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R. Collins celebrates his birthday

R. Collins Farquhar IV, aristocrat and scientist.
To my longtime readers and adoring fans. May you someday become enlightened.


I have just returned from my four-week tour of Europe in celebration of my 29th birthday. Aristocracy, unfortunately, is in decline in Europe just as it is in the United States, with the old money dying out and the Nouveau Riche taking over, but as there are more ruins of the old aristocracy in Europe than in the States, it still makes a worthwhile visit. I predict that within a generation, the old aristocracy will, sadly, be little more than a memory. I have made many predictions in the past and all of them have come true. You may read them by visiting and signing up for the premium-level subscription. I accept payment in U.S. currency, Pounds Sterling, and gold.

Speaking of the Nouveau Riche, I do wish I had spent my send-off with Raunche rather than with my so-called relatives. Little of my fine aristocratic blood seems to have seeped into them, sadly. I visited them on 27 November (November 27) for what they called “dinner.” They said it was something about Thanksgiving. Well, yes, for my enlightened readers, every day is reason to give thanks for the bountiful irrefragable enlightenment which follows my every footstep. I was very glad they were beginning to recognize this, and I told my manservant as much as he pulled my Rolls into my mother’s quaint little driveway.

After a feeble attempt at badinage, I noticed a smirk on my brother’s face. I always know I am in for something fetid and callow when I see that look. He suggested we sit down to dinner. I had my manservant sit at the table while I sojourned outside for a few puffs of my pipe. (My unenlightened family has not yet discovered the healing properties of tobacco smoke.) I always have my manservant eat my meals before I do, as it reveals two things. First and foremost, if my manservant lives, then I know the meal is not toxic. Second, I can interrogate him as to whether the meal was fit for aristocratic consumption.

I took a sip of my brandy (decaffienated, of course), thinking I might need it to face what awaited me inside. I needed not proceed with the interrogation upon my return. As my brother was stuffing his face with his third helping of a vile concoction called turkey and noodles, I scanned the table. Most of the usual traditional foods consumed by the rabble on that particular day were present: turkey, some vile concoction made with old bread that is commonly called “dressing” (I can only assume the French came up with that idea), mashed-up cranberries, some concoction that appeared to be made with apples and cream, mutilated potatoes and yams, and large quantities of white bread. No exotic animals. Nothing requiring the skills of a chef. Not even any haggis. Haggis is what commoners once ate in Scotland, but at least it is Scottish. Someone in this family needs to remember our roots. If they must be commoners, the very least they could do is be Scottish commoners.

Then, on the corner of the table, I spotted something worthy of an aristocrat’s refined palette: a jar of caviar.

But the caviar was not blended with red onions, scallions, sour cream, cream cheese and spices and wrapped in flaky puff pastry fit for an aristocrat, but it sat in an unopened jar, in the middle of a plate, garnished with small commercially-produced cakes resembling hockey pucks in plain white wrappers. My manservant told me they were a product manufactured by Hostess, commonly known as “Ding Dongs.”

My brother is a big enough ding-dong that I can only presume they are named after him. I need not contribute to his ego by indulging in them. Besides, my aristocratic gastrointestinal tract probably cannot handle such things.

I instructed my manservant to save one for Jacques Pierre Cousteau Bouillabaise Nouveau Riche Croissant le Raunche de la Stenche.

“Have some caviar and Ding Dongs,” my brother offered, before he resumed shoveling noodles into his face. I thought about offering him a second fork. I can only assume that this insult to my aristocracy was his idea, no doubt a result of a conversation with the Archduke of Stenche. I shall have to inquire at an appropriate time.

I decided it was time to depart. I instructed my manservant to warm up the Rolls. I waited a minute for some acknowledgment of me having graced their table with my presence. Finding none, I departed, unappreciated. No matter, as there were vintage antique radios to be refurbished and Europe was ever waiting. As the 31st great-grandson of William the Conqueror, I sought to return to Europe to plan my next conquest.

I can only assume they resumed stuffing their faces with noodles.

