When I first went to see him I telephoned P. G. Wodehouse and asked for directions from New York to his house on Long Island.
He merely chuckled – as if I had asked him to compare Euclid with Einstein or attempt some other laughably impossible task.
‘Oh I can’t tell you that’ he said. ‘I don’t have a clue’.
I learned the route anyway and my arrival for lunch only ten minutes late seemed to astonish him.
‘You had no trouble? Oh, that is good. That’s wonderful!’
His face beaming at having in his house such a certified problem-solver – a junior Jeeves almost- he led me without further to-do to a telephone – which he had been dialing all morning in a futile effort to reach a number in New York.
He had of course done everything right but dial the area code, an addition to the Bell system that had somehow escaped his attention since he had last attempted long distance.
He was intensely pleased when New York answered and I sunned myself in the warm glow of his gratitude for the rest of the day.
All of which is by way of saying that Wodehouse – who lived four months past his ninety-third birthday- had discovered his own secret of long life: he simply ignored what was worrisome – bothersome – or confusing in the world around him.
(ed:..ya gotta love that ‘secret of long life’..eh..?..and i have noted before i have been a huge wodehouse fanboy ever since first discovering him when i was a child who would have to be described as a voracious reader..i read anything/everything i came across..and he was perhaps the first ‘good writer’ i discovered..and i reckon his ultimate skill is that he makes it all seem so easy..and especially easy/a delight to read..)