Wellington stomped about the shower. His red coat had more braids than a girls tennis camp. “Jennings, take a letter for those bean counters at the War Department.”

“You got it, Artie.”

“Dammit, Jennings, call me Duke of Wellington. Or Field Marshall. Or Your Excellency of the Order of the Garter.”

Jennings scribbled in a notebook, its pages warped from the steamy haze that enveloped British Army headquarters. “Have the War Department order you more garters. Got it.”

Wellington boxed Jennings’ ears. “After you finish this letter, I’m transferring you to the Mule Waste Collection Brigade. Write exactly what I say. The Anglo-Allied army under my command is positioned along the entrance to the shower. The Prussian army is behind fortified breastworks next to the washbasin. The French are advancing on both positions simultaneously from a bivouac near the commode. We expect the Battle of the Toilet will be the decisive engagement of Napoleon’s invasion of the Netherlands.”

Lieutenant Colonel Carmichael-Smythe sucked on his pipe. His walrus mustache quivered. “Begging your pardon Field Marshall, but ‘toilet’ is such a common word. Might I suggest Battle of the Water Closet?”

“Oooh, aren’t we a posh Eton lad?” Captain Harris poked Carmichael-Smythe in his flabby midsection. “Toilet’s not good enough for you? How about Battle of the Loo?”

Carmichael-Smythe ashed his pipe on the captain’s head. “I don’t take orders from someone who’s not a member of the landed gentry.” He stood and swiveled his head. “Will one of you peasants check the British Army Field Manual? I do believe that counts as a sick burn.”

Wellington slapped everyone within reach. “You ninnies. We’ll compromise and call it the Battle of Waterloo. Happy now? Let’s move on to more pressing matters, like how I can get a column instead of that layabout Nelson.”

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