#5 THE QUOTES
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9. And now, for the young in heart and weak in the head, it's: Story so far: War Story: The Dirty Half-Dozen
Lately there have been a lot of hard bitten remorseless war stories. Here's the hardest, most bitten, and entirely lacking in morse of the lot...
The Dirty Half-Dozen.
The time, 1942. The place, the War Office, London. My name is Dirty. Captain Dirty of RADA.......... I'm an Acting Captain, of course. I knocked on the door.
"Ah, come in Dirty! Sit down, this may be a bit twicky."
He was right, there was no chair.
"I've been looking at your Record, Dirty. You're a troublemaker, Dirty. However I feel that there must be some good in you! I knew your mother, you know."
"Well, you would Sir. You're my father."
"Yes. There is a very twicky mission coming up Captain."
He paced the room, his hands sunk deep into his pockets.
"I've been given a very dangerous and twicky operation."
"I suppected that, by the way your were pacing."
"No, no, no, no.... In North Africa--"
"Go on dad."
"Pay attention. In North Aftrica, the Germans have a secret depot, for storing observation balloons--"
"Yes! I want you to go over there, and blow them up."
One month later, in a top secret training establishment on an allotment in Penge, Captain Dirty took out a thioralite and surveyed his platoon.
First there was... 2375 Private Alf Parts. (I'm not even going to make something of that).
Alf: I was Court Marshalled and disgraced for being AWOL.... They don't like 'WOLs in the British Army. But now, I have been given new hope.
Yes, in this platoon, you'll have a chance to prove that you're a man.... Not now, not now! I'll look at your paybook later. Second in line was, 9325 Private Butch O'Hooligan. A blue jowled fowl mouthed, hard drinking thug.
O'Hooligan: Reporting for duty, Sir.
With a rather effeminate voice.
Then there was Sergeant Hulk. A man who stood over six feet in his socks. But only five foot one out of them.
Hulk: Well, I've got very thick sock, ain't I? Alright you men... Attention. Left turn, quick march. Quick march!... Oh alright then Simon Says, quick march.
Dirty's Half-dozen or the Smutty Six as they quickly came to be known, began their training at once.
Day by day I could see the men changing. My office was in the shower room. I say, O'Hooligan? Stand over here.
He came to attention in front of me. Dripping water. There was something about him, that was different. I put my finger on it immediately! Why?! Come on, now. Why? Why are you wearing full battle dress under the shower O'Hooligan?!
"Well, my ground sheets at the laundry, Sir." O'Hooligan replied.
"Ah. quite so."
"Sir, I can't stand this training, Sir. This learning to kill! And, and fight! And do fancy embroidery! I-- I'm not that sort of man! In fact I'm not any sort of man!"
"No, but I like the way you're shaping, O'Hooligan."
Later, North Africa. A vast violent sand storm has been raging for days.
(Swish, swish, howl) (pitta patter, pitta patter)
One after another my platoon and I crawled into the bed of a dried up waddy.
The, the storm raged on about us.
(Swish, swish... Howl, howl)
"I can't stand it!" O'Hooligan cried. "This relentless Doogal MacFearsum howling! Probing! Finding its way under my uniform! No food! No water! I haven't shaved for days! Just look at my legs! No shelter!"
"Yeah!" Replied Parts. "Look over there! There's a small 'otel! And a wishing well, I wish that we was there. Together..."
Very good, thank you very much indeed. Yes, right, I'll knock on the door...
The door opened.
"Greetingss, Afendi!" Replied the owner, with a severe case of hissing or was it lisping, possibly both on his 's's. He spat everything word that contained an S. Due his his not being able to talk properly round his dentures. "I am Musst'hava Ben Hussane, owner of thiss ssmall but sselect esstablisshment. after the sscorching ssandss, you musst be ssomewhat dry."
"Well, we were." Dirty went on. "I erm... I'm surprised to find an oasis here."
"Ah, yess." Musst'hava continued. "Well, there wassn't one until I came. It's very ssingular you know whenever I sset foot, the desssert blosssomsss."
"Yes, I noticed."
"My chargess are, sseventeen and ssix a night--"
"Oh, we aren't staying, we only want to know the way," cut in O'Hooligan, "to the secret German depot."
"Oh, certainly, yess." Musst'hava said. "Go sstraight on over the ssand duness, ssharp left by the mirage the Betty Grable... That wass left behind by the sseventh Welssh Fussileerss."
The platoon marched on and--
Oh, gladly Miss O'Hooligan, cried the Narrator.
"Look! Over there! Two figures staggering towards us, through the swirling sand. Who can they be?"
