We Americans may think of Jeeves and his employer, Bertie Wooster, as quintessentially British. What we may not realize is that, influenced by their biographer, P.G. Wodehouse, who became an American citizen, Jeeves and Bertie have long divided their time between London and New York.
President-Elect Trump, working on his high-level appointments and long fascinated by Jeeves’s fabled brilliance, invited him to Trump Tower one late-November evening:
Ah, Jeeves, I’m glad you could drop by.
One endeavors to give satisfaction.
Come again?! Oh yeah, I get your drift. You Brits are such a stitch. But I hope I’m not lobbing too many Americanisms at you.
Not at all, sir. A gentleman’s gentleman must always be cognisant of regional linguistic variations lest he do a disservice to his master through any failure to comprehend the lexical and dialectical idiosyncracies which comprise his quotidian encounters.
Ummm … yeah … that is so great … and so right … great … and right … really. Anyway, Jeeves, I understand you’re a first-class brainiac, especially after you’ve had a fish dinner. Is that true?
One does as one is able. As to the question of piscine alimentation, one would not wish to exaggerate its benefits, though one often does feel a postprandial effect upon one’s cerebral processes.
Yeah … sure … that thing you just said. Anyway, I do have a kinda problem I’d like your thoughts on. Some people say I’m a little too abrupt and, now that I’m about to be President, I gotta act more Presidential, use more elevated language, though frankly, between you and I …
Begging your pardon, sir, but the correct usage would be “between you and me” since the preposition renders its referent pronoun in the objective case.
Really? Good to know. Well, anyway, I think you see where I’m going with this.
Indeed, sir, there is that ratiocinative aspect of political discourse which, in reasonable balance with the emotive, augments the potential to render the recipient of one’s message susceptible to assent.
Y’know, Jeeves, I don’t have a fucking clue what you just said, but …
One does beg your pardon, sir. No offense was intended.
And none taken, my man. That’s exactly the point. Whatever it is you’re saying, you weave a spell that’s like when some delicious chick knocks your socks off and it takes time before you get your act together and can grab some pu….
… A most apt simile, sir, though one would never wish to be thought of as someone who would willfully obfuscate.
If that word means what I think it means, count me as agreeing. Straight talk is what got me here — Bomb it; Build it; Grab it; Screw it — but sometimes you gotta make ‘em stop and think, float it at ‘em like a knuckleball, dazzle ‘em with your slider. But, I forgot, you probably don’t follow baseball.
To the contrary, sir, many have been the happy hours spent at Yankee Stadium, where I have thoroughly imbibed the jargon of America’s version of cricket.
Dammit, Jeeves, you are something else! You’ve convinced me. Here’s my proposition: I want you to be my White House Spokesman! You’re a goddam verbal magician! The stupid, lying media won’t know what hit ‘em!
Thank you, sir. One is humbled.
So, it’s a yes?
That would be somewhat premature, sir, and a transgression of the obligations one owes to one’s employer. However, considering such past successes as when one persuaded Mr. Wooster to remove his mustache and to cease wearing purple socks, one is confident that one will shortly be in a position to give satisfaction.
Great! Stay in touch, or rather, do endeavor to maintain telephonic contact. See, I’m getting the hang of it!
Very good, sir!