Winston Churchill is at a party and a woman comes up to him and says: “Mr Churchill, how marvellous to meet you. I am a huge fan.”
And Churchill, a little the worse for wear, looks at her for a few seconds and then says “Fuck off you ugly cow”.
A couple of days later Churchill is having lunch with a friend.
Churchill: I say [friend’s name], I made a bit of a hash of myself at that party at the weekend. Some old trout waddled over to me and started mouthing something ghastly, and I told her to “Fuck off you ugly cow.” I confess I had been drinking.
Friend: I say Winston, that’s rather rum. What did she do?
C: Ran off sobbing.
F: Oh dear oh dear. That doesn’t present you in the best light.
C: No, quite. Future generations will not be falling over themselves to vote me the Greatest Briton if I get a name for going about making women cry by telling them to fuck off you ugly cow.
F: To say nothing of the Nobel jury.
C: Oh Christ, this is a disaster. We’ve got to sort this out. Hang on hang on, here’s a thought,… What about something like “Never in the field of human ugliness have I seen anyone as ugly as you, you ugly cow.” Has a certain rhetorical feel to it, more statesmanlike, wouldn’t you say?
F: True, it’s an improvement, but… still, I think it needs something else. You’d been drinking you say?
F: Maybe you could use that. How about “My dear, you appear to be extremely ugly, but, then again, I am completely pissed.”
C: I like it, makes me sound manly. The people like a man who likes a drink. That’s something I’ve always had going for me. So, so, wait, let’s see, something like “So ugly are you and so drunk am I that it would be better that I should vomit on your face and…something blah blah…” Going for the rude charm vote. Treat them mean, and all that.
F: I think we’re veering away again. But the drunk line is good. Maybe if we introduced a dialogue element. Something Socratic, appeal to the intellectuals, the sort that like to regurgitate witty put-downs at dinner parties.
C: Right, of course, good, so I say, yes this is it I say “God you’re ugly” and she says “Who are you calling ugly you pissed old bastard” and I say “You, you ugly cow. Now fuck off, I’m going to bed.”
F: Winston, you are a genius.
History is, of course, written by the winners. Or, in Churchill’s case, people who write huge volumes of history.