Top Ten Things Not to Do at the Battle of Waterloo

Waterloo

The Battle of Waterloo by Clément-Auguste Andrieux

This post continues the historical tableaux for the Top Ten Lists. As always I hope you enjoy it.

10 If you are at the Battle of Waterloo, do not volunteer to carry the French Eagle battle standard. If you do, at best your application will be lost. At worst, every British and Prussian soldier will be trying to take it from you. (So how does it feel, Flannery, having 15,000 swords all waving at you?)

9 If you are at the Battle of Waterloo, do not continue to try to meet Emperor Napoleon if Tiny the WWF champ tells you to go away. If you do at best, you may get thrown out. At worst, Tiny who just finished his last group session on self-esteem may think you don’t respect him. (Uh oh. Looks like Tiny is priming that musket, Floinn. Might be a good time to try out the Air Jordans.)

8 If you are at the Battle of Waterloo, do not order Napoleon Brandy as an after-dinner drink while dining with the British Commander the First Duke of Wellington. If you do, at best the restaurant won’t have any. At worst, the Duke’s team will think you a spy. (You just finished your last meal, Fonzie. I hope you enjoyed it.)

7 If you are at the Battle of Waterloo, do not offer to be a Henry Kissinger-like, peace negotiator. If you do, at best you will cause uproarious laughter. At worst one side will take you up on your offer. (But the other side has decided to use you as a target for practice. Might as well put that white flag down, Forrester. It’s not going to stop 15,000 lead balls heading your way.)

6 If you are at the Battle of Waterloo, as the brandy example, do not order beef Wellington at Napoleon’s staff dinner. If you do, at best they will all think they did not hear you right. At worst, someone will get the idea that it would be fun to have a dual. (Guess who has been chosen as the duelee, Fortune? Yup. Better find a second fast.)

5 If you are at the Battle of Waterloo, do not take Emperor Napoleon’s horse for a fast getaway. If you do, at best he has a spare. At worst, the horse has been trained to return to Napoleon with a whistle. (This is a fine kettle of fish you have gotten yourself into, Francois. You can add horse thief to the charges of treason, sedition, and spy. Don’t worry though you only have one life to give.)

4 If you are at the Battle of Waterloo, do not ask your British commander about tea time. If you do, at best he will think you are joking. At worst, he will assign you the job of going to the French lines to get a croissant to go with the tea. (I’m not surprised the French started shooting at you, Franky. Everyone knows croissants are for breakfast, not afternoon tea.)

3 If you are at the battle of Waterloo, do not try speaking French to the French to be better understood. If you do, at best you will be disappointed. At worst, your BonJour greeting will be met with a hail of bullets. (I guess it is your American accent that gets in the way, Franz. Try Spanish next time.)

2 If you are at the battle of Waterloo, do not turn your map upside down to get a different view. If you do, at best your general will get dizzy. At worst, the general will order the charge of the Scots Greys in the wrong direction. (Now you are charging alone in the right direction, Frazier. Good luck when you meet the French Chevau-légers of the line  (lancers) They look pretty mean too.)

1 If you are at the Battle of Waterloo, do not keep your souvenir stand open after the first cannon salvo. If you do, at best you will have few customers. At worst, you’ll have to take cover. (The cannonballs seem to be attracted to your stand, Freeowine. Maybe cheap trashy gifts have that effect on hot, heavy, metal balls flying through the air.)

77 comments

  1. Amazing, dear John! And, by the way, what about a cake mille foglia often called ‘Napoleon’s cake’. Could I have a pieace while watching the battle? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes you can. Watch out for stray musket balls though.

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  2. Such a dangerous time. The Abba song made it sound so happy and joyous. 😛

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    1. So true. Thanks, Charles.

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  3. I guess to be safe one could order Napolean brandy to go with the beef Wellington!! or not. What about Wellington boots? It was probably muddy there.

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    1. It was very muddy. There had been a lot of rain before the battle. Just wear them on the British side.

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      1. They simply wouldn´t go with my French haute couture outfit!!

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  4. So funny, John! Now I’ll have Waterloo in my head the rest of the day. I always loved Abba. Happy Monday!

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  5. I guess I’ll take that Beef Wellington to go. I’d try bribing Tiny, but he probably also just completed an “ethics in battle” course. Looks like I’m doomed.

    Great list, John.

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    1. Thanks Dan. Tiny can always be bribed. Rack of baby back ribs is all it takes.

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      1. Good to know.

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      2. Don’t hand them to him though. Just toss em.

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  6. Required reading for history classes!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. There was another Waterloo song, by a guy who went by Stonewall Jackson.

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    1. “Everybody has his day and everybody has to pay that’s when you meet your Waterloo.” I remember that song.

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      1. That’s the one! “Little General Napoleon of France, tried to conquer the world but lost his pants…”

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      2. That song came out in 1959. The year I graduated from high school. Here it is https://youtu.be/wnHmBvMJPXo

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  8. Well – now I have the ABBA song playing in my head. Thanks, John.

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    1. Any time, Terry.

