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Dry British Wit, Or Sly Insinuation of Homosexuality? (Or Both?)

loosely à propos the art of self defense, and the irresistable humour of British novelists (although i tried to reproduce this exchange over dinner last night, to an unimpressed, perhaps confused silence); from W. Somerset Maugham’s Ashenden, or, The British Agent (1928):

“Have another glass of brandy?” said R.

“No, thank you, ” answered Ashenden, who was of an abstemious turn.

“One should do what one can to mitigate the rigours of war,” remarked R. as he took the bottle and poured out a glass for himself and another for Ashenden.

Ashenden, thinking it would be an affectation to protest, let the gesture pass, but felt bound to remonstrate with his chief on the unseemly manner in which he held the bottle.

“In my youth I was always taught that you should take a woman by the waist and a bottle by the neck,” he murmured.

“I am glad you told me. I shall continue to hold a bottle by the waist and give women a wide berth.”

BWAHAHAHAHAHA. no? come on.

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