Thursday, 22 September 2022

Vale Queen Elizabeth the Second

The Queen's son chose a beautiful line from Hamlet to farewell his mother. Although it is undoubtedly very lovely, to me, coming as it does from a speech spoken over the coffin of Hamlet, whose life and comportment could not in any way to be said to be similar to that of Charles's mother's, it seemed a not entirely apposite choice.

Instead, the words of Shakespeare that sprang to my mind as the public mourning drew to a close and the "wand of office" was broken were these from The Tempest, among the most beautiful ever written:


"Our revels now are ended. These our actors,

As I foretold you, were all spirits and

Are melted into air, into thin air:

And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,

The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces,

The solemn temples, the great globe itself,

Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve

And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,

Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff

As dreams are made on, and our little life

Is rounded with a sleep."

From The Tempest, Act 4, Scene 1


Wednesday, 21 September 2022

Deceived by the Stars

The Theatre Royal Bath is an enchanting little place. When I saw that a play called The Doctor was being performed there and that it was adapted from a work by the Viennese playwright Schnitzler and told the story of what happens when a doctor refuses to let a Catholic priest give a dying teenager the last rites, I was excited - Vienna, Catholicism, an old and pretty theatre, these are a few of my favourite things. 

I looked up the reviews of the production, which started out in London at the Almeida theatre. Without exception, it had been awarded five stars.  

Once I'd discovered this fact, I found it surprisingly easy to persuade my husband to come along. What an error. He already wasn't as keen on live theatre as I am, but his suspicion about any suggestions of theatre outings has increased tenfold following our experience of The Doctor.

It wasn't that the play was badly acted or didn't at first look good. The opening sequence was dramatic, with the cast crowding onto the stage, lining up at its edge and staring boldly out at the audience, and then picking up their costumes from the floor and putting them on, as they strode into their positions. The plot unfolded. An intriguing situation was put in place.

But then things got strange. The play, now set in a hospital in an English-speaking country in the twenty-first century, seems originally to have had anti-semitism in late nineteenth or early twentieth century Vienna as its central theme. In that historical context, anti-semitism was a very real and pervasive phenomenon - but it is no longer. These days, in Austria and Germany and in most parts of the English-speaking world, being Jewish is not something that influences whether or not you are successful professionally. 

Despite this shift in attitudes, rather than change the axis of the play, so that instead of anti-semitism it would have at its centre the two conflicts that have dominated life over these last pandemic years and that would seem especially relevant in the context of a twenty-first century hospital where a priest has been barred from plying his trade - the conflict between those who believe in "the science" and those who put other elements of existence above "the science" and the conflict between elites and the populations upon whom they impose their certainties (are these two conflicts actually one and the same?) - the play's adapter retains all the original play's arguments about anti-semitism, even though they are clearly particular to Vienna at the time Schnitzler lived. While retaining the theme of anti-semitism, the adapter then adds the wider spectrum of identity politics into the mix. Finally, presumably with the intention of challenging all claims about the importance or relevance of identity in any shape or form, the production has been blind cast for both colour and gender. Far from being five star quality, the result is a total muddle.

In the original drama, the main character was a man, but in this new adaptation she is a woman. She is also played by a woman, so that isn't too confusing. Her main opponent however, is a man, as he was in the original work, but he is played by a female person of colour. It happens that this man, played by a female person of colour, is a Catholic - and that the main character, the female, played by a female, is Jewish. 

Meanwhile, the female doctor's defender is played by an Obama-like, tall, handsome man who appears to be of partly African descent, but whose character, we eventually learn, is white and Jewish, like her. Another male doctor, a hospital board member, is played by a woman who is probably either entirely or partly of African descent. Her character at one point says, "I can claim to be African because I was born in Kenya" and it comes as a surprise when she is told in reply, "That doesn't count, given that your face is completely white." As her face isn't completely white, this is confusing, but I suppose it is racist to notice that someone who is a person of colour is having her racial origin denied, (while simultaneously purporting to be a man when she is a woman). 

A third, less senior, doctor is played by a white man who never turns out to be female but does suddenly, an hour and a quarter into proceedings, turn out to be black - you discover this when another character says to him, "You're black". The character of hospital PR woman is played by a well-built woman - or possibly by a cross-dressing man. A young doctor, played by a female whose parents may have originated from Japan, China or Korea, at some point during the play turns out to be male and white.

