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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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closed as off topic by MετάEd, Hellion, FumbleFingers, Mr. Shiny and New 安宇, Mahnax Dec 19 '12 at 1:54

Questions on English Language & Usage Stack Exchange are expected to relate to English language and usage within the scope defined by the community. Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope. Read more about reopening questions here.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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
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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