The Old Man And Me

Elaine Dundy does it again– a wonderfully weird and compelling story, much like her Dud Avocado. An American woman in England on a mission to ensnare the wealthy old widower, C.D. McKee. She gives her name out as Honey Flood, the name of her college roommate, because she wants to cover her tracks, since she’s deliberately set out to either marry or kill the man who married the woman who took her father’s fortune. Brilliant writing throughout. How is this not a movie? She bounces reluctantly on the springs of the Rolls Royce he considers buying, as she watches how he’s spending her fortune. They suffer through a country weekend where she unsuccessfully insults the hosts and guests but they turn it into clever witticisms on her part. She steals medicine from C.D. (Seedy)’s cabinet to spike his coffee with to cause a heart attack, unsuccessfully. Snark and sarcasm and wit flows through the pages:

These waiters were hand-picked for pleurisy, old age, deafness, and a variety of speech defects. They were flushed of skin, gnarled of hand, and batty of mind. The dishes that jumped onto the floor from their palsied hands were never referred to again, as it were, but just lay there for the rest of the evening to be ground under foot by passers-by.