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Master & Commander meet the 21st Century


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The ship's Master and Commander and Ablebodied Seaman Hardy

hit the deck at precisely the same time one sunny morning, so

rare in Britain.

"Order the signal, Hardy."

"Aye, aye sir."

"Hold on, that's not what I dictated to the signal officer.

What's the meaning of this?"

"Sorry sir?"

"England expects every person to do his duty, regardless of

race, gender, sexual orientation, religious persuasion or

disability. What gobbledygook is this?"

"Admiralty policy, I'm afraid, sir. We're an equal

opportunities employer now. We had the devil's own job

getting 'England' past the censors, lest it be considered racist."

"Gadzooks, Hardy. Hand me my pipe and tobacco."

"Sorry sir. All naval vessels have been designated smoke-free

working environments."

"In that case, break open the rum ration. Let us splice the

mainbrace to steel the men before battle."

"The rum ration has been abolished, Admiral. Its part of the

Government's policy on binge drinking."

"Good heavens, Hardy. I suppose we'd better get on with it.

Full speed ahead."

"I think you'll find that there's a 4 knot speed limit in

this stretch of water."

"Damn it man! We are on the eve of the greatest sea battle in history.

We must advance with all dispatch. Report from the crow's nest, please."

"That won't be possible, sir."


"Health and safety have closed the crow's nest, sir. No

harness. And they said that rope ladder doesn't meet

regulations. They won't let anyone up there until a proper

scaffolding can be erected."

"Then get me the ship's carpenter without delay, Hardy."

"He's busy knocking up a wheelchair access to the fo'c'sle Admiral."

"Wheelchair access? I've never heard anything so absurd."

"Health and safety again, sir. We have to provide a

barrier-free environment for the differently abled."

"Differently abled? I've only one arm and one eye and I

refuse even to hear mention of the word. I didn't rise to the

rank of admiral by playing the disability card."

"Actually, sir, you did. The Royal Navy is under-represented

in the areas of visual impairment and limb deficiency."

"Whatever next? Give me full sail. The salt spray beckons."

"A couple of problems there too, sir. Health and safety won't

let the crew up the rigging without crash helmets. And they

don't want anyone breathing in too much salt - haven't you

seen the adverts?"

I've never heard such infamy. Break out the cannon and tell

the men to stand by to engage the enemy."

"The men are a bit worried about shooting at anyone, Admiral."

"What !? This is mutiny."

"It's not that, sir. It's just that they're afraid of being

charged with murder if they actually kill anyone. There's a

couple of legal aid lawyers on board, watching everyone like hawks."

"Then how are we to sink the Frenchies and the Spanish?"

"Actually, sir, we're not."

"We're not?"

"No, sir. The Frenchies and the Spanish are our European partners now.

According to the Common Fisheries Policy, we shouldn't even be in this

stretch of water. We could get hit with a claim for compensation."

"But you must hate a Frenchman as you hate the devil."

"I wouldn't let the ship's diversity co-coordinator hear you

saying that sir. You'll be up on disciplinary."

"You must consider every man an enemy who speaks ill of your King."

"Not any more, sir. We must be inclusive in this

multicultural age. Now put on your Kevlar vest; it's the rules."

"Don't tell me - health and safety Whatever happened to rum,

sodomy and the lash?"

As I explained, sir, rum is off the menu. And there's a ban

on corporal punishment."

"What about sodomy?"

"I believe it's to be encouraged, sir"

"In that case, kiss me, Hardy."

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This was told to me at the English shotgun open by a former Naval officer named George.

In the Brittish Navy, buggery is against the law for the first 90 days at sea , after 90 days at sea, it is no longer forbidden....... After 120 days at sea......It bocomes mandatory! :lol:

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