Back in 1992, as some may recall, the British luxury liner Queen Elizabeth 2 struck a rock in Buzzards Bay off the coast of Massachusetts. An aquaintence of mine knew some of the US Coast Guard crew that were on duty at Castle Hill, RI, that day. According to him this is what was said during the initial radio call. Keep in mind that the radio operator on the QE2 was speaking with a formal British upper crust style and the Coast Guard watchstander was probably some 18 year old kid fresh from a farm in Iowa:
QE2: United States Coast Guard, United States Coast Guard, this is the Queen Elizabeth 2. Over.
USCG: Queen Elizabeth 2 this is Coast Guard Station Castle Hill. Over.
QE2: United States Coast Guard this is the Queen Elizabeth II. We appear to have run aground. Over.
USCG: You're shitting me.
A World War II Royal Air Force pilot is reminiscing before school children about his days in the air force.
"In 1942," he says, "the situation was really tough. The Germans had a very strong air force. I remember, " he continues, "one day I was protecting the bombers and suddenly, out of the clouds, these fokkers appeared.
(At this point, several of the children giggle.)
"I looked up, and right above me was one of them. I aimed at him and shot him down. They were swarming. I immediately realized that there was another fokker behind me."
At this instant the girls in the auditorium start to giggle and boys start to laugh. The teacher stands up and says, "I think I should point out that 'Fokker' was the name of the German-Dutch aircraft company."
"That's true," says the pilot, "but these fokkers were flying Messerschmidts."
After the brief Falkland Islands war, a British regiment commander was addressing some troops under his command who had heroically performed above and beyond the call of duty. He informed them that Her Majesty's Army had committed to reward each of the three soldiers 100 pounds per inch of distance between two different parts of the man's body.
The commander addressed the first soldier, "Where would you like to be measured, Sergeant?" "From the tip of me head to the soles of me feet, Sir!" he replied. "Very good!," the commander said, and the sergeant was measured at 6'5." He was paid the handsome sum of 7000 pounds.
The second soldier was asked, "What about you, Corporal?" "Between the tips of the fingers of me outstretched arms, Sir!" the corporal said. "Very good!" replied the commander. The corporal, a man of considerable wingspan, was rewarded 8000 quid.
Finally, the last soldier was addressed. "And you, Private, where would you like measured?" "From the tip of me penis to the base of me balls, Sir!" retorted the private. The commander replied, "I must admit this is quite an unusual request, Private, but it's your decision." He ordered the private to drop his pants for the ensuing measurement. Immediately the general's mouth fell agape and he stammered, "Where in God's name are your gonads, Private?!" The private proclaimed, "Goose Green, Falkland Islands, Sir!!"
An English P.O.W. is in a German hospital with serious injuries. The doctor comes into his room and says, "The news iss bad. Ve are going to have to amputate your leg." The Brit replies "Right then. War is hell and all that malarkey. But could you ask your commandant if he wouldn't find it to much of a bother to drop it over my beloved homeland when he goes on his next bombing mission?" Off goes the doctor, and with the commandant's permission, they fulfill his request.
A few days later, the doctor returns into his room and says, "More bad news. Ve are going to have to amputate your other leg." The Brit replies "Right then. War is hell and all that malarkey. Could you ask your commandant if he wouldn't mind terribly if he could drop it over my beloved homeland when he goes on his next bombing mission?" Off goes the doctor, and again his request is fulfilled.
Another week passes, and the doctor returns to his room and says, "Achh! More bad news. Ve are going to have to amputate your arm." The Brit replies "Right then. War is hell and all that malarkey. Please do ask your commandant if he could find the time to drop it over my beloved homeland on his next bombing mission?" Sure enough, it is done.
More time passes, and the doctor once again returns and says, "Ze news, she does not get any better. Ve are going to have to amputate your other arm!" The Brit replies "Right then. War is hell and all that malarkey. It would warm my heart dearly if the commandant could drop it over my beloved homeland on his next bombing mission." The doctor goes off and returns with an agitated look on his face. "The commandant says NO, he vill not do ziss for you. He thinks you are trying to escape!"
