

"You know, Bayliss," said Jimmy thoughtfully, rolling over on the couch, "life is peculiar, not to say odd. You never know what is waiting for you around the corner. You start the day with the fairest prospects, and before nightfall everything is as rocky and ding-basted as stig tossed full of doodlegammon. Why is this, Bayliss?"

"I couldn't say, sir."

I have absolutely no idea what "ding-basted as stig tossed full of doodlegammon" might mean, but it's a phrase to roll around your mouth like fine wine, and to employ when the occasion demands.