I once read in one of those old historical books I used to love browsing through when I had access to a library other than the one I have created in my house that no man is a hero to his valet. That servant (for the extremely rich) knows that your shit stinks like everybody’s shit and is not dazzled by you like outsiders looking in maybe by you.
I hope it was Somerset Maugham (ps: no wiser writer’s handbook than his Summing Up exists) who noted that even the most courageous general is but a whimpering bundle of human fears before the most timid of doctors who examines him with objective, impartial scientific eyes. For all the general’s honours, he is no more distinguished before the doctor than a slab of meat in a butcher’s shop in Nakulabye. He is there to be studied.
I’m trying not to grumble. I know they say that a prophet will never be accepted in his homeland, but I’m not that ambitious. I’m just wondering if it is at all possible to impress one’s own family members. I have impressed all sorts of people, left quite a few wordless with wonder, but I swear I have never seen any of my own family in the least surprised by anything I do. Even things I thought were wonders I were able to pull them off. Not even the lifted eyebrow of surprise have I ever got.
I mean, is it really possible to impress one’s own family? I’m beginning to think it is not possible!