Lemon Tea painted digitally in Corel Painter IX.5
I've been re-reading the Morse books by Colin Dexter. Its really odd how on this second time through I keep on noticing all the middle-aged male ego stroking; Morse is a middle-aged, paunchy, morose, sour, crotchety, pedantic bachelor. He is obsessed by pornography, cigarettes and alcohol. He is only able to think with a drink; his lunches are typically liquid. His intellectual superpower is being able to do the Times crossword in 10 minutes and spot a spelling or grammatical mistake in any piece of writing.
The Morse of the books is far less refined than the Morse of the TV series, yet throughout the stories all the women need only see him once, speak to him on the phone or even hear about him to become besotted! At the very least they spend far too much time thinking about him... and at the worst they run around doing time-consuming errands for him in the hopes of pleasing him. No-one ever reacts to how he must smell with all that drinking, smoking and lack of exercise...
It is also interesting to see how the early Morse changes in the later books to become a lot more like the Morse of the TV series... the battered Lancia is suddenly no longer mentioned and he's driving an eye-catching Jaguar; his whisky is no longer Bell's but malt or Glenfiddich and he becomes worse at buying rounds. His interest in music becomes more pronounced too.
But for me its the constant attraction that even the really young women, all of them, find for Morse, and some of the other older men, that is the least believable aspect of the written stories. Its a superpower too far. Luckily the TV Morse is a lot more presentable, though still not my cup of tea.
For more Sour illustrations see this week's Illustration Friday.