The Captain called the Sergeant in. "Sarge, I just got a telegram that Private Jones' mother died yesterday. Better go tell him and send him in to see me."
So the Sergeant calls for his morning formation and lines up all the troops. "Listen up, men," says the Sergeant. "Johnson, report to the mess hall for KP. Smith, report to Personnel to sign some papers. The rest of you men report to the Motor Pool for maintenance. Oh by the way, Jones, your mother died, report to the commander."
Later that day the Captain called the Sergeant into his office. "Hey, Sarge, that was a pretty cold way to inform Jones his mother died. Couldn't you be a bit more tactful, next time?"
"Yes, sir," answered the Sarge.
A few months later, the Captain called the Sergeant in again with, "Sarge, I just got a telegram that Private McGrath's mother died. You'd better go tell him and send him in to see me. This time be more tactful."
So the Sergeant calls for his morning formation. "Ok, men, fall in and listen up. Everybody with a mother, take two steps forward. NOT SO FAST, McGRATH!"
Once upon a time there was a famous sea captain. This captain was very successful at what he did; for years he guided merchant ships all over the world. Never did stormy seas or pirates get the best of him. He was admired by his crew and fellow captains.
However, there was one thing different about this captain. Every morning he went through a strange ritual. He would lock himself in his captain's quarters and open a small safe. In the safe was an envelope with a piece of paper inside. He would stare at the paper for a minute, then lock it back up. After, he would go about his daily duties.
For years this went on, and his crew became very curious. Was it a treasure map? Was it a letter from a long lost love? Everyone speculated about the contents of the strange envelope.
One day the captain died at sea. After laying the captain's body to rest, the first mate led the entire crew into the captains quarters. He opened the safe, got the envolope, opened it and...
The first mate turned pale and showed the paper to the others. Four words were on the paper, two on two lines:
"Port Left, Starboard Right"
Below is a transcript of a US naval ship with Canadian authorities off the coast of Newfoundland.
Americans: "Please divert your course 15 degrees to the North to avoid a collision."
Canadians: "Recommend you divert YOUR course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision."
Americans: "This is the captain of a US Navy ship. I say again, divert YOUR course."
Canadians: "No, I say again, you divert YOUR course."
Americans: "THIS IS THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN, THE SECOND LARGEST SHIP IN THE UNITED STATES' ATLANTIC FLEET. WE ARE ACCOMPANIED BY THREE DESTROYERS, THREE CRUISERS AND NUMEROUS SUPPORT VESSELS. I DEMAND THAT YOU CHANGE YOUR COURSE 15 DEGREES NORTH. THAT'S ONE-FIVE DEGREES NORTH, OR COUNTER MEASURES WILL BE UNDERTAKEN TO ENSURE THE SAFETY OF THIS SHIP."
Canadians: "This is a lighthouse. It's your call."
"Legend has it that the United States Marine Corps was born on 10 November, 1775, at Tun Tavern, in Philidelphia, Pennsylvania. On that day, the Continental Congress passed a resolution authorizing two battalions of Continental Marines. The resolution was sponsored by John Adams. Since 1921, the Corps has celebrated its birthday as 10 November. Tun Tavern was a popular meeting place of 18th century Philadelphians. The tavern was frequented by sailors and other seafaring men, so it was a logical place to conduct the business of recruiting."
What follows was related to me by a Master Gunnery Sergeant:
When the Navy officers set up a table in the Tun Tavern and started interviewing prospects, they were a bit relieved to finally find a young man who fit their requirements. They had him sign the book, paid him his dollar, and bought a round of rum to toast the enlistment. They were so happy to finally get the whole process underway, they even had a second round. They then send him off to a table in the corner to wait.
After a few more interviews, they found a second recruit, who soon joined the first.
"This is great," the second recruit said. "They paid me right away, and even bought me a tot of rum!"
"Hunh," sneered the first. "In the Old Corps they bought us two."
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