Friday, October 3, 2008

Stiff upper lip, what?

Don't ask why I was reading the usually dire Daily Express yesterday, but I came across an article on the dying art of understatement. The day before they'd reported on a man who calmly went round to his neighbour's house and asked for help as he'd just cut his own arm off with a chain saw while pruning a tree. Said neighbour put the arm in a bag of frozen sausage rolls, as they calmly waited for the ambulance.

The article went on to recount various cases of sang-froid, which it describes as a great, but endangered British Virtue, ie: The Stiff Upper lip. My favourites were:

There's the story of Sir Thomas Blount, a traitor being executed by being hanged, drawn and quartered, who while seated "watching his own guts being extracted and burned, was asked if he would like a drink to steady him." His reputed reply was:"No, for I do not know where I should put it"

But my favourite has to be the unnamed British 2nd world war veteran Pilot, terribly scarred by a fire in his cockpit. He baled out into the sea, and while bobbing about his whisky flask slipped through his badly burned fingers: "At that point I was getting really pretty fed up"

Fantastic!

2 comments:

Gail Lackey said...

Ghostie Greetings!
Just stopped by after I saw your comment on my blog! I love your artwork! spooktacular! Especially love that rag witch doll with the fabulous red sorta dreadlocked looking hairdo. Too cool!
Dark Blessings, Gail

Yve said...

Wow, huge compliment coming from someone as talented as yourself, thank you so much! Yve :o)