Friday, May 22, 2009

More about the dreaded lurgy

Yesterday I mentioned that I'd been struck down by 'the dreaded lurgi'. I had a few inquiring e-mails about that. It seems that in the US, the reference isn't widely known.

It comes from one of the Goon Shows, a 1950's and 1960's radio programme in Britain. It was one of the first of the zany, off-the-wall post-war British humor shows, and I grew up with it, loving every minute. Monty Python is, in one sense, a descendant of the Goon Show and its contemporaries.

One of the Goon Shows was entitled 'Lurgi Strikes Britain'. It tells the story of a mythical epidemic that strikes Britain, and a hapless doctor's mishaps in attempting to cure it. You can find details, including an MP3 recording, here. Click the 'MP3/Download' button on that page to bring up a link to an MP3 file of the show, which will play automatically (using Quicktime) in your browser, if you have that software.

The phrase 'the dreaded lurgi' became a catch-phrase in English-English for any unspecified illness. That's what I meant when I said that I'd 'caught the dreaded lurgi'. Go listen to the show, and enjoy!


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