Why was I such a Wuss?


“… I was bitten by a rabbit.  Or rather, I was nibbled by a rabbit, but because I was such a weedy, namby-pamby little pansy, I reacted as though I’d lost a limb.  It was the sheer unfairness of it all that so upset me.  One minute, I was saying, “Hello, Mr. Bunny!” and smiling at its sweet little face and funny floppy ears.  The next, the fucker savaged me.  It seemed so gratuitous.  What, I asked myself, had I done to the rabbit to deserve this psychotic response?

The more pertinent question, though, is: why was I such a wuss?  And the obvious answer is that it’s because I was the only child of older, over-protective parents.  I have a memory (No. 3) to support this.  I’m now about three and am in the Red Crow Inn, the hub and beating heart of Brent Knoll.  Somehow I bang my hand, and just before I burst into tears, I hold it up to my father and howl, “Daddy, look!  I’ve hurt my precious thumb!”

This, to my astonishment, gets a big laugh.  Is my thumb not precious, I wonder?  Dad certainly thinks it is.  When the occasion demands, he always says, “Oh, you’ve hurt your precious _______ [fill in applicable body part].”

I hesitate to criticise Dad, because what sanity I have I owe to his loving kindness.  But there’s no doubt that he did pamper me, and such early coddling was one of the reasons I embarked on a wussy lifestyle.”

John Cleese, from his laugh-out-loud and tender memoir, So, Anyway…

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. pegoleg
    Feb 17, 2016 @ 09:06:41

    Lovely! May need to check this one out of the library.


  2. donnaanddiablo
    Feb 17, 2016 @ 14:53:47

    I heard Cleese interviewed about this book on NPR not all that long ago–he was charming and the book sounded delightful. Here’s the link should you wish to listen. 🙂 http://wbur.fm/1R8DezR


  3. David Kanigan
    Feb 18, 2016 @ 07:27:34

    Wonderful. I’m a big Cleese fan


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