To Be Happy: Read Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie and I are friends. Of course, since she died right around when I was born, it’s all through her writing. In college, Poirot and Miss Marple stood beside me through everything that place dealt out. I used to sneak a soda and some M&M’s into the “quiet” library and hide in one of the cages with a nice little murder. I never even try to figure out “who done it”. I prefer to be surprised. In grad school, I started working on a theory about the place of murder mysteries and other popular styles of books in serious literature. This was really just a clever feint to read more Agatha Christie more often.
Now, when I need a pick-me-up, I have this habitual way of turning to Agatha Christie for a charming afternoon.
Miss Marple is just such a dear! Poirot, that vain man, really belongs in this very egotist’s club. Japp and Hastings, and all Miss Marple’s friends and neighbors are so delightful.
My favorite nerdy thing to do for a break from troubles is to find episodes of Poirot or Marple on youtube. They are blisteringly slow moving and strangely lit. There really isn’t any cinematography. The acting, though, is fantastic. The costuming and hairstyles are beautiful. Every gentleman always wears a boutonniere. if you have the patience, you will certainly be rewarded.
This last week, I’ve been worried about this and that, so I’ve been rationing episodes of David Suchet’s Poirot.
So gentlemanly, courtly, and self assured, he charms me. I am willing to wait for ages for a good line. I am rewarded, and I will share the best of them with you now, to save you the time.

On Women
“No, no, no, no, no, Hastings! Women, especially the architecturally inclined, do not want to talk about Bernini and cubic thingummies!”

On Happy Endings
“Yes, it is hard to bear, but we must put on the brave face and not allow cheerfulness to keep breaking through.”

Ordering Food in a Foreign Country
“The bowels in spit….I have your assurance that it is lamb kidneys on a skewer? Oui? Then I will have the bowels in spit. Thank you.”

Philosophic Tautologies
“Yes, but Miss Lemon, that was yesterday. And Yesterday was YESTERDAY!”

On the Course of Life
“Trust the train, mademoiselle, for it is Le Bon Dieu who drives it.”

Messieurs e Mesdames, Poirot salutes you!


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