Do you suppose any copies of that article still exist anywhere, or did Reader’s Digest find a way to bulldoze all the evidence into sulfuric acid and spray it over Death Valley?

It was shortly before World War II, written by a British satirist who mercilessly harpooned all those who were urging Britain to prepare for war. I remember one of the “clever” bits. England got all excited because Italy’s dictator, Mussolini, called Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain a “stiff.” The tension dissolved when translators discovered the word Mussolini used was “Il stiffo,” which, they explained, was a nice compliment in Italian. The aggressively complacent author concluded by begging the readers to shift their attention to the “real” vital concerns of the day – like dog shows, horse shows, flower shows, etc.

I many times wondered where that writer took cover from all those German bombs so few months later and whether or not he included that piece later in mailings to editors as examples of his geopolitical savvy.

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