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January 1, 0001

HumourList Package #18 - Military and Law Enforcement Humour

Well, who could look at the military systems of today and not find a little humour?

I want to dedicate this HumourList Package to a friend I haven’t seen in over four months, and who was once active in the Canadian military: Scott F., also a HumourList subscriber. Scott - give me a call, wouldja?

I also need to ask a favour of all you HumourList subscribers: It is my sister’s one-year anniversary today. What do you say we all send them some Email saying congrats? If anyone wants to help me out here, send a message to me ( with the subject line of “Anniversary Wishes” and I’ll make sure they get it as one package instead of a pile of separate messages. Thanks.

Oh yeah, back to this military thing. My buddy George in California says that the loony on the news last year that drove the tank down a public highway wasn’t too far from his place. George has all the fun… The Heaven’s Gate thing happened 3 miles north of him, too. Oh yeah… while I think of it George, I did some laundry.

Opening header is Copyright 1997 by Ian W. Douglas; all rights are reserved, and no portion should be copied in any way or modified in any way without permission of the author.

An elderly captain of a destroyer had a ritual each morning while at sea. His lieutenant commander noticed that his boss would go to the wall safe, take out a piece of paper, bow his head and murmur a few seemingly pious words. This went on every day for many months during the war. Finally, the commander retired and his lieutenant commander was promoted to fill his spot. The very first thing the lieutenant commander did was to open the safe and take out the wrinkled pieces of paper.

He read these words: “Port=Left. Starboard=Right.”


A farm boy was drafted. On his first furlough, his Father asked him what he thought of Army life.

“It’s pretty good Dad. The food’s not bad, the work’s easy but best part is how late they let you sleep in.”


Top 30 Ways to Simulate Being in the Navy when You’re at Home

  1. Lock all friends and family outside. Your only means of communication should be with letters that your neighbours have held for at least three weeks, discarding two of five.
  2. Surround yourself with 200 people that you don’t really know or like: people who smoke, snore like Mack trucks going uphill,and use foul language like a child uses sugar on cereal.
  3. Unplug all radios and TVs to completely cut yourself off from the outside world. Have a neighbour bring you a Time, Newsweek, or Proceedings from five years ago to keep you abreast of current events.
  4. Monitor all home appliances hourly, recording all vital information (i.e.: plugged in, lights come on when doors open, etc)
  5. Do not flush the toilet for five days to simulate the smell of 40 people using the same commode.
  6. Lock the bathroom twice a day for a four hour period.
  7. Wear only military uniforms. Even though nobody cares, clean and press one dress uniform and wear it for 20 minutes.
  8. Cut your hair weekly, making it shorter each time, until you look bald or look like you lost a fight with a demented sheep.
  9. Work in 19 hour cycles, sleeping only four hours at a time, to ensure that your body does not know or even care if it is day or night.
  10. Listen to your favourite CD 6 times a day for two weeks, then play music that causes acute nausea until you are glad to get back to your favourite CD.
  11. Cut a twin mattress in half and enclose three sides of your bed. Add a roof that prevents you from sitting up (about 10 inches is a good distance) then place it on a platform that is four feet off the floor. Place a small dead animal under the bed to simulate the smell of your bunkmate’s socks.
  12. Set your alarm to go off at 10 minute intervals for the first hour of sleep to simulate the various times the watchstanders and nightcrew bump around and wake you up. Place your bed on a rocking table to ensure you are tossed around the remaining three hours. Make use of a custom clock that randomly simulates fire alarms, police sirens, helicopter crash alarms, and a new wave rock band.
  13. Have week old fruit and vegetables delivered to your garage and wait two weeks before eating them.
  14. Prepare all meals blindfolded using all the spices you can grope for, or none at all. Remove the blindfold and eat everything in three minutes.
  15. Periodically, shut off all power at the main circuit breaker and run around shouting “fire, fire, fire” and then restore power.
  16. At least once a month, force the commode to overflow to simulate a ‘black water system’ boo boo.
  17. Buy a gas mask and smear it with rancid animal fat. Scrub the faceshield with steel wool until you can no longer see out of it. Wear this for two hours every fifth day especially when you are in the bathroom.
  18. Study the owner’s manual for all household appliances. Routinely take an appliance apart and put it back together.
  19. Remove all plants, pictures and decorations. Paint everything gray, white, or the shade of hospital smocks.
  20. Buy 50 cases of toilet paper and lock up all but two rolls. Ensure one of these two rolls is wet all the time.
  21. Smash your forehead or shins with a hammer every two days to simulate collision injuries sustained on board Navy ships.
  22. When making sandwiches, leave the bread out for six days, or until it is hard and stale.
  23. Every 10 weeks, simulate a visit to another port. Go directly to the city slums wearing your best clothes. Find the worst looking place, and ask for the most expensive beer that they carry. Drink as many as you can in four hours. Take a cab home taking the longest possible route. Tip the cabby after he charges you double because you dress funny and don’t speak right.
  24. Use fresh milk for only two days after each port visit.
  25. Keep the bedroom thermostat at 2 deg C and use only a thin blanket for warmth.
  26. Ensure that the water heater is connected to a device that provides water at a flow rate that varies from a fast drip to a weak trickle, with the temperature alternating rapidly from 2 to 95 deg C.
  27. Use only spoons which hold a minimum of 12 cup at a time.
  28. Repaint the interior of your home every month, whether it needs it or not.
  29. Stand outside at attention at dawn and have the poorest reader you know read the morning paper out loud. Be sure to have him skip over anything pertinent.
  30. Every four hours, check the fluid level in your car’s radiator. Check the tire pressure and replace air lost from excessive pressure checks. Be sure to place red tag on ignition stating “DANGER: DO NOT OPERATE” while you perform these checks. Inform your neighbor as to the results of these checks, have him tell you to repeat the checks because he did not see you perform them.


