The HMS Cossack Association
Cossack Chats'


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This section contains stories, poems and anecdotes from Cossack Association members and associates. We hope you enjoy them, and look forward to adding yours too!


Why do we press harder on a remote control when we know the batteries are flat?

Why do banks charge a fee on "insufficient funds" when they know there is not enough?

Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?

Why doesn't glue stick to the bottle?

Why do they use sterilised needles for death by lethal injection?

Why doesn't Tarzan have a beard?

Why does Superman stop bullets with his chest, but ducks when you throw a revolver at him?

Why do Kamikaze pilots wear helmets?

Whose idea was it to put an "S" in the word "lisp"?

What is the speed of darkness? Are there specially reserved parking spaces for "normal" people at the Special Olympics?

If you send someone 'Styrofoam', how do you pack it?

If the temperature is zero outside today and it's going to be twice as cold tomorrow, how cold will it be?

If people evolved from apes, why are there still apes?

If it's true that we are here to help others, what are the others doing here?

Do married people live longer than single ones or does it only seem longer?

If someone with a split personality threatens to commit suicide, is it a hostage situation ?

Can you cry under water?

What level of importance must a person have, before they are considered assassinated instead of just murdered?

If money doesn't grow on trees then why do banks have branches?

Why does a round pizza come in a square box?

How is it that we put man on the moon before we figured out it would be a good idea to put wheels on bigger suitcases?

Why is it that people say they "slept like a baby" when babies wake up, like, every two hours?

If a deaf person has to go to court, is it still called a hearing?

Why do people pay to go up tall buildings and then put money in binoculars to look at things on the ground?

Why do doctors, when they ask you to strip, leave the room or close the cubicle curtain while you change? ..... They're still going to see you naked anyway.


All too rarely, airline attendants make an effort to make the in-flight safety lecture and their other announcements a bit more entertaining. Here are some real examples that have been heard or reported:

On landing, the flight attendant said, "Please be sure to take all of your belongings. If you're going to leave anything, please make sure it's something we'd like to have."


"There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 4 ways out of this airplane"


As the plane landed and was coming to a stop at Ronald Reagan, lone voice came over the loudspeaker: "Whoa, big fella. WHOA!"


After a particularly rough landing during thunderstorms in Memphis, a flight attendant on a Northwest flight announced, "Please take care when opening the overhead compartments because, after a landing like that, I'm sure as hell everything has shifted."


From a Southwest Airlines employee: "Welcome aboard Southwest Flight 245 to Tampa. To operate your seat belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seat belt; if you don't know how to operate one, you probably shouldn't be out in public unsupervised."


"In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child traveling with you, secure your mask before assisting with hers. If you are traveling with more than one small child, pick your favorite."


"Should the cabin lose pressure, oxygen masks are in the overhead area. Please place the bag over your own mouth and nose before assisting children ... or other adults acting like children."


"As you exit the plane, make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses."


And from the pilot during his welcome message: "Delta Airlines is pleased to have some of the best flight attendants in the industry. Unfortunately, none of them are on this flight!"


Heard on Southwest Airlines just after a very hard landing in Salt Lake City: The flight attendant came on the intercom and said, "That was quite a bump, and I know what y'all are thinking. I'm here to tell you it wasn't the airline's fault, it wasn't the pilot's fault, it wasn't the flight attendant's fault. It was the asphalt."


An airline pilot wrote that on this particular flight he had hammered his ship into the runway really hard. The airline had a policy which required the first officer to stand at the door while the passengers exited, smile, and give them a "Thanks for flying our airline." He said that, in light of his bad landing, he had a hard time looking the passengers in the eye, thinking that someone would have a smart comment. Finally everyone had gotten off except for a little old lady walking with a cane. She said, "Sir, do you mind if I ask you a question?" "Why, no, Ma'am!" said the pilot, relaxing. "What is it?" The little old lady said, "Did we land, or were we shot down?"


After a real crusher of a landing in Phoenix, the flight attendant came on with, "Ladies and gentlemen, please remain in your seats until Capt. Crash and the Crew have brought the aircraft to a screeching halt against the gate. And, once the tire smoke has cleared and the warning bells are silenced, we'll open the door and you can pick your way through the wreckage to the terminal."


Part of a flight attendant's arrival announcement: "We'd like to thank you folks for flying with us today. And, the next time you get the insane urge to go blasting through the skies in a pressurized metal tube, we hope you'll think of US Airways."


A plane was taking off from Kennedy Airport. After it reached a comfortable cruising altitude, the captain made an announcement over the intercom, "Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. Welcome to Flight Number 293, nonstop from New York to Los Angeles. The weather ahead is good and we should have a smooth and uneventful can sit back and relax... OH, MY GOD!" Silence followed, and after a few minutes, the captain came back on the intercom and said, "Ladies and gentlemen, I am so sorry if I scared you earlier. While I was talking to you, the flight attendant brought me a cup of coffee and spilled the hot coffee in my lap. You should see the front of my pants!" A passenger in coach yelled back, "That's nothing... you should see the back of mine!!"

From John Batty


This was written by an eight year old for a competition. Lovely, but conscience-stirring !

'A grandmother is a lady who has no children of her own, so she likes other people's little boys and girls.

A grandfather is a man grandmother. He goes for walks with the boys and they talk about fishing and tractors.

Grandmothers don't have anything to do but be there. They are old so they shouldn't play hard or run. They never say "hurry up". Usually they are fat, but not too fat to do children's shoes. They wear glasses and funny underwear, and they can take their teeth and gums off.

They don't have to be smart, only answer questions like why dogs hate cats and why God isn't married. They don't talk baby-talk like visitors. When they read to us they don't skip bits, or mind if it is the same story over and over again.

Everyone should have one, especially if you don't have television, because Grandmothers are the only grown-ups who have time.'

European Ideals

Heaven is where the police are British, the lovers are French, the mechanics are German, the cooks are Italian and it's all organised by the Swiss.

Hell is where the police are German, the mechanics are French, the cooks are British, the lovers are Swiss and it's all organised by the Italians.


God created the mule, and told him, "You will work constantly from dusk to dawn, carrying heavy loads on your back. You will eat grass and you will lack intelligence. You will live for 50 years." The mule answered, " To live like this for 50 years is too much. Please, give me no more than 20." And it was so.

Then God created the dog, and told him, " You will hold vigilance over the dwellings of Man, to whom you will be his greatest companion. You will eat his table scraps and live for 15 years." And the dog responded, "Lord, to live 15 years as a dog is too much. Please, no more than 10 years." And it was so.

God then created the monkey, and told him, "You shall swing from tree to tree, acting like an idiot. You will be funny, and you shall live for 20 years." And the monkey responded, "Lord, to live 20 years as the clown of the world is too much. Please, Lord, give me no more than 10 years." And it was so.

