Saturday, August 8, 2009

"Wind in the Willows" listening party - Chapter 8

My typist's duties kept me from the second "Breakfast in Babbage" with Mr. Pearse on Saturday morning - quite sadly, as I was looking forward to the possibility of hearing "The Only Gay Eskimo" again.

I did, however, make it just in time for the monthly Wind in the Willows listening party. My usual haunt is in Oxbridge, where the furniture is made for full-sized adults and one can procure a good cup of tea whilst listening. The announcement listed Tanglewood only, and thus to Tanglewood I came.

Chapter 8, "Toad's Adventures," tells of Mr. Toad's captivity (thanks to his auto theft) and escape, disguised as a washerwoman. He made it to the train station, talked his way onto the train by agreeing to wash the engineer's sooty shirts, only to find the train pursued by a trainful of policemen set on recapturing the fleeing Mr. Toad. Thanks to the mercy of the engineer, Mr. Toad escaped again. The chapter tells something of his character - arrogant, prideful, with an easy lie ready as needed. Miss Gray observed that "Mr Toad seems to have poor impulse control or insight." Mr. Drinkwater noted that one of his favorite passages was the following, that cut to the heart of the pleasure-loving fellow (Mr. Toad, not Mr. Drinkwater):
To his horror he recollected that he had loeft both coat and waistcoat behind him in his cell, and with them his pocket-book, money, keys, watch, matches, pencil-case - all that makes life worth living, all that distinguishes the many-pocketed animal, the lord of creation, from the inferior one-pocketed or no-pocketed productions that hop or trip about permissively, unequipped for the real contest.

Left to right: Miss Bama Xue (as a Frog, or perhaps a Toad), Miss Dwysan Levee, Miss Lizzo Dreamscape, Mr. Prime Genesis, and Miss May Darkwatch.

Left to right: Mr. JJ Drinkwater (the Badger), Miss Gabrielle Riel, and Mr. Podruly Peccable (the Fox).

I sit and listen on a thoughtfully-provided couch in Tinyville.

Miss Fogwoman Gray, dressed as Mr. Toad dressed as a washerwoman.

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