Hacker: The point is, this situation is now a real hot potato. If I don’t do something it could become a banana skin.
Bernard: Excuse me, Prime Minister, a hot potato can’t become a banana skin. If you don’t do anything a hot potato will merely becomes a cold potato.
Bernard is my favourite troll.
This Yes Minister sketch is from the BBC’s “The Funny Side of Christmas,” December 27, 1982.
I wonder if I might crave your momentary indulgence in order to discharge a by no means disagreeable obligation which has, over the years, become more or less established practice within government circles as we approach the terminal period of the year — calendar, of course, not financial — in fact, not to put too fine a point on it, Week Fifty-One and submit to you, with all appropriate deference, for your consideration at a convenient juncture, a sincere and sanguine expectation — indeed confidence — indeed one might go so far as to say hope — that the aforementioned period may be, at the end of the day, when all relevant factors have been taken into consideration, susceptible to being deemed to be such as to merit a final verdict of having been by no means unsatisfactory in its overall outcome and, in the final analysis, to give grounds for being judged on mature reflection to have been conducive to generating a degree of gratification which will be seen in retrospect to have been significantly higher than the general average.
Happy Christmas to you, too, Sir Humphrey.