By David Stewart
General, I’m afraid the enemy will be here any minute. We’ve lost sir.
Well that is inconvenient. That’s a jolly nuisance I must say. What happened to our lot?
You mean the 19th battalion sir?
That’s the chaps. Weren’t they strategically located between where the enemy was and where we are now?
They’re dead sir.
I say, That’s dashed bad form, weren’t they wearing their cunning disguises?
They were dressed as trees as you ordered.
Well then they should have been damned near invisible.
They were dressed as trees… in a desert.
They should have huddled together to look like a copse.
In accordance with your orders they were dressed as Christmas trees. The enemy shot at the flashing lights.
I thought we could solve the twin dilemmas of camouflage and lack of morale at the same time. Didn’t they seem at all cheery as they died?
Oh. And what happened to my secret weapon?
You mean the books about hypnosis sir.
Powerful stuff. My wife’s aunt was cured of smoking thanks to that book.
It’s effectiveness was rather dependent on getting close enough to the enemy to perform the hypnosis.
Yes, now you come to mention it that is rather a shortfall.
That and the fact it only included instructions for the cure of nicotine addiction.
Well I thought the lads could improvise. After dissuading the enemy from the smoker’s life they could continue the hypnosis to include not killing us.
Sadly we’ll never know if they were capable of such tactical thinking, what with them all being dead.
Well this is a blow. And I had such a good victory speech prepared, some lovely passages and really juicy analogies. Oh here’s thought. Perhaps instead of surrendering we could team up?
I’m sorry sir I don’t follow.
Well obviously the enemy is a lot better than us at fighting and not dying while dressed as a festive tree but we hold the upper hand when it comes to writing cracking speeches. So instead of a surrender we offer to become their speech writers. They can do all the killing and I pen their stirring words of a victory.
What you’re suggesting is nothing short of treason and I’m duty bound to shoot you if you attempt it.
Colonel. Come here. Now I want you to look deep into my eyes, you can feel yourself becoming sleepy…