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5 thoughts on “R. Collins celebrates his birthday”

  1. Yes, R.C. you are right, I know Dave personally and he is a ding dong. Of course, unlike you, he is willing to share at Christmas! One can only hope that your manservants take a break this year and leave you all by your lonesome! Please pay them well for all the hard work they do. They deserve a bonus!

  2. Interesting entry. Very “left-bank”ish. Sure you didn’t run into Gertrude Stein, Hemingway, or Scott Fitzgerald while scribbling in one of those cafes? 🙂

  3. R. Collins Farquhar IV, aristocrat and scientist

    Happy Birthday and a short note from the Deep East Texas Aristocracy.
    We split from the New Orleans family over a small problem of a misplaced horse. My ancestors made it into Texas ahead of the French troops.
    Being poor relations in this fancy family, we learned to do for ourselves. The first thing that you should do when you turn eighteen is get you a good woman. Mine keeps a still out back that keeps my mason jar full. She goes into town once a month to get groceries on the Texas card. The state’s generous, and with a little huntin’, we get along fine.
    You’re thinking my woman does it all but that ain’t true. I come out on the porch of our single wide each morning and plant myself in my rockin’ chair and set there until dark shooing the dogs and the kids off.
    We are truly blessed.
    Some of de la Stenche’s poor relations live down the road. They say hello. There was some problem in New Orleans but they don’t like to talk about it. Seem’s like after two hundred years anything would be talkable.
    Once again happy Birthday and if your ever in the woods, drop by, I’d like to lay an eyeball on a Roller.

  4. I have just returned from a well-deserved holiday, only to find that R. Collins has been using his “Make Your Own Moonshine” kit again, and has posted more pablum. I will address what has been said here in increasing order of relevance.

    This, of course, means that I must address Thomas first, and I do so reluctantly. Communicating at all with Thomas in a public forum runs the risk of exposing the readership to his vulgar use of an already vulgar language. Hopefully, my own example will counter his vagaries. I will be succinct, and say that Thomas’s knowledge of snack foods with legendary shelf life far exceeds his knowledge of language, liquor, and etiquette in particular, and his execrable cerebration in general. The extent of his “debating skills”, indeed, his leitmotif, is rooted in baseless ad hominum. I shouldn’t even mention that he prefers Canon cameras to Nikon units. I’m sure the preference is due to the more simplistic nature of Canon’s instruction manuals (“point the camera, press this button, yee-hah! you took you a picture”), since only a tryo would suggest that Canon has superior picture quality.

    Mademoiselle Em, you must forgive R. Collins. Since his land holdings are small (and mortgaged through a public bank), he has little real wealth from which to be generous. Philosophically, he can offer advice on the herding of sheep and other animals, though a true aristocrat will hunt beasts for sport, not herd them. As for his manservants, most of them drive away after delivering his “Italian” pizza pie (I fly in a chef from Sicily for this entree). His only saving grace is that he _carries_ himself as an aristocrat, albeit a flatulent one. This brings us to the “enlightenment” he espouses, which involves a disposable cigarette lighter and the aforementioned intestinal gas. He has ruined many a plaid skirt that way.

    Joseph Castleschoudt, I see that your family fled from the French army. That would appear to be a contemporary joke in this country, but then again, Americans consider fried cheesecake a delicacy. Your distillery sounds oddly like R. Collins’s. Perhaps you can share your secrets of distilling wood alcohol. Or perhaps you can bolster some human dignity and defeat your demons. If you think the Stenche line exists in New Orleans as Acadian rabble, you have a long way to go, so you have my best wishes.

    R. Collins, I must reiterate that I had a tutelary, nay, potentary obligation to watch the servants purge the estate’s septic system immediately before your trip. However, I know that you had a velleity to rusticate, and it appears that you survived your family gathering, despite the banal conditions to which you were exposed. How much of that meal was supplied by a charitable organization?

    I reject your offer of the Ding-Dong, and suggest that you offer it to Thomas. Like most in the Third Estate, I’m sure he could use some sustenance. And I see that you have picked up a reader, so that plurals must be used in reference to your readership. My congratulations.

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