Finally, God created Man and told him, "You are Man, the only rational being that walks the earth. You will use your intelligence to have mastery over the creatures of the world. You will dominate the earth and live for 20 years." And the man responded, "Lord, to be Man for only 20 years is too little. Please, Lord, give me the 30 years the mule refused, the 15 years the dog refused, and the 10 years the monkey rejected." And it was so.

And so God made Man to live 20 years as a man, then to marry and live 30 years as a mule, working and carrying heavy loads on his back, then to have children and live 15 years as a dog, guarding his house and eating the leftovers after they empty the pantry: then, in his old age, to live 10 years as a monkey, acting like a clown to amuse his grandchildren.


By the time the sailor pulled into a little town, every hotel room was taken. "You've got to have a room somewhere," he pleaded, "or just a bed, I don't care where."

"Well, I do have a double room with one occupant- an Air Force guy," admitted the manager, "and he might be glad to split the cost. But to tell you the truth, he snores so loudly that people in adjoining rooms have complained in the past. I'm not sure it'd be worth it to you."

"No problem," the tired Navy man assured him "I'll take it."

The next morning the sailor came down to breakfast bright eyed and bushy tailed. "How'd you sleep?" asked the manager.

"Never better."

The manager was impressed. "No problems with the other guy snoring?"

"Nope, I shut him up in no time," said the Navy guy.

"How'd you manage that?" asked the manager.

"He was already in bed snoring away when I came in the room," the sailor explained. "I went over, gave him a kiss on the cheek, and said 'Goodnight beautiful,' and he sat up all night watching me."

An old one adapted by CTDA

Missing the Royal Navy ?

Here's how to recapture the atmosphere of the good old days & simulate living onboard ship once more

1 Build a shelf in the top of your wardrobe and sleep on it inside a small sleeping bag

2 Remove the wardrobe door and replace it with a curtain that's too small

3 Wash your underwear every night in a bucket, then hang it over the water pipes to dry

4 Four hours after you go to bed, have your wife whip open the curtain, shire a torch in your eyes and say, "Sorry Mate"

5 Renovate your bathroom. Build a wall across the centre of your bath and move the shower head to chest level. Store beer barrels in the shower enclosure

6 When you shower, remember to turn the water off while you soap

7 Every time there is a thunderstorm, sit in a wobbly rocking chair and rock as hard as you can until you are sick !!

8 Put oil instead of water into a humidifier and then set it to high

9 Don't watch TV, except for movies in the middle of the night. For added realism, have your family vote for which movie they want to see, then select a different one

10 Leave a lawnmower running in your living room 24 hours a day to re-create the proper noise levels. (Mandatory for engineers)

11 Have a paper-boy cut your hair

12 Once a week blow compressed air up through your chimney. Ensure that the wind carries the soot over onto your neighbours house. When he complains, laugh at him

13 Buy a rubbish compactor, and use it once per week. Store up your rubbish in the other side of the bath

14 Wake up every night at midnight and make a sandwich out of any thing you can find, preferably using stale bread. Optional - cold soup or ravioli out of a can

15 Devise menus for your family a week in advance without looking in the larder or fridge

16 Set your alarm clock to go off at random times through out the night, when it goes off, leap out of bed, get dressed as fast as you can and then run into the garden and break out the garden hose

17 Once a month, take every major household appliance completely apart then re-assemble

18 Use four spoons of coffee per cup, and allow to sit for three hours before drinking

19 Invite about 85 people who you don't like to come and stay for a month

20 Install a small fluorescent light under your coffee table, then lie underneath it to read books

21 Raise the threshold and lower the top sills of all the doors in your house. Now you will always either hit your head or skin your shins when passing through them

22 When baking cakes, prop up one side of the tin whilst it is in the oven. When it has cooled spread icing really thickly on one side to level it out again.

23 Every so often, throw your cat in the bath and shout, "man overboard". Then run into the kitchen and sweep all the dishes and pans onto the floor whilst yelling at your wife for not having secured for sea

24 Put on the headphones of your stereo, do not plug them in. Go and stand in front of the dishwasher. Say to nobody in particular, "dishwasher manned and ready Sir". Stand there for three or four hours. Say once, again to nobody in particular, "dishwasher secured". Remove the headphones, roll up the cord and put them away

25 Nickname your favourite shoes "steamies", then get your children to hide them around the house on a random basis

Thanks to Danny Siggers, RNCA.


This poem came from the book of the last commission of D57 which was given to me by Bob Ducker (ex-HMS LAGOS). It now rests with our other memorabilia. I haven't been able to identify the author, so if anyone can, I'd be grateful.


Farewell to thee, old Cossack,

We've had a pleasant run,

We've seen a lot of places

But now the journey's done-

And as at last we leave you

A tear from eye will swell-

In remembrance of your graces

And the job you did so well.

So remember your brave outline

In that far South China Sea,

Where the dolphins will be playing '

'Midst the crest tops bright and free!

And think not on your sorrows

As you rest with weary sigh

By Hamoaze ooze and mudbank.

'Neath the breakers jaundiced eye.

We'll bear your spirit onward,

Your name we'll not forget-

Though diverse ways we're parting

'Old ships' will be well met.

May soon your name be forged again

With Ensign, Flag and Jack,

And may once more by foreign shore

You ride again, COSSACK!

In spite of the wishes expressed here for another Cossack their Lordships were not interested. Now even the name is no longer used by the RN with the closing of HMS CAMBRIDGE - in fact all that keeps it alive are two Sea Cadet Units.



Spotted in a restroom of an office tower: TOILET OUT OF ORDER. PLEASE USE FLOOR BELOW







Thanks to CTDA


An Amish woman was driving her buggy to town when a highway patrol officer stopped her.

"I'm not going to cite you," said the officer. "I just wanted to warn you that the reflector on the back of your buggy is broken and It could be dangerous."

"I thank thee", replied the Amish lady. "I shall have my husband repair it as soon as I return home."

"Also," said the officer, "I noticed one of your reins to your horse is wrapped around his testicles. Some people might consider this cruelty to animals so you should have your husband check that too."

"Again I thank thee. I shall have my husband check both when I get home."

True to her word when the Amish lady got home she told her husband about the broken reflector, and he said he would put a new one on immediately.

"Also," said the Amish woman, "The policeman said there was something wrong with the emergency brake."

Thanks to CTDA


"In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child traveling with you, secure your mask before assisting with hers. If you are traveling with more than one small child, pick your favorite."

