An Evening With The Honourable Lord Elbert Rutland Silberescher

Oh, my head is still swimming from that Italian-style wine they served! What was that sumptuous cocktail that I ordered called? A "spritzer"? Those things are wild! And how are you feeling, my de— actually, hush for a moment. Third floor, number D8, yes, I believe we have found the correct door.

Just allow me to retrieve the key. Wasn't that party just something? I don't think the Minister enjoyed my little joke, but… Ah. Yes.

Mirinda.

This, as they say, is the place, eh? I am new to this city, and this apartment is not quite finished yet—and, indeed, not quite furnished yet! Hoh hoh hoh.

Well.

Although the renovation process is incomplete, I have kept a steady stream of new delights flowing in, to remind me of the galleries of my ancestral home. Feel free to sit on the couch, mia karulina. I believe it is a Louis VIII replica, just like the sofa that he himself might have reclined on in Versailles!

Do you feel quite at home yet? Oh, of course not. Let me warm things a bit. I understand this fireplace starts automatically with this remote here…

Ah, that one dims the lights! Certainly a bona touch, but without the firelight, I do seem to have some difficulty seeing the… buttons…

Yes! The stereo is playing! That is what I wanted to happen! Can you hear? This is folk music, from my homeland, written long ago. I do not speak the dialect, I am afraid, but I believe it is about some sort of hearty banquet. Such as the natives would have on religious occasions, you know. I think... it really sets a mood.

Not to your taste? Well.

There we are! Foosh! Always a magnificent moment, when the flames come up. Do you smell that aroma, wafting up to meet us? Have your nostrils been transported to a robust, yet flowery place? This wood was specially delivered here, imported from the faraway land of... well, somewhere exotic. Somewhere they grow a lot of cherries, I suppose.

Oh, dear, was that a sneeze? I do have a box of tissues somewhere around here. Another! Oh, my! Perhaps the night air is getting to you? Oh, I know, it must be that dreadful sofa! Stand up, please, I'll have it banished from the room tomorrow, but in the meantime, we should depart from the foyer. We did not come up to my apartment to sit and listen to music, did we, eh…?

Of course not! We came to view my collection of fascinating curios!

Right this way…

Now, on this stand here, is a bit of American history. A beaver hat! Have you ever seen such fine craftsmanship in a piece of headwear? Run your hand along this felting, please, I insist. From what I hear about beavers these days, they're a rarity. So a beaver hat is a luxury you don't see much of anymore. As for the, ah, provenance… I believe I was told that this piece belonged to a fellow in San Francisco, a businessman who was disgraced with some poor investments, and went into politics. Always tragic when that happens. But I suppose someone has to run the government!

Ahaha.

From the other side of the New World, we have a charming ivory globe. Now, there's a detail that makes this particular globe unique, if you'll look closely.

The golden inlay? No, quite common amonst globes of such rich quality.

The continents are all there, I assure you.

…Give up?

It's a cube! The Earth is round, you moron!

…Oh, you didn't enjoy my little joke? Come on, I didn't mean to make you feel silly. Just a harmless joke. I'm very sorry.

Look, it's beautiful! I don't actually, uh, know why it's a cube, mind. But I'd like to see my loon of a father try to get a hold of one of these!

Let's… move on. Here's a magnificent specimen of an animal. Don't worry, he wouldn't bite. I fed him earlier today, and he's absolutely stuffed.

Did you hear? I said he's stuffed!

Taxidermy!

…Well. I'm told that this... lovely creature... was deeply cherished by its owner, and preserved for all time following its passing. It's the first example in history, they've said, of a crossbreed between a Labrador hound and a poodle. Such an odd mixture. It must have been made in a labratory!

Wait! Please, don't go quite yet. I've been saving the interesting artifacts for last! The ones you've seen are the shoddy ones! Trash! P-too! I spit on them and nothing of value is harmed! Please, if you'd kindly return to the hall, we can continue our little tour. In fact, while we've taken this intermission, could I interest you in an after-dinner kafo? There's an sumptuous new drink that they've cooked up in Italy that I must introduce to you. Something called an expresso

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