…because it made me laugh out loud on the plane! In last week’s Pilbara Echo – a local newspaper I pick up whenever I’m in the Shire of Roebourne – they had a wanted ad that read:
“WANTED: Telepath. You know where to apply.”
I actually burst out laughing, right out loud, right there in the centre seat – up the back of the plane. Look – I know it’s an oldie, but this tells me that someone in the Classifieds department there, has themselves a naughty sense of humour, and that brightens my day like you wouldn’t believe.
I’m sorry to say that I’m a real fan of silly bugger humour – the harmless kind that has you giggling like a fool, with tears coursing down your face! If it was a really good laughing fit, you’d need to lean on something for a small bit – just to recover from the stitch you’ve discovered. These moments sneak up on me occasionally and I have to stifle the odd chuckle, knowing from experience that I’m probably one of the very few that might just get it. Or – as you’ve probably already suspected – most time I AM the only person who get’s it!
Get yourself posted on a ship at sea with the same group of people for months, and you find out just how silly your sense of humour can get. It’s not just an individual thing, the whole crew get’s caught up in it. how else do you explain announcements over the ship’s loudspeaker system like:
“Able Seaman Kelvinator (Westinghouse, LG *insert suitable fridge brand name here*) – report to the Fridge Flat!”
“Would the sailor with the key to the ships main engine, please report to the Gangway!”
These are the simple one liners, and before to long you get caught up in the more complicated setups, such as:
“Volunteers for splash target coxsain – muster – quarterdeck!”
You now need to understand that a splash target is a small ‘raft’ towed behind a ship on a LONGGGGG line, and as it’s towed – it sends up a tall spout of water – ‘a splash’. This is then used for target practice by other ship’s in your deployment flotilla, as ships ‘aim off’ the target, so as not to destroy the ‘raft’ for the duration of the exercise. Let’s just say that there is simply no such thing as a Splash Target Coxswain, but it doesn’t stop you from trying to find one who doesn’t know better just yet – and you ALWAYS find a small number of volunteers – ALWAYS!
the old Defence Force adage of NEVER volunteering for ANYTHING becomes clear as crystal as the assembled recieve their safety briefing, are walked around their splash target ‘raft’ (paying special attention to fitted handholds painted bright safety red for effect); are issued their two-way radio, kevlar helmet and vest, first aid kit, and flash light for back-up signaling by Morse code! People then get kitted up and a question and answer process takes place to test their understanding.
Even at this stage, people are still thinking this is a real gig, it’ll actually happen, and that this will make a hell of a story to tell someday. It’s true – it will – but never in the way they might have originally anticipated. It eventually becomes clear that the splash target really isn’t a good place to be when things are being fired in it’s general direction, and the volunteers are then cut lose with nothing but some bent pride. It’s amazing how much this kind of gag is needed by a ships crew – or anyone for that matter.
However, it’s not necessarily the complicated situations I treasure; it’s more the simple ones, the innocent things – those little moments that if you hadn’t noticed it building up in the first place, your sure as heck weren’t going to be catching it as it slid on by. For example, the casual announcement of the cabin staff on the flying pencil I used to catch to Meekatharra, where the seat belt sign would go off, and they’d be compelled to say: “Feel free to move about the cabin…” I’d laugh each and every time. Move… bloody where? If I could have taken my legs off before I gotten on board and stowed them somewhere useful, I have to tell ya folks, I’d still be feeling squeezy.
When the cabin staff introduce the whistle on the life jacket in their safety brief – holding it the air and saying something to the effect of: “To attract attention – use this whistle!”; there’s secretly a large part of me that wants to see the crew member in front of me, rip off the whistle and fling it like a demented school teacher of old; pelting you with a piece of chalk. I want them aiming for that ‘lazy’ bugger whose just not listening to them, and saying in THAT schoolteacher voice, “Have I got your attention yet Sunshine?”
Silly, I know – but hey – this silly sense of humour of mine has kept me going all this time. Given some of the things people have shared with me, and some of the sadder things I’ve learned about some people in general, I’d much rather stand by my silly bugger humour, then ‘cry into my beer’ at night. A good laugh clears out the mind I guess, in much the same way a good cry flushes out your soul… and as far as I can tell – that can’t be too much of a bad thing. We all run the risk of taking ourselves just a little too seriously at times, and we need reminders in life that this type of behaviour just isn’t bloody necessary.
So get out and laugh at something, laugh WITH someone, laugh at yourself for gawds sake – and laugh out loud! Hell – laugh at me – I do – and often. I don’t mind a good chuckle shared – but I might just miss it folks, as I’m too damn busy laughing at the little things flipping back and forth in my own mind. I’m easily amused – especially by myself 😉
Belongum – Out!