Jeeves and Wooten, the new short story collection by the reanimated corpse of British humorist P.G. Wodehouse, follows the hilarious antics of newly recalled Milwaukee reliever Rob Wooten and his gentleman’s personal gentleman, Jeeves. Not unlike his original Jeeves stories for all their breezy humor — but also quite different because they largely concern baseball and are also written by a deceased person — Wodehouse’s Jeeves and Wooten collection is full of that accomplished author’s singular prose style.
What follows is a brief excerpt from same:
With the situation looking only slightly more grim than a Northumberland funeral on a winter’s night, I pursued a favored course of action and called Jeeves out to the mound, with the idea that he might add something in the way of sagacity to my affairs.
“In quite the bind here, Jeeves, what?”
“Two men on, no outs. Leading by one. Joey Votto at the plate. Entirely in the soup, one might say.”
“Indeed, sir. I’ve heard it phrased that way.”
“What one wants is to strike everyone out.”
“That would certainly prove a most expedient remedy to matters, sir.”
“Well, that’s it, Jeeves,” having seen the light of day in these affairs. “I’m going to throw the old cutting fastball, then.”
Jeeves coughed slightly.
“What is then, Jeeves? Disagree?”
“Well, if you’ll pardon my audacity, sir, I was only going to suggest that with a left-handed batter such as Mr. Votto, that perhaps the split fastball might be more effective, as it offers less in the way of a platoon advantage.”
“A platoon what, Jeeves?”
“Platoon advantage, sir.”
“This isn’t time for martial strategy, Jeeves. I’m talking American baseball now.”
“Indeed, sir. I only mean to suggest that a left-handed batter might have more difficulty with the split pitch.”
I paused here. Steadfast as I was in my opinion, I’d never known Jeeves to lead me astray.
“Splitter it is, old man.”