By Spike Milligan
'At Victoria station the R.T.O. gave me a go back and forth warrant, a white feather and an image of Hitler marked 'This is your enemy'. I searched each compartment, yet he wasn't at the train'. Spike Milligan's at the march, blitzing buddy and foe alike along with his uproarious reminiscences of military lifestyles from enlistment to the touchdown at Algiers in 1943. Bathos, pathos and gales of drunken laughter, and insane army goonery explode in superlative Milliganese.
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Extra resources for Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall (War Memoirs, Volume 1)
The poster caused a buzz all over Paris. Josephine EFFERVESCED. Naturally, she was chosen to open the Charleston number, the new Negro American dance. In rehearsal, she stalked on stage on hands and feet, head down, bottom up, the music began. SHE STOOD. She popped her knees, slapped her bottom, twirled like a top, she skipped, SHE SIZZLED. The chorus of frenzied dancers joined her. Deep-trapped steam FLASHED and WHISTLED. Josephine was on fire. CALL THE FIRE DEPARTMENT. No! Don’t. Mais oui— knees squeeze, now fly arms scissor and splay.
And the audience LAUGHED. Josephine jutted out her hip, flirted and grinned, and STOLE THE SPOTLIGHT from Eva, the star. The audience howled. Eva, the chorus, the director— all raged at Josephine. ” She made the white audience laugh, MUGGING FACES, GRIMACING, and SIGHING through her exotic jig. Josephine soaked it up and kept the job. After Shuffle, Josephine danced and sang DOWNTOWN at the Plantation Club, but she couldn’t sit at a table and eat dinner with white folk. She couldn’t enter the front door.
She learned every dance. Every song, too. Just in case. “Brush, fasten, unfasten, button, unbutton. ” But one night a dancer didn’t show up. That’s all it took. Josephine STEPPED IN FRONT of the audience. “When saw those watching faces a giddiness swept over me . . let the music carry me away. ” At the END of the CHORUS LINE, she stumbled off balance on elastic legs— on purpose— looked up in surprise, dropped her elbows like limp washcloths, CROSSED HER EYES, flashed a smile. And the audience LAUGHED.