Devine

Home Alone

THE LAST MAN to get away with being funny about his incompetence as a housekeeper was probably the American comedian Milton Berle, who faded from the television screen fifty years ago. Berle once claimed that when his wife, temporarily confined to bed with flu, asked him to get her a glass of water, he had to ask, “Where do we keep the water in this house, honey?” This stumblebum fish-out-of-water comic persona has long since been put to death, and justly. The characterisation was never more than faux self-deprecatory, the real object of ridicule being the profession of household management…

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