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It's All Lays!

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Cowley was in one of his obsessively grammatical moods.

"Bodie, when you say you found these men laying on the floor -- what were they laying?"

"Pardon?"

"Bricks or eggs, Bodie?"

"Er -- "

"Lying, Bodie, lying!"

"It's perfectly true, sir!" Bodie protested indignantly.

"They were lying on the floor. Hens lay eggs on the floor."

"Don't tread on them," Doyle whispered.

"Oh. Yes, I remember now. They kept on at us about it when I was at school. And bricklayers lay bricks on the floor."

Cowley sighed. "And the past tense of lie is lay."

"Eh?"

"No, lay," Doyle corrected him.

"So if I told you a lie you'd say I lay to you?" Bodie asked.

"You lie down to sleep. Last night you lay down to sleep." Cowley didn't sound optimistic.

Doyle started: "Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray - "

"The Lord will be keeping your soul in a minute, Doyle! And the past tense of lay as in eggs is laid. Get out, the pair of you!"

On the other side of the door Doyle said: "Fancy getting lied tonight?"

"Yeah, if we can work out how to get onto the bloody bed!"