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  9. It seems a lot of people thought of “that song.” It occurred to me that, if you were at the Battle of Waterloo, you shouldn’t introduce the troops to it. At best, you’d have to try and explain time travel. At worst, you’d have to try and explain ABBA (whom I dearly love).

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    1. I can see someone trying to explain ABBA to folks who have never heard of them. Thanks, Linda.

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  10. John, thanks for your tips on what not to do at the Battle of Waterloo but how about something a little more up to date, like the Battle of the Loo? We are still fighting over whether the toilet paper goes over or under and I fear the battle might be lost.

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    1. I’m an over man. So much easier to unroll.

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      1. Wait until Twiggy discovers how easy it is to unroll. 🙂 🙂 🙂

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      2. She is the champ. To her it doesn’t matter which way it unrolls. She takes her nose and pushes the roll off the hook (all our toilet rolls are on hooks). After that a roll lasts about twent seconds.

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  11. Yikes! Danger at every turn. Not a place for the careless or those with ADHD, for sure.

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    1. Keep a first aid kit handy. Thanks, Debbie.

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  12. Gwen Plano · ·

    As always, so funny. I’m a big ABBA fan, so I suspect I’ll be singing Waterloo throughout the day. Thank you for the morning smiles. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope the Waterloo earworm does not hurt too much. Thanks, Gwen

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  13. #4 – If no tea, I’m not fighting! Good one, John.m♥

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    1. Man cannot fight without tea.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. D.L Finn, Author · ·

    I agree one should always shut down their souvenir stand at sound of canon shot:)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha haha. Thanks, Denise.

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  15. Turning the map upside down could certainly cause a problem or two on the battlefield. 🙂 Good stuff, John!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Why couldn’t you have taught history when I was in school, John?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It would have been fun for sure. 😀

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  17. As funny as these lists are, I’m always impressed by your knowledge… and seriously, who would be so foolish as to have their souvenir stand so close to enemy lines! 😉

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    1. Good point, Dale. Also who would be foolish enough to be there in the first place stand or no.

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      1. There is that!

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  18. Today’s the day I’m wishing I knew who Waterloo was. I have homework now.

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    1. Not a who but a what. (Place)

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      1. Yes, I know, I was attempting funny. Smiles.

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  19. Tiny sure gets around … and if he says clean the boots, then clean the boots!

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    1. Excellent advice, Frank

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  20. Considering #1, John, how does one get souvenirs of a battle still in progress? Wouldn’t that be considered stealing to one side or the other? Would you be selling t-shirts saying “I was at the Battle of Waterloo” and survived with only this t-shirt? Great list, John. 😀 — Suzanne

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    1. You know. Little toy soldiers. Some from each side. Rubber muskets and horses. Small British and French flags. Cups that say “Waterloo or bust.” That kind of thing. 😀

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      1. I get it. I especially love the “Waterloo or bust” cups. They could be Toby mugs made in the likeness of the generals. 😀 — Suzanne

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      2. There you go. Thanks, Suzanne. 😀

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  21. Glad you sorted out the British afternoon tea and the croissant mix up, John. Although I suppose if there’s raspberry jam involved, I would not say no to a croissant at 4 O clock in the afternoon, especially if it’s a champagne afternoon tea.

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    1. Scone, clotted cream and maybe some Lemon curd and you got me.

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  22. John,

    I would definitely watch this battle on the History Channel! PPV if it came to that. And it’s too bad as per the Beef Wellington, since that has always been a favorite of mine.
    It got me thinking, what IF the British had won that little skirmish we had with them in our backyard forty years earlier, “Tea Time” wouldn’t mean “Tee Time”! And if Napoleon hadn’t been so greedy, his nightcap might never have happened. Ironic how the reckless ambition of leaders such as he can gain them power but how such a thing is tenuous as far as holding onto that power.

    Love your lists!

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    1. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts completely.

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      1. It’s the truth!

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      2. And actual. Everything is satisfactual.

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      3. Zippity do da Zippity a. My oh my what a wonderful day.

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    1. Thank you, Robbie. 😀

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  23. Hilarious, John! BTW, have you considered a Tiny’s Top Ten?

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    1. That is a good idea. I have several historical ones that I want to do but am collecting ideas now. Tiny is on the list. Thank you. 😀

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      1. I’m so glad you are still doing the historical ones. Glad you like the Tiny idea. 🙂

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      2. Thanks, Jennie.

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      3. You’re welcome, John.

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  24. So funny, John! How do you come up with these? Brilliant!

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    1. Um. I sit in the Lotus position under a warm shower and ask my muse for inspiration. (In other words, I have no idea.) Thank you, Lauren

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      1. Thanks for the chuckles, John! Now I have a visual, at least. Haha!

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      2. 😀 A pretty scary one too.

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  25. Tiny seems to pop up a lot in your lists. I hope he’s getting his royalties … for your sake.

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    1. Tiny is my rock. He keeps me centered. He is the one constant in the lists. He already warned me about fudging on the roayalities in the context of squeezing a melon. Thanks, Andrew.

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