Real life humour

Discussion in 'Veteran Accounts' started by Ron Goldstein, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    I'm not sure if such a thread already exists, but if not, I propose to start it off:

    In April 1943 I arrived in North Africa and was keen to use what I still remembered of my schoolboy French.

    Whilst walking the streets of Algiers with a couple of the lads one of them expressed an urgent desire to relieve himself :huh:

    As we were near a uniformed gendame I thought "Now's the chance to show off my command of the local language".

    After the obligatory "Bon Jour" I tried "M'excusez, ou e les messieurs?", hopefully relying on the fact that back home in England urinals were clearly marked "Mens"

    The prompt, and, in hindsight, obvious reply was "Quel Messieurs ?" :unsure:

    I then had to resort to a rather embarassing mime which included pointing to parts of my nether region.

    To my (and my suffering mate's) relief, the policeman pointed to a nearby structure and "Pissoir" was added to my vocabulary :D
  2. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin


    A nice little tale.

  3. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron


    Another one for you :)

    This one's about a concert party organised by our 84 Battery Entertainments Officer in Sicily, the campaign having just finished and while we were waiting orders to move up into Italy

    If my memory serves me rightly it was young Lt.Whitfield and he had this one brilliant idea.

    “What we are going to do” he proudly told us (us being his not over-enthusiastic band of pressed men) “is to finish the first half of the show with every one on stage singing “Come landlord fill the flowing bowl until it doth run over”.

    “The clever part” he confidently continued “is that whilst this is all going on, we will have some other chaps coming down the aisles dishing out mugs of vino which I will organise”.

    Came the night, the show went like a dream and we duly sang ‘Come landlord fill the flowing bowl’ as though we meant it.

    Bang on cue, the mugs of vino were brought down the aisles to rapturous applause.

    One slight hitch… the vino was in such quantities that we never got to start the second half of the show but dear Lt.Whitfield has gone down into folk lore, mine anyway!
  4. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    Another great story Ron.:lol:
  5. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Hi Ron,
    Your officer was obviously a good one.
  6. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Sounds like you enjoyed a real good knees up!

    Sounds like you father had his head screwed on correctly! Drinks all round when he returned.


  7. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    I think so too.

  8. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Absolutely wicked stuff!

    My father once related a story about Greece after being transfered there as a 1945 New Years present! (1.1.45)

    He said that he and several members of his unit had a weekend leave and decided on a day out.
    They ended up in the middle of nowhere and all were gagging for a drink and something to eat.
    Then as if a miracle had happened upon them, a small taverna was sighted, the only building for miles around.

    No one in the group could speak Greek, but my father was good with picking up languages and had learned a little Italian during the campaign.
    With Dad speaking what little he knew they ordered something to eat and drink.

    Along came the oozo and being typical soldiers and not having consumed alcohol for a while (I found that hard to believe) they set about the oozo and instead of drinking a thimble full followed by a glass of water, they drank a full glass followed by little or no water!

    The food was eaten and all wanted to know what it was, as it tasted completely different to anything that they had experienced before.
    My father asked the lady and she returned a few seconds later with a bucket full of Squid (Callamari).
    On seeing what they had eagerly devoured, most of them promptly brought it all back up!
    My father and his friends were so effected by the oozo consumed that every time they drank water it made them drunk again.
    All were in a drunken haze for the whole weekend. How they made it back to camp is anyones guess.


    dbf likes this.
  9. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Here's one I posted on the BBC WW2 Archives:

    Many years ago, I was Production Controller for an offshoot of a large public company and was based on the 3rd floor of a large building.The MD, who was on the top floor, knew that I spoke a few languages and one day asked me up to his office to do some German translation for him.

    Our conversation went something like this.

    'Ron, do me a favour, I've got this chap on the phone calling from Zurich. He's placed a large order for some girls tunics and he now wants to modify it. Instead of a Tunic top he wants crossover straps. I want you to tell him its not possible to alter the order at this late stage'

    My reply went:

    'Sorry Harold, my German is strictly of the Military kind. If you want me to ask him to come out with his hands up or he'll get a burst up his backside, then I'm your man, but if its to do with girls tunics then I'm sorry but I'll have to pass!
    Chris C likes this.
  10. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin


    That sounds like a Monty Python sketch. I've just had a great laugh here at my computer.

  11. Elven6

    Elven6 Discharged

    Great stories all around, I know I probably have one or two to share as well, just need to think harder! :P
  12. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Ron & Tom,
    Priceless. Having a great laugh here too.

    The pitfalls of being under pressure and not reading verbal and non-verbal signals properly. Brought to mind by one of Tom [Canning]’s stories …

    En route from ‘somewhere to somewhere’, their convoy of lorries was attacked from the air. This time by 2 US planes. The routine was familiar by now, jump out, run like the blazes and find cover. The area had only recently been the scene of fighting between the British and Germans. Evidence of abandoned German trenches could be seen at the edge of a field. A burly Welsh Guardsman astonished all behind him with his speed; he was well in the lead. Suddenly he stopped and teetered at the edge of a trench, arms waving out by his sides, desperately clawing at the air. The stragglers caught up and piled into his back, shoving him in. “No!!” was all he had time to say.

