I begin still in a terrible mood with the Prudecutor about Monday and the MAF candidate. The incredible presumption that students in a Shakespeare class are disinterested teenagers in which she indulged her distaste for the fine arts might just have managed to insult more people who never did anything to deserve such an insult than any of her ill-chosen comments before. I stick by my hope that one day she will be tried for murder before a judge who has taken Mr Justice Bullingham, Mr Justice Graves or Mr Justice Oliphant as a role model by a jury consisting entirely of former Shakespeare professors who were all made redundant when people like the Prudecutor convinced all their deans and provosts to drop Classics for Business Studies.
L1: Here, alas, I find it necessary to recuse myself. I think I did rather fancy a kilt at that age or therabouts, although nowhere nearly to the extreme of the boy in question. But it really seems quite unfair on the column to present a LW of whom I might actually have to approve. What sort of sneaky trick is this? I might manage to avoid spoiling my mood by dwelling on the large number of small boys whose lack of such a parent (or presumably even pair of parents) and need thereof is one and the same. And happily I am not one who is automatically reminded of how his parents responded to such youthful inclinations every time he sits down. Perhaps LW1 deserves to be this year's annual recipient of the advice to Donate Large Quantities of Sperm.
L2: In this case, I can be even shorter and more to the point than I was with the previous letter. The solution to LW2's situation is a simple one. In a long life of change and infiltration, one is bound to encounter spouses of this particular nature. LW2 might be inclined to be somewhat grateful that the spouse in question is attached merely to a sister-in-law instead of to herself. Or perhaps she might be inclined to give herself credit for being a better selector than her sister-in-law. But the situation is clear. When the spouse in question inevitably calls to mind a much more widely known spouse, LW2 or some other family member need only proclaim in a loud voice that He Who Must Be Obeyed Has Spoken. If that fails to contain him...
L3: A sort of half-recusal seems in order on this one. Mainly, though, I get to restore all my lack of fondness for the Prudecutor. One notes the presumption that LW3 and the boyfriend's family celebrate Christmas, which may not have great significance here in its own right but which serves as a nice accent to the heterocentric air created by the Prudecutor's response. Of course the Prudecutor would think that family is formed only by blood ties and the promise of the perpetuation of the same. It ties in neatly with her assumption regarding the daughter-in-law who didn't like her husband's ex and ex's children (of unspecified fatherhood) being included in family gatherings that her husband could simply explain to his mother that she could no longer invite the ex and that such an explanation would automatically constitute the Last Word on the subject. And of course the possessor of a mediocre soul would think it appropriate to reduce a relationship that may well have ventured into the Family Relam for both LW3 and possibly the boyfriend's mother also (presumably it appears to have veered back, or perhaps LW1 shares the limited nature of soul enjoyed by the Prudecutor) to the virtual nothingness of the Impersonal Christmas Card Displayed on the Mantlepiece. How ghastly.
Of course, LW3 could do with a good deal of cross-questioning. How much can be she trusted merely to be motivated by a desire to make sure her however-close-to-nearly-mother-in-law understands that LW3 would never, ever, ever have done anything to jeopardize HCTNMIL's good opinion rather than by a desire to make sure that the cheating cad is exposed before all his family in the most uncertain and embarrassing way possible could take a long time to ascertain with confidence. Exposing the cad will not do. However, even if neither LW3 nor HCTNMIL have any inclination for each other's presence during actual holidays, there is no necessity to demean the relationship to the level of ICCDOTM.
Moral: I can just restrain myself from foreseeing a future in which the Prudecutor's daughter dates a series of charming and delightful young women who will shake the Prudecutor's beliefs to their core before marrying someone quite like the spouse in question in L2 (not wanting to be homosexist, I shall not specify a male spouse).
L4: Again I must recuse myself, as I have had such success borrowing a roulette wheel and layout I once gave as a present that I cannot proceed in complete confidence. It would be vastly entertaining to demand of LW4 exactly how exacting the labour involved in the production of the chef d'oeuvre might have been, but the exact nature of what conclusions I might reasonably have drawn is not something I can declare with comfort. I am quite content with the cross-examination submitted by the good Submariner.