An airline pilot wrote that on this particular flight he had hammered his ship into the runway really hard. The airline had a policy which required the first officer to stand at the door while the passengers exited, smile, and give them a "Thanks for flying our airline." He said that, in light of his bad landing, he had a hard time looking the passengers in the eye, thinking that someone would have a smart comment. Finally everyone had gotten off except for a little old lady walking with a cane. She said, "Sir, do you mind if I ask you a question?" "Why, no, Ma'am!" said the pilot, relaxing. "What is it?" The little old lady said, "Did we land, or were we shot down?"

From John Batty


'It is necessary for technical reasons that these warheads be stored upside down; that is, with the top at the bottom and the bottom at the top. In order that there may be no doubt as to which is the bottom and which is the top, it will be seen to that the bottom of each warhead immediately be labelled with the word top'.


SOCIALISM - You have two cows ; you give one to your neighbour.

COMMUNISM - You have two cows; the government takes both and promises you the milk.

FASCISM - You have two cows; the government takes both and sells you the milk.

NAZISM - You have two cows; the government takes both and shoots you.

CAPITALISM - You have two cows; you sell one and buy a bull.


'The Head of the school is, of course, the shepherd of the flock. The Deputy Head is the little crook on his staff'.


* Black holes are where God divided by zero.
* The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
* OK, so what's the speed of dark?
* How do you tell when you run out of invisible ink?
* Support bacteria -- they're the only culture some people have.
* Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.
* Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy.
* Everyone has a photographic memory. Some don't have film.
* Shin: a device for finding furniture in the dark.
* I intend to live forever -- so far, so good.
* If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?
* When I'm not in my right mind, my left mind gets pretty crowded.
* I used to have an open mind, but my brains kept falling out.
* I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder.
* Why do psychics have to ask you for your name?
* If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
* A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.
* For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism.
* Monday is an awful way to spend one-seventh of your life.
* The sooner you fall behind, the more time you'll have to catch up.
* A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
* If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you've never tried before.
* If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple of payments.
* Borrow money from pessimists -- they don't expect it back.
* A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel so good.

Thanks to CTDA


A standard sailor's punishment for various misdemeanours was 'Stoppage of Rum'. This period of deprivation depended on the severity of his crime, and it was felt to be worse than stoppage of leave by many. It is probably hard to understand just what the daily tot of rum meant to those entitled to it. Whenever the weather was foul and he was soaked through, and often frozen, the thought of his one eighth of a pint of 95.5% Proof rum with his name on it kept the sailor going. Physically, an ordeal for most branches was Storing Ship, with anything from food to ammunition, and 'Tot Time' was a looked for livener that tended to ease aches and pains. In the days of Canteen Messing where all hands took their turn in preparing food for their mess's meals, a tot before eating the unskilled productions by some of the makee-learn cooks, helped the digestion!

Nothing had the bargaining power of a tot. It was sparingly given for all sorts of favours, from a helping hand to a swopped Duty Watch - worth at least a full tot! Another use was for the loan of items, and I remember one time when small brass cannons were being manufactured by an enterprising Engine Room rating for a week's tot, at half a tot a day! For the Chief and Petty Officers, who got their tot 'neat' (not mixed with water), practically all (illegally), had a bottle of rum in their locker. This was handy to give a kick start to a run ashore, or a welcomer for visitors. The Officers were well aware of this, but sensibly, turned a Nelson's Blind Eye to it, unless someone was stupid enough to overdo it.

For many years the powers-that-be had been trying to deprive the sailor of his rum, and in 1970 at last they succeeeded. The Final Stoppage. This poem sums it all up perfectly.

Note - 'pound o'leaf' refers to leaf tobacco that ceased to be issued previously, due in it's case to a dwindling demand.


You soothed my nerves and warmed my limbs
And cheered my dismal heart
Procured my wants, obliged my whims-

And now it's time to part.
'Mid endless perils of the deep
And miseries untold,
You summoned sweet forgetful sleep
Cocooned me from the cold.

Ten years ago, the 'pound o'leaf'
That cast its fragrant smell
About the ship, expired in grief
And sadness of farewell.
Though guests might find the pantry bare
When e'er they choose to come,
Your hospitality was there,
A tot of Pussers rum.

Two hundred years and more you filled
The storm tossed sailors need.
Now you've been killed, by spite distilled
From jealousy and greed.
And petty clerks with scrawny necks
Who never saw a wave,
Nor felt the spray nor heaving decks
Consign you to your grave.

Alas! However I protest
To save myself from hurt,
They tell me that it's for the best -
To keep us all alert.
And so the time has come, old friend
To take the final sup
Our tears are shed. This is the end.
Goodbye, and bottoms up!

from Peter Marchant


Every single evening

As I'm lying here in bed

This tiny little prayer

Keeps running through my head.

God bless my mom and dad,

And other family.

Keep them warm and safe from harm

For they're so close to me.

And God, there's one more thing

I wish that you could do.

Hope you don't mind me asking;

Bless my computer too.

Now I know that it's not normal

To bless a motherboard,

But listen just a second

While I explain to you 'My Lord.'

You see, that little metal box

Holds more than odds & ends

Inside those small compartments

Rest so many of my FRIENDS.

I know so much about them

The kindness that they give

And this little scrap of metal

Takes me in to where they live.

By faith is how I know them

Much the same as you.

We share in what life brings us

And from that our friendship grew.

Please, take an extra minute

From your duties up above

To bless those in my address book

That's filled with so much love!

Wherever else this prayer may reach

To each and every friend,

Bless each email inbox

And the person who hits 'Send.'

When you update your heavenly list

On your own CD-ROM

Remember each who've said this prayer

Sent up to


from John Batty (Australia)


When white man found this land, Indians were running it.

No Taxes... No Debt... Plenty Buffalo... Plenty beaver!

Women did most of the work. Medicine Man free! Indian men hunted and fished all the time!

White man dumb enough to think he could improve system like that !!


"COMPETITIVE SALARY:" We remain competitive by paying less than our competitors.

"JOIN OUR FAST-PACED COMPANY:" We have no time to train you.

"CASUAL WORK ATMOSPHERE:" We don't pay enough to expect that you'll dress up; well, a couple of the real daring guys wear earrings.

"MUST BE DEADLINE ORIENTED:" You'll be six months behind schedule on your first day.

"SOME OVERTIME REQUIRED:" Some time each night and some time each weekend.

"DUTIES WILL VARY:" Anyone in the office can boss you around.

"MUST HAVE AN EYE FOR DETAIL:" We have no quality control.

"CAREER-MINDED:" Female Applicants must be childless (and remain that way).

"APPLY IN PERSON:" If you're old, fat or ugly you'll be told the position has been filled.

"NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE:" We've filled the job; our call for resumes is just a legal formality. Sound familiar?????

"SEEKING CANDIDATES WITH A WIDE VARIETY OF EXPERIENCE:" You'll need it to replace three people who just left.