The two figures came to a stop in front of the platoon and the taller of the two cried.
"Oh, hello!" In a camp tone. "I'm Sooliman and this is my friend, Sage!"
"Oh, hello!" Sage cried, in exaggeration, and just as camp. "Oh, how bona to shufty your dolly old porridge-cat."
"Well, you don't sound like Arabs to me. You sound like a couple of Caucasians." O'Hooligan replied.
"Oh, ain't she bold?!" Said Sage.
"No, no," cried Sooliman. "She's right we are. We're British."
"Yes, we got adopted by wondering bedridden Arabs--"
"Bedwin, Bedwin." Sooliman returned.
"Oh, yes," Sage continued, agreeing with his outrageous companion and friend. "Yes, we was adopted by Bedwin Arabs--"
"--Well, he got adopted actually. I was more your 'friend of the family'."
"So, you've travelled around a bit have you?" O'Hooligan asked.
"Oh, yes. Mostly by plane." Sage said. "He hates boats, don't you Sool?"
"Oh, yes, if there's one thing I hate, it's a boat." Sooliman agreed.
"Tell her for why."
"Oh, I can't!"
"Go on tell her. You can't keep it hidden for the rest of your life!"
"Oh, alright then." Sooliman went on, reluctantly. "Well, see, it was this friend of mine. A merchant seaman he was. Called, Clint. Merchant seaman he was. He said he could hide me away on the billgages of his ship. Coz, you see I had this hankering for foreign parts."
"Yes," Sage cut in, "'ankered away he was. Go on."
"Yes. So a... Me and him we ah... We crep aboard this ship you see--"
"Then he took you down below, didn't he?" Sage asked.
"Down below? Yes he did."
"You can imagine it ducky. Him down below in the billjages. Two whole weeks pitch black, his lallies pressed against his chest. Murder it was." Sage again butted in.
"Murder it was." Sooliman went on. "But, Clint popped in every day, just to keep me company! Do you know? I think I would've lost my reason if it hadn't been for Clint!"
"Hmm, tell her the rest, go on."
"Go on tell her!"
"No, it's too hurtful."
"Go on, tell what happened when you crept back up on deck after two weeks!"
"Oh, well... Well, Clint, for reasons of his own, he de... deceived me. Coz, when I got up on deck, I realised that I wasn't where I had been lead to believe. No."
"Where were you?" O'Hooligan asked.
"Hidden onboard a five ton Cruiser at the national boat show!" Sooliman cried out.
Well, after that erellavant diversion, we do have a story to get on with. (Clears throat) Captain Dirty's platoon are surveying the secret German depot. They're hidden behind a mighty desert hillock.
Now, there's only one way to get into this depot, Dirty thought aloud. We shall all march in backwards, whistling Colonal Boogie! If that doesn't confuse them, nothing will.
"So, you English piggies. Yes, you thought you would try to confuse us? Answer me sergeant!" The German depot asked bluntly.
"'Ere, are you Rommel?"
"That is so!"
"You're too late, Rommel!" Cried Parts. "We planted a bomb under the main petrol dump!"
"I don't believe you, you English dogs!"
The petrol dump went sky high.
"On the other hand, I'm prepared to keep an open mind!" Rommel replied.
With one bound they were all free. The only casualty was verisimilitude. And one of the platoon who... One of the platoon who baught it during the fighting, sold it as a profit and retired to Switzerland.
"Men!" Cried Dirty. There are twenty-four thousand, five hundred and sixteen miles between us and Cairo... That's the long way round of course, but it's prettier.
They took the short route. The Germans chased them all the way...... Benghazi... Tabrook...
"I think we've left Corporal Jerry behind Sir!" Parts said after some time.
"Oh blast!" Dirty exclaimed.
"We've blown up fifteen trains," Dirty made a note. "Destroyed ten miles of track, and shot all the guards, Sir and now w-- 'ere, hang on... Huston station?!... Oh NO!"
"Would you believe, we made a boob boob." Replied Parts dulley.
The End... Alf Parts was played by Mr Ralf Oddsbodikins of the kind permission of the Doily Jam Fan Dam Raskals. O'Hooligan was played by the dileticate Miss Iron-Nose Runspiggot of Tinpan Alley. Sooliman and Sage were played by Messres Quogmire and Figgot - who've been trying it out of town. And Captain Dirty was played by Mr Easy on the Eyes hot lips Ragnandbone Merryweather Hatcat... Of no fixed abode. And I, the Narrator was portayed by Yes, your very own Douglas Glenda Mousehabit, of Carneby Street.
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