Posts Tagged ‘Mrs. Brunty the housekeeper’

Grab your partner, watch that gourd

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

By Tiber 

Evidently, there was a dance over in the servants’ hall.

Cook was making trips in and out, unloading groceries, and she inadvertently locked the kitchen door. The luggage entrance was locked as well.

Cook didn’t want to come over and use any of the doors in the main house because, like everybody else on staff, she’s trying to avoid Dad in case he ends up having to fire people and remembers who’s on the payroll.

So she started yelling through the closed servant’s hall window, why the hell wouldn’t some slacker unlock the damned door, knowing full well that the fault was all hers.

Brunty, the butler, looked outside. and with typical Brunty logic, decided that Cook, corkscrewing her body in a dervish fit of fury, was actually dancing.

So he started clapping along to the “beat” of Cook’s outdoor contortions. and when his delighted wife saw him so animated for a change, she grabbed him and they started to whirl around the room. 

Two of the security guys, who had thought they’d heard someone yelling but now found only a happy couple dancing, started to dance with two of the maids.

The party ended abruptly,  however, when a pumpkin was suddenly thrown through the window, accompanied by arcs of breaking glass.

Cook can’t dance but she sure can throw.

Sorry, Charlie

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

By Tiber

As you know, my parents’ housekeeper, Mrs. Brunty, has been worried that Dad would fire one of the maids due to the economic crunch. Then, she read how when the great writer Shirley Jackson’s husband didn’t like her getting so many cats, she just starting adopting cats who were all the same color and her husband never knew how many of them they actually had.

So Mrs. Brunty did the same sort of thing and, for quite awhile now, she’s had all three maids wearing identical wigs, in the hopes that Dad wouldn’t remember how many he’s still paying,

Today, though, Dad actually confronted Mrs. Brunty about it and Dad hates confronting Mrs. Brunty about anything. She is always “Mrs. Brunty,” even to Dad, by the way. She is always Mrs. Brunty even to her husband, Mr. Brunty. Mom thinks it shows a real old-world respect. I always think it shows why there are no little Bruntys.

But back to the maids in wigs!

Dad told Mrs. Brunty that he respected her efforts and he was doing everything possible not to fire any of the girls  but he did know there were three of them so they could stop wearing the wigs.

Actually, he said, it was having the opposite effect to what Mrs. Brunty intended because it made Dad feel that every time he looked up, the “same“ maid was doing all the work, while the other two were off having a smoke or something.

“Oh, dear!” cried Mrs. Brunty.

So the wigs came off immediately and Taffy, for one, was thrilled. Taffy, accident-prone in the best of times, claimed that the short, dark, wig was turning her into another person entirely, one who fell down even more and looked goofy in the process.

I laughed and said, “Yes, I thought you were looking more and more like The Little Tramp!”

Taffy burst into tears, ran away and later had to be coaxed out of the broom closet.

I was talking about Charlie Chaplin, of course, but I can see how she may not have taken it that way.

The Maypole Dance…Triplets running amok

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

By Tiber

We’re finally getting past a hard winter here and the flowers and the topiaries are looking great. Of course, that’s Nestor the gardener’s handiwork because in spite of the money shortage, Dad hasn’t let him go. I think Mrs. Brunty’s idea has worked. As I wrote about in January 2010 in “Is that Plant Staring at Me?,”  she told Nestor to trim one of the topiaries to look like Dad’s face. Dad still hasn’t caught on that he‘s looking at himself. He’s just decided that Nestor is a genius, who has created one of the most beautiful things on the property.

Anyway, I knew spring was definitely here, when I surveyed the view from the third-floor balcony. There was brilliant blue sky. There were green plants in bloom. There was a mummy on a stick. There were birds in the-wait. Go back.


There was a mummy on a stick?!? What the hell was that? We hadn’t had a mummy on a stick in the yard before. And I didn’t think we’d been planning on getting one.

Then I heard a blood-chilling sound. I froze. The sound could only be described as demons, ripping out their fingernails and jamming them into the foreheads. Ah. That meant that the triplets were outside, playing and enjoying themselves. And the triplets in the vicinity meant there was a good chance they had something to do with the mummy.

Suddenly, a living human head tried to thrust itself out of the wrappings on the pole and I realized, that’s no mummy, that’s my sister. I hurried downstairs to help get her out.

I quickly saw what had happened. To herald the arrival of spring, Iris Nell had built a maypole for the kids and taught them how to dance round and round it, pulling on the streamers. Boredom set in quickly, though, and I’m sure it wasn’t hard for the triplets to get my sister to climb up the pole. It’s pretty easy to get her to do anything once you know her.

Example: “Hey, look, Aunt Iris Nell! There’s a bug up there! And I think it‘s in trouble!”

So Iris Nell climbed the pole and the triplets then sped round and round with the streamers until she was helplessly wrapped up like a mummy on a stick.

“How could you let this happen?,” I sighed and she whipped out her defense.

“I called out the second they started! I yelled over and over again, “Mayday, Mayday! Mayday!” but not one person came to my rescue!”

I had to point out to my sister that since it was May Day, this probably had the same effect as needing help on Christmas Day and yelling out “Christmas! Christmas! Christmas! Christmas!” Nobody’s going to rescue you. They’re just going to think you’re an idiot who enjoys a holiday a little too much.

Brunty’s Bubbles

Saturday, February 20th, 2010


By Tiber

This has not been a good week for Brunty, my parents’ butler. Right at the time when, in order to stay employed, everyone else here is going for peak performance, Brunty’s falling down on the job even more than when he forgets he waxed the hallways.

First of all, as I wrote in the previous post, he ended up sitting in peach cobbler, and now, I just found out that he also ate a bar of soap.

