Aplomb

Aplomb

Bertie Wooster was in the study when his butler (okay, manservant) Jeeves approached and coughed discreetly.

“May I ask you a question my lord?”

“By all means, Jeeves,” said Bertie.

“I am doing the crossword and I have found a word with which I am unfamiliar.”

“What word is that?” said his lordship.

“Aplomb, my lord. ”

“Now that’s a difficult one to explain I would say it is self-assurance or complete composure.”

“Thank you, Sir, but I’m still a little confused.”

“Let me give you an example to make it clearer. Do you remember a few months ago the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived to spend a weekend with us at Aunt Agatha’s place?”

“I remember the occasion very well, my lord. It gave the staff and myself much pleasure to look after them.”

“Also,” continued Bertie Wooster, “do you remember when the Duke plucked a bloom for the Duchess
in the rose garden?”

“I was present on that occasion, my lord, ministering to their needs.”

“While plucking the rose, a thorn embedded itself in his thumb very deeply.”

Jeeves replied, “I witnessed the incident, my lord, and saw the Duchess herself remove the thorn and wrap a bandage on his thumb using her own dainty handkerchief, after sucking the thumb gently to stop the bleeding. Yes, my lord, I did see everything that transpired that evening.”

Bertie Wooster: “Jeeves, the next morning while you were pouring tea for Her Ladyship, the Duchess asked the Duke in a loud voice, ‘Darling is your prick still throbbing?’

“And you, Jeeves, did not spill one drop of tea! Now that is aplomb!”

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Credit: Source unknown. Came to us via e-mail.

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