Most startlingly, the Catholic priest who is refused access to a dying patient and is played by a tall, thin man who speaks with an Irish accent and has Celtic colouring turns out to be black. We discover this about an hour in, when it is revealed that one of the reasons the character feels especially offended by the doctor's refusal to let him minister to her patient is his sense that he has been racially discriminated against as someone with black skin. 

I assume the idea is that we as an audience need to be sophisticated enough not to notice whether a character is being played by a woman or a man, or whether their skin is black or white, because these things don't matter and if you are sophisticated enough you don't see them?  If so, are we also supposed to think that when a character complains that they are being discriminated against because they are black, we should think the complaint is nonsensical, because we have all agreed that we can't see the difference between skin colours? Aren't we somewhere in here demeaning the victims of genuine racism by pretending that a white actor is convincing as a black character who has suffered discrimination? Does this make sense? Does this work? Does this deserve five stars? 

Anyway, leaving aside these baffling aspects, the whole thing got increasingly shouty. I'm not convinced by the brilliance of Juliet Stevenson as an actor but I had to hand it to her when she was required to deliver the most banal line I think I've ever heard in theatre: "Life is complicated".

I don't know why I am surprised by the confusing casting. In December 2021 the theatre reviewer in The Times wrote excitedly about "how colour-blind casting has taken off in this country": 


What he did not explain is what makes blind casting such an unquestionably marvellous thing. 

Tuesday, 20 September 2022

Recent Reading - Past Imperfect by Julian Fellowes

Seeking distraction from the clamour of apocalyptic propaganda about "heatwaves" and "droughts" in August (when, surprise, surprise, it was, for once, hot and dry), I bought a secondhand paperback copy of Past Imperfect by Julian Fellowes for 20p. At that price, I wasn't worried about losing money if it turned out to be pot-boiling rubbish. To my delight, it turned out in fact to be a diverting and enjoyable read. I was still in a world dominated by doom sayers but at least I was being entertained. 

The novel is told in the first person and concerns a quest, which the narrator is asked to fulfil at the start of the book by Damian, a dying ex-friend. The two have not seen one another since a couple of years after they were both part of the already declining party season to bring young women out into English society. The two men's relationship was ruined by a dinner party in the late 1960s at which something supposedly dreadful happened (although, when the reader finally discovers what that actually was, it turns out not to have been as dreadful as all that). 

Damien, a parvenu introduced into the world of debutantes by the narrator, has since become very, very rich. Realising that he is dying and having received an anonymous letter that indicates he has a child somewhere, born as the result of a liaison at that earlier time in his life, he asks the narrator to track down the various women who might be the child's mother, to find out whether they gave birth to a child that is his. He hopes that a child belonging to him will be found so that he can leave his fortune to his own flesh and blood.

This sounds far-fetched put so baldly, but Julian Fellowes is a skilful writer and his gifted tale-telling persuades the reader to keep going, if not necessarily to suspend credibility completely. The plot, although a reasonably enthralling one, is really only the framework for a detailed recollection of a way of life that no longer exists. 

From the book's opening passage you know what you are getting - an elegy to youth and a vanished world: 

"London is a haunted city for me now and I am the ghost that haunts it. As I go about my business every street or square or avenue seems to whisper of an earlier, different era in my history. The shortest trip round Chelsea or Kensington takes me by some door where once I was welcome but where today I am a stranger. I see myself issue forth, young again and dressed for some long forgotten frolic, tricked out in what looks like the national dress of a war-torn Balkan country. Those flapping flares, those frilly shirts with their footballers' collars - what were we thinking of? And as I watch, beside that wraith of a younger, slimmer me walk the shades of the departed, parents, aunts and grandmothers, great-uncles and cousins, friends and girlfriends, gone now from this world entirely, or at least from what is left of my own life."

I was born in Kensington and spent a lot of my childhood in Chelsea; like the narrator, for me there are doors in the neighbourhood where "once I was welcome but where today I am a stranger", because those I knew have long gone, replaced by members of the new super rich who have sent the prices in the area skyrocketing out of the reach of the merely comfortable. These factors made the book particularly appealing for me as a form of nostalgia. However, even when the action of the book moved away from London and events began to take place mostly around the home counties, with a brief detour to Los Angeles, I still remained glued. 

