Troutbirder II

Troutbirder II
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Thursday, October 16, 2014

A Quick Riposte


 

Some years back, I briefly reviewed Volume II of William Manchesters astonishing The Last Lion trilogy. This is biography at its very best. The life of Winston Churchill has been covered perhaps hundreds of times. Manchester brings him alive as no one else has ever done. Of course, Churchills personality and foibles were unique. Here are a tiny sample of his quick wit in action.

Isadora Duncan the famous dancer was seated next to Churchill at a dinner party
 

Duncan - "Just think Winston if George Bernard Shaw and I had a child. With my talent and beauty and his brains....."
Churchill -" but what if it was the other way around?"

Lady Astor was the first woman elected to the Parliament replacing her husband upon his ascension to the House of Lords. . She was known as a fierce debater. There is a famous exchange between Winston Churchill and Lady Astor when they were both staying at Blenheim Castle. The two politicians had been at each other's throat all weekend when Lady Astor said, "Winston, if I were your wife I'd put poison in your coffee." Whereupon Winston said, "Nancy, if I were your husband I'd drink it."

Churchill was a guest at the White House in 1942 planning war strategy with Roosevelt. His bedroom was in the upper family quarters where, believe it or not, there were shared baths. Never known for his modesty, political or personal, he was late to bed and late to rise. At home, he often dictated to his secretaries while immersed in a bubble bath. Returning to his room, nude from a bath, he met Roosevelt in his wheelchair coming down the hallway. The president, embarrassed for Churchill, tried to apologize. Churchill, always quick on the uptake, replied "as you can see, the Prime Minister has nothing to hide from the President."



The scene is the mens bathroom outside the chamber of the House of Commons. Churchill enters the empty facility but is followed shortly thereafter by Mr. Atlee. Upon seeing Atlee, Churchill moves to the far end of the bank of urinals.
Atlee: "Feeling rather standoffish today are we Winston?" he asks amiably.

Churchill: "Well, considering you socialists want to nationalize it, every time you see something big" was the reply.

Unfortunately, they don’t make Conservatives like that man any more.....:)

19 comments:

  1. I can understand why that was an interesting book. Churchill obviously was an 'interesting' character --one that writers would probably love writing about... Thanks for sharing.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  2. LOL! Thanks for sharing this, Trout. :)

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  3. This sounds like something I should read.

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  4. I didn't realise he had such a sense of humour!

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  5. Some real classics, I enjoyed them well.

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  6. These are fabulous! I love them all, even some I had heard before, they hold up well. :-)

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  7. I'm searching out that book. Thanks.

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  8. He was a wit indeed. Here's another, after he left office:
    “The Americans will always do the right thing… after they’ve exhausted all the alternatives.”

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  9. I adore Churchill's wit. I think that man invented the quip and if he didn't invent it, he improved it. He is one man--living or dead-- I'd like to spend time with.

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  10. HaHa!! Loved this post. You make me laugh.

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  11. Didn't realize that Churchill had such a great sense of humor -- Barbara

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  12. Well he sure had a quick wit and good comebacks. I like the one to Lady Astor best. Too funny!!

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  13. Churchill was one of a kind. I would never dare compare Ronald Reagan to such a paragon of fortitude and courage, but in terms of personal wit the two are reminiscent of one another.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog recently. I think I'll very much be happy with my decision to go into teaching history.

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  14. A delicious taste of the iconic characters of history.

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  15. Winston Churchill is on my list of "If you could have a conversation with anyone.." He's definitely in the top 5. I'll have to look for this book, it sounds interesting, educational and clearly, amusing. :) - Oh, and I'm stopping by from Cranky's place to congratulate you on guessing the fake headline last week! :D

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  16. The "iId drink it" line is a classic - one of my all time favourites

    cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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