Lady Haverley’s Peculiar Musings on the Tribulations of Common Happenstance

Lady Haverley’s Peculiar Musings on the Tribulations of Common Happenstance
by
The Honorable Lady Haverley, Sixteenth Baroness Dunberry

(The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author, who writes from the 19th century and leaves her manuscripts in a mystical mailbox on Highgate Street that then delivers them to the present day P.O. Box of the New York Times. Scientists are still attempting to discover how, but believe it has to do with either wormholes or Faeries.)

The Honorable Lady Haverley, Sixteenth Baroness Dunberry

This morning saw the Demise of my Bengal cub, Toppy, brought back to me by my late husband, the Lord Dunberry, from his Time with the East India Trading Company. Toppy was the only living thing my husband ever gave me, as all thirteen of our Children were stillborn. As such I used to stroll through Hyde Park in the early afternoons with Toppy wrapped in swaddling clothes inside of a Baby’s carriage, allowing him to sup from squirrels and small dogs not properly restrained on leashes per the Queen’s Law. His Death has rattled the very cage of my Soul, and I chose today’s letters as a way to expunge certain morbid processes from within myself. Forgive my indulgences in this, but seeing as an unfortunate boating accident left me mute many years ago, the only communications left to me are my pen and this strange Time spanning mailbox.

Dear Lady Haverley,

I recently lost my job in a lay off and I don’t know what to do. Not only are we having a hard time paying our normal bills, but my son is diabetic and the medical bills are beginning to pile up. I’ve looked for work for weeks now and can’t find anything. I’m really at my wits end. Do you have any advice for an out of work husband and father of two boys (aged 4 and 6)?

Sincerely,

Broke in Birmingham

Dearest Broke,

It is unacceptable that a Man in this Day and Age would spend any amount of time without proper employment. I sincerely doubt that you have looked at all avenues. You did not at any point mention in your letter Indentured Servitude. I can only assume that this is because you are weak-willed, poor, uneducated, and likely a Foreigner. Any man worth his Breeding would know that, if he has allowed himself to sink to such miserable levels as you have, that he can no longer be a productive member of Society and must be shipped abroad, preferably to the South China Sea where he can wallow in his misery with others of his ilk. Those horrid Chinese will accept such practices but your sloth will not be tolerated amongst the civilized.

Your wife, I can only assume, is a Fallen Woman of the lowest ilk and deserves a slovenly bounder like yourself for a husband. Having already sank to such depths, she should spend even more time on the streets in an effort to bring in more income for your home.

In the meantime, why are your children not working? Four is a perfectly suitable age to begin Work at either the mines or shoveling manure for the furnaces at any factory. Your six year old, I can only imagine, is the sickly child as, by six, he should be working at least fifty hours a week. I feel that there is only one Acceptable Solution for the lad. You must sell him. Those despicable Chinese will no doubt purchase the boy and put him to work in one of their Opium dens. In addition to earning you some additional income and taking his Burden off of your hands, he will have access to all of their Oriental medicines and practices, which many women even now are touting as able to relieve the desire to be Independent as well as Sexual Urges from their minds. No doubt such practices are foul in nature, but the positive benefit for society of women’s complacence cannot be overlooked. Surely they can do something with your son. If not, then they will at least eat him, as they are want to do with children, and ease his Pain.

Until you can earn the resolve to do what must be done, I’m afraid you will remain one of the contemptuous layabouts that even now clog our streets. I pray that God and Grace find your filth-ridden home and Guide you away from our city.

Sincerely,
The Honorable Lady Haverley, Sixteenth Baroness Dunberry
Dear Lady Haverley,
My husband and I haven’t been getting along well lately. He watches alot of porn and says that I’ve been cold to him sexually ever since our son was born. At first it didn’t bother me a whole lot because he’s always been way more into sex than I’ve been. But lately every time he gets on the internet he’s pulling up RedTube and watching really hardcore stuff. I really don’t know what to do. I’m afraid he’s going to cheat on me, and I want to have sex with him, but I just can’t ever seem to get into the mood. My sister says it might be cause I’m on the pill now, but I don’t know. What do you think?
Signed,
Desperate in Des Moines

Dearest Desperate,
First off, allow me to begin by decrying the Vulgar and Profane nature of both your subject matter and the language used. Young women should be taught to be Discreet about such things, no matter what a certain Miss A or Mrs. B may write about the subject.

All of that being said, you seem to be in a great deal of Distress over this. I would like to take this time to remind you that sexual intercourse in any and all forms is an abomination against God and society. It should only be used on the occasion of creating a Child, or to help your husband release certain perverse impulses that plague him. You are right not to want to bed your husband, as sex should not under any instance be pleasurable or even remotely comfortable to a woman.

As for this filth that your husband watches, I would suggest never speaking of it again. Men should be allowed to indulge in such practices, as long as they do so away from Home and never speak of it in Society. Why, even a certain Mr. D often takes his turn at the local opium den, chasing not only the Dragon but also several fifteen year old girls from the Balkans bought and sold into slavery by those monstrous Chinese.

Furthermore, I would cease to ingest this ridiculous “pill” of yours, and use more Conventional and Foolproof methods like inserting a slice of potato within the womb before intercourse, or drinking a tall glass of Dr. Wentworth’s Fine British Herring Oil immediately following the act.

In the future, I would sincerely appreciate your never writing me again, as I can tell by your letter that you are of low means and manner, and your very pen insults everything that I hold dear in this world. Were I not a fine Christian woman, I would beg you to End your own suffering immediately, perhaps with a vial of Prussic Acid like the good Dr. P, or a jump into the Thames at the height of winter. Were I so coarse as to request such a thing, I would further stress the Importance of including your son in such undertakings as all trace of your foul Blood should be extinguished from the Earth.

I hope that I have illuminated certain answers that may have alluded you, and I wish you Godspeed in your search for marital bliss.

Sincerely,
The Honorable Lady Haverley, Sixteenth Baroness Dunberry

Do you have a problem that only Lady Haverely can solve? If so, please send your question on a 5×5 roll of sheepskin to this department.

 

Brad C. Hodson is a writer living in Los Angeles. His stories have appeared in anthologies alongside Neil Gaiman, Chuck Palahniuk, George RR Martin, and many more of his literary heroes. For a listing of his literary and film work, please check out his Bibliography at https://brad-hodson.com/bibliography/  

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