Retrench, lads

A South African friend told me the other day that she had been retrenched. This means that the buggers have made her redundant, binned her, killed her, arranged to see her down the pub in half an hour, matie. The word was devised, not by a corporal during a particularly torrid morning on the outskirts of Ypres/Ieper, but by the French, presumably with a cutting of some other nature in mind. Chiclitz in Gravity’s Rainbow has his eyes on it, but for rather more auspicious reasons than my friend:

“Retrenchment, got to get capitalized, enough to see me through,” splashing champagne into gold communion chalices, “till we see which way it’s going to go.”

The fur trade is, I am afraid, no longer an option for the jobless.

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