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July 10

A Visitation from Becky Fagan

For the third morning in a row, I was awoken today by the banshee-like screeching of Sean’s new wife, Rebecca, informing her husband (and most of my neighbours) that he was a coward, a sissy, and a disgrace to all men the world over. While I am quite ready to admit that these sentiments are very much in accordance with my own opinions, I could wish that she would choose a more felicitous time and venue to express them than 3 a.m. and my doorstep.

But far be it from me to venture a confrontation with the harpie on my own initiative, and Sean—who has spent the last week sleeping in my guest bedroom, (no doubt a contributing factor in the general air of marital discord that characterizes their union)—appeared even less qualified to deal with this fearful apparition than did I. So it was that, by an exceeding close vote of 2 to 1, Patrick was nominated to reason with young Becky Fagan in the dark and the chill outside my home this morning, and (should his wit and diplomacy not desert him) to dissuade her from performing these nightly ministrations at my door, or at least encourage her to do so at a more appealing volume.

I cannot say that he was successful. It is not for me to decide whether the blow to his pride or the one to his cheek was the more painful to Patrick, but I am certain that he suffers greatly from both. And though we were granted a brief intermission from the invective that had been hurled at these walls following Patrick’s ill-fated intervention, it was shortly to be replaced by an unearthly wailing which promised to rob us all of our sleep until it finally and abruptly ceased at around six o’clock.

It is clear that something must be done. I have given Sean a number of practical suggestions (such as poison) to alleviate his marital woes, but he is not, at present, disposed to receive advice from even his dearest and most deeply concerned friends. I have given him a week to sort it out before I set the dogs upon him.

July 7

A Nightmare in Three Acts ...

You will notice that we have been absent from these pages for some weeks. The truth of the matter, as far as I am concerned, is simply that the events of the last two months have been so exceedingly unpleasant that I was loath to document them lest the very act of documentation appear to give them an imprimatur or a tacit approval from my quarter. And I most ardently do not approve. That having been said, you may be inclined to peruse the following list of occurrences in my life during the months of May and June—and, mayhap, to shed a tear or two for the abject horrors that I have been forced to endure:

1.    Sean is married. I cannot say I find it remarkable that he should have made such a catastrophic error of judgement by throwing away his independence in this fashion, but even I was surprised at his ability to make so completely undesirable a match as the one he has made with Rebecca Lynn Olson—daughter of a failed tradesman from Surrey, social climber, heretic (she once confided to me that she believed the stars were in fact “the winking souls of all the darling little kitties and puppies who are gone to heaven”), and insufferable, driveling bore.

In her favor, I will say that she has demonstrated at least one small piece of good taste: She clearly does not like Sean very much at all.

2.    Patrick’s paper on “The Seven Chromatic Qualities of the Aether” (which, as far as I can tell, is an extremely lengthy and almost disturbingly tedious way of saying that the sky is blue) has been accepted for publication by the Royal Society, and he has spoken of precious little else in more than six weeks. The only respite that I have had from this torment was when I offered to take dictation for a paper he was giving on the topic and replaced every instance of the word “minds” with the word “swine”. Sean and I were so consumed with mirth when he announced to his assembled colleagues that he “considered them a collection of the most literate swine in all of England” that we had to be escorted from the room.

Patrick refused to speak a word to me for a full three days after this event, which was a tender mercy indeed.

3.    I was brought up before the Magistrate yet again for “swindling”. Apparently, some letters I had been sending out (the ones where I claimed to be an African prince in a difficult political situation desirous of temporarily unloading a large quantity of gold bullion upon a trustworthy English gentleman in exchange for a generous percentage of the haul) had fallen into the wrong hands. Fortunately, no one was able to prove anything.

This post is in danger of becoming overlong, so I shall finish now with a bit of blog housecleaning: Patrick, Sean, and I are all now on Twitter, that you might more conveniently stay abreast of our daily operations. More information can be found in the sidebar. I am quite sure that there is more to tell you, so I shall attempt to be much more diligent about keeping Peep This Diary up to date this month. If nothing else, I have quite a good deal more to say about Sean’s new bride.