A Pentagon commission has just released a study recommending, among other things, that West Point cadets develop a sense of humor, something if found the academy was lacking. As anyone who has dealt with military officers knows, this is easier said than done. But I'm sure that if the Pentagon recommends it, West Point will give it the old school try.
"All right, cadets, we will now devote the next hour to developing a sense of humor. Brinckley, are you prepared?"
"Yessir ! ! !"
"At ease, Brinckley. You don't have to stand at attention. Just tell us a joke."
"A What, sir? ! ! !"
"A joke. You know, something to make us all laugh."
"Yessir! ! !"
"Well, go ahead, Brinckley."
"In the Army there are three kinds of fools, sir. Fools, damned fools and volunteers."
"Very good, Brinckley, Very amusing. What is it, Grunback?"
"Sir, I told Brinckley that joke last night in the mess hall. He stole it from me."
"If that's true, Brinckley, this is a serious violation of the Honor Code. West Point has a rule that a cadet will not liet, cheat or steal a joke from another cadet."
"Sir Grunback heard that joke from someone in the Second Battalion. He stole it from them."
"Why didn't you report it under the rules of the Honor Code?"
"I intended to, sir, if it didn't get a laugh."
"That's not very funny. Brinckley, I'm afraid you'll have to go on report. The academy will not condone joke stealing, nor the failure to report another cade who stole one. When you lead men into battle, they will expect you to make up your own jokes, and they will not follow an officer who take jokes from someone else in the field. Have I made myself clear?%
"Yessir! ! !"
"All right, now let's keep our sense of humor in spite of this tragic affair. O'Reilly, Can you make the class laugh?"
"Yessir! ! !"
"Well, go to it."
O'Reilly takes a banana cream pie out from under his desk and flings it into the captain's face. The captain, wiping the cream off his starched uniform, says, "That was very good, O'Reilly, I'm giving you an A in the course."
"Thank you sir ! ! !"
"I am also going to have you court-martialed for striking an officer, insubordination and insulting the uniform of the United States Army under Article 12, Section 8 of the Military Code."
"But sir, you told me to make the class laugh. They're hysterical."
"Good, then I am also adding the charge of mutiny. What is it, Grimstead?"
"Sir, you still have some whipped cream in your left nostril."
"Do you want to go to Leavenworth, too?"
"No sir, that was a joke. I just made it up."
"How would you like to march around the parade grounds in full battle dress for six hours?"
"That's very good, sir. You're very fast on the repartee."
"This class will not be given weekend leave for the rest of the year."
"Because, dammit, you don't have a sense of humor. And I'm going to see that you get one if I have to break every bone in your bodies."