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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

One up the Khyber

Surely I can't be the only one. If I hear on the news about Hamid Karzai, the President of Afghanistan, in my head I picture noted English actor Kenneth Williams. That’s because he starred as the Khazi of Khalibar, the head of the Pashtun (I assume) opponents of the British Raj in the greatest film of the Carry On series (in fact one of the greatest English films of all time) Carry On up the Khyber. It’s a natural mistake to make: The Khyber Pass (the geographical feature, not the restaurant in Woking) which is central to the story, is indeed on the border of modern-day Pakistan and Afghanistan, so the confusion – a result of my brain’s limited capacity – is understandable.

I won't direct the delicate to a dictionary of Cockney rhyming slang to point out what "Khyber Pass" means in the East End vernacular, and therefore the double entendre in "up the Khyber". That would be indelicate."

In the future, everyone will be famous to fifteen people.
[posted with ecto]

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