Humor Selections for June 23rd, 2008

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You would think by now that every even modestly interesting fact about World War II ...

... had been unearthed and posted on the Internet. You might have to do some digging, of course, but somewhere in Cyberland, you can find out the brand name of Field Marshal Montgomery’s favorite toothpaste!

So we were amazed, and hugely intrigued, by a revelatory piece that appeared recently on the ever-fascinating website Mental Floss. The article, entitled "World War II Weapon: Monopoly With Real Money", recounts the following amazing story:

Starting in 1941, increasing numbers of British airmen found themselves as the involuntary guests of the Third Reich, and the Crown was casting about for ways and means to facilitate their escape. Now obviously, one of the most helpful aids to that end is a useful, accurate map, one showing not only where-stuff-was, but also showing the locations of "safe houses" a POW on-the-lam could go to for food and shelter.

Paper maps had real drawbacks: they make a lot of noise when you open and fold them, they wear-out rapidly, and if they get wet, they turn into mush. Someone i n the MI-5 branch (one hopes it was the youthful incarnation of "Q"!), got the idea of printing escape maps on silk. It's durable, can be scrunched-up into tiny wads and unfolded as many times as needed, and makes no noise whatever.

At that time, there was only one manufacturer in Great Britain that had perfected the technology of printing on silk, and that was John Waddington, Ltd. When approached by HM Government, the firm was only too happy to do its bit for the war effort.

By pure coincidence, Waddington's was also the U.K. licensee for the popular American board game, Monopoly. As it happened, " games and pastimes" was a category of item qualified for insertion into "CARE packages" dispatched by the International Red Cross to prisoners of war of all belligerents.

Under strictest secrecy, in a securely guarded and inaccessible old workshop on the grounds of Waddington's, a group of sworn-to-secrecy employees began mass-producing escape maps, keyed to each region of Germany or Italy where Allied POW camps were located (Red Cross packages were delivered to prisoners in accordance with that same regional system). When processed, these maps could be folded into such tiny dots that they would actually fit inside a Monopoly playing piece

As long as they were at it, the clever workmen at Waddington's also managed to add:

A playing token containing a small magnetic compass A two-part metal file that could easily be screwed together Useful amounts of genuine high-denomination German, Italian and French currency hidden within the piles of Monopoly money! British and American air crews were advised, before taking off on their first missions, on how to identify a "rigged" Monopoly set - by means of a tiny red dot, one cleverly rigged to look like an ordinary printing glitch, located in the corner of the Free Parking square! Of the estimated 35,000 Allied POWS who successfully escaped, perhaps one-third were aided in their flight by the rigged Monopoly sets. Everyone who did so was sworn to secrecy indefinitely - HM Government might wan t to use this highly successful ruse in another, future war.

The story wasn't declassified until 2007, when the surviving craftsmen from Waddington's, as well as the firm itself, were finally honored in a public ceremony.

At any rate, it's always nice when you can play that "Get Out of Jail Free" card!

Submitted by Bob, Rockville, Md.

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A woman answered her front door and found two little boys standing there holding a list.

"Lady," one of them explained, "we're on a scavenger hunt, and we still need three grains of wheat, a pork-chop bone and a piece of used carbon paper to earn a dollar."

"Wow," the woman replied. "Who sent you on such a challenging scavenger hunt?"

To which the little boy replied, "Our babysitter's boyfriend."

Submitted by Kenneth, Shropshire, England

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There's a big conference of beer producers.

At the end of the day, all of the presidents of all the beer companies decide to have a drink in a bar.

The president of 'Budweiser' orders a Bud, the president of 'Miller' orders a Miller Lite, Adolph Coors orders a Coors, and the list goes on.

Then the waitress asks Arthur Guinness what he wants to drink, and much to everybody's amazement, Mr. Guinness orders a Coke!

"Why don't you order a Guinness?" his colleagues ask.

"Naah. If you guys won't drink beer, than neither will I."

Submitted by Deck, Williamsport, MD.

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An explorer in the deepest Amazon ...

...suddenly found himself surrounded by a bloodthirsty group of natives.

Upon surveying the situation, he said quietly to himself, "Oh God, I'm history."

A ray of light fell from the sky and a voice boomed out, "No, you are not history. Pick up that stone at your feet and bash in the head of the chief standing in front of you."

So the explorer picked up the stone and proceeded to bash the life out of the chief. He stood above the lifeless body, breathing heavily, surrounded by 100 natives with looks of shock on their faces.

The voice boomed out again, "Okay, NOW you're history"

Submitted by Bob, Rockville, Md.

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The Wisdom of Hot Chocolate - Download Slideshow

Submitted by Lindsay, Melbourne, Australia

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Hurricane/Flooding Survival Kit
  • Toilet Paper - check
  • Bud Light - check
  • Keystone Ice - check
  • Budweiser -c heck
  • Red Dog - check
  • Misc Other bottles of alcoholic - heck
  • Piece of plywood to float your old lady and booze on - Check

Submitted by Bill, Ardmore, Pa.

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