Wednesday, October 19, 2005

"Engage the enemy more closely"

Typical Preacher's Kid

To: The Assembled and august Sea Lords of The Blogosphere, The Brooklyn Admiralty, The Antipodean Colonies, to our land forces of our Lord Loughborough, and to all and sundry not greeted within above;

Huzzah sirs and madams, huzzah!

News reached this outlying station at 9 of clock some months previous via chance historical memory then confirmed by Mr. Stephenson's miraculous interweb, of the impending 200th anniversary of a famous victory in the Eastern Atlantic by the Royal Navy over the perverted forces of popery, dictatorship, and demagoguery!

Tis said that our opponent was old Boney himself. He may have styled himself as Johnny Spaniard sailing his preposterous Santissima Trinidad or the liberty capped Frog Vice-Admiral Villeneuve but it mattered not for to coin a phrase, his 'Trafalgar' came! When his vile flotilla of papists and garlic pressers minced out onto the blue of fair Cape Trafalgar after leading our loyal tars on a merry dance to Carrib and back, they were met with a thunderous broadside of contemptous farting and round shot.

For was it not like petit Pierre Frogslegs to use the time best spent preparing for battle in earnest debate and luncheons designed around the genitals of amphibians, while our honest swabs were urged on by Admiral the Lord Nelson to double load the guns and be content with be-weeviled sausages, pukka pies, and fluffy mackerel pudding?

And what of that fair faced great pudden of the North Norfolk coast, the Burnham Thorpe's vicar's son, the Right Honourable Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson, KB, Admiral of the White? He who learned to sail on Barton Broad, attended Paston Grammar School a mere two centuries before my Uncle Les, and nephew of Norfolk's own Maurice Suckling? He who so much booze of such high quality was named after?

A mad, vain, phillandering tory he may have been, but like the later colonial general Patton he showed verve and imagination had a place in battle and fully understood that the fighting man should be a cunning rabid jackal intent on the feast. And in his mortal wounding on the quarter deck of HMS Victory he secured a legacy as near-as-damnit unimpeachable in the eyes of the simple patriotic John Bull. I care not a jot that he was a cad and an arse; for when the need was dire and the time was right he struck and struck again in the name of the essential right of all Englishmen to muddle through life in a hobbitish mien of moderation and grumpiness free from doctrinaire interference.

And as his lordship himself would have imodestly observed, he beat the French and Spanish with one hand tied behind his back. Or rather one stump shoved in his waistcoat, for he only had one arm. And one eye. Verily, he was a ParaOlympian and he still thumped the continentals on the arse.

I fear my dispatch is long on thunder and short on detail. Lest I disappoint, might I humbly suggest this short potted biography of the good Admiral, this splendid reportage on the Battle of Trafalgar, or this outstanding series of of presentations on Mr. Marconi's wonderful invention via Her Britannic Majesty's Broadcasting Corporation?

God Save The Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk and all who sail in him!

I remain sirs and madams, your obedient servant,
Major-General the Earl of Cley and Catton, Second Runner Up of the Battle of Waterloo (Park), FCUK, Crosse D' Hypermarche et Peanut Clusters.

P.S. I pray that you all join me in spirit as soon as the sun is over the yardarm on Friday, splicing the main brace with a suitable rum (Pussers, Goslings, or Meyers) while proclaiming the dispatches swapped by HMS's Sirius and Victory "Enemy's ships are coming out of port: general chase south-east!"

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