Funny Stories
One of our submarines is missing!
One of our submarines is missing
One of our submarines is missing!
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One of our submarines is missing!
One of our submarines is missing
One of our submarines is missing!
Chapter Two: Steady as she goes
One of our submarines is missing!
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One of our submarines is missing!
One of our submarines is missing!
HMS Babylon sliced steadily through the dark watersLike a lean, grey beast, the frigate sliced through the dark waters between the Scottish Isles. Calm on this dark October night, but deceptively so, for as Captain Jack St John* RN knew only too well, a Russian submarine had been seen several times in the past week. St John’s mission was to find the sub and shadow it until it left British waters. The bridge was dark except for the faintest of glows from the instruments, turned low to maintain night vision. St John’s square jaw and chiselled features were just visible to 1st Lieutenant* James Mainwaring* ("Jimbo" to his many friends in the officer’s mess). Mainwaring became fascinated by the way the sweeping light of the RADAR glittered on the grey hairs that had invaded the captain’s beard in recent years.

"What are you thinking about, Jimbo?" the captain asked.
"Sorry sir, miles away. Damn lonely business chasing Russkies on a night like this," he replied.
The captain answered without shifting his gaze from the glittering, black sea.
"I like it Jimbo; most of the men below decks, lights dimmed, my chiselled features illuminated by the instruments, the RADAR glittering in my beard. Seems like it's just us and Ivan—personal if you know what I mean."
"Ivan, Sir?"
"I meant the Russkies, Jimbo, not CPO Ivan Featherstone*. With a chap like Ivan at the wheel the men can sleep soundly in their bunks tonight."
"Yes Sir, fine chap Ivan. CPO I mean—not the Russkies. Never did trust the Russkies." Mainwaring shivered as he replied. It wasn’t the cold but the single-mindedness of his captain which made him uncomfortable.

They had known each other since they were Snotties at Dartmouth twenty years earlier. Even then St John had seemed to stand apart from the other students. Often they would see him at night standing in front of the window of his room, adjusting the table lamp to illuminate his chiselled features and checking the effect in his reflection in the glass. At the time they had chided him and tried to get him to join their high spirited games when they de-bagged the female ratings during rum-fuelled carousals in the officers' mess, but he seemed drawn to the lonely road to an early command. In the final examinations St John had passed amongst the top four candidates in every subject. In the practical examination he had stood in a poorly lit room with his chiselled features illuminated by the same brass binnacle which had been used to test Nelson, Jellico and Mountbatten. The marks he earned were a high-water mark for naval deportment and are still talked about in hushed tones to this very day. American naval cadets on exchange programmes have entered that room as brashly confident young men and staggered out, weeping wrecks, fit only for shore duty.

"Something on your mind?" St John asked.
"It's this damned Sub, Sir," replied Mainwaring, tearing his eyes away from the reflection of the captain's chiselled features in the bridge windows. "Why would the Russkies be using a bright yellow submarine with MOD markings to spy on us? It doesn't make any sense."
"Double bluff, Number one. Oldest trick in the book. Did the same thing at Travemunde in '86."
"Travemunde, Sir?"
"Baltic. German-Russo border before the wall came down in '89. Always snooping on the Hun. Used to disguise their boats as British weather buoys until some sharp-eyed matelot spotted they'd spelled 'meteorological' as 'meterlogical.' Big brouhaha. Egg on face."
"What happened?"
"The usual. We sent their naval attaché packing. They filmed our man in Moscow getting his leg over two Ukrainian prostitutes. We retaliated with a trade embargo on caviar. They built some new subs disguised as peddaloes. Business as usual until they kissed and made up with the Hun in '89."
"Right..." said Mainwaring bemusedly. "So the Russians are spying on us and we're...?"
"Spying on the Americans," finished St John.
"I thought we were allies, Sir?"
"Good heavens, no. Pretend we are, d'you see, to lull them into a false sense of security."
"Not with you, Sir?"
"I wouldn't worry about it Number one. Filthy business, espionage. Keep our heads down and let the chaps in Whitehall sort it out, what?"
"Aye, aye, Sir."

There was a knock at the bridge door. "Cover eyes," called Chief Petty Officer Featherstone. They covered their eyes against the glare from the lit corridor as a thickset able seaman entered with a tray of tea.
"Cup o’ Rosie, Sah!" said seaman Staines, a loveable Cockney rogue.
"Thank-you Staines." said St John. "Most welcome, I have a right Geoff Hurst on at the moment."
"Oh you're a wag, Sah, aintcha?" said Staines with a laugh like a bilge opening. He always laughed at his commander's jokes. The Cap’n was not like the other officers, he seemed to understand the men, he could cross the invisible line which separated them from the other ranks.

