Me An' Tolstoy
The Collected Bulletins Of President Idi Amin by Alan Coren ( August 29, 1973)

WOT A GREAT boon de telegram are! Ever since Thomas AlvaTelegram inventin' it on account o' Buffalo Bill gittin' sick o' de arrows hittin' his hat, not to mention de dogs bitin' his bum every time he openin' de gate, de telegram remainin' de one infallible means o' gettin' stuff down on paper widout havin' to remember all dat rubbish like i before e except after c an' where you puttin' de capital letters, also no problems such as smudgin' wot you already written wid your sleeve, an' sim'lar. Nothin' buggerin' up a important international dipperlomatic communication like a big blot in de middle.

It always a source o' de constant joy to me where I seein' my famous telegrams in print, an' all de letters comin' out right an' all de same size. Dat one o' de main reasons I bangin' out so many: as de readers o' de famous Punch know, I somethin' of a author monkey, which are a French expression explainin' how if I wasn't Ammiral o' de Fleet, emperor o' Uganda, Chairman o' de Fust National Bank etcetera, I could have bin in de well-known uniform edition by now, wid de hand-tooled bindin' and de gole lettering could have bin another Ian Flem, writin' de tomes in de mornin' an' inventin' de penicillin in de afternoon. Take de mos' recent masterpiece, wot I writin' to E. Heath on de occasion o' dis Ugandan bint gittin' de ole heave-ho out o' Britain; I quote: "If your Government cannot allow her entry into Britain, then she is welcome back to Uganda where she will be free either to marry her previous fiance or choose a new partner and if she does not wish to marry at all, my Government will help your Government to take care of her until such time as you are ready to accept her into Britain."

Wow! It got everythin', on top o' de flash spellin' an' de smart punctwation (anyone swearin' it de work o' W. Shakespeare on de strength o' de commas alone); it got action, it got political intrigue, it got travel, it got romantic interest, it got de clash o' powerful pussonalities, it got me — an' all in sixty-five words. Damn sight more efficient than de notorious Tolstoy, if he'd have stuck to de telegram form, he coulda got five hunnerd books out o' War 'n' Peace alone, coulda bin a househole word like me, never even had time to git to be Ammiral o' anywhere, it ain't surprisin' he goin' potty at de end.

And I ain't even had time to draw attenshun to one o' de mos' remarkable points o' style, wot occurrin' mainly in Chapter One where I accusin' de infamous Heath o' racialism — "extreme racialism" is how I puttin' it, wid de invallable help o' de Big Boys Book O' Adjectives — when he kickin' dis Asian item out o' Britain. Wid typical economy o' style, partly brung on by de fact dat fiction costin' tuppence a word after de fust ten, I drawin' no attention to de original sitwation where de Paki heroine gittin' slung out o' Uganda on racial grounds. Also where she leggin' it quick, due to de fact dat we puttin' de arm on her parents in de gen'l round-up o' my Asian brudders an' sisters, wot nobody hearin' of since.

It a well-known lit'ry trick among us creative pussons. It known as irony, in de trade.

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