"The Four Paras" By Mick Pinchen Former RM
Four Paratroopers were hopelessly lost on patrol. It was getting dark and had just started raining so morale was low. Blundering through the woods, they suddenly came across a deep, fast-flowing river. The first Para said "here goes" and jumped into the water, hoping to be able to swim across to the other side. However, he had forgotten he was wearing full kit which included three ponchos (all with hoods) a pair of black plimsolls (highly polished) a little tin with some coloured string and some little plastic monopoly houses, the Charlie G, (84mm), four concrete-filled practise rounds, six back issues of Pegasus magazine, and a curious hat made of metal.
He sank like a stone never to be seen again. "Oooer...." said the remaining three.
Just at that moment, a Genie appeared. "Can I be of help?" the Genie enquired.
The first, although somewhat surprised at seeing such an apparition, blurted out, "Yes please! Can you make me into a gunnery officer?"
At which point he was transformed into a subaltern from 94 Heavy Air Locating Regiment. He immediately pulled out some waterproof paper (available from Survival Aids) and choosing a lumicolour pen from the vast multi-coloured array in his breast pocket, just above his nametag, he set about working out some calculations. Punching numbers into his wristwatch/calculator and taking bearings with his prismatic compass, (which had been bought at Silvermans), he worked out that the bend in an over-hanging branch would give him enough lift to project him across the water to the other side. Using the two remaining Paras for labour, he had
the branch bent down, sat on it and was flung far across the river. Of course, as usual, he dropped short and therefore drowned!
The second Para thought to himself "Thick pratt....should have asked to be an engineer officer", a request he duly put into the Genie.
He was instantly transformed into a Captain from 34 Heavy Engineer Bridging and Barb Wiring (Surrey) Squadron. Immediately after his transformation, he pulled out a palm top computer and began calculating the tensile strength of a hanging vine. With the help of
his extra light field binos (swapped with a US "Special Forces" officer he met on his Arctic Survival course on at Thetford), he calculated that the vine would be just long enough and strong enough to get him to the other side. Using the last Para to push him, he swung out into the middle of the river. Of course, he had forgotten to convert his mils into degrees and the vine wasn't strong enough anyway. It snapped and he plunged into the dark water, never to be seen again!
The final Para alarmed at the demise of his three colleagues, asked the Genie what he should request.
"Try being a Royal Marine" replied the 'Little One'.
"OK, make me a Bootkneck"
"Well" said the Genie "You can't really be 'made' into a Royal Marine, you have to have the breeding, but I will give you the brains of a Royal Marine"
Whereupon the Para was transformed into a Royal Marine. So whistling 'Life on the Ocean Wave' quietly to himself, he crossed the river by the bridge!!!!!!
Per Mare Per Terram