On Being Terrified

The following was sent to me by a good friend of mine:


The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent events in Syria and have therefore raised their security level from “Miffed” to “Peeved.” Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to “Irritated” or even “A Bit Cross.” The English have not been “A Bit Cross” since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from “Tiresome” to “A Bloody Nuisance.” The last time the British issued a “Bloody Nuisance” warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.
The Scots have raised their threat level from “Pissed Off” to “Let’s get the Bastards.” They don’t have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years.
The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from “Run” to “Hide.” The only two higher levels in France are “Collaborate” and “Surrender.” The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France ‘s white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country’s military capability.
Italy has increased the alert level from “Shout Loudly and Excitedly” to “Elaborate Military Posturing.” Two more levels remain: “Ineffective Combat Operations” and “Change Sides.”
The Germans have increased their alert state from “Disdainful Arrogance” to “Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs.” They also have two higher levels: “Invade a Neighbour” and “Lose.”
Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels.
The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.
Australia , meanwhile, has raised its security level from “No worries” to “She’ll be right, Mate.” Two more escalation levels remain: “Crikey! I think we’ll need to cancel the barbie this weekend!” and “The barbie is cancelled.” So far no situation has ever warranted use of the last final escalation level.
John Cleese ,
British writer, actor and tall person
And as a final thought – Greece is collapsing, the Persians are getting aggressive, and Rome is in disarray. Welcome back to 430 BC.

I searched for verification of the origins of this hilarious piece and found on Snopes that it is not by John Cleese at all.  Dating back at least to 2005, its author is anonymous.  It gets updated on the internet periodically to fit the times.  Nevertheless, I think it is entirely appropriate to treat this serious subject with some humor.  In this raucous political season the demagogues are rattling sabers and inciting fear to a ridiculous extent and what really ticks me off are GOP assertions that our military is broken and needs massive repair.  The USA spends about the same on “defense” than the next 9 countries combined.

When we allow ourselves to be terrorized, the terrorists are winning.

About Jim Wheeler

U. S. Naval Academy, BS, Engineering, 1959; Naval line officer and submariner, 1959 -1981, Commander, USN; The George Washington U., MSA, Management Eng.; Aerospace Engineer, 1981-1999; Resident Gadfly, 1999 - present. Political affiliation: Democratic.
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6 Responses to On Being Terrified

  1. Jim Ruebush says:

    That was worth reading. Thanks for sharing it, Jim. I don’t mind that Cleese didn’t write it. He’d probably get a jolly laugh at it.

    I agree with your final sentence. Be smart, be vigilant, and don’t go beating up on everyone. Most people are not our enemies. We can be our own worst enemy.


  2. aFrankAngle says:

    I love that someone can find humor in the midst of a serious subject. Many thanks … and hey Jim … my holiday party is going on this weekend … and you need a gift bag.


  3. Elyse says:

    This is exactly how we should act. Miffed, not terrified, like the Brits. Resolute like the Scots!


  4. PiedType says:

    Frankly I’m more afraid of ignorant Americans than of Islamic terrorists. And the former greatly outnumber the latter.


  5. Thank you for this one, I needed a good giggle.

    Liked by 1 person

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