Q.1. Who offered to pick the bag for the trip? Was he happy at his own offer?
Ans. The author and his friends decided to go on a holiday. The author, who saw himself as an expert in packing. “I rather pride myself on my packing. Packing is one of those many things that I feel I know more about than any other person living.” He told his friends, George and Harris that he would do the packing.
They readily agreed to his suggestion. George sat in an easy chair, while Harris put his legs on a table. The author had not intended this. He was unhappy with himself for having offered to pack. He had thought that Harris and George would pack and he would supervise them, teaching them how to do things better. When he worked and his friends relaxed, he was greatly irritated.
Q.2. Describe how the author packed the bag for going on a trip?
Ans. Right in the beginning Jerome volunteered to pack, because, according to him, he was especially good at it and George and Harris agreed readily. What Jerome of course had meant was that he would supervise the packing while they packed. They of course meant he’d pack while they watched from lounging positions. Jerome packed all their personal belongings, from boots to toothbrushes. When he had finished, Harris pointed out whether he wanted to leave the boots out.
Once the boots were packed, Jerome realised he needed his toothbrush out for the morning, so the entire bag had to be unpacked and the toothbrush searched. It was found in a boot. The bag was again repacked when Jerome discovered he had packed his spectacles in. Once again, the bag was unpacked to take out the spectacles and then repacked. After going through several unpleasant rounds of unpack, repack, unpack, repack, the job was done, with only the soap (possibly) having been forgotten.
Q.3. Of the three, Jerome, George and Harris, who do you think is the best or the worst packer? Support your answer with details from the text?
Ans. Jerome, George, and Harris are equally clumsy and disorganized packers. Jerome takes a lot of time to pack the bag and George and Harris damage a lot of things while packing the hamper. Jerome works all by himself and his friends work together but the end results in both the cases remain the same – a terrible mess. Jerome first forgets to pack his boots and then forgets having packed his toothbrush. After unpacking twice, he again packs in his spectacles absentmindedly. George and Harris take upon themselves the task of packing the hamper with quite an elan but break a cup at the very outset. They falter many times while packing the huge pile of assorted things like cups, bottles, kettle, pies, tomatoes, etc. They ‘misplace’ the butter and spread salt over everything. However, all three of them finally complete packing and leave the readers splitting with laughter at their clumsiness.
Q.4. How did the butter episode in the story cause nuisance?
Ans. The butter episode in the story caused a lot of nuisance as it brought out the bungling clumsiness of George and Harris. First of all, George stepped on the butter and it stuck to his slipper. After George had got it off his slipper, he and Harris tried to put it in the kettle. It wouldn’t go in, and what was in wouldn’t come out. They d narrator id scrape it out at last, and put it down on a chair. Then Harris sat on it, and it stuck to him, and they went looking for it all over the room.
“I’ll take my oath I put it down on that chair,” said George, staring at the empty seat. George finally noticed it behind Harris’s back from where it was removed and put inside the teapot. Hence, the butter episode created a lot of nuisance and became the funniest episode in the story.
Q.5. Do you find this story funny? What are the humorous elements in it?
Ans. The story is very funny with loud and boisterous humour. The chaos and confusion created by all the characters amuse the reader. The gap between their self-assessment and their actual capabilities makes us burst out laughing. The dog’s contribution to humour is no less significant.
Jerome’s sense of pride in his packing skills and the manner in which he is left alone to pack the bag is very funny. While Jerome expected to use the opportunity for bossing over his friends, they made him toil instead. The frequent forgetfulness of Jerome and the subsequent unpacking of the bag many times over dilute his hard work and amuse the reader. Harris and George’s faltering and fumbling while packing the hamper is very amusing and rib-tickling. The manner in which they pile up an assortment of things and then fail to pack them properly amuse the reader. The butter episode, in particular, generates side-splitting laughter.
Montmorency, the dog, too adds to the humour with his habit of getting in the way of things. His indiscipline and animal-curiosity earn him curses and hits from his masters but he still manages to put his leg in the jam and chase lemons like rats.
Hence, all these instances lend humour to the story.
Q.6. When did the “horrible idea” occur to Jerome? Why was it a “horrible idea”
What fuss does Jerome’s toothbrush often create for him?
Ans. The ”horrible idea” that occurred to Jerome as soon as he had finished packing in his boots was whether he had packed in his toothbrush or not. He was always in the habit of forgetting to pack his toothbrush.
The idea was horrible in the sense that it made him panic and grow restless. It would haunt him so much that at night he would dream that he had not packed the toothbrush. He would wake up in cold perspiration, get out of bed and hunt for it.
Again he would pack it without using it in the morning, which meant that he would have to unpack it again. And whenever he was fishing for it, it would be the last thing to come out of the bag.
After using it he would again forget to pack it and at the last moment would have to rush upstairs to fetch it. As a result, he would carry it to the railway station, wrapped up in his pocket-handkerchief.
Thus, the toothbrush was a constant source of bother and horror for Jerome.