To Say Nothing of the Dog (was: Re: Names)

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at
Sat Oct 14 07:42:54 EDT 2000

>> My dearest Paulums, I am fairly *weak* with horror!!
>My dearest Hallie, *I* am fairly weak with laughter. :)

_My_ dearest Paul, thanks for the compliment, but it was actually Becca who
wrote this! :)

>>                 "Look here! I've an idea we've been working this
>> thing from the wrong end."
>>                                       --Lord Peter Whimsy
>Not Lord Peter Wimsey? :)

Oh well, one mistake to Becca to match your mistaking her identity!  And I
did say she hadn't read the books yet, and I found this actual chapter
heading from TSNotD and read it to her, and no one's perfect, right?

>>                                 Chapter One
>> A Letter--A Message from the Other Side!--I Explain it All--A Swoon,
>> Not Mrs Merring This Time--A Swoon Involving Keyboards--Exclamation
>> Marks--More Exclamation Marks--Penwipers and Jumble Sales--I am
>> Fairly WEAK with Horror--I Beg Everyone's Forgiveness--The End.
>Heh. :)
>(You realise, of course, that Willis stole the idea of the chapter
>summary from Jerome's book?)

"Stole"???  I hardly think it counts as stealing when the book is named in
obvious homage to Jerome's book.  :)  Which both Becca and I were led to
read after TSNotD, btw.

>> Words cannot properly *express* how UNHAPPY I was when I read your
>> letter!!  I believe Fate has led me to this list so I can spread the
>> knowledge of my dearums dearums booksie. HOW can you not have liked
>> it?
>I was mostly enjoying it, actually, but it was beginning to look like
>one of those books where the hero is always on the verge of doing
>something horrifically embarrassing; and I can't stand those.

We are Three Females in a House who can't stand those either, and all three
of us loved this to bits.  Ned never does anything (particularly)
embarrassing that I can recall.

>> When I read your letter this afternoon I *swooned* at your mention
>> of my poor dearums booksy going Unread and Unloved All This TIME!!
>It's only been about four days. :)
>(Having decided not to read TSNotD, incidentally, I'm reading _The War
>of the Worlds_ instead. It's got a reference to Australia in it!)

Drat.  I thought there was a reference to Australia in TSNotD I could reply
with, but it's South Africa.  (No, I _know_ that's no good!)  Virtually
everything else I'm sure could be found there (even Irish names!), but
can't think of anything about Australia.

>> If you only read a few chapters, you *won't* have met my lovely
>> wovely Cyril and my dearums dearums JuJu (or Tossie, for that
>> matter) and you won't at all have Realised What It Means. If you
>> have not read this book, *how* can you understand about Penwipers or
>> Jumble Sales??
>You're wrong there. Ned is quite eloquent about Penwipers and Jumble
>Sales in the first chapter, and he met Cyril at about the time I gave
>Either JuJu or Tossie, I take it, is the cat.

They are equally cat-appropriate names, aren't they?  Both nicknames, for
pretty vile real names, but _you'll have to read the book to find out_!!
And there's lots more about Penwipers and Jumble Sales.

>> I am terribly plagued with guilt that I have not before led you to
>> finish this Absolutely Wonderful Novel.
>I repeat, I only gave up on it last Tuesday, so you haven't really had
>much of an opportunity before now.

I notice you wisely made no suggestion that you would ever try it again.  A
hint of a possibility mentioned to Becca tends to turn rapidly into "but
you PROMISED".  So sensible, if disappointing...


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