"PROBLEM-SOLVING SKILLS A MUST:" You're walking into a company in perpetual chaos.

"REQUIRES TEAM LEADERSHIP SKILLS:" You'll have the responsibilities of a manager, without the pay or respect.

"GOOD COMMUNICATION SKILLS:" Management communicates, you listen, figure it out


Buying gifts for men is not nearly as complicated as it is for women. Follow these rules and you should have no problems.

Rule 1: When in doubt - buy him a cordless drill. It does not matter if he already has one. I have a friend who owns 17 and he has yet to complain. As a man, you can never have too many cordless drills. No one knows why.

Rule 2: If you cannot afford a cordless drill, buy him anything with the word ratchet or socket in it. Men love saying those two words. "Hey George, can I borrow your ratchet?" "OK. Bye-the-way, are you through with my 3/8-inch socket yet?" Again, no one knows why.

Rule 3: If you are really, really broke, buy him anything for his car. A 99-cent ice scraper, a small bottle of deicer or something to hang from his rear view mirror. Men love gifts for their cars. No one knows why.

Rule 4: Do not buy men socks. Do not buy men ties. And never buy men bathrobes. I was told that if God had wanted men to wear bathrobes, he wouldn't have invented Jockey shorts.

Rule 5: You can buy men new remote controls to replace the ones they have worn out. If you have a lot of money buy your man a big-screen TV with the little picture in the corner. Watch him go wild as he flips, and flips, and flips.

Rule 6: Do not buy a man any of those fancy liqueurs. If you do, it will sit in a cupboard for 23 years. Real men drink whiskey or beer.

Rule 7: Do not buy any man industrial-sized canisters of after shave or deodorant. I'm told they do not stink - they are earthy.

Rule 8: Buy men label makers. Almost as good as cordless drills. Within a couple of weeks there will be labels absolutely everywhere. "Socks. Shorts. Cups. Saucers. Door. Lock. Sink." You get the idea. No one knows why.

Rule 9: Never buy a man anything that says "some assembly required" on the box. It will ruin his Special Day and he will always have parts left over.

Rule 10: Good places to shop for men include Northwest Iron Works, Parr Lumber, Home Depot, John Deere, Valley RV Center, and Les Schwab Tire. (NAPA Auto Parts and Sear's Clearance Centers are also excellent men's stores. It doesn't matter if he doesn't know what it is. "From NAPA Auto, eh? Must be something I need. Hey! Isn't this a starter for a '68 Ford Fairlane? Wow! Thanks.")

Rule 11: Men enjoy danger. That's why they never cook - but they will barbecue. Get him a monster barbecue with a 100-pound propane tank. Tell him the gas line leaks. "Oh the thrill! The challenge! Who wants a hamburger?"

Rule 12: Tickets to a Red Wing/Lions/Pistons/Tigers game are a smart gift. However, he will not appreciate tickets to "A Retrospective of 19th Century Quilts." Everyone knows why.

Rule 13: Men love chainsaws. Never, ever, buy a man you love a chainsaw. If you don't know why - please refer to Rule 8 and what happens when he gets a label maker.

Rule 14: It's hard to beat a really good wheelbarrow or an aluminum extension ladder. Never buy a real man a step ladder. It must be an extension ladder. No one knows why. Rule 15: Rope. Men love rope. It takes us back to our cowboy origins, or at least The Boy Scouts. Nothing says love like a hundred feet of 3/8" manilla rope. No one knows why.

Both the above extracts are from the Canadian Navy Tribal Association.


Unless one uses punctuation correctly messages arrive at their destination with, at times, a contradictory meaning. There are many examples, but the following, I think, provides a perfect illustration. Although Gloria wished to send the first message, her punctuation really let her down!

Dear John,

I want a man who knows what love is all about. You are generous, kind, thoughtful. People who are not like you admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me for other men. I yearn for you. I have no feelings whatsoever when we're apart. I can be forever happy. Will you let me be yours? Gloria

Dear John,

I want a man who knows what love is. All about you are generous, kind, thoughtful people, who are not like you. Admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me. For other men, I yearn. For you, I have no feelings whatsoever. When we're apart, I can be forever happy. Will you let me be? Yours, Gloria


Old Geezers are easy to spot -- this is slang for an old man. But, at sporting events, during the playing of the National Anthem, they hold their caps over their hearts and sing without embarrassment. They know the words and believe in them. You see Old Geezers remember World War I, the Depression, Blitzkrieg, Pearl Harbor, the Battle of the Atlantic, Normandy and Hitler. They remember the Atomic Age, the Korean War, The Cold War, the Jet Age and the Moon Landing -- not to forget Vietnam and the world's other trouble spots.

If you bump into a Geezer on the narrow sidewalk, he'll apologize.

Pass a Geezer on the street, he'll smile and nod, tip his hat or cap to a lady.

Geezers trust strangers and are courtly to ladies. They hold the door for the next person and always when walking, make sure the lady is on the inside for protection.

Geezers do get embarrassed if someone curses in front of ladies and children, and they don't like violence and filth of television and in the movies.

Geezers have moral courage. Geezers seldom brag unless it's about the grandchildren, a Little Leaguer or a musical recital.

This country needs Geezers with their decent values and common sense.

We need them now more than ever before. It's the Geezers who know our great country is protected, not by politicians or police, but more by the young men and women in the military serving their country in foreign lands, just as they did, without a thought except to do a good job, the best you can and to get home to loved ones.

Let's Thank God for the Old Geezers you know.

[Via Dave Shirlaw, Seawaves Magazine]

Following hard on it's heels came this one, referring to slightly younger Old Geezers, and inspired by the horrific 11th September disaster. In this case it is :


A couple of weeks ago I indicated that if I could, I'd enlist today and help my country track down those responsible for killing thousands of innocent people in New York City and Washington, DC. But I'm 50 now and the Armed Forces says I'm too old to track down terrorists. You can't be older than 35 to join the Army.

They've got the whole thing backwards. Instead of sending 18-year-olds off to the fight, they ought to take us old guys. You shouldn't be able to join until you're at least 35.

For starters:

-- Researchers say 18-year-olds think about sex every 10 seconds. Old guys only think about sex every 15 seconds, leaving us more than 28,000 additional seconds per day to concentrate on the enemy.

-- Young guys haven't lived long enough to be cranky and a cranky soldier is a dangerous soldier. If we can't kill the enemy we'll complain them into submission. "My back hurts!" "I'm hungry!" "Where's the remote control?"

-- An 18-year-old hasn't had a legal beer yet and you shouldn't go to war until you're at least old enough to legally drink. An average old guy, on the other hand, has consumed 126,000 gallons of beer by the time he's 35 and a jaunt through the desert heat with a backpack and M-60 would do wonders for the beer belly.

