Bingo Bans the Bomb
|"Bingo Bans the Bomb"|
|Author||P. G. Wodehouse|
|Media type||Print (Magazine)|
|Publication date||January 1965|
"Bingo Bans the Bomb" is a short story by British comic writer P. G. Wodehouse and part of the Drones Club canon. It was published in Playboy magazine in the US in January 1965, and in Argosy magazine in the UK in August 1965. The story was also included in the 1966 collection Plum Pie.
In the story, the Drones Club member Bingo Little is pulled into a protest by an impulsive girl named Mabel, and they get arrested for obstructing traffic. Bingo has to find a way out of trouble after his wife Rosie sees a photograph of him being arrested alongside a beautiful girl. Another recurring character, fellow club member Freddie Widgeon, also appears in the story.
Bingo, the editor of a weekly magazine for children called Wee Tots, asks his boss Henry Cuthbert Purkiss for a raise after losing his month's wages on a horse race, though Purkiss refuses. Heading home, Bingo sees Mabel Murgatroyd, a beautiful red-headed girl he met in "The Word in Season". Mabel mentions her involvement in protests to ban "the bomb" (she does not really elaborate further). Seeing a policeman, she decides to protest so that her arrest will appear in the papers and further her cause. She sits in the middle of Trafalgar Square, pulling Bingo down with her, though Bingo is not pleased about it. They block traffic, angering many drivers. The policeman arrests Bingo and Mabel.
In the morning, the magistrate lets them go with a reprimand. Mabel realizes that her father, Lord Ippleton, will be angry about her arrest. Bingo is glad that Rosie is away on a trip and will not learn about what happened. At the office of Wee Tots, Bertie gets a call from Rosie, who curtly tells him to see page eight of the Mirror. Bingo is alarmed to see a photograph of the policeman with Mabel in one hand and Bingo in the other.
Bingo goes to the Drones Club for a drink, and talks to Freddie Widgeon, who suggests that Bingo claim he has a double who looks just like him. Bingo decides to ask Mabel to claim that she was with this fictitious double instead of Bingo. Back at the office, Bingo looks up Lord Ippleton in the telephone book and calls him, asking to speak to Mabel. Lord Ippleton, distraught about Mabel's arrest, tells him she is unavailable, as she has been sent away to her aunt in Edinburgh.
Purkiss appears with a hangover. He spent the night playing poker at a friend's house, and he is now in trouble because his wife, who is away with Rosie, discovered that Purkiss was not home all night. Purkiss asks Bingo to say that they were working all night at Bingo's house. Bingo agrees, getting Purkiss to give him a raise in exchange. When Rosie calls again, Bingo tells her he was with Purkiss all night, and that the man in the Mirror photograph must have been his double. Bingo hands Purkiss the telephone so he can confirm Bingo's story.
Wodehouse had previously written another story with Bingo Little involving political activism, the 1922 Jeeves short story "Comrade Bingo", and would later include a protest march in the 1974 Jeeves novel Aunts Aren't Gentlemen.
The story was illustrated by Bill Charmatz in Playboy, and by Graham in Argosy.
"Bingo Bans the Bomb" was included in the 1966 collection Plum Pie and the 1982 collection Tales From the Drones Club.
- McIlvaine (1990), pp. 99-100, A89.
- Wodehouse (1968) , chapter 5, p. 107.
- McIlvaine (1990), p. 154, D51.12, and p. 165, D74.1.
- McIlvaine (1990), pp. 99-100, A89, and p. 126, B25a.
- McIlvaine, Eileen; Sherby, Louise S.; Heineman, James H. (1990). P. G. Wodehouse: A Comprehensive Bibliography and Checklist. New York: James H. Heineman Inc. ISBN 978-0-87008-125-5.
- Wodehouse, P. G. (1968) . Plum Pie (Reprinted ed.). London: Pan Books Ltd. ISBN 978-0330022033.
- The Russian Wodehouse Society's page, with numerous book covers and lists of characters