A Mannequin in a Brooks Brothers Display Window Awakens to Discover that He’s Been Dressed for Summer

Oh glorious morning, another splendid day for standing in the library with my books. Let’s see then, I’ll just put on my eyeglasses and — ho ho, what’s this? It appears that the staff has taken the initiative to dress me for summer on the Cape! How delightful to wake and find yourself transported to the shore, wearing Bermuda shorts and a signature crested polo, both perfectly pressed. This looks like the work of Consuela; you know she’s an absolute magician with the laundry. My father Rutherford Braxton, the founder of Braxton Amalgamated International, always said, “Fielding, the most important investment you can make is hiring a servant who keeps you looking rich.” Sadly, father had a heavy hand with the help, but then you don’t build empires with kindness, do you? I’m just grateful that these are gentler times. Now one needs only the whisper of deportation to keep the linens crisp as the day they were cut.

Now let’s see, it appears that I have absolutely everything I need here for a perfect summer: A wicker basket with two bottles of San Pellegrino, my monogrammed leather satchel full of freshly shucked corn, an heirloom lobster pot, a life preserver (god forbid), my darling second wife Margot and our two smartly dressed children Astor and Astoria. Astor, come here and let me turn that polo collar up. How many times have I told you that a flat collar is a working collar? You must, at all times, let people know that you’re a Braxton and that for a Braxton, only a grass tennis court will suffice.

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Publication: The Bygone Bureau