This One's on Me: The Bandy Papers (Vol. Six)|
by Donald Jack
Post Your Opinion
by WAYNE JOHNSTON
Bartholomew Bandy, the hero (sort of) of The Bandy Papers, the dog-fighting, Ganderflying master of verbal excess, the member of that rare fraternity, the immodest Canadians, is back. In This One's On Me, the sixth volume of The Bandy Papers (three of the previous five have won the Leacock Medal for humour), Bandy's picaresque adventures take him to Iceland, then to England, then to various parts of the Middle East.
Off the coast of England (about 60 yards off, to be exact), he saves the life of a young Indian pilot, one Khooshie Avtar Prakash of Jhamjarh, who turns out to be the son of the second-richest man in the world - you guessed it, the Maharajah of Jhamjarh. Khooshie has been sent to England by his father to learn to fly so that he can become commander of the State of Jhamjarh's airforce, which does not exist. Khooshie is such an incompetent, however, that the Maharajah appoints our hero, Bartholomew Bandy, the Deputy Supreme Being of the as yet non-vistent Jhamjarh airforce so that he can look after Khooshie - or rather. so that he can do Khooshie's job and Khooshie can get the glory. The job is, of course, to create the as yet uncreated airforce. That is the focus of the book,
Bandy's attempts to acquire aircraft and pilots and to keep Khooshie, who poses more of a threat to himself then do the many people who are trying to kill him, out of trouble.
This One's On Me is an appropriately ambiguous title for this book, in which nothing is quite what it seems to be at first, and nothing happens quite like you'd expect. If you like that kind of book, you'll like this one. Youll like it when Bandy gives his former boss at the air ministry what must rank as the most voluminous enema in literature, and then describes to him, in graphic detail, how hemorrhoids are removed. You'll like St. Pancreas hospital, where, when he first arrives penniless in England, Bandy gets a job collecting and disposing of "pathological waste." St. Pancreas is famous, we are told, because it is the hospital where Boswell was once treated for gonorrhea. You'll like the statuesque Icelandic blonde Sigridur, who is, of all things, a pathologist. You'll like Hibbert and Bubba, Miss Tombola, M. Bourguignon, and Mrs. Villiers-Wakehampton ...
Can volume seven be far behind?