Is an interesting little story of something that did not happen.
Several years ago when I was living in Alaska, someone showed me how to enter a contest whereby I could win the services of a school trained proper British butler for a year.
I’m guessing, but I figure that one of their graduates that had gone through the course on some kind of scholarship had cut a deal for advertising the school or some such thing.
I filled out the application, but at the last minute I discarded it for good reason. I knew beyond all doubt that I would win and felt that it would have been an awful trick to pull on some poor bastard that was simply trying to make a living.
Three decades later, I’m having a few second thoughts.
It probably would have provided the storyline for one hell of a good movie. The dialogue would have been precious.
Now, a trained butler is an important tool for the affluent. He does a lot more than one notices in the movies besides lay out clothes and make the morning tea.
A butler takes care of many things, and serves pretty much many of the duties of an executive secretary. He keeps schedules for his client, he fends off unwanted people that would waste his client’s time, and in many cases he is a counselor of sorts on social matters. His duties are probably endless, and he is also supposed to be as invisible as possible.
Let’s picture the conversations that would transpire the butler and a 28 year old single Wildman of an Alaskan fisherman/carpenter that is living in a 7’ by 16’ camper-trailer with no electricity or running water.
It’s about 9 AM after a rough night at the barricades/ Ship’s wheel bar.
“I see you’re up, sir. I have the coffee made the way you like it,” says the butler.
“Uggh!” I reply.
“You seem to have had a pretty rough evening, so I took the liberty of adding an inch and a half of that Old Smuggler whisky to your coffee.” says Michael.
“I’ve laid out your wardrobe, Sir. You’ll see that I chose the Levis with the largest holes and the biggest stains as the schedule for the morning has you fixing your pick up truck.”
One of the responsibilities of a butler is keeping an eye on the smaller day to day household finances. Periodically he is expected to report what is going on with the household coffers:
“Sir, our assets today consist of sixty three dollars and eleven cents, a week’s work of free breakfast at Bob’s Diner for fixing the toilet there, four packs of cigarettes you earned from shoveling snow in front of the Quick Mart, and a case of Rainier beer from Ralphs liquor store for helping unload the beer truck yesterday, and a lap dance Candy from the Gentleman’s club owes you.”
“That, of course, is in addition to what you have in your pocket that you won shooting dice in the Ship’s Wheel bar last night.”
“We’re flush. Let’s take the day off.” Responds Piccolo.
Picture a 1962 ½ ton rusted out Dodge pickup truck with a pair of greasy jeans clad legs sticking out from underneath it and a well groomed proper British butler standing by the hood next to a tool box.
“A 9/16ths inch combination wrench, Sir,” he said, placing one into a hand that appeared out from under the truck.
“Uh, Sir, I was briefly considering mending the hole in the floorboard of the vehicle but reconsidered when it occurred to me that if I did that, you would then not have a place to dispose of your empty beer cans.”
“You might consider putting on a clean shirt before your date with Elizabeth as you have been wearing the one you have on for nearly a week. It would increase your odds considerably of conducting a successful liaison with the woman. I do like it so when you are romantically successful, as it cuts your drinking down considerably.
While sneaking back into town with a freshly poached deer hidden under a tarp in the back of the pickup:
“Sir, you do realize, of course, that the Sherriff of Nottingham tried to have Robin Hood hanged for this very thing.”
“Sir, you really ought to collect your Lap dance from Miss Candy tomorrow night instead of tonight as you will come home covered with glitter and smelling of hideously cheap perfume. You generally don’t get to the Laundromat to shower until Wednesday morning and it’s Monday.”
While walking on the shores of the Buskin River during the salmon run, Piccolo takes off his boots and carrys them.
‘Sir, you really don’t think you can outrun a bear, do you?” asks Michael.
“No, I do not, Michael, but I can surely outrun YOU,” replied Piccolo.
“Sir, when I went to the liquor store to pick up the beer, Larry down at the Gentleman’s club gave most wonderful news of employment for the afternoon. It seems an unruly patron last night forcibly lifted the toilet from the floor of the men’s room. Suitably re- anchoring it will entitle you to a case of Rainier beer AND a bottle of good whisky, the latter of which would be dreadfully good news as I hate to admit it, but I certainly could use a drink.”
“Sir, has anyone ever taught you the rules for the governance of pugilism laid out by the Marquis of Queensbury? Or perhaps someone has and you simply chose to ignore the rules and use a tire iron instead.”
“Sir, I realize you are trying to take care of me as best you can, and I’m sure Miss Katrinka is a wonderfully talented young lady, but at the J. Farnsworth Merriweather school for Butlers, the first thing they taught us was that under no circumstances was a butler to consort with native women.”
Six months later:
“Sir, if you are not requiring my services tonight, could you spare that bottle of rotgut rye? I have a most wonderful opportunity to explore some local native culture.”
From time to time I will post more of our imaginary conversations that very well might have taken place thirty years ago.