The sense that lies beneath Fellowes's best known work, Downton Abbey - that, for all its flaws, beauty was intrinsic to the old order of English society, what one might call "the establishment"  - is everywhere evident in this book.  While Fellowes doesn't say that things ought to have stayed exactly as they were and does recognise the many unpleasant aspects of what has been swept away, he also mourns the lost grace contained in earlier social traditions. Even if the rituals of the past were designed to some extent to be exclusive, he suggests they had value. While making no attempt to disguise the fact that most of the people who made up what was then society were unexciting bores or boors, he raises the possibility that the structure itself was somehow valuable. It imposed exacting standards and insisted on manners and, given the decline in manners and the rise in violence since, he seems to wonder whether it is possible that it might have been worth preserving, if only until we worked out how to replace it with something better, rather than something more shabby. 

That new shabbiness is conjured up well by Fellowes some way into the book, when he has his narrator come across a now not unusually Hogarthian scene in the same part of London in which he had enjoyed his scenes of gilded youth:

"I had just turned off Gloucester Road into Hereford Square when there was a scream, then laughter, then shouting, then the sound of someone being sick. I wish I could write that I was astonished to hear what sounded like a large Indian takeaway being splashily deposited onto the pavement, but these days it would require a Martian, and one only recently arrived from outer space, to be surprised at these charming goings-on. A group of young men and women in their early twenties, I would guess, were loitering on the corner of the square, perhaps recent refugees from the Hereford Arms on the other side of the road, but perhaps not. One woman, in a short leather skirt and trainers, was throwing up and another was tending to her. The rest just stood around, waiting for the next act in their evening's entertainment."  

As the narrator goes on to observe:

"Until as little as ten years ago being drunk was a mistake, a regrettable by-product of making merry, a miscalculation which, the next day, required an apology. Now it's the point...At times it is hard not to feel that as a culture we are lost, in permanent denial and spinning in the void."

This concern I think is the author's real reason for writing the book. Fellowes has a wonderful turn of phrase and a good deal of wisdom when looking at his fellow creatures, but at heart he is preoccupied by questions about progress and where change is taking us and whether perpetual social revolution is destructive or not.

Thus, on learning that the father of an old friend decided he was gay as he reached the age of retirement, he asks himself (and the reader) whether such apparent liberation has actually improved anything, including the man's life:

"I was struck, for the millionth time, by the personal convolutions required by our new century. Would it have occurred to Jeff Vitkov, nice, boring, old Jeff, the brilliant entrepreneur and family man, to question his sexuality when he had got well into his fifties in any other period but our own? If he had been born even twenty years earlier, he would just have taken up golf, seen a bit more of the chaps at the club and not given the matter another thought. Would he have been any worse off?"

I am making the novel sound like a boring social treatise, but nothing could be further from the truth. Fellowes is funny and writes well, evoking scenes in the reader's mind's eye with ease. When he describes one character as having "one of those flat faces, like a carnival mask that had been dropped in the road and run over by a heavy lorry" and goes on to sum him up as a man who "had been defeated by our 'interesting times'", for whom a "hand-to-mouth existence lay ahead, of inheriting a cottage from a cousin and trying to rent it out, of hoping he would be remembered when the last aunt bit the dust, of wondering if his children might manage a little something for him on a regular basis", he makes it almost impossible not to imagine the fellow.  

He is also astute. When a female character pours out her soul to the narrator, she finishes by apologetically commenting, "I don't know why I told you all that".  "Because I was interested", Fellowes has the narrator reply, before explaining to the reader:

"Actually, this is quite true. Especially in England. Very few Englishmen ever ask women anything about themselves. They choose instead to lecture their dinner neighbours on a new and better route to the M5, or to praise their own professional achievements."

The one thing Fellowes omits in these observatons is that above all topics the rural upper middle class Englishman likes to lecture dinner companions on the state of his boiler, but never mind, he gets so much else right, providing, for example, the perceptive observation that "There is a tyranny that forces people of a certain class to insist they are only happy in the country". He is wonderfully against the nanny-state, pointing out that "to encourage the surrender of freedom in order to avoid danger is the hallmark of a tyranny and always a poor exchange."

Following the very recent death of the Queen, the narrator's thoughts on Her Majesty and the younger members of her family seem especially apposite:

While the younger members of the Royal Family talk about mental health and their views on whatever comes into their heads, "only Her Majesty", he says, "by never being interviewed, by never revealing an opinion, has retained a genuine mystery."

