Euphemistic

I’m reading with interest Barbara Tuchman’s The Guns of August, which relates the events of World War I’s opening month. The author has a penchant for making amusing side comments:

“The special motive of the Force under your control,” [Kitchener wrote to the commander of British forces], “is to support and cooperate with the French Army… and to assist the French in preventing or repelling the invasion by Germany of French or Belgian territory.” With a certain optimism, he added, “and eventually to restore the neutrality of Belgium”–a project comparable to restoring virginity.

“Virginity :: Belgian neutrality”–it’s got a certain ring to it. The possibilities (for tasteless jokes, at least) are endless. Have you heard of the True Love Waits program? Imagine pledging to maintain Belgian neutrality until marriage. Thank you, I’ll be here all week.
(Hey, I never promised these blog posts would be worth reading.)

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