Henry in a Handbasket

A certain pup, known in some parts as Oliver Twist, just celebrated his third birthday. Meanwhile, another pup, or should I say, dog of royal descent who shall remain nameless, wasn’t too happy about it.  In a funk actually, because of said birthday and because of the fact that his favorite television series had just ended its six-year run. Here was my first clue that he was out of sorts:

“The world is going to hell in a handbasket,”  declared the royal canine.

Whereas, I replied, “What was that?”

“I say,” he repeated, rather loudly, “THE WORLD IS GOING TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET!”

Not sure what to make of that remark, I cavalierly offered up, “Henry, why do you say such things? Have you been watching too much election coverage?”

Glaring at me, he jauntily said, “Heaven’s no. I’m referring to the little ragamuffin whose birthday it was this weekend. All the treats and toys you bestowed on him have gone to his head and apparently, he no longer feels the need to bow to me when I enter a room. Pshaw!”

“Is that all?”

“Truth be told, I don’t know how I’ll survive without the Crawley family, particularly the Dowager Countess of Grantham. She was rather cheeky.”

“You’re referring to ‘Downton Abbey’ and the fact that the series has officially ended?”

“Of course I am! How is Oliver ever to learn proper etiquette without the series to show him? And now, I’m destined to live forever with a street urchin that has no manners whatsover and I’ll never know what happens next to all my beloved characters!”

“Well, Oliver is no Thomas. He cannot bow or even salute you just because he’s in your presence, and watching ‘Downton Abbey’ hasn’t yet changed who he is.”

“Dash it all! The guttersnipe is constantly biting and pulling on my tail. He tries to maneuver himself in front of me when we’re out walking, and he ferociously growls at me when I take the best spot on the bed. The nerve!”

“Henry, have you noticed that he also waits for you to exit first when we leave the house, he doesn’t touch his dinner bowl until he knows you’ve finished eating as he doesn’t want to distract you from your nourishment, and he never takes your favorite seat on the couch.”

“But still, he’s a nuisance. The tail thing has got to stop.”

“In lieu of ‘Downton Abbey,’ you could teach him proper behavior.”

“Don’t think I haven’t tried. He’s as stubborn as a pig-headed mule. Has he no pride, no decency?”

“You have a point, I think. Henry, I will talk to him about following your lead.”

“Good. Noblesse oblige, Cook. We might not all ascend to the throne, but we can take heed from Lord and Lady Grantham and live our lives as though we will!”

“So, is the world still going to hell in a handbasket?”

“Don’t be ridiculous, Cook. Though, if truth be told, I could use more help around here than just a cook. Where’s my valet? Where’s our butler, our housekeeper, and where’s the scullery maid? And why doesn’t our home have a name like Downton Abbey?”

“Oh, Henry. Whatever are we going to do with you? Me thinks you’ve been watching too much “Downton Abbey,” and think yourself to be Lord Grantham himself, but seriously you’re acting more like Mr. Carson, the butler.”

“Mr. Carson, indeed! You don’t understand, Cook. ‘Downton Abbey’ is how life is supposed to be for a noble dog like me. That series was my gateway to the royal throne. How will I prepare for taking my post by the queen now that it has ended? I’m doomed!”

“Henry, you will survive. How about we watch the entire series over again, starting with the very first episode?”

“Yes, but on one condition.”

“What is it?”

“That Oliver becomes my valet.”

“Henry, are you beside yourself? I have a good mind to throttle you!–”

“Never mind. We can work out the details later. For now, let’s watch ‘Downton.'”

Henry then settles into his favorite spot on the couch and I pop in the DVD. Whereupon, Oliver crawls into my lap, tilting his head toward the TV, ahem, telly. After all, Henry’s not the only one who loved the series and already misses it immensely. Sigh.

How about you, dear reader?  Any “Downton Abbey” fans among you?IMG_0825

13 thoughts on “Henry in a Handbasket

    • Thank you, Kim! And they’re such well behaved fur babies, too. Except when they’re naughty, that is. As for Downton, I will miss it dearly. Maybe one day I’ll get to visit the castle where it’s filmed. And maybe I’ll see you there! Wouldn’t that be fun?

  1. Now that I am resigned to the loss of this wonderfully smart and brilliantly written show, Monica, I will have to find something else to focus on. I am happily awaiting Diana Gabaldon’s ‘Dragonfly in Amber’ on Starz in a couple of weeks, and I await any news on the next Poldark series. Poor Henry, I do understand his misery. Please offer my commiserations, it is all I can do to not moan about it, I am exercising immense control. Although, I cannot see young Oliver ever becoming Henry’s valet, try as he might, for Oliver strikes me as a very resourceful young man.

    • I can’t wait for Outlander season 2. Should be magnificent. Poldark is coming back, too. Do you watch Mr. Selfridge? Last season airing soon. Don’t the Brits have lovely shows? By the way, I’m watching You, Me and the Apocalypse. This joint production of the Brits and Americans, is incredibly funny and bizarre.

    • Henry has a lot of angst, but yes, he’ll be fine, though try telling that to him.

      Val, Downton Abbey was a delicious, well done, crisply written series. Lushly exquisite to look at, fascinating characters, funny and dramatic all at once. A glimpse into another era, yet strongly reflecting our own. A fine drama worth seeing. Binge watch and you’ll soon lose yourself in the era when civility was key. The perfect antidote to the political madness of today!

  2. There I was ready to do another comment full of my wit, humour and downright charm when I noticed no link to post.

    After a super speedy reply from young Monica a link to comment is in place and here we are.

    Not a fan of Downton Abbey to be honest, the wife followed it, then again she would follow a plate if it had food on it!!

    Especially for young Henry here is a link to the meaning of the phrase going to hell in a hand basket.. http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/hell-in-a-handbasket.html

    Poor Oliver is getting the thin end of the wedge there I reckon, perhaps he should have his own web site….. All we need is a suitable URL and Bob’s your fathers brother so to speak!!

    • Robert, where do I begin? Young Monica, indeed. Not true, but I’ll take it! And Henry most appreciates your link to the expression, “hell in a handbasket.” It’s quite a visual, if you ask me.

      As for Oliver blogging? Phshaw. That lad is so busy fetching tennis balls he has time for little else. From dawn to dusk, he’s a one trick pony. Fetching, fetching, fetching. It’s his first love, his passion. So no, he will never sit down and contemplate life, the universe or anything. Whereas Henry, who does nothing but lay about, is constantly having thoughts, particularly as he watches Young Oliver spin circles around him. And that’s the truth.

      • You’re as old as you feel Monica.

        I don’t feel like a probationary Pensioner here in the UK. I often tell the wife I feel like an eighteen year old, and her reply is always the same… You’re not having one!!!!!

        As for Oliver being a one trick pony, I reckon he is lulling Henry into a false sense of security before he stages a coup and gets rid of the royal line…

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