-- An 18-year-old doesn't like to get up before 10 AM. Old guys get up early just to show we can (and to steal the neighbor's newspaper).

-- If old guys were captured we couldn't spill the beans because we'd probably forget where we put them. In fact, name, rank and serial number would be a real brain teaser. If it wasn't for the age barrier, I'd pretty much get into the Army without a hitch. According to the Army Internet site, I'd need to pass an entrance exam (officially called an ASVAB), but the sample questions I saw weren't exactly headache material.

For example:

A magnet will attract: a) water b) a flower c) a cloth rag d) a nail. I took a wild stab and guessed, "nail," knowing they'd probably stick me in some desk job with Army Intelligence after Boot Camp.

If 12 workers are needed to run 4 machines, how many workers are needed to run 20 machines? a) 16 b) 18 c) 3 d) 60. Let's see...three workers per machine times 20 machines...errr...hmmm...uhhh...60.

Finally, they wanted to know if I had command of the English language, just in case I had to describe an enemy camp from memory. Small most nearly means: a) Sturdy b) Round c) Cheap d) Little. I knew this cheap, little sturdy guy once, but I wrote down little.

Now you know where the first questions come from for the "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" game show.

Boot camp would actually be easier for old guys. We're used to getting screamed and yelled at and we actually like soft food. We've also developed a deep appreciation for guns and rifles. We like them almost better than naps.

The Army could lighten up on the obstacle course, however. I've been to the desert and didn't see a single 20-foot wall with rope hanging over the side.

I can hear the Drill Sergeant now. "Get down and give!"

And the running part is kind of a waste of energy. I've never seen anyone outrun a bullet.

I'm reminded of the story of the young bull and the old bull standing on a hill looking down on the cows. "Let's run down there and make love to one of those cows!," says the young bull. "How about we WALK down there and make love to ALL those cows?," replies the old bull.

Patience is something most 18-year-olds simply do not have. For good reason, too. An 18-year-old has the whole world ahead of him. He's still learning to shave. To actually carry on a conversation. To wear pants without the top of the butt crack showing and the boxer shorts sticking out. To learn that a pierced tongue catches food particles. And that a 200-watt speaker in the back seat of a Honda Accord can rupture an eardrum. All great reasons to keep our sons at home to learn a little more about life before sending them off to a possible death. Let us old guys track down those dirty, rotten cowards who attacked our hearts three weeks ago today. The last thing they'd want to see right now is a couple of million old guys.

Following our Supply and Secretariat poem we now have a tribute to the 'Black Gang', the Engine Room Department, thanks to Neil Goodwill, ex-RCN.


How each of us from time to time has gazed upon the sea
And watched the Warships pulling out to keep the country free
And most of us read a book or heard a lousy tale
About the men who sail these ships through lightning, wind and hail

But there's a place within each ship, that legend fail to teach
It's down below the water line, it takes a living toll
A hot metal hell that SAILORS call the hole.
It houses engines run by steam that make the shafts go round

A place of fire, noise and heat that beat your spirits down
Where boilers make a hellish heat with blood of angry steam
Where moulded gods without remorse, are nightmares in a dream
Whose threat from fire roar is like living doubt
That any minute would with a scorn, escapes and crush you out
Where turbine scream like tortured souls, alone and lost in hell

The men who kept the fire lit and make the engines run
Are strangers to the world of night and rarely see the sun
They have no time for men or god, no tolerance for fear
Their aspect pays no living thing the tribute of a tear

For there's not much that men can do, that those men haven't done
Beneath the decks, deep in a hole to make the engines run
And every hour of every day they keep the watch in hell
For if the fires ever fail, their ship's a useless shell.

When warships converse to have a war upon the angry Sea
The men below just grimly smile at what their fate may be
Locked in below like men fore-doomed who hear no battle cry
It's well assumed that if they're hit the men below will die

For every day's a war down there when the gases all read red
Six hundred pounds of heated steam can kill you mighty dead.
So if you ever write their sons, or try to tell their tale
The very works will make you hear a fired furnace wail

The people as a general rule don't hear of men of steel
So little heard about this place the sailors call the hole
But I can sing about the place and try to make you see
The hardened file of men down there, cause one of them is ME.

I've seen these sweat soaked heroes fight in superheated air
To keep their ship alive and right though no one knows they're there
And thus they'll fight ages on 'til warships sail no more
Amid the boilers mighty heat and turbines hellish roar
So when you see a warship pull out to meet a warlike foe
Remember faintly if you can; "THE MEN WHO SAIL BELOW".

Taken from H.M.C.S. OTTAWA

The following two items I received some time ago from Canada and Australia.


From Crowsnest Magazine, October 1961

One of the most long lived of the Royal Navy's flag officer must have been Nova Scotia-born Admiral of the Fleet Sir Provo Wallis, GCB, who died in 1892, just short of his 101st birthday. As a lieutenant he had served in the Shannon at her celebrated capture of the USS Chesapeake in 1813 and, with his captain seriously wounded and the first lieutenant killed, had taken command and brought the Shannon and her prize into Halifax.

It is related that when in receipt of full pay as an Admiral of the Fleet aged 95, he was invited by the Admiralty to commute his pay. He replied he had no desire to do so. Their Lordships then informed him that should he elect to remain on full pay, he would continue to be liable for sea service. To this he replied that nothing would delight him more than to be sent to sea, but that he would remind Their Lordships that he was by some 20 years the most senior naval officer in the service and would, therefore, be bound to be in command of any fleet in which he might serve. And, moreover, that while he had served in nothing but sail, the entire Navy had since transferred to steam. He continued to enjoy his full pay up to the day of his death.

Times have changed. Years ago when 100 white men chased one black man, we called it the Ku Klux Klan -- Today, we call it the PGA Tour.


* What do you call a handcuffed man? Trustworthy.

* Why do only 10% of men make it to heaven? Because if they all went, it would be Hell.

* Why do men like smart women? Opposites attract.

* How are husbands like lawn mowers? They're hard to get started, they emit noxious odors and, half the time, they don't work.

* How do men exercise on the beach? By sucking in their stomachs every time they see a bikini. * How does a man show he's planning for the future? He buys two cases of beer instead of one.

* How many men does it take to screw in a light bulb? ONE ... He just holds it up there and waits for the world to revolve around him.

* What's a man's idea of honesty in a relationship? Telling you his real name.

* What's the best way to force a man to do sit ups? Put the remote control between his toes.

* What's the smartest thing a man can say? "My wife says..."

* Why did God create man before woman? Because you're always supposed to have a rough draft before creating your masterpiece.

* Why do female black widow spiders kill the males after mating? To stop the snoring before it starts.

* Why do men need instant replay on TV sports? Because after 30 seconds they forget what happened.

