The Butcher's Bill
'What was the butcher's bill?' he asked.
'Tolerably severe for so short an action,' said Stephen. 'We have no dead, but there are three abdominal wounds I do not like at all, and Mr. Bentley was cruelly bruised when he tripped over a bucket and fell down the main hatchway; while there were many kicked or bitten by the horses, an unreasonable number, for a naval engagement.
(Chapter 7, Letter of Marque, Patrick O’Brian, 1988)
The "Butcher's Bill" is a sardonic way to account for, and deflect the horrible reality of, the numbers of dead and injured in a battle. The phrase appears to have been in common use for so long that even Google doesn't know who started it. It is frequently seen in Patrick O'Brian's extended series of novels about life aboard the Royal Navy's ships in the Napoleonic era. It appears so commonly, in fact, that among O'Brian's rabid fan base, the accounting of all the casualties described in the 20-volume series has been summarized in a Wiki-like compilation called "The Butcher's Bill".
A majority of my model building involves military subjects, but I never expected them to actually go into battle. I obviously didn't train them for that. I especially didn't adequately anticipate them in conflict with an Axis of Evil composed of Humidity, Gravity, and Rigidity. They never had a chance...
|The old movie title was "Two mules for Sister Sarah." This version is "Two shelves on one Corsair"|
|"That's gonna leave a mark"|
|What had been "Spitfires over Europe" is now "Spitfires pancaked into Europe"|
|The force and suddenness of the impact actually wedged the plastic propeller from the pink Spitfire PR.IG into the undersurface of the oncoming shelf.|
|Survivors, awaiting surgery and repair|
|And here, fresh, from eBay is my new work-in-progress Airfix H.S. Trident. The lessons learned from the first kit should make this build easier, and turn out better. [That's what we tell ourselves. Every Time].|
Oh, and in case you were wondering: All that new bracing for the model side of the shelving unit is now firmly mounted. I'm just thinking that I probably could have done with a little less dramatic means of encouragement to complete the job...