Funniest Scenes In English Literature...
I was thinking about the category "Throw the radio in the bathtub" we apply to off-topic posts and it struck me that, given our recent difficulties with posts and comments, some may think it a general expression of unhappiness.
Not at all. It's a reference to one of the funniest scenes in American fiction.
There are funny books (A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court), there are routinely funny writers (P.G. Wodehouse), and there are insanely funny scenes. Among the funniest scenes in English fiction are the stories in James Thurber's My Life and Hard Times--especially "The Day the Bed Fell." Nothing beats an insanely funny scene. Sometimes they're by funny authors. More often, they're by great authors in the midst of mordant observations of human character. My choice for the funniest scene in recent English literature is this of the upended Toad sitting by his ruined caravan at the side of the road...
The Toad never answered a word, or budged from his seat in the road; so they went to see what was the matter with him. They found him in a sort of a trance, a happy smile on his face, his eyes still fixed on the dusty wake of their destroyer. At intervals he was still heard to murmur `Poop-poop!'
The Rat shook him by the shoulder. `Are you coming to help us, Toad?' he demanded sternly.
`Glorious, stirring sight!' murmured Toad, never offering to move. `The poetry of motion! The real way to travel! The only way to travel! Here to-day -- in next week to-morrow! Vil-lages skipped, towns and cities jumped -- always somebody else's horizon! O bliss! O poop-poop! O my! O my!'
`O stop being an ass, Toad!' cried the Mole despairingly.
(Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows)