The answer: Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats was a collection of whimsical poems by T. S. Eliot that became the basis for the musical Cats.
Bustopher Jones is not skin and bones -
In fact, he's remarkably fat.
He doesn't haunt pubs - he has eight or nine clubs,
For he's the St. James's Street Cat!
He's the Cat we all greet as he walks down the street
In his coat of fastidious black:
No commonplace mousers have such well-cut trousers
Or such an impeccable back.
In the whole of St. James's the smartest of names is
The name of this Brummell of Cats;
And we're all of us proud to be nodded or bowed to
By Bustopher Jones in white spats!
(Also for Three Word Wednesday and ABC Wednesday: "L" is for Lawrence.)
Folks always seem to do well with musicals on this quiz. So how about another? I wrote the following scenelet, hoping it might remind you of a well-known musical. Give us its name.
“I’m surprised you don’t like Lawrence. Everyone else does.”
“Well, they’re putting him up for membership in our club so you should try getting along with him.”
“I get along with him fine. He just has a personality that’s irritating.”
“What are you talking about? Do the words jovial and friendly mean irritating? Because that’s what he is most of the time.”
“No, the words pompous and pretentious mean irritating. He appears to be operating under the belief that he’s the prime minister or something.”
“Ah. You’re talking about that outfit he wears.”
“That’s part of it. Black. All black, every day. He looks positively gaunt.”
“Why man, that’s the fashion of the time. You don’t keep up with things.”
“And then there are the…”
“I see what you’re getting at. It’s the spats, isn’t it? That’s what irritates you.”
“Who wears spats, for god’s sake, in this day and age, just to walk around town?”
“Well, I guess you’re right; that is a bit pretentious.”
“And they’re bright white. Along with that black getup, the spats are positively dazzling. They’re like headlights.”
“So that’s it? That’s all the vile things you can think of against him? His white spats?”
“Well, actually, if he’s going to be a new member, someone should sit down with him and talk a bit about diets and such. Someone as fat as he is should spend more time at the salad bar.”
“Please. Surely you should be aware that it’s highly inappropriate these days to criticize someone as ‘fat.’ You might phrase it, he is somewhat overweight.”
“Somewhat overweight? He’s a butterball! He gives new meaning to the word ‘rotund.' He's so fat he's starting to decompose."
“You go too far, as usual. However, he does like to eat.”
“Right. If you see him in a hurry there’s probably curry at his favorite restaurant.”
“Well, who knows? It may lend our group some class if we’ve got a member who always wears white spats.”