Monday, April 10, 2006 at 4/10/2006 12:26:00 PM


I've finished reading Kenneth Williams' diaries. I don't want to spoil the ending for you, but he takes an overdose on page 802. Fancy ending a diary like that! Now I'm reading Barry Humphries' (a.k.a. Dame Edna) autobiography. In his younger days he used to arrange stunts to challenge people's notions of normality. One of his favourite pranks involved emptying a can of Heinz vegetable salad on the pavement to resemble a pile of vomit, then eating it up with a spoon. He says that some passers-by actually threw up themselves. He might have approved of the military drill stunt I put on at my school. Every Monday we had to go to school in military uniform, and spend the afternoon cleaning rifles or marching. Each member of our platoon had to take a turn drilling the platoon to march around the playground, shouting like a sergeant-major to keep everyone in step: "left ... left .... left right left". When my turn came I trained them using a variation: "left ... left .... left left left", My soldiers obeyed with a repeating rhythm of 4 steps and 3 hops. This was before the days of Monty Python. The effect as we passed Colonel Carruthers was fantastic! They sent for my father, and I knew I was in for trouble. My father, a stickler for military discipline, had been a Commander in the navy, but in our house his rank was Rear Admiral, in charge of whacking my rear. He carried out this reponsibility with enthusiasm, above and beyond the call of duty.


Post a Comment