Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Hot Tadpole

Noël Coward being very unimpressed with Soviet Russia:

Presently, when I had finished unpacking and had my coffee, I decided to shave and have a bath. The bathroom was large and encrusted with marble; the rusty shower refused to work, so I turned on teh bath tap marked "Hot" and was startled to see a tadpole come out of it and vanish down the plughole. Later on, when I had dressed and gone downstairs, I spoke to the manager about it. I explained, as politely as I could, that, although he might consider what I was saying to be alien propaganda, in England when we turned on a hot tap, as a general rule, hot water came out of it, whereas if on the other hand we wished for a hot tadpole, we turned on a tap marked "Hot Tadpole" and, owing to the efficiency of our capitalist state, a hot tadpole usually appeared. The manager received this gentle reprmiand with the utmost courtesy and I walked out into the streest of Leningrad.

[Noël Coward, Future Indefinite, Doubleday (New York: 1954) p. 39]

I do hope to get a post on Jane Austen and the picturesque at some point this week, but substantive posts will likely be light this week as I try to get some things finished for the summer and try to get a bit ahead of the game for this coming fall term.

And some more Coward, in a different medium:

Texans are like Englishmen at least to this extent, I suppose. Coward has some funny passages about the burden of being so completely associated with this song that he was unable to convince people like Winston Churchill that he was capable of doing other things.

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