What's the funniest story your dad ever told you...
This came up a while ago over dinner, so I'd thought I'd see what you all could come up with. Here's my entry:
This was back during my father's navy days during the seventies when he was on a destroyer. They were in port in Australia on the day before they were to put out to sea again. During the time that he was officer of the deck (meaning he was officially in charge of the whole ship), the captain came back from lunch complaining that he wasn't feeling well and decided to lay down in his sea cabin off of the bridge (kind of like a ready room on Star Trek but with a bed). So, eventually, my dad goes down to the wardroom for a bit when the XO runs down and asks, "Do you have the duty now?"
"Yeah, why?" my father replied.
"Well, I think the captain's dead," the XO said.
"Are you f*cking kidding me?" Dad exclaimed. Since he was officer of the watch, most of the responsibility for handling the situation fell on him. So, he stormed out of the wardroom, back up to the sea cabin and knocked on the door. A gruff corpsmen answers, and my father asks point-blank, "Is he f*cking dead or alive?"
The corpsmen said that the captain was indeed dead after suffering a massive heart attack at the relatively young age of 39. So, good old Dad had to write up a sh*tload of reports, one to the Pentagon, one to CINCPACFLT, etc. To top that all off, Australian law dictated that if somebody died on a ship in port, the Aussies had to do their own autopsy, so they waited around for the local coroner to get there.
Dad (who on that cruise I think was the comm officer, if I remember right) and the XO scrambled to get the crew assembled on the side of the ship in their dress blues to see the captain off. As the corpsmen hauled the corpse down the gangplank, they all saluted in unison and the bosun's mate piped him off. The Aussies had driven by in one of those Ghostbuster-type ambulances. There happened to be a problem, however: the ambulance's length was rather short, and the captain was a good 6'4", so the door wouldn't close because his legs were sticking out.
To remedy that, a corpsmen ran back up the gangplank to my father and said, "Uh, sir, can you get the ship's company to do an about face?"
"Why?" Dad asked, dumbfounded.
"Because he's too f*cking big and we'd rather the crew not see us try to jam him in their," the corpsmen said.
Catching on, Dad ordered, "Company, Atten-shun! About...FACE!"
And he watched as the medical people repeatedly kicked the deceased captain's stiffening legs in to make room for the door. Wasn't exactly the most dignified way to leave a command.