Chapter 3, Story book : Three men in a boat
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J.'s accident-prone uncle, who is deceased. J. compares Harris to Uncle Podger because both of them have difficulty performing basic tasks without making mistakes.Uncle Podger was unable (or unwilling) to tackle a task alone. He would send everyone off to do his bidding, make a mess of things, and blame it on everyone else. Then it would start all over again, with everyone at his back and call. This would go on for quite awhile, and each time there would be a mistake, and each time someone else would step up to help. In the end, Uncle Podger would cite how easily things were done, and his wife would comment that she'd stay with her mother during the next project..... a comedy of errors.
"Now you go and get me my hammer, Will," he would shout; "and you bring
me the rule, Tom; and I shall want the step-ladder, and I had better have a kitchen-chair, too; and, Jim! you run round to Mr. Goggles, and tell him, `Pa's kind regards, and hopes his leg's better; and will he lend him his spirit-level?' And don't you go, Maria, because I shall want somebody to hold me the light; and when the girl comes back, she must go out again for a bit of picture-cord; and Tom! - where's Tom? - Tom, you come here; I shall want you to hand me up the picture."
"And then he would lift up the picture, and drop it, and it would come out of the frame, and he would try to save the glass, and cut himself; and then he would spring round the room, looking for his handkerchief. He could not find his handkerchief, because it was in the pocket of the coat he had taken off, and he did not know where he had put the coat, and all the house had to leave off looking for his tools, and start looking for his coat; while he would dance round and hinder them."
Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog)