Gideon is one of a group of lively friends of Durrell during a wonderful two year stretch when the Brits administered the island of Rhodes after the war. Here he comes up with the innovative idea of fining himself for lapses of judgement or manners, with the fine being levied in glasses of wine.
Another friend, Hoyle, loveable curmudgeon, points out the obvious consequences.
… while Gideon cracked open a bottle of wine. He had got into the habit of ‘fining’ himself for little errors of taste of judgement. ‘Damn,’ he would say, ‘ I fine myself two glasses of red.’ Or else ‘I simply can’t let that pass without fining myself a glass of white.’ … Now he fined himself for his rudeness to the American-Greek of Cameiro Skala while Hoyle watched him with all the weight of his unexpressed distaste apparent in his expression. ‘Your liver will have to pay up in the end,’ he remarked sourly.
Source: Lawrence Durrell, Reflections on a Marine Venus (London: Faber & Faber, 1960), p. 125
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