Florence Nightingale, Lie-Down Comic | HumorOutcasts

Florence Nightingale, Lie-Down Comic

May 9, 2019
By

As she lay upon her sofa, gasping, Florence Nightingale devoured blue-books, dictated letters, and, in the intervals of her palpitations, cracked her febrile jokes.

Eminent Victorians, Lytton Strachey

florence

Thank you, thank you . . . thanks a lot!  Wow, you guys are on fire tonight!  Must be diphtheria or something going around.

*laughter*

Hey, great to be back in London.  I just flew in from Scutari, Albania . . . and boy are my arms tired!

*groaning*

You know Scutari’s not a bad place if you’re an Ottoman–but who wants to be a crummy footstool?

*mix of groans, laughs*

Hey–I tell the jokes other nurses won’t touch!

florence2

But seriously folks:  You know, the Crimean War is a real mess, and we ought to pull our troops out of there!

*applause*

But at the same time, let’s give it up for our fighting men in that God-forsaken hell hole.

*louder applause*

Never want to offend anybody . . . unintentionally.

*laughs*

People ask me–what was it like being the only woman tending to the entire British army.  And I say–it’s nice to have 200,000 men to choose from.

*laughs*

florence1

I mean, until the internet is invented, I’ll have to make do with the one or two guys without wedding rings I meet in fern bars.

*laughs*

Speaking of the internet, did you know that 160 years from now, everybody’s going to remember what a great nurse I was, but nobody . . . and I mean nobody . . . is going to remember that I’m the first recorded person in history ever to use the expression “LOL.”

*cheers*

Can you believe it?  I come up with the most useful abbreviation in, like, the history of the world, and all anybody remembers is I saved a couple of thousand crummy lives.

florence4

*laughs/applause*

You know, I just played a week in Vegas . . .

*raucous applause*

Yep.  The first 19th century female to perform there while lying down–outside of a bordello.

*titters*

Hey–what happens during the Victorian era stays in the Victorian era–you know what I’m sayin’?

You know, a lot of female comics make jokes about how dirty and disgusting men are, but listen, they’ve never seen filth like I saw in the hospital when I got there.  It wasn’t hard getting men out of the trenches to fight.  They had a better chance of living charging into a bayonet than they would in the infirmary!

florence3

*laughs*

Listen, you’ve been a great audience.  I’ll be here all week!  Be sure and tip your waitresses–and try the chevapchichi!

Con Chapman

I'm a Boston-area writer, author of The Year of the Gerbil, a history of the 1978 Red Sox-Yankees pennant race, and 50 books of humor including "Scooter & Skipper Blow Things Up!" by HumorOutcasts Press. My work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Christian Science Monitor and The Boston Globe among print outlets. "Rabbit's Blues," my biography of Johnny Hodges, Duke Ellington's long-time alto sax player, will be published by Oxford University Press in September.

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