Gentlemen, that reminds me....

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Gentlemen, that reminds me....
(Or, Pull up a sandbag lad, I wanna tell you a story!)

(Continued)


Supposedly genuine warnings written on military equipment and in publications, sent in by my sister in law, Sheena Fraser:

    "Aim towards the Enemy." -Instruction printed on US Rocket Launcher

    "When the pin is pulled, Mr. Grenade is not our friend." -U.S. Army

    "Cluster bombing from B-52s is very, very accurate. The bombs are guaranteed to always hit the ground." U.S.A.F. Ammo Troop

    "If the enemy is in range, so are you." -Infantry Journal

    "A slipping gear could let your M203 grenade launcher fire when you least expect it. That would make you quite unpopular in what's left of your unit." - Army's magazine of preventive maintenance.

    "It is generally inadvisable to eject directly over the area you just bombed." - U.S. Air Force Manual

    "Try to look unimportant; they may be low on ammo." -Infantry Journal

    "Tracers work both ways." -U.S. Army Ordnance

    "Five-second fuses only last three seconds." -Infantry Journal

    "Bravery is being the only one who knows you're afraid." --Col. David Hackworth

    "If your attack is going too well, you're probably walking into an ambush." - Infantry Journal

    "No combat-ready unit has ever passed inspection." -Joe Gay

    "Any ship can be a minesweeper ... once." - Anon

    "Never tell the Platoon Sergeant you have nothing to do." Unknown Army Recruit

    "Don't draw fire; it irritates the people around you." -Unknown

    And lastly,

    "If you see a bomb technician running, try to keep up with him." --U.S.A. Ammo Troop


Here's an apocryphal tale sent to me by my sister in law, Jan Ramsay, that I've seen in several forms over the years:

    Scientists at a UK aerospace company built an experimental air gun specifically to launch dead chickens at high velocity at the engines and cockpit windows of airliners and military jets . The purpose of the gun is to simulate the frequent incidents of collisions by aircraft with birds in order to determine the effects of bird strikes on aircraft components.

    Railway locomotive engineers heard about the gun and were  eager to test it on the windshields of their new high speed trains. Arrangements were made, and a gun was shipped to the engineers. The engineers prepared a locomotive and set up the air gun. After carrying out a lot of work to set up the experiment they fired the gun. The engineers then watched in shock and awe as the chicken hurtled out of the barrel, smashed through the shatterproof shield, blasted through the control  console, snapped the engineer's back-rest in two and embedded itself in the back wall of the cabin like a medieval cannon ball in a castle wall.

    The  horrified engineers sent Rolls Royce the disastrous results of the experiment, along with the designs of the windshield and begged the British scientists for suggestions.

    Rolls Royce responded with a one-line  memo:  "Defrost the  chicken."


Thanks to shipmate Terry Andrews on the BP FPSO "Schiehallion" for sending me these insights into antipodean airline humour!

    All too rarely, Australian 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 an Air NZ Flight with a very "senior" flight attendant crew, the pilot said, "Ladies and gentlemen, we've reached cruising altitude and will be turning down the cabin lights. This is for your comfort and to enhance the appearance of your flight attendants."

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

    "There may be fifty ways to leave your lover, but there are only four ways to leave the aircraft."

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

    After a particularly rough landing during thunderstorms in Adelaide, a flight attendant on a Qantas flight announced, "Please take care when opening the overhead compartments because, after a landing like that, sure as f*** everything has shifted."

    From a Qantas employee: "Welcome aboard Qantas Flight XXX to YYY. To operate your seat belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seat belt; and, 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 theirs. If you are traveling with more than one small child, pick your favourite.

    "Weather at our destination is 32 degrees with some broken clouds, but we'll try to have them fixed before we arrive. Thank you, and remember, nobody loves you, or your money, more than Qantas Airlines."

    "Your seat cushions can be used for flotation; and in the event of an emergency water landing, please paddle to shore and take them with our compliments."

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

     Heard on Qantas Airlines just after a very hard landing in Hobart: The flight attendant came on the intercom and said, "That was quite a bump, and I know what you are all 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!"

    Another flight attendant's comment on a less than perfect landing: "We ask you to please remain seated as Captain Kangaroo bounces us to the terminal."

    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 United. "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 got off except for an old lady walking with a cane. She said, "Sonny, mind if I ask you a question?" "Why no Ma'am," said the pilot. "What is it?" The little old lady said, "Did we land or were we shot down?"

    After a real crusher of a landing in Sydney, the Flight Attendant came on with, "Ladies and Gentlemen, please remain in your seats until Captain 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 pressurised metal tube, we hope you'll think of Qantas."

    A plane was taking off from Mascot 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 XYZ, non-stop from Sydney to Auckland. The weather ahead is good and, therefore, we should have smooth and uneventful flight. Now sit back and relax - S**T! ARGHHH! 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, but, while I was talking, 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 Economy said, "That's nothing. He should see the back of mine!" 


 

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Updated 01/02/2005

Constructed by Dick Barrett
ęCopyright 2000 - 2005 Dick Barrett
The right of Dick Barrett to be identified as author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.