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Robb Wilton
 
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HOME GUARD
( The day war broke out... )
by
Robb Wilton

The day war broke out, my missus looked at me and she said, "What good are you?"
I said, "How d'y' mean, what good am I?"
"Well," she said, "you're too old for the army, you couldn't get into the navy and they wouldn't have you in the Air Force, so what good are you?"
I said, "I'll do something!"
She said, "What?"
I said, "How do I know...? I'll have to think."
She said, "I don't know how that's going to help you, you've never done it before, so what good are you?"
I said, "Don't keep saying 'what good am I." I said, "There'll be munitions!"
She said, "Now, 'ow can you go on muni..."
I said, "I never said anything about going on... I said, there'll be some!"
"Well," she said, all the young fella's will be getting called up." and she said, "And you'll have to go back to work!"
Ooh!!! she's got a cruel tongue.
"Anyway, I don't have to go back to work... I'm a lamplighter."
Oh, and then she said, "Our 'Arry..." she said, "Our 'Arry is sure to be getting called up." and she said, "when 'e's gone, there'll only be 'is army allowance," and she said, "what are you going to do then?"
I said, "I'll 'ave to try and manage on it."
She said, "You'll have to try and manage on it" she said, "what about me?"
I said, "There'll be my insurance..."
She said, "I can't get that 'til you're dead!"
I said, "Well, you'll have to wait!"
She said, "Suppose I die first?"
I said, "Well, then you won't want it!"
But you can't reason... she's no brains! Anyway, I got fed up and I put me 'at on and I went down to the local. Oh, the times that woman has driven me into the local.
Now when I got in there there was a fella there, oh 'e was as tight as a... I've never seen... and there was another fella with 'im, just as tight and one of 'em was sitting at a table trying to fill in a form an' 'e said to 'is pal, 'e said, "'Erbert," 'e said' "whats the name of this street, outside the pub, 'ere?, 'e said, "I've got to fill it in, this form... what's the name?"
The other fella, just as tight, said, "The name... the name of what?..."
'E said, "The name of this street! 'ere, outside the pub, 'ere, what's the name of it?"
'E said, "Oh, 'ow the 'ell do I know... I've never been outside the pub!"
No, the first day I got me 'ome guard uniform... I'm getting the trousers next year... but the first day I got... I went 'ome an' I slipped upstairs an' I put it on an' I came down into the kitchen an' the missus looked at me an' she said, "What are you supposed to be?"
I said, "Supposed t' be!..." I said, "I'm one of the home guards!"
She said, "One of the ho... what are the others like?"
And then the missus said, she said, "Well, what do you do in the home guards?"
I said, "I've got to stop Hitler's army landing!"
She said, "What... you?"
I said, "No... there's Harry Bates and Charlie Evans and..." I said, "there's seven or eight of us altogether." I said, "We're in a group... " I said, "We're on guard in a little hut be'ind 'The Dog and Pullet'"
She said, "Now what's the good of being on guard in a little hut behind 'The Dog and Pullet'?" she said, "I suppose that was your idea!"
I said, "Aye... and that Charlie Evans wants to claim it, as 'is!"
And then she looked at me an' she said, "Well, what're you doing with one stripe, you've only just got the uniform, how can you 'ave...?"
I said, "Wait a minute, an' I'll explain the whole posit..." I said, "as a matter of fact, " I said, "Charlie Evans, Harry Bates an' m'self have got one each."
She said, "Well, 'ow did you come by them? an' 'ow did they? they've only just...?"
I said, "Wait a minute an' I'll explain it..." I said. "Tom Briarley, the sergeant, got all browned off, fed up to the teeth, chucked it an' 'e gave us, one each. Oh Aye, we've all joined for the duration, that's unless it doesn't finish before then, we don't know, y' see."
But my missus, she gets on my... she asks such daft questions... she said, "'Ere," she said, only this morning, she said, "What are you supposed to be guarding?"
I said, "Oh, don't start all that, again... we're guarding the British Isles." I said, "we're guarding all the millions of men, women and children... millions of them... and you!"
She said, "Oh, then you're on our side!"
I said, "Well, of course I'm on our..."
"Well," she said, "I think we'd be a darned sight better off if you were on the other side!" she said, "Do yo... do you know this Hitler? 'ave you ever...?"
"Do I know..." I said, "Now, don't talk rubbish, Rita... do I know Hitler, 'ow would... I'm not even in the paint business or anything, 'ow would...?"
"Well," she said, "Ow are you going to know which is 'im, if they do land? I said, "I've got a tongue in me 'ead, 'aven't I?"
But it's no good trying to reason when she just doesn't concentrate, only the other morn... ooh!!! good gracious me, look at the... I should have been on duty two hours ago, they'll be looking everywhere for me... you'll have to forgive me, I really have to....
 
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