Here are some actual maintenance complaints submitted by US Air Force pilots and the replies from the maintenance crews. “Squawks” are problem listings that pilots generally leave for maintenance crews.

Problem: “Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.” Solution: “Almost replaced left inside main tire.”

Problem: “Test flight OK, except autoland very rough.” Solution: “Autoland not installed on this aircraft.”

Problem #1: “#2 Propeller seeping prop fluid.” Solution #1: “#2 Propeller seepage normal.” Problem #2: “#1, #3, and #4 propellers lack normal seepage.”

Problem: “The autopilot doesn’t.” Signed off: “IT DOES NOW.”

Problem: “Something loose in cockpit.” Solution: “Something tightened in cockpit.”

Problem: “Evidence of hydraulic leak on right main landing gear.” Solution: “Evidence removed.”

Problem: “DME volume unbelievably loud.” Solution: “Volume set to more believable level.”

Problem: “Dead bugs on windshield.” Solution: “Live bugs on order.”

Problem: “Autopilot in altitude hold mode produces a 200 fpm descent.” Solution: “Cannot reproduce problem on ground.”

Problem: “IFF inoperative.” Solution: “IFF inoperative in OFF mode.”

Problem: “Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.” Solution: “That’s what they’re there for.”

Problem: “Number three engine missing.” Solution: “Engine found on right wing after brief search.”


Returning from an all-services conference, a Navy Officer and an Air Force Officer found themselves seated next to each other on the long flight from LA to DC. After an hour or so into the flight, the Navy Officer leaned over to the Air Force Officer and asked him if he would like to play a fun game. Now, having worked a long string of 16 hour days, the Air Force Officer just wanted to take a nap and recover, so he politely declined and rolled over to face the window to catch up on some rack time.

The Navy Officer persisted and explained that the game was really easy and a lot of fun. He explained, “Look, it’s so easy that even an Air Force Officer can play. First, I ask you a question and if you don’t know the answer, you pay me $5. Next, you ask me a question and if I don’t know the answer, I’ll pay you $5.” Again the Air Force Officer politely declined and closed his eyes.

The Navy Officer, now somewhat agitated, said “OK, I can understand your reluctance to play a mind game, so I’ll tell you what. If you don’t know the answer to my question, you pay me $5 but if I don’t know the answer to yours, I’ll pay you $50!” This caught the Air Force Officer’s attention. Besides, it didn’t seem that the Navy Officer would stop bothering him if he didn’t play. So, with a simple nod he agreed to play the game.

The Navy Officer grinned and asked him the first question. “To the nearest foot, what’s the distance from the earth to the moon?” Without a word, the Air Force Officer reached into his wallet, pulled out a five dollar bill and handed it to him.

Now, it was his turn. The Air Force Officer thought for a couple of seconds and then asked the Navy Officer, “What manner of man or beast goes up a hill with three legs but comes down on four?” With that, he turned back towards the window and tried to get some sleep.

The Navy Officer looked back at him with a puzzled look and thought about the question. Coming up blank, he proceeded to take out his laptop computer and searched all of his available references. Still he found nothing. Determined not to let an Air Force Officer outwit him, he went online via the Airphone and his modem to search the Internet, the Library of Congress, and a dozen other sources. Still, he couldn’t find a plausible answer. Frustrated, he sent an Email to his fellow Navy Officers all across the globe to assist him in finding the answer. “One of them has to know the solution to this riddle. After all, we’re the Navy and we’re dealing with an Air Force Officer. Finally, after a couple of hours running into dead ends, the Navy Officer woke the Air Force Officer up and handed him $50. The Air Force Officer politely took the $50 and turned away to try to get back to sleep. The Navy Officer, more than a little miffed that he had been stumped by an Air Force Officer, shook the other Officer and asked, “Well, what was the answer!?”

Without a word, the Air Force Officer reached into his wallet, handed the Navy Officer $5, and turned away to get back to sleep.


Precinct commander Lt. Harry Uncapher, quoted in “The South Whidbey Record” of Whidbey Island, Washington, on why his police station has an unlisted phone number: “We ran into too many emergency-type calls here, which slows the process down.”


From News of the Weird, May 31, 1997:

In December, the Canadian Defense Department issued a 17- page set of guidelines for manufacturers who wish to compete for new contracts to supply underwear to the military. Among the most challenging requirements are that one pair must be able to be worn for six-month stints in the field and that the garment must be invisible to night-vision goggles so that a skivvy-clad soldier does not offer a target to snipers.

Copyright 1997 by Universal Press Syndicate.

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