The book is tremendously enjoyable and very intelligent. For me the modern mystery is why literature that is easy to read and pleasurable is scorned and sneered at, as if it were easy to write such stuff and wrong to be delighted, when you ought to be made to work. I suppose the Roundheads never really went away. 

Friday, 26 August 2022

A Life Less Triggered

Thinking of going to a play in London, I noticed this on the website of the theatre I was considering. 

I wonder what the box office tells people who contact them for more information. 

I also wonder what they'd say to me if I rang & mentioned that the things they worry I might take fright at are the components of the story of my life.

And I consider mine a fairly ordinary life.


Saturday, 6 August 2022

A Taste of Money

Viktor Orban had a meeting with Donald Trump the other day. I don't have the kind of mind that can get terribly interested in why the meeting took place or what was discussed, but I do find the photograph that resulted fascinating. 




The first thing I wanted to know when I saw the photograph was where it was taken. It turns out it was taken in this place, a golf club owned by Donald Trump, (entry fee deposit USD350,000). The main clubhouse may aspire to look older but it was only built in 1939. The other buildings clustered around the swimming pool, (supposedly cottages belonging to members of the Trump family) have the hollow look of the buildings you see in outlet shopping centres 


But what a strange room that meeting room is. The decorative style is some kind of vague apeing of a stately home - but the ceiling is exceptionally low, and, worse still, it is dotted with vents. 

No matter, someone seems to have decided, we'll bung up a shop-bought chandelier and no one will notice a thing. And who cares if chandeliers usually dangle from metres of chain. As any fule kno, even if the cord's only two inches long, a chandelier adds class.

Hunting scenes do too, obviously. Even if neither you nor anyone in your family has ever got on a horse, it definitely lifts the tone to have some horsey pictures scattered about the walls. If you distract guests with horses, they'll never notice that you couldn't be bothered to get out the crystal jugs and instead simply dumped plastic bottles all along the table in a very inelegant way. 

And black - yeah, black's classy also. Go ahead, paint those alcoves black. Then they'll go with the fireplace and no one will wonder what on earth they are there for. What's that you say - they could have books on them? Yeah, no, whatever - I mean obviously you don't want books. Books are for losers. Just paint the damn things black and stick up some flags and voila, it's just like Downton Abbey. You say grace and favour, I say, how classy is British racing green?

Before Trump owned it, the place belonged to John DeLorean. Whether it was Trump or DeLorean who made the decorative choices we see displayed in the picture with Orban I do not know.

Tuesday, 5 July 2022

Recent Reading - My Phantoms by Gwendoline Riley

 


The relationship of a mother and a daughter can be one of the closest and most loving of all bonds, but when it goes wrong it seems often to be among the most toxic relationships of all. If a girl feels unloved by her mother or in competition with her or simply ignored by her, if a mother makes her daughter feel she is failing as a female or if she tries to reverse the roles, asking the daughter to become her protector and carer, things can go deeply wrong.


My Phantoms by Gwendoline Riley is the account of a daughter's relationship with a mother who she cannot really stand. There isn't a plot, just puzzlement as the first person narrator, Bridget, relates her unchanging frustration in the face of her mother's failure to be happy and records her attempts to deal with the older woman, whose name is Hen. 

Hen tries to find happiness through joining clubs but finds herself disappointed. "I just looked round the table and thought, 'No'", she tells her daughter about one such attempt. She marries twice and although both marriages end in failure, continues to invest most of her hope in the idea that a man will rescue her - "Someone like Castle," she says, (Castle is a character in a TV show she likes), "Someone to, you know, have badinage with." She tries travelling and thinks perhaps she has found someone. Bridget asks him to dinner and her mother, on the evening in question, waits with the impatient excitement of a small child. Bridget watches her as she waits at the window. "Strange little silhouette. Awful animal attention", she observes. 

Hen seems content when her daughter pretends her own social life is boring, as if her daughter's happiness, rather than making her mother happy, would only reinforce her own failure.  Hen has one friend, a gay man called Griff, who she doesn't like very much. All the same, she thinks she wants more friends. "I'm not sure what she would have done with friends", her daughter comments about this aspiration, "I suppose it had just lodged in her mind that one should have them; that it was 'what people did.'

