It was just before a critical offensive, and the troops were being issued their weapons. Lenski was last in line, and they handed out the last rifle to the man in front of him. Furious, Lenski shouted, “Hey, what about my gun?” “Listen, bud,” advised the munitions officer, “just keep your hands out in front of you as though you were holding one, and yell, ‘Bang! Bang!’”
“You gotta be joking,” blustered Lenski. “You must be trying to get me killed!” ‘Trust me,” said the officer, sending Lenski out into the field with a reassuring pat on the shoulder.
Pretty soon Lenski found himself in the thick of battle with a Russian infantryman advancing on him. Having little choice, he raised his hands, pointed at the soldier, and yelled, “Bang! Bang!” The Russian fell over, stone dead. This worked on about twenty Russians. Fired with confidence, Lenski returned to the munitions officer and asked about a bayonet.
“Oh, we’re all out,” said the officer apologetically, “but if you just point with your index finger and scream, ‘Stab! Stab!’ you’ll get excellent results.”
Out went Lenski into battle again, and soon he was surrounded by heaps of dead Russian soldiers. In fact, he thought he had wiped out the whole platoon and was just taking a breather when he saw a giant Russian coming toward him. Strutting forward, Lenski shouted, “Bang! Bang!”
The Russian kept on coming. “Stab! Stab!” cried Lenski. The Russian kept on coming, right over Lenski, crushing him to a pulp. The last thing the unfortunate infantryman heard was the Russian muttering, “Tank, tank, tank. . . .”