1) Speculation on what would happen if
Jeeves was scenery (as characters become if you spend a paragraph describing
them rather than letting them describe themselves through their actions and speech).
"I say, Tree, I've got a bit of a problem.."
"It's this Bassett beazel. She keeps saying she wants to marry me."
"Can you imagine it, Tree? I bet she's the kind of girl who covers a
chap's eyes unexpectedly when he's sitting at breakfast and says 'guess
"Come on, apply the old cambium to the subject.."
"Don't rustle like that! These are the times that try men's souls!"
"Look, I'll let you have those fertiliser sticks I refused to buy
"All right! I'll stop putting weedkiller on the lawn!"
* * *
2) On what happened afterwards, when it
turned out Jeeves wasn’t scenery after all.
"Ahem.. pardon me, sir...”
"Forgive me, sir, it was not my intention to startle you."
"No, no, I often leap twenty feet into the air for no reason at all. It's
quite all right."
"I wonder if I might make an observation, sir.."
"Make on, Jeeves."
"I could not help but notice, sir, that you were addressing that member of
the vegetable kingdom in a highly agitated fashion."
"Well, ahahaha.. yes.."
"Might I inquire as to the reason for this?"
"Madeline wants to marry me
"Jeeves, you are the bally limit! This is life and death! Don't you think
just *once* you could get a bit more excited about it?"
"I fail to see what purpose that would serve, sir."
"Shall I tell you why I was talking to that tree, Jeeves?"
"Because you and it are practically indistinguishable when it comes to
reacting to matters of this nature. I felt, under the circumstances, it might
express itself a bit more em.. what's the word?"
"Empathetically, perhaps, sir?"
"That's the one. Empathetically. In point of fact, it rustled its leaves
once in a decidedly empathetic manner while I was pouring out the heart to it,
which is more than you usually do."
"I regret, sir, that I am unable to perform that particular action, being
not endowed with foliage."
"Scenery! You are all as the scenery! Do you know what *I'm* going to do
about it, Jeeves?"
"I'm going to become part of the scenery too. A Greek statue, I think. One
of those nude ones with a missing arm."
"Sir, I hardly think..."
"No! There's no stopping me! The mind is made up, the iron will is forged
in the fires of determination, the writing is on the wall. I shall be a Greek
statue from now on and there's nothing you can say that will sway me from my
"Well, in that case, sir..."
"And you may bring me tea around five-thirty."
"As you wish, sir."
"Now don't go trying to get around me that way. The garments are being
shed for a simpler life as a thing of beauty and that is that."
"Very good, sir."
"Here, take my coat, won't do to have it covered in leaves..."
"No indeed, sir."
"Or the trousers. Cost me a packet in alterations."
"The final result was very pleasing, sir."
"It was, wasn't it? But no! We will not linger regretfully over thoughts
of pleasingly altered trousers! I think that's the lot. Off you go. I'll see
you at five-thirty with the tea."
"Very good, sir."
"You're still here."
"Why are you still here, Jeeves? Haven't you got something domestic to do
with my trousers?"
"It can wait, sir."
"No it bally well can't! Go and press my trousers!"
"I will press them later, sir. Twice, if need be."
"You are being uncharacteristically stubborn, Jeeves."
"And you are eyeing me in an altogether unsuitable fashion."
"I beg to differ, sir. It is by no means unsuitable. You asserted that it
was your intention to become a statue such as those carved by the ancient
Greeks. The culture of the early Greeks was such that it encouraged the
admiration of the naked human body, which, in its ideal form, was seen as the
epitome of symmetry and perfection."
"And you won't get round me that way either. I'm not speaking to you until
you learn to rustle your leaves in an empathetic fashion when informed that the
end of civilisation is nigh."
"You need not speak, sir. Statues, as a rule, do not."
"Oh, so I'm supposed to just shut up and let you sit over there having
carnal thoughts about me?"
"Such is the lot of statues, sir. Especially those of the Greek
"It is a free country, sir."
"And stop *smiling*!"
"I am not smiling, sir."
"Yes you are! That muscle on the right side of your mouth is
"Merely an involuntary tic, sir, which I suffer from on occasion and by no
means a betrayal of amusement on my part..."
"I'll bet you can't look me straight in the eye and say that."
"I believe you may be right, sir. You will simply have to take my word for
it. If I may make a suggestion, sir, it is not in the nature of Greek
statues to stand with their arms folded in that disapproving fashion. They are
much more inclined to be involved in a sporting activity of some kind or
striking a grander pose."
"By Jove, Jeeves, you don't think after I've let you adjust my socks, my
spats, my shirts, my ties, my pyjamas, my facial hair, my musical
entertainment, my suits, my aftershave and God knows what else I'm going to let
you have a go at the frame in its birthday suit? Is nothing sacred? If I wish
to stand here with arms crossed and a disgruntled expression on the map, then,
by golly, I will!"
