Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

That Demn'd Elusive "P" Word

The word is Picaresque. It's been playing hide and seek with me for days. I call it to service and it won't come and its cousin Peripatetic turns up instead. I whistle and whistle- and all the time Peripatetic is sitting there looking up at me with big spaniel eyes as if to ask "won't I do?" and I say,"Sorry, you're a lovely word but, no, you won't. Not in this context. If I start talking about peripatetic novels people will think I've gone out to lunch".

And then, next morning, I wake up and there, sitting on the coverlet with its tongue hanging out, is Picaresque. It's as if it had never gone missing. I pat it on the head and smooth its glossy coat and name it several times over.

Later that morning I'm thinking about J.B. Priestley and I tell myself he used to write- "Oh damn, what's that word? I'm sure it begins with a P. It's something like Peripatetic. J.B. Priestley wrote peripatetic novels. No that's all wrong."

This morning Picaresque came back again. Meekly, innocently, as if nothing at all were the matter. But this time I'm not standing for any nonsense. No more running off to gambol in the clover meadows. And that's what this post is all about. I'm putting it on a choke chain.

Picaresque, picaresque, picaresque.
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