Ever since I wrote that piece on clocks, I have been flooded with emails asking as to what I meant by the easy chair being called a Bombay Fornicator.

Well, the term was from the good old British Raj and not coined by me. Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable describes the Bombay Fornicator as an Anglo-Indian term meaning a wicker chair with an extended footrest that’s long enough to facilitate sexual intercourse. (p.165, 18th Edition).

There is a lot on this on google. But anyway, I decided that a picture (or three pictures) is worth a 1000 words. So here goes:

The Bombay Fornicator at rest
The Bombay Fornicator with its legs spread
The Fornicator with its legs crossed

My guess is that it began life as a mere planter’s chair and its life changed when an enterprising Indian from Bombay (somehow you can’t imagine the oh-so-propah Brits thinking of it) realised that it had multiple uses.

Come to think of it, grandfather objected to anyone sitting on this chair! He was strongly Victorian.