“He was a chartered accountant, and all chartered accountants have hearts as big as hotels. You think they’re engrossed in auditing the half-yearly balance sheets of Miggs, Montagu and Murgatroyd, general importers, and all time they’re writing notes to blondes saying “Tomorrow, one-thirty, same place.”
Ice in the Bedroom (1961)
It’s typical of this genial and generous author to sympathise with the misunderstood members of a profession so mocked and maligned. We all want to be loved, after all, and accountants are people too.
Is Wodehouse correct in his claim that all accountants are big hearted? My regretful, but considered answer is no. My limited authority on this topic is acquired through my friendship with Louis. Louis’s attitude toward blondes is certainly warm. He admires women of taste and style, but not the costs associated with keeping them. He may well ponder blondes in the afternoon, but his assignations with them are rare, and clandestine. He rather unfairly resents his wife, who may be a little drab, but stretches a dollar further than anyone I know. She’d be a deal less drab with some new clothes and a haircut, but Louis prefers style on a shoestring.
Fortunately old Louis has many redeeming features: his wit and intelligence make him an enjoyable drinking companion, at least until his ’round’, when he slinks off to the toilets and predictably fails to reappear. Fun, yes. Big hearted? No.
I’m sure many chartered accountants are worthy of Wodehouse’s fine words, but Louis is not one of them.