The Nanny State Defeated and The Army.


Well there I was about to go on a rant about the ban on glass in Glasgow pubs. Oh yes I was furious that our licensing board were expecting us to drink out of plastic cups. I was hopping mad that my Dad discovered a rather effective and simple method of turning a toughened glass pint tumbler into a dagger quite by accident, yet toughened glass was being talked up as a safety measure. Anyway it would appear the council are paying closer attention to this blog than I suspected because they have backed down. Thank the Lord! It would have been nappies next.

It has also come to my attention that David Duff has left another of his army stories in my comments box (see post below). I may be alone in this but I'm a big fan of army stories, so for that reason I'd like to request more from David Duff on his army days and draw everyone's attention to the Universal Soldier who apart from writing a great blog, has had an excellent idea. The idea is very simple to put into practice, all one needs is a forces aerogramme (from the Post Office) addressed to 'A British Soldier In Iraq' with a jaunty letter then wait and see what comes back. Alternatively you can send them an 'e-bluey' . Whichever method, get writing because I'm led to understand it cheers them up immensely.

I'm off now because I'm mourning the death of Middleton, my cat of 17 (human) years. I would be grateful if someone could invent pets that outlive one. That's four I've outlived now and there's no fun in it.



David Duff said...

"I'm a big fan of army stories, so for that reason I'd like to request more from David Duff on his army days"

"Be careful of what you wish for", said some old sage and he might be right because the little 'Memsahib' reckons my army tales should be dished out on the NHS in place of Mogadon! Still, as you must be feeling rather low over the loss of your cat this might give you a smile.

Back in the '60s some bright, ambitious, young officer decided that a new drill was required for the operation of riot squads in urban situations which was a good idea and might have helped his career but he then chose our lot to act as the demonstration unit for the Brass which almost certainly didn't.

The idea was that the riot squad was formed as an open square which would march down the street towards the mob. It would halt, and immediately the rear rank would face about to watch their backs, and the side ranks would turn, alternately, inwards and outwards so that some men would be watching the windows and doorways immediately in front of them and the others would be watching the higher level windows and balconies across the other side of the street. Inside the square were several men with different functions, the commander, of course, and a couple of medics, the wiremen whose job it was to run out in front of the squad and stretch a coil of barbed wire across the street. Then there was a bugler to attract the attention of the mob, in the unlikely event that they weren't already chucking petrol bombs and grenades at you, and two 'bannermen' whose job was to unfurl a banner on which was written in English and Arabic the words "DISPERSE OR WE FIRE".

Well, the rehearsal didn't go off too well because my mate Bill and I had got into where the kit was stored. So the next day, the fearful site of this military 'machine' marching across the square, crashing to a halt, wiremen running, bugle sounding and banner unfurling, was somewhat diminished when the banner read "JESUS SAVES". The Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM) was not amused!

Two days later a pair of coaches from London debussed a large contingent of generals and senior civil servants from the Ministry of Defence to watch this new crowd control technique being demonstrated. Bill and I had been volunteered ("YOU! YOU, and YOU!) to be part of the 'rioting mob' with strict instructions not to "Tear the arse out of it or you'll all be on a charge!" I lived quite close to Aldershot, so the night before Bill and I went home. I had an Arab headress and mum had stitched some sheets together for a costume. Bill, always the drama queen, borrowed a pair of high-heeled sandles from my mum plus an old summer dress. He borrowed an old disposable mop-head for a wig and blacked his face up with boot polish so that he looked like an escapee from the 'Black & White Minstrel Show'. Needless to say, two very large grapefruits stuck down the front of his dress finished of his wardrobe. The 'mob' had been briefed to do their rioting act and when fired upon to run away leaving one person dead. Bill threw a drama queen fit and insisted on being the one who was shot.

So, the dignitaries gathered on our square, the mob came out shouting insults and epithets, many of which concerned the RSM and his antecedents, and then the riot squad appeared, grim-faced in steel helmets, carrying rifles. The wire men dashed out, the bugle sounded, the banner (properly scripted) was unfurled, the front rank prepared to fire - and then a volley crashed out. We all ran away but Bill, dressed in all his ludicrous finery and tottery on his high-heels, instead of just falling down 'dead', pirouetted several times to the right, then back again several times to the left, then fell to the floor, but before anyone had time to move, he bounced back up again and did several more turns and staggers including a great deal of skirt lifting, fell down, got up again, staggered some more - he took longer to die than the swan from Swan Lake - by which time, the mob were clutching their sides with laughter, the Brass were falling about helpless and the grim-faced riot squad were leaning on their rifles giggling!

All in all, a pefect example of how to make a total arse of the army. Monty Python would have been proud of us.

Well, you did ask for it!

ill man said...

Ok, i'll admit, I had a few good belly laughs at that one. Nice one David.

Billy said...

What the Ill Man said. If that comment is representative of David Duff's army stories I'd be happy to hear more!

David Duff said...

Hope you don't mind, Clairwil, but that tale of mine even made me giggle so I reproduced it over at my place - with due acknowledgement, of course.

Clairwil said...

I don't mind at all David. That is a classic story and very, very funny. If I were you I'd include at least one army story a month on your blog if they're all as funny as that one.

Steve said...

I may try that "To a British Soldier" thing. I expect they may prefer random letters from ladies though! They may pass mine on to a female solier though so that would be cool.

I'm sorry about your cat. 17 (human) years is a fair ol' time though. I would reccomend getting another one when you are about 70 but, who's gonna look after it once you're gone?

David van Day said...

I might go for that one in my dotage Steve. With some luck, my corpse should provide ample sustenance for the little beast until the neighbours finally break down the front door of my council flat after the smell get's a bit much.

Clairwil said...

Are you the chap out of Dollar?

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