Monday, 19 December 2011

Mulliner

Mulliner's BUCK-U-UPPO is to be found in the collection Meet Mr.Mulliner by P.G. Wodehouse. I got it for 5€ brand new at my local 2nd. hand bookstore. The Mulliner Collections are not in the Wodehouse selection at the Gutenberg Project though I suppose diligent searching might turn them up elsewhere.

Mr. Mulliner the chronicler of the vast Mulliner clan to whom the oddest things happen, is introduced in the following manner:

He was a short, stout, comfortable man of middle age, and the thing that struck me first about him was the extraordinarily childlike candour of his eyes. They were large and round and honest. I would have bought oil stock from him without a tremor.

It is never stated but that oil stock might be infused with essence of serpent. Mr. Mulliner's brother Wilfred is a chemist of note who has produced some renowned patent preparations one of which comes to the rescue of a timid curate nephew Augustine. His normal tendency towards windiness and funk is eliminated by a spoonful of this elixir. I fear that a summary will not do justice to the ineffable nature of the plot which has emerged momentarily from the sphere of the apophatic It is a lift from De Profundis to Excelsior.

We later find that Augustine through a clerical error has been sent the B preparation of BUCK-U-UPPO which is designed to eliminate funk in elephants who decline to face the tiger in the hunt. A mere spoonful added to their morning mash turns the perturbed pachyderm into a fearless tusker. This over-egging of the curate, mea culpa, does not stop him from ordering after this fashion:

Send immediately three case of the 'B'. 'Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store. Deuteronomy xxviii.5

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