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From G.K. Chesterton's Wikipedia page, there is the following anecdote:

Chesterton was a large man, standing 6 feet 4 inches (1.93 m) and weighing around 21 stone (130 kg; 290 lb). His girth gave rise to a famous anecdote. During World War I a lady in London asked why he was not 'out at the Front'; he replied, 'If you go round to the side, you will see that I am.'

What does "If you go round to the side, you will see that I am [at the front]" mean? I'm not getting the humor...

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You have your answer (in case you didn't realise, when the lady says the Front she means *the fighting front[-line] of the war), so I hope you won't feel aggrieved that I'm voting to close the question as "Too Localised". It's unlikely any future users will need this particular pun to be explained. –  FumbleFingers Dec 18 '12 at 23:12
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closed as off topic by MετάEd, Hellion, FumbleFingers, Mr. Shiny and New 安宇, Mahnax Dec 19 '12 at 1:54

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1 Answer

up vote 4 down vote accepted

The lady was asking why he was not fighting in the war. He replied that he was indeed "out at the front" -- meaning (I presume) that he had a big belly, which she could see if she went "round to the side."

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Exactly. His belly "sticks out" at the front. Think of the old *Alfred Hitchcock Presents" intro. –  StoneyB Dec 18 '12 at 20:47
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