The Casino

Margaret Bonham’s collection of short stories caused flutters of laughter to emit from my mouth all afternoon. Naturally, some were better than others. Favorites were probably:

The Horse: wherein a newly published woman has a small soiree at her home and her daughter nestles in to do her homework assignment, gathering suggestions about her essay on horses from the other writers in attendance. The resulting essay very disappointing to the mother, who sneaks it out to read later.

Inigo: a baby quasi-abandoned outside a cottage that a woman passes by four times a day as she goes to and from work. She decides to adopt it, and her landlady is pleased that she (the landlady) has conjured up a ready-made family with a widower (the lady’s boss), the spinster, and the bastard child.

The Miss: a couple attending the cinema are surprised to hear the woman next to them rush out crying “Meat! Meat!” and leave, giving her a lift back to her home where yes, she has forgotten to take out meat in the oven. She claims her maid is out, and the maid returns home only to claim that The Miss is her maid. The next door maid tells the couple that the pair are loony. He leaves his beret and his wife suggests that the batty pair are boiling it with incantations.

Annabel’s Mother: a widowed mother takes her twelve-year-old smarty pants daughter to vacation over Easter, meets a doctor who puts Annabel, the daughter, in her place. On the train back, Annabel asks if he’s always going to boss her around if he becomes her stepdad, and he gleefully says yes.