* Why does it take 100 million sperm to fertilize one egg? Because not one will stop and ask for directions.

THE "S 206"


His men would follow him anywhere, but only out of curiosity.

I would not breed from this Officer.

This Officer is really not so much of a has-been, but more of a definitely won't-be.

When she opens her mouth, it seems that this is only to change whichever foot was previously in there.

He has carried out each and every one of his duties to his entire satisfaction.

He would be out of his depth in a car park puddle.

Technically sound, but socially impossible.

This Officer reminds me very much of a gyroscope always spinning around at a frantic pace, but not really going anywhere.

This young lady has delusions of adequacy.

When he joined my ship, this Officer was something of a granny; since then he has aged considerably.

This Medical Officer has used my ship to carry his genitals from port to port, and my officers to carry him from bar to bar.

Since my last report he has reached rock bottom, and has started to dig.

She sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to achieve them.

He has the wisdom of youth, and the energy of old age.

This Officer should go far and the sooner he starts, the better.

In my opinion this pilot should not be authorised to fly below 250 feet.

The only ship I would recommend this man for is citizenship.

Works well when under constant supervision and cornered like a rat in a trap.

This man is depriving a village somewhere of an idiot.

Only occasionally wets himself under pressure.


A bigshot business man had to spend a couple of days in the hospital. He was a royal pain to the nurses because he bossed them around just like he did his employees. None of the hospital staff wanted to have anything to do with him.

The head nurse was the only one who could stand up to him. She walked into his room and announced, "I have to take your temperature." After complaining for several minutes, he finally settled down, crossed his arms and opened his mouth. "No, I'm sorry, the nurse stated, "but for this reading, I can't use an oral thermometer." This started another round of complaining, but eventually he rolled over and bared his behind.

After feeling the nurse insert the thermometer, he heard her announce, "I have to get something. Now you stay JUST LIKE THAT until I get back!" She leaves the door to his room open on her way out. He curses under his breath as he hears people walking past his door, laughing.

After almost an hour, the man's doctor comes into the room. "What's going on here?" asked the doctor. Angrily, the man answers, "What's the matter, Doc? Haven't you ever seen someone having their temperature taken before?"

After a pause, the doctor replies, "Yes, but never with a daffodil!"

When this site first opened I put on it a piece entitled 'What Is A Sailor'. Now I am putting on another version . This was broadcast by Dave Bussey, the Radio Lincolnshire presenter, who had received it from an ex-RN listener , and kindly provided me with a copy. Dave is an ex-matelot himself .


Between the security of childhood and the insecurity of second childhood, we find a fascinating group of humans, called Matelots. They come in assorted sizes, weights and states of sobriety. They can be found anywhere, at sea, ashore, in pubs, in love, and always in debt.

Girls love them, towns tolerate them and the Government supports them. A Matelot is laziness with a pack of cards, bravery with a tattooed chest, and a protector of the seas with a tabloid newspaper under his arm, most probably opened and folded to page three. They have the slyness of a fox, the energy of a turtle, the brains of a rocking horse, stories of a sea captain, the insecurity of a liar, the inspiration of Casanova, and when he wants something done he puts in a request form.

The Matelot has a variety of interests, they are, girls, dames, women, the opposite sex and females; if none of those are available he will settle for Rum, Whisky, Gin, Beer, Vino, Ambeet, Jungle Juice or anything else with an alcoholic content. His dislikes are, answering letters (especially those containing bills), wearing his uniform "pusser style" (as per regulations), ditching the "gash" (garbage), all officers, Chief Petty Officers, Petty Officers, Killicks (leading seamen), kit musters and any person with authority to tell him what to do. Those are quickly followed by a dislike of all RN food, getting out of his "pit", "mick", "nautical wigwam" or "fleabag" (these are all references to his hammock), getting his hair cut, giving sippers to the Rum Bo'sun (the member of his mess responsible for collecting and measuring out the rum), being given stoppages of leave and pay when returning AWOL to the RN ship on which he is serving, but God help any matelot from another warship who dares to criticise HIS ship when having a run ashore.

No man except....yes, you've got it... a matelot can cram into his jumper pocket...a little black book, tobacco tin, lighter, comb, a few "odd" station tickets, a picture of his current girl friend, a church key, one six pack of condoms ( one emergency pack if on all night leave), and what is left of his last fortnight's pay..if he drew any. He likes to spend his money on girls, cards, and crown and anchor (an old gambling game). The rest he spends foolishly. But you think the world of him, you can lock him out of your home but not out of your heart, you can cross him off your mailing list, but not your mind. You may as well give up. But when Queen and Country needs him he is the matelot with a heart of oak, the courage of a lion, the bravery of a bulldog, the endurance of a marathon runner, the nerves of a steeple jack and willing to give his life to save his shipmate. He is a long way from home, but he is YOUR "bleary eyed bundle of worries".

Dreams become insignificant when your matelot docks. He comes "up the line" and knocks on your door, gently swaying, with a load of "rabbits" in his case, (gifts he has bought abroard), and a bunch of flower stems in his hand...he looks at you with his bleary eyes and says..."Hello luv, I'm home...hic!".


Uckers is a traditional Naval game and is a very advanced form of Ludo. It has been played by the Royal Navy for very many years, particularly in the days when entertainment was of the self-help variety. Played in the messes by all, Uckers and Cribbage were the two favourite games. Many a tot (of rum) - or at least "Sippers" of it, rested on the result.

Uckers was elevated to a nail-biting spectator sport when there was a Championship match - inter-departmental or inter-ship. For the these big matches the dice were two large blocks of wood, made and painted by the Shipwright, and shaken in a bucket. A large painted canvas 'board' was provided, on which the appropriately large painted wooden counters sat in their places. The contestants were dressed up, frequently as pirates, and the game took place, subject to the weather, on deck where as many as possible could watch from every advantage point, both on deck and above it, and form rival cheering parties! Each success of knocking an opponent's piece off met with uproarious cheers by his supporters and comments from each side . A good time was had by all. The enjoyment of the game rests on the continual swings of fortune, as it is not a predictable result, even though with some contestants their tactics allied with luck sometimes gave them the edge.

With time many of us played it have forgotten the rules, although the memories of the enjoyment and rivalry remains. So that we can recall and hopefully teach others this great game I have managed to obtain the rules which came via Geoff Lilley from the Ipswich area where it is played regularly. I hope all of you who try it will agree that it is not only different but enjoyable.

Click here: Click here to download the document to read the rules off line.


Five Aussie surgeons are discussing who makes the best patients to operate on.

The first surgeon says "I like to see accountants on my operating table, because when you open them up, everything inside is numbered."

The second surgeon responds "Yeah, but you should try electricians! Everything inside them is color coded."

