With all due respect and admiration for the Keats and Chapman vehicle invented by Flann O’Brien aka Myles na gCopaleen, here is a seasonal offering:
Glutted on the over-indulgences of the festive season, Keats and Chapmen were enjoying a bracing and healthful tramp across the countryside when they were overtaken by surprisingly inclement weather with its attendant early darkness. Spying a renowned country hotel nearby, they repaired thereto for shelter and an early dinner. The dinner was exquisite, the service impeccable and the desserts left nothing to be desired, well, almost nothing.
“Gentlemen, may I offer you a little digestif, compliments of the house?” inquired the waiter solicitously.
“Why! That is most kind!” exclaimed Keats who had already enjoyed most of the second bottle of Borgonne de Mueilly ’79 by himself.
“What a capital idea! I have a hankering after a tot of the Fontenabra Quebro ’68,” said Chapman.
“Ah, I’m afraid Lady Quisling-Mulberry had the last of that on Christmas Eve,” replied the waiter, a little crestfallen.
“And well she might! Fret not, a glass of the Quinta de Sobaco ’82 will serve just as well,” interjected Keats, eager to spare the waiter the pain of this embarrassing shortcoming.
“Alas, the proprietor will not stock the Sobaco since the incident with the ’76,” explained the waiter regretfully.
“Seems perhaps overly cautious and a little disappointing,” remarked Chapman a little tersely.
“Well a glass of the Shafts Floodgate Tawny ’77 will do the trick and let’s speak no more of it,” suggested Keats struggling to conceal his own mounting disappointment.
“I’m afraid we don’t have the ’77 but I am in a position to offer you a glass of the ’79,” ventured the waiter with growing trepidation.
“I will accept that suggestion in the helpful spirit in which it was offered and refrain from screaming at the top of my lungs that I would not use the ’79 to clean my boots,” snapped Chapman.
“Let us not sour the good spirits of the evening with all this quibbling. A glass of the Norbesforth ’82 and we’ll say no more about it,” suggested Keats
“It pains me to tell you that our cellar boy stumbled into the shelf and left every bottle of the Norbesforth in a pungent pile of broken glass on the floor.”
“Well, confound his clumsiness! Could you at least give us a Figueroa “83 and let us have done?” pleaded Chapman
“That I can certainly provide tout suite.”
“Fine. Then it is settled,” sighed Chapman.
“One really mustn’t grumble,” added Keats, as the waiter left to fetch their order. “After all, any port in a storm.”