His wife, Mrs. Brunty, the housekeeper, wants her husband to continue being, in her words, “a lean, mean machine,” which is pretty funny, if you know him. He’s lean but he’s never been mean and as for the last part, I don’t think anybody could be in less perpetual motion.

Anyway, for health reasons, instead of candy, Mrs. Brunty says she bought Mr. Brunty a heart-shaped soap for Valentine’s Day. Mom loves how, even after all these years, they still call each “Mr. and Mrs. Brunty.” Mom says it shows real old-world dignity. I say it shows why there are no little Bruntys.

In any event, Brunty thought the gift-wrapped heart soap was candy and he ate it, while also enjoying a Dr. Pepper.

Nothing was done initially because when Cook called Brunty in to help her with something and she saw bubbles coming out of his mouth, she just stuck out her hand and snarled, “Okay, Bazooka Joe. Spit it out!”

Of course, they all soon realized it wasn’t bubblegum at all but the soap.

Brunty’s going to be fine but our family physician, Dr. Moore, did feel compelled to make a particular point of telling us that a good rule for everybody in the family to follow would be to not eat heart-shaped soap.

“Or any other shape either!” he quickly added. “Even if it’s attractive.”

My first thought was, “Uh, yeah, Dr. Obvious, I think we know that.”

But then I remembered that Dr. Moore knows us and has learned from experience that it’s probably better just to spell out everything.

Brunty said his chocolate-buying spouse had just missed out on a compliment. Although the taste of the soap really wasn’t that good, he admitted, he’d been about to congratulate  his wife on her thrifty shopping, where this time at least, she hadn’t thrown away their hard-won money,  just to buy “the good stuff.”


It’s pie in the sky…literally. The butler’s peach cobbler.

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

By Tiber

Even in this financial crunch, Dad’s trying hard not to let anybody here go. They all worry about it, though, Cook, the most. People keep telling her that her job is safe since Dad loves her cooking but she can still get frantic. And believe me, when Cook gets frantic, even the walls of the house get agitated.

So once again, the housekeeper, Mrs. Brunty, had an idea for Cook to solidify her position.

She said that since Dad loves desserts, why not bake a really good one and then they could ask her husband Brunty, the butler, to head out on his rounds and, whenever he saw Dad, he could waft the delicious dessert smell in Dad’s direction, to remind him of all that Cook does for him.

Cook found one of those little electric hand fans she uses when the kitchen gets too hot, baked a great peach cobbler, stuck it into one of Brunty’s work boxes and sent him off.

Brunty soon located Dad and, while pretending to dust, the second Dad’s back was turned, Brunty activated the little fan behind the peach cobbler. Dad looked around for a second but then moved on.

Brunty chased after him to his study, flattened himself against the wall outside the door and blew the cobbler smell in once more.

He didn’t realize Dad had exited by the other door, going to the library and by the time Brunty raced there, he almost collided head-on with Dad, who, by then, was coming out.

“So sorry, sir!”

Dad smiled and went and found my mother.

“Do you think Brunty might be lonely?” he asked her.

“I don’t see why. He has Mrs. Brunty and us and all of the staff.”

Dad still seemed concerned, though.

“Then I think he may be stalking me.”

“How can you tell?” Mom pointed out reasonably. “Pretty much his entire job is just to lurk.”

She had a point there.

Dad went back towards his study, when, suddenly, Brunty leaped out again.

He misjudged his closeness, however, and realizing that Dad could easily see the peach cobbler in his work box, he decided the only way he could hide it fast enough was to sit on it.

Brunty flopped down hard and his face went into a slow grimace, as the peach syrup began to ooze into his pants.

“Uh…you all right, Brunty?”

“Never better, sir. Thank you for asking.”

Dad nodded and finally headed off but not before calling back over his shoulder.

“But let me know the name of that new cologne you’re wearing sometime. Man, that’s good stuff.”

Is that plant staring at me?

Saturday, January 9th, 2010

By Tiber

It‘s been said, that there are certain people, who, just by walking into a room, make everybody else feel better. My parents‘ housekeeper, Mrs. Brunty, is one of those people. Even though she‘s white and a woman, in a movie, she’d be played by Morgan Freeman.

My father may think he runs things around here but we all know it‘s really Mrs. Brunty.

And now, she has succeeded with an idea to keep part of the staff employed, even during Dad’s financial setbacks, by convincing Nestor, the head gardener, to recut one of his prized topiaries into the shape of Dad’s head. Mrs. Brunty figured Dad probably wouldn’t recognize his face in a topiary at all but on a subconscious level, he’d just really like Nestor’s work. And this turned out to be true, once they got past an initial misunderstanding.

“I know it’s cold out there but I have an idea for you, Nestor, about recutting your toilet bowl brush topiary.” Nestor, understandably, looked momentarily blank.

“…Uh…do you mean my giraffe?”

“…Oh! Well, that does make more sense. Yes! Your very attractive giraffe.” Mrs. Brunty then went on to explain her plan and Nestor, not having any better ideas, went ahead and trimmed down the topiary to look like Dad’s head.

And it worked. Dad came by and was instantly hooked.

“Nestor! This new topiary is great!” I like this one much better than your old toilet bowl brush.”

Nestor sighed, “That was a giraffe, sir.”

“Oh!…Well, that does make more sense. Anyway, this one is much more handsome! I don’t even know what it is. I just like it!…For some reason, it makes me feel good!  I’ve got to hand it to you guys. You’re working harder now than ever.”

“Thank you, sir,” Nestor beamed.

And when Dad wandered off, Nestor knew that his job is safe for now.