"Bought one for yourself, Staines?" asked St John. "Good man."
St John turned from his post at the window. "Take over here Number one, I’m just going for a Tom. Damned Vindaloo. Don't want to turn the bridge into a Dutch oven, eh Staines?"
Staines doubled up with laughter as Mainwaring stepped into the Captain’s place. The faint glow from the instruments illuminated his double chin, the sweeping light of the RADAR shone on the underside of his protruding belly. He was not leadership material.

"Come up for the change of watch, Staines?" asked St John.
"Oh Aye Sah, wouldn’t miss it for any money."
"Officer of the watch!” said the captain in a tone of strong formality.
"Aye aye, Sir!” said Mainwaring.
"Sound the change of watch."
"Change of watch it is Sir." repeated Mainwaring, pressing a button which sounded klaxons throughout the ship.

Suddenly the boat came alive with thundering feet as men ran from their berths to their stations. A knock at the bridge door presaged the arrival of 2nd Lieutenant Cathy McVitie who would take over from Mainwaring for the next watch.

At 27, McVitie was young to be a senior watch officer. She was one of a new generation of career women who had recently entered the Navy straight from university and expected to be accepted on equal terms. Mainwaring didn't much care for the new ways.

McVitie had found it hard to break into the male world of a British warship, years of unspoken tradition seemed designed to thwart her at every turn. Just now, for example, a tradition of strict adherence to uniform code meant that the unaccountable inability of the naval dockyard to supply cold weather female officers' uniform, or regulation naval flash resistant brassieres, left her in flimsy tropical kit comprising khaki shorts and a white blouse, when all the other officers wore duffle coats against the chill autumn wind.

"Lieutenant McVitie reporting Sir," said Cathy. The chill wind blowing through the open bridge door tugged at her long, blond locks and caused a wisp of hair to sweep across her finely chiselled face.
"Very good, carry on," said the Captain.

2nd Lieutenant Cathy McVitieMainwaring and McVitie exchanged detail of course and heading. She stepped up to the instruments and leant forward to peer into the RADAR screen. The dim light illuminated her pretty nose and high cheekbones. Behind her, the officers and other ranks stared as the sweep of the RADAR shone through the transparent fabric of her thin blouse, silhouetting her firm, jutting breasts and erect nipples. Mainwaring crossed his legs self-consciously as captain St John cleared his throat. They stood in silence for what seemed like hours and then, quietly at first, Seaman Staines began to sing in a rumbling baritone. "Hooray and up she rises, hooray and up she rises, hooray and up she rises."
All together they sang with gusto, "Early in the morning."

Oblivious, 2nd Lieutenant McVitie tugged her shorts further down her long, tanned legs in an attempt to shelter them from the October wind. Unfortunately, this exposed more of the regulation navy blue knickers to which Seaman Staines' eyes became riveted with puppy-like devotion. Captain St John cleared his throat theatrically. "Watch dismissed," he barked. "I’m going below. Number two, you have the bridge. Steady as she goes."
"Aye, aye sir," Cathy replied. "Steady as she goes."

One of our submarines is missing!
One of our submarines is missing!
One of our submarines is missing!
One of our submarines is missing!
One of our submarines is missing!
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One of our submarines is missing!
One of our submarines is missing!
Story © 2005 How Tenji & Miranda Givings.
Pictures and construction © 2005 / 051105
One of our submarines is missing!
One of our submarines is missing!
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Funny Stories is packed full of some of the most original and hilarious short stories you'll find anywhere on the internet.

From scathingly witty parodies of the literature of the last century like The Evils of Coffee and How to detect Self Abuse in Young Girls, through stories about Wrapping presents with a Cat, Performance Art and the Perils of Public Toilets, to advice on how not to save your marriage and the dangers of Threesomes, Funny Stories contains some of the very best writing Utterpants has to offer.

With such a wide range of outstanding material, it is almost impossible to single out anything that, er—stands out, but our adult version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, as well as Jennifer Gardner's many stories, are all firm favourites with our readers.

Can there be a funnier title than If my Pussy smells like Tuna, why doesn't my Cat eat me out? We don't think so, nor have we read a better satire on the differences between men and women than The Penis Paragraphs - jointly written by Don Pitts and Jennifer Gardner.

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