The Curmudgeon


Saturday, November 01, 2014

At the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior

In the middle of the ceremony, the stone cracked right across and startled the Prime Minister from his dreams of the commemorative banquet. A great fissure had been struck through the words FOR LOVED ONES HOME AND EMPIRE, and a greyish mist was rising from the crack. Faced with this novel bit of vandalism, the Prime Minister wondered where would be the most statesmanlike place to put the blame.

Slowly the greyish mist formed itself into a human figure. As it gained definition, the belches of boredom which had echoed around the Abbey gave way to gasps of disgust; for the figure was far from glorious. Its face was greenish and bloated, so that its neck ballooned over its collar; the Prime Minister became conscious of his own incipient dewlap, and raised his chin to stop the media drawing unflattering comparisons.

Cries of loathing filled the Abbey as the misty figure resolved itself yet further. Its hands were as bloated and shapeless as its face, and its intestines were hanging out of its belly. Its mouth was wide as if in agony, and its eye sockets were black and empty. In its tattered uniform there was not a hint of khaki; what remained looked as if it had once been grey. On its head was a mouldy helmet topped by a rusted spike; and it wore no poppy.

At last the Prime Minister knew exactly what to do. He pointed and yelled. Enraged, the congregation flung itself upon the invader, while the Archbishop of Canterbury looked a bit concerned.


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