Dear Lady Vi,
I am a 49 year-old unmarried woman presently caring for my 88 year-old father in the family home. My father is an argumentative, foul-mouthed, manipulative, sly, insulting, selfish and ungrateful man who smells a bit, too. He, in his opinion, relies on a wheelchair, which I push, to get around. Whenever we pass a group of young men, my father calls out to them in a loud voice, things like, “Oi! Lads! Have a look at our Betty! Anybody want to take her on?”, or, “Who’s up for a genuine virgin then? 49 but looks 10 years younger. Decent arse, too!”, and worst of all, “Get a load of my daughter, boys! OK , face like smacked tripe, but I’m loaded and it’ll all go to her!”
I have spoken to Social Services about the situation, but they didn’t have a category which covers this sort of thing. Unofficially, the lady I spoke to suggested that I should murder my father in such a way that would look like an accident. I am not very worldly, and wonder if you know any ways of doing people in (without getting caught, of course) which I might try.
Betty Fothergill (Miss, 49)
Dear Miss Fothergill,
I am pleased to report that there are many options open to you which will not lead to your permanent incarceration for patricide. I appreciate that the prospect of shoving his own used, foetid socks down his ungrateful throat until he asphyxiates is a enticing one, but you must resist.
In scenarios like these, allow natural forces such as gravity to come to your assistance. I note that he insists he is reliant on his wheelchair rather than your good self; this gives you a perfect opportunity to let go that ambulatory aid in situations where simple physics will do the rest. I am sure he would be amenable to your suggestion of a holiday near Beachy Head, for example.
It is important that your emotional expression implies sorrow rather than elation once the police arrive, however. To this end, half a cut onion retained in your lace handkerchief will enable you to produce some convincing tears when the situation demands.
Incidentally, my great-uncle Horatio is reputed to have met his end in a similar fashion during a vacation in Santorini. His widow, Lady Felicia Spume, has been a keen allium producer ever since.
Dear Lady Vi,
I am extremely good-looking, very rich, and splendidly talented in many, if not all human activities. I row, ride, play rugby, pilot my own jet, am an accomplished cellist, sing in a well known boy-band and have written ten best- selling novels. Despite all these wonderful achievements which make me, in my considerable opinion, a very nice guy, when I tell girls about them, whilst laughing and smiling and ordering waiters about, they go very quiet, say they have a headache, and go home. Am I using the *wrong after-shave?
Crispin Shyte Llb, Oxon., PhD., M.D.,M.A. OBE., (more if you need them)
*Svengali by Phwoarr
My dear Crispin,
It is indeed inconceivable that a prodigy such as yourself, displaying such disarming modesty, should have such appalling luck with the fair sex. You are clearly entertaining the wrong gels; you need to seek out one who has had her brain removed, and you will find this problem ceases overnight. Possible dating prospects could include any member of the former Spice Girls, or Miley Cyrus, for example.
I do need to ask, however, why you found it necessary to douse your letter to me in a substance with an aroma of putrid grass clippings and camel dung?