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On My Back I Would Like...

An Ulsterman, a Scotsman and a German were all mercenaries in South America, fighting for Freedonia against neighbouring Nirvana, when they were captured one night in the mountains by the Nirvanians.
Now, the Nirvanians were a nasty lot, and their favourite method of passing the time while waiting for the next shipment of arms from President Reagan was to absentmindedly whip a few prisoners to death with a couple of lengths of barbed wire.
Not surprisingly, Seamus, McTavish and Klaus spent a sleepless night and at dawn they were hauled into a clearing in the middle of the tents, where lengths of barbed wire lay glinting cruelly in the light of the rising sun.
The Nirvanian leader stamped up to McTavish. 'You first, Scotsman,' he said. 'And since I'm in a good mood this morning, on account of it being my birthday, you can have a last request before we whip you.'
Thank you very much,' said the Scotsman. 'If you go to my haversack, you will find there a bottle of the finest single malt. Perhaps you would be kind enough to pour it over my back before you start in with the barbed wire.'
So the Scotch was got and poured over the Scotsman's back, and two of the Nirvanian minions set to with the lengths of razor-sharp steel. But by noon there was hardly a dent in McTavish's back, and the two minions dropped dead with exhaustion. The rebel leader, convinced that it was an omen from the Gods, pardoned him, and McTavish was led away to a tent, moaning slightly at the thought of a whole bottle of Scotch down the drain.
'Well, my German friend,' said the rebel leader, 'now it's your turn. And while I'm not in quite such a good mood as I was this morning, I suppose you'd better have your last request as well.'
'Danke schon,' said Klaus, clicking his immaculately polished heels together. 'If you go to my haversack, there you will find a bottle of the finest Bavarian apfelschnapps. Perhaps you would be kind enough to douse my back with it before the whipping starts.'
So the schnapps was brought and poured, and the whipping started. Well, this time there were three teams of them, whipping in relays. They whipped all that day and all that night and all the next morning, and by noon the next day there wasn't even a hint of a suspicion of a scratch on the German's back. Furious, the rebel leader had him led away, and turned to Seamus.
'Well, my fine Ulsterman, he said, 'and what would you like on your back while we whip you for the next week?'
The German, please,' said Seamus.


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