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Veal cutlets are the key to both world peace and happy stomachs

Friday lunch at the club was a real corker, as it was Veal Cutlet Friday and not to be missed. Many of us arrive early for the repast to reserve a spot for said meal and not face disappointment from the hatchet-faced maître d'.

Friday lunch at the club was a real corker, as it was Veal Cutlet Friday and not to be missed. Many of us arrive early for the repast to reserve a spot for said meal and not face disappointment from the hatchet-faced maître d'.

"Doug at the door," as he is referred to, is not to be trifled with, as he can make life very uncomfortable indeed, although he gives me and my elderly friends a wide berth.

I am put in mind of the time Doug tried to group the senior mems by the kitchen doors to allow the newer, younger and perhaps wealthier members, the so-called "bright young things," the more prestigious tables. This, he foolishly thought, would give the memorial dining room a more uplifting and modern look.

A few weeks later he was inadvertently tripped up and sailed down the main stairs, landing in a ball against the Churchill clock. We visited the dear boy at the Royal Jubilee, where he squeaked out through the mouth hole of his body cast that he was reconsidering the seating arrangements, and we have been happy ever since.

My point is, would not the world be a better place if everyone could look forward to a Veal Cutlet Friday? Think of all those out-of-the-way places on this planet that yearn for gruel and fresh water. How much happier they would be if VCF was on the menu instead.

I sometimes imagine that if everyone had a club to go to, the United Nations would have to retire. If all people could sit around a roaring fire with martinis firmly in hand, talking about the coming meal, then the problems of the Middle East and the rest would simply go poof.

Often the simplest solutions are the correct ones, don't you think, or at least they could be? No, we like to make everything difficult and long-winded, never resolving the actual problem, but rather talking to hear the sound of our own voices.

I am not sure what a club that included members such as Stalin and Mao would look like, probably full of terribly frightened waiters, but also perhaps a studied calmness.

I envision a "home of homes" where the two tyrants could stop talking about Great Leaps Forward or Five-Year Plans that go horribly awry, instead studying the clock until the veal cutlets make their much-anticipated appearance and then full of human kindness, making their way into the memorial dining room.

Perhaps these are but flights of fancy. It is just that I see countries without clubs for deep reflection wanting in so many ways. Canada fairly sings with them underfoot from coast to coast. Whereas Iran has very few, I am sure, and it shows. They seem to spend an inordinate amount of their time waggling a finger at each other, not to mention putting on grim looks. Besides what would an Iranian club look like? No women mems, for sure.

They are taught from an early age to say "Death to America" and say it with meaning. Occasionally they include Canada, but it sounds almost funny, although perhaps that is just me.

Old Uncle Joe, as Roosevelt called Stalin, was an odd duck to say the least. His wives kept dying and his children were terrified of him. In fact, the Germans captured one of his two sons, Yakov, and offered to swap prisoners for him. Stalin simply laughed and left him to his fate, a German bullet. I happen to know our club would frown upon that.

A historian here at the club told me that Mao never washed, had an odour about him that would startle a farmer and sucked tea through his rotting green teeth to bathe them. He had several wives, which I think would have also precluded membership at our club, in which case he would have missed Veal Cutlet Friday.

majornigelsb@gmail.com @TheYYJMajor on Twitter