The third surgeon says, "No, I really think librarians are the best, everything inside them is in alphabetical order."

The fourth surgeon chimes in, "You know, I like construction workers... those guys always understand when you have a few parts left over at the end and when the job takes longer than you said it would."

But the fifth surgeon shut them all up when he observed, "You're all wrong. Politicians are the easiest to operate on. There's no guts, no heart, no spine and the head and butt are interchangeable".

Thanks once again to the Canadian CNTCDA News.


What do you do about the elephant in the bath ?

* The potential Manager would delegate the problem to the Fire Brigade.

* The top Salesman would sell the story to a newspaper as well as sell tickets to view.

* The Private Secretary would pull down the blinds, phone round until she found where the beast had come from and the hire a plain van to take it away.

* The Accountant would do the same - but make sure that someone else picked up the bill.


If you think you are beaten, you are.

If you think you dare not, you don't.

If you'd like to win, but think you can't,

It's almost certain you won't.

If you think you'll lose, you've lost.

For out of the world we find

Success begins with a fellow's will -

It's all in the state of mind.

If you think you're outclassed, you are.

You've got to think high to rise,

You've got to be sure of yourself before

You can ever win a prize.

Life's battles don't always go

To the stronger or faster man.

But sooner or later the man who wins

Is the one who THINKS he can.


"The lift is being fixed. During this time we regret that you will be unbearable." (Bucharest hotel lobby)

"You are invited to take advantage of the chambermaid." (Japanese hotel)

"Drop your trouseres here for the best results." (Bangkok dry-cleaners)

"Order your summer suit. Because in big rush we will execute customers in strict rotation." (Rhodes Tailor)

"English well talking." (Majorcan shop entrance)


by John Batty

Somewhere between Locust Avenue and 134th street, New York, or under Edison's Electrics Factory; lies a 28 gun British Frigate, in her holds are the manacled remains of 50 American soldiers captured during the American war of independence. A dozen British sailors and between 2 and 4 million American dollars worth of gold and silver went down with her. When, during the war of independence, it became evident that General Washington, with overwhelming numbers of troops and artillery was planning to march on New York City, the safety of valuable ships in the harbour became a matter of great concern to the British Admiralty. One of the most important vessels was the frigate, H.M.S. Hussar, carrying the pay for the regiments of British, German and loyal American troops which had been bottled up on the New York Spit by the advancing American "Rebels". Almost new, the 114ft long pay ship with a 40ft beam, was one of the fastest ships in the Royal Navy. She carried 28 guns, none of which had ever been fired in anger. Her total contribution to the war to date, had been to carry cash, gold and dispatches between Great Britain and America. Her superior speed negating the need for escorts.

On November 3rd, 1780, Hussars' Captain, Charles Pole, received orders to sail independently for safer waters and he shipped on board a black pilot to take them up the East River to Long Island Sound, and then North to join the main British Fleet which was waiting to ambush the American fleet, mistakenly believed to be making all speed to add their fire power to the destruction of New York. In fact the American Fleet was experiencing bad weather problems over 500 miles away. The pilot argued against Charles Pole's planned route, trying to explain the dangers of sailing around Manhatten and the Narrows. However, the Captain won the argument, (Nothing has changed) and the ship proceeded according to Captain Pole's directions until she came to the narrows flanked by Great and Little Mill Rock. A strong wind funnelling up river pulled the Hussar off course whilst she was negotiating the treacherous shoals-and she ripped open her planking on the jutting rocks of Pot Rock. With his ship rapidly sinking, Captain Pole ordered his crew to abandon ship. The manacled prisoners forgotten, most of the crew took to the boats losing a round dozen of their number in the process. The recovery of the Hussars cargo has been attempted many times but always unsuccessfully. Since she sank, moving bodies of sand, mud and land reclamation dumping has covered the area in which she is supposed to lie, and many buildings now cover what once was the treacherous river channel. In 1937, two aged Americans, Simon Lake and George Thomas sank their life savings in a do or die attempt at treasure hunting; using the most up to date apparatus available at that time, they spent seven months searching, before they were forced to abandon their efforts due to lack of funds.

The following, found in one of the last editions of the 'PELICAN' (the magazine of the Royal Air Force at Scampton) ,is the code book that all of us parents could have done with when our children were at school. We can now understand many of the comments that were on their reports - and ours!
Sadly RAF Scampton, the home of the wartime DAMBUSTERS and the peacetime RED ARROWS, has now closed, although the RED ARROWS still do their practices in the sky above it.


Satisfactory progress - I can't think of a single interesting thing about him
A born leader - Runs a protection racket
All his work is of a high standard - He has ambitious middle-class parents
Does not accept authority easily - Dad's doing time
Easy Going - Bone idle
Is easily upset - Spoilt rotten
Lively - Thoroughly disruptive
Works better at practical subjects - Is totally illiterate
Often appears tired - Stays up 'til all hours watching horror movies or is into glue sniffing
A sensitive child - Never stops whining
Good progress - If you think his work is bad now, you should have seen it a year ago
Good with his hands - Light fingered
Helpful - Creep
A rather solitary child - Smells or has nits
Reliable - Grasses on his mates
Independently-minded - Totally obstinate
Adventurous - Will break his neck before the year's out
Enjoys extra-curricular activities - Flogs cigarettes
Has difficulty in forming stable relationships - I can't stand him either
Determined - Completely lacking in scruples
Expresses himself confidently - Cheeky little beggar
Inclined to day-dream - In one ear and out the other
Enjoys all PE activities - Thug
A good sense of humour - Teases the other kids unmercifully
Has a lot of minor illnesses - Regular truant
Reads well aloud - Likes the sound of his own voice
Friendly - Never shuts up
A quiet child - Lacking any individuality whatsoever
Easily distracted - Hasn't produced a single piece of good work
Easily influenced - The form fall-guy
Works better in a small group - Daren't take my eyes off him for a second
Popular at play centre - Sells pornography
Imaginative - Lies and cheats regularly
A vivid imagination - Never short of an excuse
Needs praise and encouragement - Thick as two short planks
A very inquisitive mind - Often caught playing Doctors and Nurses
Expresses himself clearly - Foul mouthed
Does not give classes his full attention - Smokes in the lavatories
Keen to do well - Egotistical

This time it is Canada who has provided the latest humour, thanks to their excellent Canadian Tribal Association's Newsletter.


David received a parrot for his birthday. This parrot was fully grown with a bad attitude and worse vocabulary. Every other word was an expletive. Those that weren't expletives were, to say the least, rude.

David tried hard to change the bird's attitude and was constantly saying polite words, playing soft music, anything that came to mind. Nothing worked.

