Posts Tagged ‘Halloween’

Downton Abyss

Posted in General on October 31st, 2013 by Eugene Finerman – 5 Comments



Carson entered the drawing room with the embarrassing news, “My Lord and Ladies, I am afraid that Enrico Caruso is dead in Lady Mary’s bed.”

“Not another!” complained the Earl.

“Really, Robert,  it is just a hobby and only once a month” consoled Lady Cora.

“And Mr. Caruso would make quite a trophy” added the Dowager Countess.

“Oh, it is quite a collection now.  Theodore Roosevelt, two years ago.  Last year, Amedeo Modigliani.  The Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, seven years ago.  I have to wonder if blaming Serbia was really such a clever idea.”

Lady Cora nodded, “It was extra work for the chauffeur.”

But the Dowager dismissed the doubts.  “I imagine that Mr. Caruso and the others all died much happier than the thousands of grouse you’ve killed.”

The Earl was not yet placated.  “But all these macabre deaths might distress the servants.”

“Not at all, your lordship” assured Carson, “An extra orange at Christmas should suffice.”

“Thank you, Carson” smiled the Earl, “but still this behavior of our daughter…”

“Daughter?” wondered Lady Cora.  “Why would you think that?”

“A young woman here, unbearably arrogant.  Of course, she is our daughter.”

“Family, yes” corrected his mother.  She knew this conversation was long overdue.  “But when do you recall meeting Mary?”

“Well, I was never one to pry in other people’s lives.  Perhaps it was at her debut, ten years ago?”

“No, it was closer to 45 years ago, at my grandmother’s funeral.  I introduced you to a lady who I said was my grandmother’s great-aunt.  Of course, I was lying.”

“Obviously” laughed the Earl.  “The woman would have been 150 years old.”

His mother agreed. “Yes, Lady Mary hasn’t been 150 years old since the 13th century.  When Downton Abbey was an abbey.  Don’t you recall the legend of a demonic abbess?”

“Is Lady Mary a vampyre?” wondered the Earl.

“A vampyre?  Somebody went to Cambridge.    Carson, tell us: did any of the corpses have bites on their neck?”

“Not on the neck, your ladyship.”

“Quite right.  Lady Mary is a succubus, which is as sordid as it sounds.”

“Cora, you knew a medieval monster was living under our roof?”

“Mary has always been gracious to me.  She even offered me the corpses to make matzoh.”

“Shouldn’t someone warn Mary’s husband?  Isn’t Matthew in danger?”

“Really, Robert.  Matthew is an Englishman.  Whether Mary is a patriot or a gourmet, she is not interested.”

“So, we will do nothing, mother?”

‘It has been our tradition for 800 years.”

 Lady Mary

Next week, Mary hires a new lady’s maid:  Wallis Simpson.

Spooky Halloween Stories

Posted in General on October 31st, 2010 by Eugene Finerman – 2 Comments

First, I assure you:  I do not greet the trick-or-treating children with offers to tell them about the Byzantine Empire.  Well, at least, not anymore.  My neighbors were upset when their children destroyed all the family photos.  I had intended my discussion on iconoclasm to be anecdotal, not a manual.  Seven-year olds may have missed that distinction.  And we no longer are on speaking terms with the Kalmans.  Little Beaumont was correctly practicing the Byzantine method of disinheriting a relative, but he really shouldn’t have tried cutting off his sister’s nose.  (And perhaps I shouldn’t have quipped that she would have needed the nose job anyway.)

Yet, we are not the worst house in the neighborhood!  Who is our competion?

There is the lady who has been trying to give out the same bag of Windmill cookies since 1973.

Then, there is the 50 year-old yenta who comes to the door dressed like a parody of a teenager.  That is the way she normally looks.  But what is especially terrifying is her perfume:  I believe that it called “Gardenia in a Drum”.  The scent comes off on you.  After a visit to her house, the children have to be bathed in tomato juice.

Finally, we know someone who gives as treats her son’s business cards.  All the more horrifying is that the name of his business is misspelled.  So much for his Stanford education.  However, since he is in finance, there is no reason for his grammar to be better than his ethics.

Of course, you think that I am joking.  Cue the Bernard Herrmann music played by a Theremin!   Two of these anecdotes are appallingly true, and one is just slightly exaggerated; only my Byzantine tales are apocryphal (although the little Kalman girl will need the nose job).

p.s.  Let’s not forget the historic significance of this day: