Blackford Oaks Plays Handball?

Recently NRO offered up some copies of High Jinx by WFB at a reasonable price.  We jumped and bought it.  Market efficiency (the paperback is $10.95 with used and electronic versions cheaper) means that NRO hasn’t cornered the market but it was offered in The Corner.  We have not read WFB fiction before.

Sidebar: We recognize the importance of WFB to the conservative movement but he was never our favorite.  We preferred George Will or Milton Friedman.  It was a matter of style rather than content.  End Sidebar.

It is a fun read.  Stalin is dead but Beria is still making mischief.  Ike is the President but Caroline is the Queen.  The author mentions himself and Brent Bozell in discussing Senator McCarthy.  But the most important part is on p. 24: “Master Sergeant “Newt” announced in an imperious voice that there would be a handball game….”  We know that there is team handball (we even got a shirt at the Olympics) but it seems hard to believe that WFB and his dashing hero would play such a mundane sport.  The text does mention team but that could be a (real) handball doubles team.  Since WFB isn’t around to answer the question, we conclude that Blackford Oaks is a handball player.  We plan to read the rest of the novels to see if handball shows up again.

The one disappointment in High Jinx is that there is no commentary on the matches. How does Blackford deal with balls on the left?  Who is the power server?


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