Blankety Blank chequebook and pen
(Readers who have concluded that Lady Bracknell's life is probably filled to the brim with many and various entertainments and divertissements, and that, this being so, her forgetfulness is understandable, would be sadly mistaken. Lady Bracknell lives very quietly. That her memory is not what it was in her youth she must attribute either to her advancing years, or to the pharmacopeia of medicaments she is instructed to take on a daily basis.)
To return to the matter at hand, the editor reported to Lady Bracknell last Thursday that, finding herself in the vicinity of a branch of her own bank during banking hours, she resolved to take the opportunity of requesting that her recent honour be reflected in her account details. The editor went on:
"The twelve year old boy behind the counter told me I needed to speak to a personal banker. I sat myself down in one of those waiting areas where the chairs look comfy, but you don't realise until you've sat down in them that it will probably take an industrial winch to lever you back into an upright position. Worries about how I was ever going to stand up again aside, it suddenly occurred to me that I had nothing with me to back up my claim to being an MBE, and that I was therefore a) wasting my time and b) about to be thrown out of the bank for making ridiculous claims to an honour I was clearly far too unprepossessing to ever have been awarded."
There was more in a similar vein but, as the editor does have a tendency to go on, Lady Bracknell will précis. In short, no proof of the editor's elevated status was requested at any point.
Never slow to find something at which to take umbrage, Lady Bracknell is frankly appalled that any Tom, Dick or Harry* can waltz into his bank and demand that his personal details be updated to manifest a rank of his choice without ever being asked to demonstrate that he has a genuine entitlement to the honorific in question.
Indeed, upon being appraised of the story this very afternoon, both Dude the chauffeur and the osteopathic gentleman stated their immediate intention to head to their own banks and insist on the production of new chequebooks reflecting their wholly fictitious knighthoods. And, quite frankly, in these days when peers of the realm dress as eccentrically as, for example, does Lord Bath, a bank employee could be forgiven for assuming that the Dude is an aristocrat experiencing a singularly bad hair day.
*Lady Bracknell is reminded of an anecdote she heard when a blue-stocking. Her ladyship's alma mater was a women's college in a mixed university. On their first day in attendance, the young freshers were herded into the Junior Common Room and addressed by the college principal who, not surprisingly, was a spinster of advanced years.
It is all a very long time ago, and the finer details are lost in the mists of time, but Lady Bracknell recalls being urged to eschew writing paper decorated with girlish images such as lambs or teddy bears, as a plain bond would be more fitting for the young ladies of the college. The gels were also advised, "If you don't want a sherry, say, "No, I'll have a fruit juice"." Similarly, if one did not want to keep company with "any Tom, Dick or Harry", one was encouraged to reject their oafish advances firmly.
Rumour hath it, then, that one such innocent young gel was approached at a freshers' ball, or some such, by a second year undergraduate lothario. Gambling (correctly, as it turned out) that the spinster principal's speech would not vary greatly from one year's intake to the next, his opening conversation salvo consisted of the immortal line:
"Hello. My name's not Tom, Dick or Harry. How about it?"