May 11, 2007

Americans and Galicians

This was originally sent to me from a Spanish friend, hopefully the humour is not lost in translation.

(FYI Galicia is a coastal region of Spain)

An ALLEGED conversation between Americans and Galicians recorded off the coast of Finisterre, Galicia.

<Transmission begins> 

"This is A-853, please change your course fifteen degrees South to avoid colliding with us. You are coming straight towards us, distance 25 nautical miles."

"We recommend that you change your course fifteen degrees North to avoid a collision."

"Negative. We repeat, change your course fifteen degrees south to avoid a collision."

"You are talking to the captain of a ship of the United States of America. We insist you turn your course fifteen degrees North to avoid a collision."

"We do not consider that feasible or advisable, we suggest that you change your course fifteen degrees South to avoid colliding with us."

American (very angry):
"You are talking to Captain Richard James Howard, at the bridge of the aircraft carrier USS Lincoln of the USA Navy, the second biggest warship of the North American fleet. We are escorted by two battleships, three destroyers, five cruisers, four submarines and numerous amphibious support vessels. We are on our way to the Persian Gulf to prepare military manoeuvres before a possible attack on Iraq.
I am not suggesting, I am ordering you to change your course fifteen degrees North! Otherwise we will be forced to take any measures necessary to guarantee both the safety of this ship and the force of this coalition. You belong to an allied country and a member of NATO, so obey immediately and get out of our way!"

"You are speaking to Jose Manuel Otero-Rivas. We are two people. We are escorted by our dog, our food, two beers and a canary that is currently asleep.  We have the support of Radio Coruňa FM and Channel 16 for marine emergencies. We are not intending to move anywhere as we are speaking to you from the mainland, from lighthouse A-853 of Finisterre on the coast of Galicia, and we don’t have a f*cking clue what our ranking is of Spanish lighthouses.
You may take whatever measures you consider opportune and bloody well feel like to guarantee the safety of your goddamn ship, which is about to shred itself on the rocks, but what we continue to insist and suggest as the best, most sane and more recommendable course of action, is to turn fifteen degrees South to avoid colliding with us."

"OK. Received. Thank you."

<End of transmission>

I like :D 


- 19 comments by 2 or more people Not publicly viewable

[Skip to the latest comment]
  1. Win.

    11 May 2007, 23:32

  2. pwned

    12 May 2007, 00:12

  3. Nick Howes

    I’m on ur blog, debunking ur story

    12 May 2007, 15:34

  4. Nick Howes

    Still funny though :)

    12 May 2007, 15:35

  5. Aw Howes, let the lady have her fun :(

    12 May 2007, 16:48

  6. Nick Howes

    Sorry, but I can’t help debunking stories, it’s just me. I’m a debunker. I debunk.

    12 May 2007, 17:07

  7. This post: A classic retold.

    12 May 2007, 22:04

  8. James

    That one’s done the rounds for years, most often with Canadians running the lighthouse. Trouble is, I didn’t think many lighthouses were still manned, though maybe that’s what they mean by ‘Beacon Schools’ in modern British ed-speak.

    I used to enjoy a similar urban myth about parking near Auckland university, something of a well-known nightmare. Two students in their clapped out old Ford swerved crazily in front of a waiting Rolls Royce to get into a prized city spot. They got out and nochalantly said to the driver of the Roller “that’s what you can do when you’re students”. Whereupon the Rolls ploughed into the parked student car, effectively disintegrating it and hence taking over the spot. The driver casually got out, wrote a cheque for more than the car was worth and said “and that’s what you can do when you’re f^^ing rich”.

    12 May 2007, 22:24

  9. Sue

    I’ve never heard it before, Mia and it is very funny.

    12 May 2007, 23:42

  10. Trouble is, I didn’t think many lighthouses were still manned

    I think there are still many manned lighthouses in Britain. On Fairisle, to name one I believe to still be manned.

    13 May 2007, 05:48

  11. James

    I just saw the link; note also in your transcript the commander would not have said ‘USS Lincoln’, he would certainly have said ‘USS Abraham Lincoln’.

    Not that you can believe everything from Wikipedia, but anyway:

    “From the 1900s Carbide lamps were introduced. In 1907 Nils Gustaf Dalén produced the sun valve which turned the beacon on and off using daylight. The first one was erected on Furuholmen’s lighthouse between Stockholm and Vaxholm1. In 1912 Dalén was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his invention of ‘automatic valves designed to be used in combination with gas accumulators in lighthouses’[2]

    Dalén’s inventions effectively made lighthouse keepers obsolete. However, for many years, lighthouses still had keepers, partly because lighthouse keepers could serve as a rescue service if necessary. Improvements in maritime navigation and safety such as GPS have led to the phasing out of non-automated lighthouses, *with the last keepers removed in the 1990s.*

    Often in inaccessible locations, modern lighthouses are much more functional and less picturesque buildings; usually they are solar-powered and have a single Flashing light which does not rotate sitting on a steel skeleton tower.”

    14 May 2007, 12:48

  12. James

    Incidentally what Naval commander would have said “We are on our way to the Persian Gulf to prepare military manoeuvres before a possible attack on Iraq.”

    None, I suspect, certainly not in 1997.

    14 May 2007, 12:50

  13. Very unlikely you’ll tell an annoying little non-mover that you’re about to attack the Middle-East

    14 May 2007, 13:22

  14. Sue

    I printed the whole thing and read it to my husband who laughed and said “I’ve heard it before in a slightly different format but it’s still funny.” As Mia said “Sometimes things can get altered when translated.” And as my husband said “It’s still funny.”

    14 May 2007, 19:09

  15. James

    Another urban myth that knocks around on email a lot is the chap who supposedly bought twenty fine cigars, then claimed on his insurance that they’d been destroyed by fire. The insurance company was forced to pay up in court, but the next day had the chap arrested for arson.

    Two problems:

    1. Any insurance policy would have an exclusion clause for intentional damage.

    2. You can’t be convicted of arson for burning your own property.

    15 May 2007, 11:00

  16. Aw, all this overanalysing kills the simple but effective joke of the anecdote…

    15 May 2007, 19:13

  17. Well hot-diggety-damn… only five days later and I’ve already got torches and pitchforks at the door! Oh-noez :(

    As much as I would love to discuss the veracity of funny stories I am far too tired to do so. I’m not removing this post because (true or not) it’s funny and it took me forever to translate, however I have amended it (with the magical *A* word) and leave you with one of the cutest pictures I have ever seen in my life. If this fails to appease you then I have no choice but to release the dogs…

    lovehugsmwahetc Mx

    16 May 2007, 21:31

  18. Kittens always save threads, before playing with them and chasing after them.

    17 May 2007, 22:46

  19. 18 May 2007, 21:05

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