If Bridget's account of her mother is truthful, Hen bases her ideas of how her life should be on fiction, making huge decisions such as choosing a place to live on the illusion that she will be given the key to a new world, one she has glimpsed on the television screen. Just as she hopes she will meet a "Castle", so she chooses her flat in Manchester because she imagines a life that, as Bridget exclaims when Hen describes it to her, is "like a Friends fantasy." 

There is a yearning Bridget senses in Hen that makes her feel, when talking to her mother, that she isn't really being listened to - or at least that there is a barrier to communication, a mutual incomprehension between them, as if "what I said was being scrabbled through for some currency quite other than meaning or information: rather for the glitter of that old magic coin, the token she could hold tightly and exchange for entry, for a real welcome, into her imagined other place". 

For years, Bridget avoids letting her mother meet her boyfriend. When her mother asks her about this, Bridget tells the reader, "We both knew she placed no value on the quality or substance of any encounter" Is this fair? Does Hen know any such thing? This is the difficulty with first person narrative - the reader's perspective is limited to that of the narrator. Who is Bridget? Is she reliable? Is she fair?

Possibly Hen is one of those unfortunate people who, without evoking out-and-out hatred in anyone, does evoke fairly universal irritation. Perhaps she belongs to the sad tribe of people who are mildly annoying, slightly needy and rather dull.  But, if so, why does Bridget feel so little genuine pity for her, why is she relentless in the face of pathos? When her mother tells her she is miserable, Bridget delivers a lecture that is certainly rational but seems to me cruel in its honesty, correct but brutal:

"'Are you listening, Mum?'" she asks, adding, "'Can I tell you what I think? You need to think about what you want. And why what you get seems to leave you so empty. This comes up a lot with you, this note of disappointed expectation. I think you feel like a bargain has been broken when you say you do what you're supposed to do. You understand that a deal was never struck, don't you?' 

'And you ought to think about why you need to be distracted so much. With loud TV and outings, and daft crushes. I understand that they are the stuff of life, that they are ways to get through life. But they seem to leave you so empty.'"

Perhaps the real problem for Bridget is that she blames her mother for not protecting her or her sister Michelle from their father, who is the one truly vivid character in the book. He is a horrible man, a bully, cruel, unpleasant, thoughtless  and deliberately nasty to his children, but when he appears in the book, suddenly everything is alight and alive. 

Bridget explains that when she and her sister are with him: 

"What Michelle and I - and whichever other of his relatives was about - had to do was be there and be subject to him; we had to not be doing anything else. I'd call that a fit-up job, wouldn't you? And hence that dreadful fixed feeling: that for all that was apparently required of you, you could just as well have been a mannequin. Except, of course, you couldn't.  A living witness was required for the attitudes of this self-pollinating entity. A living listener was required - and you were it - even as the 'living' element was summarily disregarded. Nobody ever said anything back. Not once. There were no quibbles, no queries." 

When he tries to embarrass them or crush them, Bridget says that she and her sister "did what our instinct told us to do in such moments, which was to sort of fade out of the moment," adding, "His company was something to be weathered, that was all."

Although Bridget alleges that her mother "did not give real advice, ever, about anything", Hen does in fact give Bridget and Michelle one very solid piece of advice. She advises them never to provoke their father. This seems wise, but if Bridget somewhere deep within herself believes her mother ought not to have allowed her children near the man, then perhaps it seems inadequate - or worse - to her. She also alleges that her mother found some excitement in the situation with the children's father and during her marriage almost certainly enjoyed deliberately provoking the man. Since the marriage ended when Bridget was two, she cannot be basing this on anything but bitterness.

But why is her bitterness directed at her mother, rather than her father? Is it a positive, an indication that she still cares about her relationship with her mother, while she has long since given up on her dad? I don't know but I do suspect the father is key to everything in the narrator's relationship both with her mother and also with her sister (inasmuch as she has one with Michelle - there is no explanation of why but the communication between the two women appears to be almost non-existent and it is Michelle who bears the brunt of responsibility for their mother, although Bridget doesn't appear to appreciate or acknowledge this.)

Bridget is a curiously muted character, without obvious aspirations, content with a small life, sheltering quietly in a small flat with her boyfriend - an analyst who, when he does finally meet Hen, declares "She's clearly frightened of engaging" - together with their rescue cat. When the boyfriend makes his diagnosis of Bridget's mother, I couldn't help thinking, " Is that not also true of Bridget?" Did the trick she learned in childhood, the ability to "fade out of the moment" become a permanent self-protective state?