"Very good, sir. You may wish to conceal yourself, sir. I fancy I hear one
of Mrs Travers' gardening staff approaching."
"Commendable economy of movement, if I may say so, sir. You may wish to
remain motionless to avoid causing the bush to rustle. You may also wish to
take back your clothing..."
"Thank you, Jeeves."
* * *
"Ah, Reggie! Afternoon! Good to see you again."
"Hello, Philbert. I take it you are well?"
"Can't complain, can't complain. Look, Reggie, I wonder if you can
shed some light on something. It's Miss Madeline, you see. She swears she
looked out of the French windows and saw a naked man strolling through the
"That's what she said... Personally, having seen a bit of Miss Madeline
over the years I'm more inclined to think she's finally gotten too much sun. Of
course, being engaged to that Lord Sidcup would make *anyone* go potty, but I
said I'd take a look. You haven't seen anything?"
"No, I regret to say I have not."
"'Course, it could have been your Wooster. He really is
"I would not go so far as that. He certainly has a habit of finding
himself in unusual situations."
"Unusual! He *is* unusual! What do you see in him?"
"He is an exceedingly amiable young gentleman with a plethora of
"And good for a laugh, too, I'll bet."
"I could not possibly comment on that, Philbert."
"Ach, have it your own way. But look, if you do happen to see him scooting
about without his gear on..."
"Rest assured, I will take steps to curtail any such activity."
"You're a star, Reggie."
"It is most good of you to say so."
"Well, it's true. I'll probably see you at dinner."
"I would scarcely miss it. Good afternoon, Philbert."
* * *
"I say, Jeeves.."
"I didn't know Aunt Dahlia had a gardener called Philbert."
"His surname is Smith, sir. I expect his parents wished to distinguish him
from the ten thousand other Smiths with which this part of the country is
"Right ho. Jeeves..."
"This being a Greek statue thing. I'm not sure it's really me."
"No. I think I shall settle for being a bush instead."
"Probably a wise decision under the circumstances, sir."
"I mean to say, Madeline can't very well look out of the French windows
and get all hot under the collar over seeing a bush, can she?"
"I should imagine not, sir."
"Oh, stop saying 'sir', Reggie!"
"As you wish."
"It's dashedly hard getting dressed inside a bush, did you know?"
"I have never had occasion to do so, but I should imagine it is quite
difficult to achieve."
"Yes, things keep getting snagged on things and.. oh, dash it!"
"I should abandon the operation if I were you, sir. I will bring you your
tea at five-thirty."
"You do not wish to be left in solitude to perfect your role as a
of the scenery?"
"No. Philbert might come and dig me up. I say, those are my
"I am aware of the fact, sir."
"Give me back my trousers!"
"I was under the impression they required immediate attention."
"That was when I wasn't wearing them."
"You do not need to wear them now, sir. You are a bush."
"I will see you at five-thirty, sir."
"If you find yourself in any trouble, sir, I am certain the tree will be
more than happy to assist you."
"At least it won't try to steal my trousers!"
"No doubt you will find it an ideal companion. Good afternoon, sir."
"Tchah! I hope Madeline Bassett comes and marries you!"
<And thereafter there was silence but
for the sound of scenery>
* * *
3) And finally, from a parallel universe,
in which Madeline gets to Bertie before Jeeves…
"Oh dear! Bertie!"
"You're not.. ah.. wearing
"Yes I am. Sandals. See?"
"What on earth are you doing in your aunt's garden in a pair of sandals
and nothing else? Somebody might see you!"
"Well, yes. That was sort of the idea.."
"Bertie, I thought you'd gotten over that sort of thing."
"What sort of thing?"
"You know.. doing crazy things for the love of me.."
"It's nothing whatever to do with you. I simply fancied a stroll in the
garden and here I am."
"With nothing on?"
"Brings one closer to God, don't you know."
"Those Greek chaps. Homer and Herodotus and whathaveyou.. They stuck up
statues of their gods all over the place and most of them hadn't a stitch on.
I'm going back to my roots."
"I thought the Woosters came over with the Conqueror."
"Well, yes, but everything is as dust, what? At any rate, I'm very
attached to this sort of thing. When we're married, I fancy I shall take up
gardening in the nude.."
"Very romantic. I should have thought you'd be pleased. You would only
have to gaze out of the sitting room window to be transported into
"That place where all the nymphs and fauns frolic about. I shouldn't
wonder if it isn't where God makes his daisy chains, too."
"Bertie, you're not well."
"I am too! Prime of life, peak of fitness and so forth."
"But your poor mind.."
"Honestly, I thought you knew about these things. It's in perfect health.
Mens sana in something or other. Jeeves told me about it. No, no arguments.
I will not be moved. Take it or leave it."
"And stop saying 'Oh Bertie!'"