Why does this make me think of Victorian novels (which I love)?
Wow. Interesting. I was kind of thinking of Brueghel (as well as my daily experiences). Here's my guess: it has kind of a Dickensian bounce to it (which is similar to the Brueghel bounce) and it also has his grotesquerie and the third line, which is meant to twist the mood in a sardonic way, is like the satirical undertow in his novels. So I'm hoping you were thinking more in the Dickensian line than, say, of Gaskell or Trollope.
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