Reblogged from Tallis Steelyard:
First you must remember it had been a very hot day. After all it was the height of summer and about the only thing moving in Port Naain was the tide coming up the estuary and even that seemed strangely listless.
But still, that is a plea for mitigation rather than an explanation.
It was all because of Bongo Veel. Bongo was perhaps a generation older than the rest of us, but a fair poet, a convivial companion and a genuinely nice chap. So when it was his birthday, on the hottest day of the year, we asked him how he wanted to celebrate and after some thought he asked, “Couldn’t we do a poetry reading at the Goldclaw baths?”
Well this struck us as an excellent idea and we descended upon the place as a troop. Soon, stark naked and sitting around in cool water, drinking cold beer and taking turns to read our verse, we agreed that Bongo’s idea was indeed excellent.
As the day drew on then beer was replaced by wine. The atmosphere grew slightly maudlin until finally Bongo, after reading us a rather fine piece of work he had done, burst into tears. Now this in itself was alarming as Bongo was distinctly on the large side. Indeed he’d left portly behind in his wake and even his best friends struggled to call him chubby. So when he sobbed bits started to wobble, and when the wobbling started and things began to move, who knew where it would end?
Sympathetically we gathered round him to discover the source of his sorrow, and eventually we extracted the cause. Apparently he felt his wife considered him boring. She had hinted that he was not the man he had been in his youth.
Now this did cause some of us older members of the fraternity to ponder. After all, Bongo had spent most of his life as a Legist specialising in Port Naain commercial law with especial reference to the law of the sea. Worthy enough, profitable enough, but exciting?
I believe he was perfectly competent, he certainly knew his stuff. I remember when, for a bet, he recited the entirety of the third chapter from Brontan’s ‘Cargos, the rights, duties and legal quandaries inherent in third party carriage.’ This he did with terrific verve, in several different voices, to the amusement of his readers and the astonishment of the two clerks who sat with the book open on their laps as Bongo repeated it word perfect from memory.
But still, he felt his wife thought he was boring, so what to do about it? The discussion demanded another topping up of wine glasses and various ideas were banded about until Lancet Foredeck suggested that we have Bongo conveyed home, stark naked, on a palanquin borne by a score of naked harlots.
Continue reading here.