The Bard of Avon Calling

By Tiber

Whenever people find out my parents have a butler, they always say, “Oh, wow, that must be great.” Well, sometimes it is. And sometimes it isn’t.

We all love Brunty, though, and we’d miss him a lot if Dad ever let him go, just because of the entertainment value alone. And as I’ve said before, Dad wouldn’t save much money by firing him anyway since no one’s actually sure if Brunty’s ever been paid in the first place.

He can drive Dad crazy, though. This house is so big, by the time Brunty answers the door and then finally finds Dad, he can’t remember who was calling. So he just wings it. And Dad ends up having a lot of dead people announced.

Today, Brunty arrived in the billiard room and informed Dad,

“Winston Churchill to see you, sir.”

Dad sighed and went to see who was actually here.

As soon as he entered the foyer, he smelled brandy fumes. No one was there but suddenly, the heavy front door opened on its own as if someone had just left. Dad looked outside and no one was there either. There wasn’t even any wind blowing.

So, not long after, Dad started becoming obsessed that maybe it was Churchill. I thought the brandy fumes were more likely Brunty but I didn’t say anything.

Dad thinks that Brunty, since he does inhabit his own otherworldly state, may have actually seen Winston Churchill’s ghost.

“Dad, let’s be honest, why would Churchill come and visit you?”

“I know a lot about military history.”

“Yes, but where he is, he can talk to a lot of people who actually participated in World War II.”

…”Well, maybe he wanted a fresh perspective. And, dammit! I took too long to answer the door and now he‘s gone!”

“Okay, Dad…And let me preface this by saying I can’t believe we’re actually having this conversation but…isn’t it really better that Churchill’s ghost left rather than staying and roaming the halls? You know we already have a ghost here and it may be a pirate and frankly, I don’t think the two of them would have gotten along at all.”

This seemed to pacify Dad a little and by then, Brunty had tracked him down once more.

“Harry Houdini has arrived for you, sir.”

Dad headed off to the door again. My guess is, Houdini needed some help with that straitjacket of his. And out of everybody in the neighborhood, he figured Dad would be the one who’d know all about one of those.

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