And if so, if Bridget, Michelle and Hen all got into this fading habit, are they then the phantoms of the title? Or is the problem more complex? Is Bridget, in fact, very like her father, capable of being nasty in the same way he was? Certainly, toward the end of the book when she sits with her ill mother, she seems to enjoy deliberately provoking Hen, just as her father enjoyed provoking others. "'Are you bored with my company?' I said, brightly [to Hen]. Luring her on." 

I don't know whether Gwendoline Riley artfully sets these questions, knowing the answers, or whether the book is mainly an effort on her part to disentangle the threads of her own experience, in the hope of making sense of what happened and understanding the ghosts that haunt her, most especially the ghost of her mother. Either way, what the book conveys brilliantly is how complex and mysterious family bonds can be. And when Bridget asks herself, following her last encounter with her mother "why was I thinking about getting anything out of her?" I would answer, "Because she forgot to give you a mother's all embracing, unconditional love."






Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Toothsome

I know that 'toothsome' doesn't mean 'about or related to teeth', but I've never used the word and always wanted to so I thought I'd follow Humpty Dumpty's cavalier approach to language and ignore what the word actually means and let it pretend to be relevant to a tooth-related post.

The post itself arises from an item in today's Telegraph newspaper by Joe Barnes, the Telegraph's Brussels Correspondent. The item concerns a gold tooth that belonged to Patrice Lumumba. The tooth has been in the safekeeping of the Belgian police since 1961. Momentously, yesterday the tooth was given back to Lumumba's family in what was described as "a small, private ceremony". 

It is that phrase that stood out for me in the article. As soon as read it, I wished Barnes had provided more details. Ideally, I wished he had been allowed to expand our understanding with some photographs of the event. 

These are some of the questions that arose in mind that I suppose I will now never get answers to:

1. Was the tooth presented on a velvet pillow or discreetly in a small cardboard box? 

2. Were the King and Queen of the Belgians involved? 

3. Were drinks served? 

4. Were speeches made?

Until I got to the end of the article, I also wondered how thrilled Lumumba's family members might be to receive this unusual object. But Barnes does end by telling us that Juliana, Lumumba's daughter, said the return of the tooth was long overdue. Congo's Prime Minister went further, explaining that "the restitution of the relic was essential for his country's national memory".

All of which made me turn to my copy of Letters from a Nut and specifically the inquiry from Mr Ted L Nancy, who suffered a similar loss while staying at the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver in 1995: 

"560 North Moorpark Rd. 

#236 Thousand Oaks, CA 91360 

LOST & FOUND DEPT. 

BROWN PALACE HOTEL 

321 17th Street Denver, CO 80202 

Sep 14, 1995 

Dear Lost & Found Dept.: 

When visiting your hotel the afternoon of last Saturday, I bit down onto some crackers. Later on, after I woke up, I realized I had lost a tooth. Did anyone find a tooth in your hotel? I'll describe it. It is a small hard whitish object. The size of a piece of corn. It has a rippled top; speck of silver embedded in the top. If anyone has found this tooth I would like to come and pick it up. I do not want somebody else's tooth. I have had that happen before. PLEASE DO NOT MAIL IT! I do not want to lose it again. I believe my tooth could be somewhere in the sundries shop, probably by the front, or it could be in the lobby on the floor somewhere in the back. I don't know where I lost it but I do know it was not in my head when I left your hotel last Saturday. 

Thanks for getting back to me on this. 

Respectfully, 

Ted L. Nancy 


17 October 1995 

Mr. Ted L. Nancy 

560 North Moorpark Road 

#236 Thousand Oaks, CA 91360 

Dear Sir: 

In response to your letter of 17 September, we proceeded at once to check the areas mentioned. Also, we have checked our Lost and Found records, and have monitored items turned in since then. We have failed to find your missing tooth. 

Such a loss is regrettable. No doubt, it is an inconvenience to you. Although I do not believe it likely that the tooth will be returned to us this long after the loss, let me assure you that we will keep record of your letter, and will let you know if the tooth is returned. If I can help you in any other way, please let me know. 

Director of Loss Prevention 

Since 1892 • 321 Seventeenth Street • 

Denver, Colorado 80202 • 

(303) 297-31 1 1 • Managed by Quorum Hotels & Resorts"