gussie fink nottle

The Wit of PG Wodehouse

“Unseen in the background, Fate was quietly slipping lead into the boxing-glove.”

“I could see that, if not actually disgruntled, he was far from being gruntled.”

“She looked away. Her attitude seemed to suggest that she had finished with him, and would be obliged if somebody would come and sweep him up.”

“Marriage is not a process for prolonging the life of love, sir. It merely mummifies its corpse.”

“The fascination of shooting as a sport depends almost wholly on whether you are at the right or wrong end of the gun.”

“A melancholy-looking man, he had the appearance of one who has searched for the leak in life’s gas-pipe with a lighted candle.”

“Everything in life that’s any fun, as somebody wisely observed, is either immoral, illegal or fattening.”

“As for Gussie Fink-Nottle, many an experienced undertaker would have been deceived by his appearance and started embalming on sight.”

“This is a bit steep, Jeeves!”
“Approaching the perpendicular, sir.”

“Freddie experienced the sort of abysmal soul-sadness which afflicts one of Tolstoy’s Russian peasants when, after putting in a heavy day’s work strangling his father, beating his wife, and dropping the baby into the city’s reservoir, he turns to the cupboards, only to find the vodka bottle empty.”

“I’m not absolutely certain of the facts, but I rather fancy it’s Shakespeare who says that it’s always just when a fellow is feeling particularly braced with things in general that Fate sneaks up behind him with the bit of lead piping.”

“There is enough sadness in life without having fellows like Gussie Fink-Nottke going about in sea boots.”

“A slight throbbing about the temples told me that this discussion had reached saturation point.”

“At the age of eleven or thereabouts women acquire a poise and an ability to handle difficult situations which a man, if he is lucky, manages to achieve somewhere in the later seventies.”

“This was not Aunt Dahlia, my good and kindly aunt, but my Aunt Agatha, the one who chews broken bottles and kills rats with her teeth.”

“Like so many cows, it lacked sustained dramatic interest.”

“It was one of those cases where you approve the broad, general principle of an idea but can’t help being in a bit of a twitter at the prospect of putting it into practical effect. I explained this to Jeeves, and he said much the same thing had bothered Hamlet.”

“He had the look of one who had drunk the cup of life and found a dead beetle at the bottom.”

“Out on the course each morning you could see the representatives of every nightmare style that was ever invented. There was the man who seemed to be attempting to deceive his ball and lull it into a false security by looking away from it and then making a lightning slash in the apparent hope of catching it off its guard. There was the man who wielded his mid-iron like one killing snakes. There was the man who addressed his ball as if he were stroking a cat, the man who drove as if he were cracking a whip, the man who brooded over each shot like one whose heart is bowed down by bad news from home, and the man who scooped with his mashie as if he were ladling soup.”

“He had just about enough intelligence to open his mouth when he wanted to eat, but certainly no more.”

“What ho!” I said.
“What ho!” said Motty.
“What ho! What ho!”
“What ho! What ho! What ho!”
After that it seemed rather difficult to go on with the conversation.

“She looked as if she had been poured into her clothes and had forgotten to say ‘when’.”

“I always advise people never to give advice.”

“If there is one thing I dislike, it is the man who tries to air his grievances when I wish to air mine.”

“It was one of those parties where you cough twice before you speak and then decide not to say it after all.”

“I know I was writing stories when I was five. I don’t know what I did before that. Just loafed, I suppose.”

“If he had a mind, there was something on it.”

“The voice of Love seemed to call to me, but it was a wrong number.”

“Jeeves lugged my purple socks out of the drawer as if he were a vegetarian fishing a caterpillar out of his salad.”

“The fascination of shooting as a sport depends almost wholly on whether you are at the right or wrong end of the gun.”

“He resembled a minor prophet who had been hit behind the ear with a stuffed eel-skin.”

“I don’t suppose she would recognize a deep, beautiful thought if you handed it to her on a skewer with tartare sauce.”

“Before my eyes he wilted like a wet sock.”

“There are moments, Jeeves, when one asks oneself 'Do trousers matter?’ ”
“The mood will pass, sir.”

“I have no doubt that you could have flung bricks by the hour in England’s most densely populated districts without endangering the safety of a single girl capable of becoming Mrs. Augustus Fink-Nottle without an anaesthetic.”

“It was a confusion of ideas between him and one of the lions he was hunting in Kenya that had caused A. B. Spottsworth to make the obituary column. He thought the lion was dead, and the lion thought it wasn’t.”

I’m sorry, I just keep on thinking about a Jeeves and Wooster modern AU and I need to share my feelings soooooooo…..


The millennial Drones would all have their livelihood/passions/income revolve around social media, since that’s the modern equivalent of the no-good-lazy-spoiled-kids-who-won’t-get-a-proper-job-like-their-parents trope. Like, Gussie Fink-Nottle has an instagram, tumblr and facebook account for every single one of his newts, Tuppy Glossop’s a food blogger etc. Gentlemens’ clubs aren’t really a thing for the younger set, so their meeting place is a pub NAMED The Drones, where they socialise and loaf about, sharing selfies and memes and other no-good-lazy-millenial stuff.

Bertie would be big on Youtube and Vine, known for quirky music, comedy and anecdotes, sort of a mix of Phil Lester and Jon Cozart. He’d perform the ludicrous pop songs of today as well as musical theatre - not only Lin-Manuel Miranda and Disney tunes but WELL LEGIT Gershwin and Berlin and`Porter. His friends would all ask him to sing Rat Pack standards at their weddings which he gladly does pro bono.

