A Christmas Tale

From your President.

The Christmas Story as told by a Navy Veteran

The Gospel of the Birth of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ according to Jack pastedGraphic.png

It was the middle watch, and Gabriel, the Arch-Sky Pilot, the Maker’s Rep-in-Chief, appeared to a young woman called Mary, who was about to get spliced to her hubby-to-be Joseph, a chippy from Nazareth.

“Belay your zeds, young Mary!” said the Sky Pilot, “You’re still in Mushroom Troop, but I’ve heard a buzz, direct from Rumour Central, and it’s a gen dit: you, shipmate, are up the duff… And when the ankle biter’s born, you’ll call him Jesus, for he will be a hoofing bloke.”

But Mary replied, “You’re giving me a crock of sh…ampoo! You must be ‘Dagenham Dave’ – one stop short of Barking, for I have not yet received swollen property…” pastedGraphic_1.png

“Don’t be a big girl’s blouse,” replied Gabriel. “Safeguard! You’ve been pinged to be the mother of the Old Man’s ankle-snapper, the God Sprog.”

At this Mary was mighty chuffed. “Affirmative!” she said.

And so the keel was laid…..

Nine months later came the launching. pastedGraphic_2.png

Mary and Joseph set sail for Bethlehem, and because there was not a single spare pit on board, the rug rat was born in a stable, and was racked out where the oxen have their scran.

That night, out in the cuds, it was the morning watch, at sparrow o’clock, and the Arch-Sky Pilot Gabriel appeared to a bunch of old and bold shepherds, kip-merchants, who were cracking out some zeds.

“Shake a leg !” cried Gabriel, “This is your call to hands, so get turned to! I’m giving you the heads-up: in Bethlehem, racked out amongst the cattle scran, you’ll find a carpet-crawler, the God Sprog no less.”

But the shepherds were cream crackered, and hacked off at this embuggerment of their zeds.

“Hold on shipmate,” they said, “You’re spinning us a gash dit. You must be ‘Harpic’ – clean round the bend.”

“Wind your necks in, shipmates!” said Gabriel, “and button your flap. I’m not swinging the lamp. Quit yer yammering and man up – I’m not seeing you off, you’ve dipped in! You’ve been pinged to go see this rug rat, so muster both watches and close up: go take a butchers at this ankle-biter in Bethlehem, and set to at the double: make speed, like a bunch of one-armed paperhangers.”

So, with the heavenly ‘Dinger Bells’ ringing in their ears, the shepherds cracked on, and bimbled off to Bethlehem on an ‘Aggie Weston’ heading, along ‘Dusty’ Rhodes and ‘Shady’ Lanes, across ‘Pony’ Moores and a ‘Swampy’ Marsh, through ‘Timber’ Woods and beside ‘Sandy’ Shaws, following the ‘Shiner’ Light in the ‘Dolly’ Grey sky, all the while getting more and more thredders and ‘Harry Flakers’…and dripping endlessly about the ‘Wacker’ Paynes in their feet.

And when they got to Bethlehem and found the stable, they looked through the cattle scran, and sure enough there was The Ankle Snapper, just as the sky pilot had briefed them.

And there was a sudden outbreak of morale!

And the shepherds, being matelots at heart, wet the baby’s head with a tot or six of Nelson’s blood…

Here ends the Gospel according to Jack.

(With thanks to No 7 Area)