Just ahead of our current Tale for Our Time - G K Chesterton's vivid and enduring thriller The Man Who Was Thursday - let me put in a word for our complementary entertainment at the other end of the day: the audio edition of The Mark Steyn Show, which returns on Wednesday morning. I'm delighted that some folks are enjoying both. Olga Herman, a Michigan member of The Mark Steyn Club, writes:
Thank you for helping keep me sane and adding humor as well. I love the way you relate world events to what is currently happening in the U S. It helps to remember there is a world out there outside of our country. I also learn so much about world history in your comments. Being a bit lazy on the reading side I prefer listening to your marvelous voice so keep those audibles coming please.
We will, Olga. And, to modify John Donne's "No man is an island", no island is an island when it comes to some of the global pathologies of our strange time. In tonight's episode of The Man Who Was Thursday, Dr Bull explains the origins of his disguise:
You see, I wanted to go into the detective service, especially the anti-dynamite business. But for that purpose they wanted someone to dress up as a dynamiter; and they all swore by blazes that I could never look like a dynamiter. They said my very walk was respectable, and that seen from behind I looked like the British Constitution. They said I looked too healthy and too optimistic, and too reliable and benevolent; they called me all sorts of names at Scotland Yard. They said that if I had been a criminal, I might have made my fortune by looking so like an honest man; but as I had the misfortune to be an honest man, there was not even the remotest chance of my assisting them by ever looking like a criminal. But at last I was brought before some old josser who was high up in the force, and who seemed to have no end of a head on his shoulders. And there the others all talked hopelessly. One asked whether a bushy beard would hide my nice smile; another said that if they blacked my face I might look like a negro anarchist; but this old chap chipped in with a most extraordinary remark. 'A pair of smoked spectacles will do it...'
And it does. And with that our protagonists are off to France to beard an anarchist marquis...
You can enjoy The Man Who Was Thursday episode by episode, night by night, twenty minutes before you lower your lamp. Or, alternatively, do feel free to binge-listen: you can find all the earlier instalments here.
If you've yet to hear any of our first thirty-six Tales for Our Time, you can do so by joining The Mark Steyn Club. Or, if you need an extra-special present for someone, why not give your loved one a Gift Membership and start him or her off with three dozen cracking yarns? And please join us tomorrow for another episode of this G K Chesterton classic.