Professor Ludvic HafBäkd has long been considered to be the world expert on all things Dickens, so his announcement that he had unearthed findings which offered a tantalising glimpse into Dickens home life sparked interest world-wide, in the run up to his talk on the famous author.
Speaking at the British library earlier this week, HafBäkd said, “I have actually embedded myself in Dickens world. I’ve literally walked in his shoes… which was quite uncomfortable as I am a size 11 and he’s only a size 9. I’ve worn his clothes, bathed in his bathtub, written in his ink using his quill pen. I’ve even eaten an old biscuit found in a tin believed to have belonged to Dickens. It was yeasty. After all this exhaustive investigation I’ve realised, I am Dickens. Dickens is me.”
As confused journalists peppered him with questions HafBäkd began to respond by repeating, “What larks eh? What larks old chap?” until his wife, Mabel, came in and led him away.
“This unfortunate confusion might cast doubt on his numerous books on Dickens, especially where his research accreditation has been a bit hazy. He’s now taken to referring to his assertions as ‘anecdotes’ and appears to think that Dickens lives in his house with him,” said fellow Boxford Professor Ridgley Bowel-MacFarten.
Having managed to obtain an interview with Professor HafBäkd, he had this to say:
LB: Charlie and I go way back. I feel like I know him better than my wife and kids.
Q: Your children, whom you’ve named Pickick Papers HafBäkd, Little Dorrit HafBäkd, Barnaby Rudge HafBäkd and David Copperfield HafBäkd?
LB: Yes we’ve got another one on the way who we’re going to call Edwin Drood HafBäkd as well.
LB: Thanks, they do sort of infringe on my time with Charlie though. He can actually be pretty possessive.
LB: Yes, the more time I spend helping little Pickwick Papers with his homework or fixing Barnaby Rudge’s bicycle for him (a pennywhistle naturally) well, let’s just say he get’s sulky. He never talks much anyway and lately I’ve been getting vibes. But I’ve decided to make all the kids go and work at the local blacking factory…just like Charlie did when he was their age, which should cheer him up.
Q: How does this er…possessiveness manifest itself?
LB: Oh you know, every time the wife starts yacking about something or other I’ll see him across the room staring, just staring for hours on end. It can be quite unnerving.
Q: Are you referring to the famous painting of Dickens which hangs in your study?
LB: It’s only when we’re alone that I can really be myself around him. He understands that. He understands everything.
Q: OK, I think I’ll go now.
Q: Yes, you go. Me and Charlie D need some special time. (In an undertone) Yes, Chuck chuck, our mutual friend is leaving now…no, there are no more biscuits…