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My favorite Winston Churchill story

February 8, 2009

According to family genealogical records, I am related to Winston Churchill. We are 13th cousins. Therefore I feel justified in talking about him constantly and quoting him extensively while implying that I know him personally, often referring to him as "Cousin Winston" in a manner intentionally designed to irritate all listeners.

This irritation has led naysayers to rudely point out that in the lineage leading from our common root—12th great grandparents William Churchill and Mary Creuse—the Winston banch is full of knights, lords, prime ministers, and other such muckety-mucks, while my branch is full of people whose sole claim to fame is that we managed to reproduce.

Oh well, at least what we do, we do well.

Besides, it's not our fault we aren't lords and prime ministers, dang it. Winston's 11th great grandfather inherited the manor while my 11th great grandfather was left to fend for himself. How is that fair?

Anyway, this is my favorite Winston Churchill story because I can easily imagine my grandfather—who had a similar look and similar personality—acting the same way and uttering the same exact words:

Cousin Winston won WWII and then lost the next election to a flaming socialist named Clement Atlee, who proceeded to commandeer large swathes of the economy for the government. The Brits were apparently tired of war and sacrifice so they chose to believe in the promises of the left. You can see the parallels with our own recent presidential election, although I personally blanche at the idea of Bush filling the Churchill role... hey, no analogy is perfect.

Anyway, one day Cousin Winston was standing at the urinal in the House of Commons when Atlee came in and stood at the urinal next to his. Cousin Winston looked at him, zipped up, moved a couple of urinals further away, and then resumed his business.

"Why Winston, I had no idea you were so modest," said Atlee.

"It's not modesty, Prime Minister. It's only that every time you find something that is large and functions well you try to nationalize it, and I thought it best not to take a chance."

From Reno, Nevada, USA

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