[The battleground scene pulls back to show itself as a film presented by a general.]
General: Well, of course, warfare isn't all fun. Right — stop that! It's all very well to laugh at the military, but when one considers the meaning of life, it is a struggle between alternative viewpoints of life itself. And without the ability to defend one's own viewpoint against other perhaps more aggressive ideologies, then reasonableness and moderation could, quite simply, disappear! That is why we'll always need an army, and may God strike me down were it to be otherwise.
[A lightning bolt destroys the general. Cut to outside, where the Hand of God rises into the clouds. A sergeant major stands before his troops.]
Sergeant Major: DON'T STAND THERE GAWPING! LIKE YOU'VE NEVER SEEN THE HAND O' GOD BEFORE!
Sergeant Major: RIGHT! TODAY WE ARE GOING TO GO MARCHING UP AND DOWN THE SQUARE! That is, unless any of you has got anything better to do? WELL?! Anyone got anything they'd rather be doing than marching up and down the square?
[Atkinson tentatively raises a hand]:
Sergeant Major: Yes? Atkinson? :[strides over and stares him contemptuously in the face]: What would you rather be doing, Atkinson?
Atkinson: Well, frankly, sir, rather be at home with the wife and kids.
Sergeant Major: WOULD YOU, NOW?!
Atkinson: Yes, sir.
Sergeant Major: Right! Off you go. Now, everybody else happy with my little plan of marching up and down the square a bit?
Soldier: Sarge?
Sergeant Major: Yes?
Soldier: I've got a book I'd quite like to read.
Sergeant Major: Right, you go read your book then. Now, everybody else quite content to join in with my little scheme of marching up and down the square?
Whickley: Sarge?
Sergeant Major: What is it, Whickley?
Whickley: Well, I'm, er...learning the piano.
Sergeant Major: LEARNING THE PIANO?!
Whickley: Yes, Sarge.
Sergeant Major: And I suppose you'd like to go practice, eh? [starts talking much faster] Marching up and down the square not good enough for you, eh?
Whickley: Yes, Sarge.
Sergeant Major: Right! Off you go. What about the rest of you? Rather be off to the pictures, I suppose. [the soldier murmur agreement] ALL RIGHT! Off you go. [they disperse; Sergeant Major turns to camera] Bloody Army, don't know what it's coming to! Right! Sergeant Major marching up and down the square! Left, right, left...
Ainsworth: Ah, morning, Perkins.
Perkins: Thank you, sir.
Ainsworth: What's all the trouble, then?
Perkins: Bitten, sir, during the night.
Ainsworth: [examining the wound] Hmm. Whole leg gone, eh?
Perkins: Yes.
Ainsworth: How's it feel?
Perkins: Stings a bit.
Ainsworth: Hmm. Well, it would, wouldn't it. That's, er...quite a bite you've got there.
Perkins: Yes, real beauty, isn't it?
Ainsworth: Any idea how it happened?
Perkins: None whatsoever, complete mystery to me. Woke up just now, one sock too many!
Pakenham-Walsh: [staring through the massive hole in Perkins's mosquito netting] You must have a hell of a hole in your net...
Ainsworth: Well, we sent for the doctor.
Perkins: Oh, hardly worth it, is it?
Ainsworth: Oh, yes, better safe than sorry...
Pakenham-Walsh: [finally noticing the hole after having peered around it for several seconds] Yes, good Lord, look at this!
Ainsworth: By Jove! That's enormous!
Pakenham-Walsh: You don't think it'll come back, do you?
Ainsworth: For more, you mean. You're right, we'd better get this stitched.
[During the 1st Zulu War (1879) in Glasgow Natal]
Ainsworth: Hello, Doctor, during the night, Ol' Perkins here got his leg bitten sort of ... off.
Dr. Livingstone: Oh, really? Well, let's take a look at this one leg of yours. [prods with the tip of his pipe] Yes, yes, yes, yes. Yes, yes. Yes, well, this is nothing to worry about.
Perkins: Oh, good.
Dr. Livingstone: Eh, there's a lot of it about — probably a virus. Keep warm, plenty of rest, and if you're playing any football try and favor the other leg.
. . .
Perkins: So, it'll, uh... it'll just grow back again, will it?
Dr. Livingstone: Ah... I think I'd... better come clean with you about this. It's, um... it's... not a virus, I'm afraid. You see, a virus is what we doctors call "very, very small". So small, it could not possibly have made off with the whole leg. What we're looking here for is, I think — and this is no more than an educated guess, I'd like to make that clear — is some multicellular life form with stripes, huge, razor-sharp teeth about eleven feet long, and of the genus felis horribilis — what we doctors, in fact, call a tiger.
Ainsworth, Pakenham-Walsh, Perkins: [in unison] A tiger?
[Outside, the British troops and the Zulus cease fighting.]
British Troops, Zulus: A tiger?
[As the Zulus flee, the British troops collapse to the ground. Back in the medical tent...]
Pakenham-Walsh: A tiger, in Africa?
Ainsworth: Hmm?
Pakenham-Walsh: A tiger, in Africa?!
Ainsworth: Ah, well, it- it has... probably escaped from a zoo.
Pakenham-Walsh: Doesn't sound very likely to me.
Soldier: Here is better than home, eh, sir? I mean, at home if you kill someone they arrest you, here they'll give you a gun and show you what to do, sir. I mean, I killed fifteen of those buggers. Now, at home they'd hang me, here they'll give me a ****ing medal, sir.
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