He yelled at the bird, the bird got worse. He shook the bird and the bird got madder and ruder. Finally, in a moment of desperation, David put the parrot in the freezer. For a few moments he heard the bird squawking, kicking and screaming and then, suddenly, all was quiet.

David was frightened that he might have actually hurt the bird and quickly opened the freezer door. The parrot calmly stepped out onto David's extended arm and said: "I'm sorry that I offended you with my language and actions. I ask for your forgiveness. I will try to check my behaviour..."

David was astounded at the bird's change in attitude and was about to ask what changed him when the parrot continued, "May I ask what the chicken did?"

The following is an old one that some of the Supply and Secretariat members will have encountered before, but as it illustrates their various duties very well it is worth printing in full. As an ex-member of the 'S & S', and as an ex-seaman too, I know both sides and appreciate the attitudes.

This poem is printed courtesy of Michael Overton, who is the HMS LONDON Webmaster. His father served in the S & S on the LONDON. His web site can be accessed from our 'Links' page.


There's a branch you may not notice for their stations are below,
In the cubby holes and lobbies where the sailors do not go,
They were wont to call them "idlers" with a curious sense of fun,
For their watch was never ended and their work was never done,
They were always known as "Daymen" just because they slept at night,
Though they had to get some sleep in, and it didn't seem quite right.

You can often see them sitting in an office or a den,
Filling up strange forms with figures and a stylographic pen,
You can hear their busy fingers clicking far into the night,
Typing reams of flaccid foolscap by an insufficient light,
Taking half a dozen copies with a carbon wearing thin,
Or a hundred with a hectographic jelly in a tin.

There are many thousand items in a modern vessel's stores,
And they issue them by ounces and by hundred weights and scores,
You will see them on the messdeck, having tried the safety catch,
Swinging down a steel runged ladder, through a heavy armoured hatch,
To compartments filled with firebricks, sacks of flour and cotton waste,
Cabin furniture and bedding, frozen fish and potted paste.

If a smoker wants his baccy, if a toper wants his rum,
They produce it from a packing case or draw it from a drum,
If he lacks a feather pillow or a blanket for his bed,
If he needs a new sou'wester or a helmet for his head,
If he needs a black silk necktie or a flannel or a shoe,
He has only got to ask for it and sign a chit or two.

In the galleys or the kitchens, in the bakeries and stores,
You may find them tending pots and pans or merely doing chores,
Mincing mutton in a hobart, kneading dough or scrubbing tins,
Stirring cocoa in a cauldron, shaking salmon from a tin,
Cooking tasty meals for officers, or plainer meals for men,
Six or seven in a galley only eighteen feet by ten.

Deftly setting out the tables for the officers to dine,
Serving tots of gin and bitters, mixing cocktails, bottling wine,
Meditating over menus in conjunction with the cook,
Making out the monthly mess bill, writing up the daily book,
From illegible inscriptions on soda sodden chits,
On a guest night staging banquets like a Carlton or a Ritz.

When the ship goes into action their commitments do not stop,
They are wanted up the conning tower or in the spotting top,
Plotting splashes in the ocean, noting flashes in the sky,
In the surgeon's first aid party, at the six inch gun supply,
Passing cartridge, shells and cases, hoisting high explosive loads,
Turning P/L into cypher, using transposition codes.

Their activities are endless, and they function all the time,
Unrecorded in the daily press uneulogised in rhyme,
In the background of the picture, in the outfield of the game,
In the shadows of the limelight, in the anterooms of fame,
You are apt to overlook them though they never swing the lead,
And there's never any searchlight focussed on their main masthead.

There are many in the Association who have not seen all the Newsletters. So, in order to help you catch up with all the good things you may have missed a selection will be appearing here periodically.

All who have had the problems associated with management of any kind, be it for 1 or 100 personnel will associate themselves with the following.


Managers are a fortunate lot, for as everyone knows, a manager has nothing to do; that is except -

"To decide what is to be done; to tell someone to do it; to listen to reasons why it should not be done, why it should be done by someone else, or why it should be done in a different way, and to prepare answers in rebuttal that shall be convincing and conclusive.

To follow up to see if the thing has been done, to discover that it has not been done; to find out why it has not been done; to listen to excuses from the person who did not do it; and to think up arguments to overcome the excuses. To follow up a second time to see if the thing has been done; to discover that it has been done incorrectly; to point out how it should have been done; to conclude that as long as it has been done, it might as well be left as it is; to wonder if it were not time to get rid of the person who cannot do the thing correctly; to reflect that in all probability, any successor might be just as bad or worse.

To consider how much more simply and better the thing would have been done if he had done it himself in the first place; to reflect satisfactorily that if he had done it himself he could have done it correctly in twenty minutes, and that as things turned out, he, himself, spent two days trying to find out why it had taken somebody else three weeks to do it wrongly and to realise that such an idea would have a demoralising effect on the organisation because it would strike at the very heart of the belief of all workers that managers have nothing to do.

To sit back and think objectively, constructively about people, policies and products

To think about today - tomorrow and the future. To listen, guide, counsel, motivate, organise, delegate, communicate, co-operate, forecast, plan, co-ordinate and control.

To Try".

From BB's collection.

Some Spendelow Snippets.

Why is a ship called SHE? Because she always has a great deal of bustle about her, there is usually a gang of men about, she has a waist and stays and it takes a lot of paint to keep her good looking. It is not the initial expense that breaks you, it is the upkeep so that she can be all decked out. It takes an experienced man to handle her correctly and, without a man at the helm, she is absolutely uncontrollable. She shows her topsides, hides her bottom and when coming into port always heads for the buoy.


Bathing Beauty - Blancmange

Clacker - Pie with pastry on the bottom

Clacker with an awning on - Pie with pastry above and below

Depth Charges - Figs

Gippo - Gravy

Sinkers - Dumplings

The Tombstone - Mess Menu

Violets - Onions

Train Smash - Bacon & Tomatoes

Baby's Heads - Steak & Kidney Puddings


Although the above phrase has often been changed to a most unprintable version, there actually was a young girl with that name.
In her pre-teens, Fanny, who lived in Alton, Hants, went on a picnic one day in 1867 with a group of her friends. When the group arrived back home, Fanny was missing.
After a search of the picnic area her dismembered body was found under a hedge. Not far from the scene, the search party also came across a drunken clerk wearing blood spattered clothing and still clutching a meat cleaver. He was later found guilty of the murder and hanged at Winchester on December 24th. (Records still exist).
The Royal Navy at this time was experimenting with canned meat instead of the usual salt beef. The sailors of the day quickly associated the low grade meat with the disappearance of the young girl and their new rations were the butt of many grisly messdeck jokes; which resulted in "Sweet Fanny Adams" being passed into common usage as a phrase signifying worthlessness.


If you look like your passport photograph then you are too ill to travel

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