The English, they are a funny race
The first is from a short story by Michael Gilbert:
"Mr. Behrens said, raising his voice a little, `If I were to lift my right hand a very well-trained dog, who has been approaching you quietly from the rear while we were talking, would have jumped for your throat.'
"The colonel smiled. `Your imagination does you credit. What happens if you lift your left hand? Does a genie appear from a bottle and carry me off?'
"`If I raise my left hand,' said Mr. Behrens, `you will be shot dead.'
"And so saying, he raised it."The second is from a novel by John Lawton:
— "The Road to Damascus"
"Interned, released, enlisted, trained and promoted all in less than three months. The insignia of rank barely tacked onto his sleeve. If the next promotion were as swift as the first he’d be a Flight Lieutenant by the end of the month. This had baffled Rod. He had tried to explain it to his father some time ago. ‘I said the obvious thing. “Are you sure I’m ready for this?” Sort of expecting the genial “Of course, old chap” by way of answer – and they said “Ready? Of course you’re not ready. Ready’s got bugger all to do with it. You’re thirty-three, man, you’ve held a pilot’s licence for ten years. We need people who can fly, people who can command a bit of authority, people who might look as though they know what they’re doing even if they don’t. You couldn’t grow a moustache, could you?’”
— Bluffing Mr. Churchill
"Ah, were I courageous enough
To shout Stuff your pension!
But I know, all too well, that’s the stuff
That dreams are made on:"
Aren't those fun?— "Toads"
© Peter Rozovsky 2013