Florence Nightingale, Lie-Down Comic

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!

 

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