12.23.2006

Word of the day: "Waggish"

"What evidence would you have of my reality, beyond that of your senses?"

"I don't know," said Scrooge.

"Why do you doubt your senses?"

"Because," said Scrooge, "a little thing affects them. A slight disorder of the stomach makes them cheats. You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato. There's more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!"

Scrooge was not much in the habit of cracking jokes, nor did he feel, in his heart, by any means waggish then...
My Aunt Shirley (on my father's side) was an ambitious woman who was ahead of her time; she worked for AAFES (the US military's shopping service -- think Sears Roebuck for military dependents) and rose to be a high level manager in that organization at a time when this was quite an unusual role for a woman. After living all over the world she retired after her husband's death to Maine and acquired an old, rambling 18th century house in Kennebunkport -- the William Lord Mansion. She was very interested in keeping the (very scattered) family together and hosted Christmas gatherings through the years. The house had an old 19th century edition of Dickens' works and I read "A Christmas Carol" there on several occasions. I don't why this one passage, and this one word, stick in my mind, but it does, so there it is.

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