Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Extracts From My War Memoirs

By the Right Honourable Benneth, MC, DSO, OBE, VC, QC, OMG (not pictured)


So there I was, one minute piloting my Spitfire on a solo daylight raid to knock out a strategically vital German sausage factory, and the next my crate's sticking tail-first out of terra firma. It was a nasty old prang to be sure, but not enough to make me review my policy of always flying whilst drunk. Fortunately I had survived the crash with my tobacco pipe intact, but the same could not be said of my femur bone, which was protruding several inches from the side of my leg. I don't mind telling you that it smarted something ghastly. Fortunately repairing myself was only a matter of smacking the offending bone back into its proper position using the butt of my service revolver and then welding shut the wound with a chunk of molten wreckage.

-

The land for hundreds of miles in every direction was teeming with bloodthirsty, vengeful Hun, and my heart was filled with dread - how many luncheons would I miss in the time it would take me to kill all of them? I did some quick maths as I absent-mindedly strangled the solitary German officer who had been attracted by the racket of my crash. Intelligence reported there were at least 100 divisions of Wehrmacht in the interceding 400 miles between me and Berlin, and doing some quick calculations, I figured I'd have to kill at least a hundred thousand of the buggers before I got to Hitler and could go home for biscuits. Even at an average of a hundred Nazis a day it'd still take me donkey's years on foot with my service revolver, and that was only good for six Jerries - after that I'd have to start throwing it at them. And I was loath to loot any German weapons, as I've always found them to be annoyingly quiet.
So I resolved instead to escape back to England to acquire another aircraft, which would speed the process up considerably and bring my next luncheon that much closer. I acquired the officer's uniform, which fit perfectly, and dressed the dearly departed Jerry in my own flight gear. I shoved the cadaver in the wreckage of my Spitfire and left the spreading fire to melt the bugger's chiselled features off so his pals wouldn't notice my canard.

-

Some two weeks later I had learned the German language by insinuating myself into one of their barrack houses and listening in on their inane conversations. To test my lingo I composed a quick series of war poems which, when I gave a recital, reduced my "fellow soldiers" to fits of weeping and got me compared to Siegfried Sassoon by Berliner Zeitung magazine. Now reasonably confident in my conversational German, and anxious to repay my hosts for so graciously accomodating me, I whipped up a crude pressure-activated gelignite bomb using some shaving cream, tallow and bootblack, which I wired to the latrine before scarpering - my reasoning being that the massive explosion would be the perfect distraction for my escape. Also I'd always thought that the idea of a chap being killed on the bog was ruddy hilarious.

-

I was now married to a strikingly beautiful woman named Herman and living in Dusseldorf, where I had set up a small charter flight business. It was on the night of our first wedding anniversary that I remembered I was supposed to be escaping to England. The old bit of shrapnel in my frontal lobe must have shifted again and temporarily done a number on the old memory banks. Last time that had happened was in `26, when I'd spent three years living in a tree in the Belgian Congo and responding only to the name Mawengwe. Anyway, telling Herman I had to take an emergency shipment of bratwurst to Rommel's headquarters, I set off in my cargo plane on a circuitous course towards old Blighty. I was just pottering up the Spanish coast when a night-fighter took me for a Stuka and sent me hurtling into the ocean in a hail of machinegun fire. Some fishermen attempted to dredge me out of the briney, but they were foreign, so I told them to bugger off and leave me drifting. And that's when I met the giant squid...

-

Fortunately the six months riding the squid that took me to the small island off Burma had left me with a considerable beard growth, in which I was able to conceal a bamboo sword I had constructed whilst Kenji and I were building the escape raft. All I needed was the right time to strike. "Raft finished, Mr. Benneth!" said Kenji, making me wish I'd paid closer attention to the English aspect of his ad-hoc reeducation. "We come to island as enemy but now we reave as friend! Now we go to Dear Old Brighty and I rearn how to be real Engrish gentrrman!". My fellow castaway turned to the raft, at which point I took a regretful sigh and thrust my impromptu saber briskly between his shoulder blades. It was a shame to put an end to him in such an ungentlemanly manner, I'd much rather have blown the back of his head off. Anyway, having finished the last of the squid a few days before, I'd need something to eat on the long voyage home. A few years later, when I was galloping the Japanese ambassador's secretary's sister, I humourously noted that that "Kenji" is Japanese for "lunch".

-

I floored the throttle of my Zero as I approached Pearl Harbour and steeled myself for the unpleasant task at hand. It felt a bit cloak-and-dagger to be bombing chaps who were essentially on our side, but if this didn't convince them to join in the fun then they ruddy well deserved a kicking anyway. And besides, they were only Americans. "BANZAI!" I cried fiercely, as I prepared to bring the 'Divine Wind' to the 'enemies of the Emperor', so to speak.

-

I had full confidence in the success of the D-Day invasion, since I had ghostwritten most of Eisenhower's strategy in hospital during the weeks following my return home. Flak bursts shook the C-47's fuselage along with my fellow commandos as we waited for the jump order. I had always found parachutes terribly uncivilised so I declined to wear one, reasoning that Normandy is mostly composed of runny cheeses and farmer's daughters, so I'd probably land safely on something soft. As luck would have it, when we jumped I made groundfall on an obese SS officer who happened to be carrying a map of troop positions throughout western France. I could have handed them over to the group of American paratroopers I came across but, bless them, the simple chaps would probably have just tried to eat or fornicate with anything I handed to them. With this in mind, I sharpened my letter opener and toddled off towards the nearest group of Wehrmacht.

-

"The joke's on you, Adolf," I said, as the bugger who'd started this whole affair brandished the pneumatic horse inseminator in old Benneth's general direction, "that thing's as empty as your lederhosen!" That hit a nerve. He dropped the weapon and lunged at me, intent on killing me with his bare hands, at which point I simply sidestepped as the head Kraut's forward momentum sent him straight into the propellor. The remaining cyborgs, no longer controlled by his powerful psychic aura, collapsed to the floor dead. I was halfway through my witty comment (something about liking my sausages sliced thin) when I heard Churchill cry from the cockpit; "hurry up for fuck's sake, the Enola Gay won't fly herself!". He was right of course, the Russians were converging right quick, and they'd be fairly embarrassed that I’d minced the Fuhrer before they could get their Bolshevik hands on him. I’d have loved to stay and chat, but we had a war to win.

3 comments:

Claudia said...

i knew there was more to you than met the eye....

Gilly said...

I'm quite envious of your writing skills.

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