Dry as bone

There’s something about British humour that can best be summed up by one of the regular tweets on the Very British Problems feed, namely “let’s not get carried away.” The purpose is to deflate, whilst savouring the ridiculous. Here are a couple of gems:

“Friend plucks a flower and says to Alan, ‘This flower is to show my secret torment.’ Alan Bennett: ‘Right-o’

from Love, Nina by Nina Stibbe

Fraulein Mosebach followed her, but lingered to say heavily over the bannister to Margaret “It is all right – she does not love the young man – he has not been worthy of her.”

“Yes, I know, thanks very much.”

“I thought I did right to tell you.”

“Ever so many thanks.”

“What’s that?”, asked Tibby. No one told him and he proceeded into the dining room to eat Elvas plums.

Howards’ End (a much funnier book than I anticipated)

Alan Bennett’s adaptation of Wind in the Willows meant all the actors were sent to a body movement class to learn to walk like weasels and so on. On the second day, Alan Bennett noticed that Michael Bryant, who was playing Badger wasn’t there and rang him up. “Well you see, I made the most amazing discovery,” said Michael, “This Badger turns out to walk exactly like Michael Bryant.”

Another gem from Backlisted (the Martin Amis episode)

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