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“No, no…that’s terrific news, General. Really.”



“Spit it out, son.”

“Okay. Stand in front of this mirror and strike the pose you’re going to use for this grand monument to your bravery and heroism.”

“Done. Man alive, that kisser’s going to look fantastic in gold leaf, wouldn’t you agree?”

“I’m sure you’re right, sir. Now just bear with me and hold your head steady…”


“Do bear with me, sir. Okay. Now how do you look?”

“I look like a git with a duck decoy balanced on my head.”

“Precisely. Only it won’t be one of your hunting decoys, it’ll be a live pigeon. For the next 500 years it’ll be Winged Victory leading you onward, as you confidently ride a wild war-beast into battle…with a live bird on your head.”


“If I might suggest, sir, there is an abstract sculptor in Kensington who’s been getting some highly favorable notices for his public commissions…”