Jeeves would have gotten himself a scholarship to Cambridge (reading law and philosophy) and wound up as a solicitor, since his calling is basically solving other peoples’ problems and disputes. He would earn himself a reputation as the best of the best and be sought after by peers of the realm and CEOs of large companies for Delicate Matters. Unlike Bertie, who takes to this era like a thingummy to water, Jeeves is still something of an anachronism: impeccable old-fashioned manners, formal speech for all occasions (he even calls the cashier at Pret-A-Manger ‘madam’), and never goes out in public without wearing a button-up shirt & necktie. He has typical Generation Xer stand-offish cynicism, deftly packaged in dapper-as-fuck tactfulness.

I can imagine Bertie, having just gotten over his breakup with Ginger (the cad left him for Magnolia), would meet Jeeves whilst house-sitting for one of the Drones in some fashionable Zone 1 / 2 neighborhood (say Chelsea or Fulham). Jeeves has the flat across the hall and Bertie runs into him while trying to take out the rubbish bins (and failing). Jeeves, of course, effortlessly sets everything to rights, and perceiving how clueless Bertie is in day-to-day maintenance of a household, comes over every day to assist him (and not because Bertie is the most adorable wide-eyed cherub of a twink he’s ever seen - perish the thought!)

As Bertie is a magnet for drama, the neighbours in the building and his fellow Drones inevitably fall upon him with all of their problems - some involving romance, but others involving compromising photos going viral, public gaffes where politically incorrect remarks are uttered, etc. Jeeves and Bertie schlep around modern-day London having light-hearted adventures solving all of these problems. Bertie regales his subscribers with the stories of these adventures, going on and on about how wonderful Jeeves is. In the general on-line community, comparisons are drawn between Bertie’s vlog and the blog belong to the boyfriend of that ‘Hat Detective’ on Baker St.

When the time comes for Bertie to leave the flat he was caretaking, he coyly asks Jeeves if he would take Bertie on as a client at his practice. Jeeves refuses, stating that his principles forbid him to date anyone he’s professionally involved with. It takes Bertie half a day to figure out that Jeeves has asked him out.

From there it’s fluff and music and roses and bickering. They get their flat together in Mayfair and Jeeves feels no reserve about scolding Bertie for leaving bath towels on the floor and dirty dishes in the sink. His sweet otherwordly Bertram is a slovenly man-child who he manages to train. Somewhat. Eventually a kitten is adopted because REG HE’S SO CUTE HE FOLLOWED ME HOME LOOK AT HIS LITTLE FACE CAN WE GO DOWN TO BATTERSEA AND GET HIM A PLAYMATE OH PLEEEEASE I’LL PROMISE TO CLEAN THE LITTER TRAY AND GIVE YOU HEAD WHENEVER YOU WANT IT

Also he once tried to convince Jeeves to come with him to the Brinkley Court Halloween Party dressed in drag as Elphaba and Glinda, but Jeeves “mixed up “ the order to the online costume shop, so they went in Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff robes instead.

They spend rainy weekends playing the piano and cooking and exchanging bants and bargaining about fashion choices and having fantastic sex. To their friends they are ‘Bertie and Reg’ and they are like, omigod, the cutest couple eveerrrr, ikr

Aunt Dahlia is the P-Flag auntie, having been the first person that Bertie came out to. She has always hoped that her young blot will find a good man who can keep him in check (Jeeves is heaven sent to her), while Agatha is the homophbic aunt.

AGATHA: Bertie. You must marry and have children.

BERTIE: For the thousandth time, Aunt Agatha, I’m gay. As much as you wish otherwise, that Lord Arran fellow assured the Empire’s assent of my sexual orientation while you were still in knee socks and fawning over Cliff Richard.

AGATHA: It is a childish phase. It will pass once I find a woman of good breeding who can mould you.

BERTIE: Aunt Agatha–

AGATHA: Mould. You.

She lives in Belgravia and despises smartphones.

Thankfully the 21st Century edition of The Code of The Woosters impels Bertie to tell any prospective female that being affianced to him is inadvisable for multiple reasons.

Also Lady Florence is an SJW hipster and political lesbian who lives in Shoreditch with her girlfriend Honoria. She takes every opportunity to criticise Bertie for drinking sugary Starbucks lattes and wearing T shirts with licensed cartoon characters on them. Bertie often wonders why the hell he’s friends with her.

Bertie’s other queer friends are Bingo (the ultimate panromantic), Catsmeat (just your average theatre geek with a libido the size of Soho) and cousin Eustace (not so much a friend as a tagalong, always getting suspended for hitting on his professors). They sometimes go to G-A-Y, where they are consistently ignored by all the cool clubbers, opting to drink and watch drag shows and throw beer nuts at each other. Marion Wardour is Bertie’s gal pal and sometimes she comes along too, with the aim of hooking up with bi guys (and occasionally bi girls). Otherwise, she’s off singing in fringe musicals.

Spode is a member of UKIP and his wife Madeleine writes awful Winnie the Pooh fanfiction.

‘No, thanks. I must be off in a minute. I just came round to ask Jeeves how he thought I looked. How do you think I look, Bertie?’
Well, the answer to that, of course, was ‘perfectly foul’. But we Woosters are men of tact and have a nice sense of the obligations of a host. We do not tell old friends beneath our roof-tree that they are an offence to the eyesight. I evaded the question.
—  Right Ho, Jeeves, P. G. Wodehouse

‘Dash it, there are hundreds of things you can say. Talk about the sunset.’

‘The sunset?’

‘Certainly. Half the married men you meet began by talking about the sunset.’

‘But what can I say about the sunset?’

‘Well, Jeeves got off a good one the other day. I met him airing the dog in the park one evening, and he said, “Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight, sir, and all the air a solemn stillness holds.” You might use that.’

-Bertie giving Gussie Fink-Nottle romance advice

i may be a CONFIRMED EMBARRASSMENT but bertie doesn’t know what subtext is