    Once under cover, an overpowering stench hit their nostrils. Those on top quickly jumped back out, but alas for the Welshman at the bottom, the realisation came much too late. It was not a trench, but a latrine!

    Apparently Taffy got the back of a lorry all to himself for the onward journey. :D
  13. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Fantastic stories lads! Keep them coming. Its brightening my day up no end.
  14. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Sergeant addressing a platoon of new recruits - " anyone involved in the grocery trade ?"

    Three hands shot up - Sergeant - " Right you three - cookhouse - spud bashing " !
  15. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

  16. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    I'm sure we've all had these moments in life when things have happened to us that are so funny that one has to pinch oneself to believe that the event is really happening.

    I've told this story before (and I'm going to tell it again!) because it's completely true and I still get a kick out of it some sixty odd years after the event.

    The year was 1946 and the place was Trieste.

    Every Sunday evening, a small coterie from my Squadron used to make our way from the barracks at Opicina and descend upon the streets of Trieste.

    We used to see a film, have a bite to eat and then, being of a certain age group, we would settle down to some serious bar crawling.

    We would start at some very prestigious bar, usually with live music being played and the drinks priced accordingly. After a few drinks someone would suggest that we moved on and we would find another bar where the decor was not quite as nice but the drinks were certainly cheaper.

    By the time we were approaching the deadine of the "last truck home" we were drinking at "Mama's".

    Now "Mama's" was rock bottom of it's class. A dingy, soul-less place and the only furniture, apart from a few battered chairs were two huge vats of vino taking up the whole of one side of the bar. The drinks however were so cheap that however broke we were we could still afford them and the bonus was we could even sell part of our clothing to the accomodating barman, usually an undergarment so that we could pass muster at the guard room on our return to Monfalcone.

    Came one particular Sunday and we were all strapped for cash.

    Some bright spark suggested that we start our bar-crawl at Mama's instead of at the end of the evening, the joke was that we didn't know the address and sober we couldn't find the damn place !

    Trust me..... it happened !

    Chris C likes this.
  17. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    From Capt Sir Basil Bartlett's Very Very Funny May 1940 Journal. 'My First War'

    Capt Bartlett describing his accomodation in Lille with a rather dry sense of humour:

    My office is an unfurnished flat. It was horribly bleak during the winter-inspite of intermittent central heating. The hot weather has improved things alot.

    We've done our best to make ourselves comfortable. We have a coffee pot and saucepans and a gas ring that works. And there's a bath. The big wash basin in the bathroom is out of order. Corporal Russell blew it up just before Christmas in a misguided effort to clear the pipe with a time-fuse and a couple of gallons of petrol.

    We are long past the Fortnum and Mason stage in housekeeping. I remember coming back once after a long night's patrol to find nothing in the office except tinned pheasant and a magnum of champagne.
  18. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    IG History, page 529:

    Many "pets" accompanied the battalions on their withdrawal. "It would be cruel," said Major Haslewood, as his C.Q.M.S. nursed a wounded porker, "to leave the poor thing to suffer in a lonely sty. Bring it along on a stretcher till we find it a home."

    One of the 2nd Battalion scout car drivers also took pity on the piglet, propped it up on the seat of his car with its head and trotters sticking out of the roof, and drove back.

    A military policeman - an ex-Coldstreamer - noticed this peculiar pair on the bridge and asked what the passenger was supposed to be.

    "A young Grenadier," answered the driver, with admirable presence of mind, and was immediately allowed to proceed.
    Chris C likes this.
  19. Niccar

    Niccar WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    In 1942 at 17 like many thousands of others I put my age up and volunteered for the army and asked to be allowed to go into a Machine gun regiment a request which was granted so I finished up in the Middlesex Regt, after a few weeks we were being taught all about the Vickers M G by a sergeant that had been evacuated from Dunkirk
    and we had to learn all the components of the gun and everybody’s job so we rotated until I was now the number 1 sitting behind the gun and as the Sergeant pointed to different parts of the gun we were told to call out loudly the name of that particular part so being so keen to impress the Sergeant pointed to a part and I shouted water jacket pointed again tangent back sight again the thumb piece and in a quiet voice he said oh call me Harry so being unaware that he was being sarcastic and wanted to be addressed properly by his rank I shouted thumb piece Harry well we were wearing forage caps then and he grabbed me by my hair through the hat lifted me up so he was glaring me in the face and screamed I’ll give you f ***ing Harry you’ll be taking the f***ing Colonel on the piss next well I don’t think I had ever felt such a fool before still the innocence of youth

    dbf likes this.
  20. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Ron's first post reminds me of an incident not WW2 I know but a long time ago.
    The ship was in Toulon when a French officer clearly agitated came on board shouting 'Mon plongeur est perdu'. Having not long left school I was thrust forward with a 'he speaks french'. My french was basic at best and all I could say was 'he's lost something'. Whilst we pondered what he could possibly have lost that worried him so much he became nearly hysterical with frustration. We eventually established that a plongeur is a diver so no wonder he was concerned.

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