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Divert Your Course

You will sometimes see this old joke floating around as an "actual transcript," sometimes even with a date attached—the date often far more recent than the years the joke has been around.

This skit features a Captain, a Crewmember, and a Voice over a "radio," though other scouts can be performing ship's tasks in the background.

Crewmember: Captain, Captain, wake up.

Captain: What? Well?

Crewmember: Sorry to wake you, sir, but we have a serious problem.

Captain: Well, what is it?

Crewmember: There’s a ship in our sea lane about twenty miles away, and they refuse to move.

Captain: What do you mean they refuse to move? Just tell them to move.

Crewmember: Sir, we have told them; they will not move.

Captain: I’ll tell them. [on intercom] Move starboard 20 degrees.

Voice on intercom: Move starboard yourself 20 degrees.

Captain: I can’t believe this. Well, I mean, I’m a captain. I'll let them know who I am. I’m important. [on intercom] This is Captain Horatio Hornblower XXVI, commanding you to move starboard 20 degrees at once.

Voice: This is Seaman Carl Jones II, commanding you to move starboard 20 degrees at once.

Captain: What arrogance? I mean, what presumption? Here is a seaman commanding me, a captain. We could just blow them right out of the water. Let them know who we are. [on intercom] This is the Mighty Missouri, flagship of the 7th Fleet, commanding you to move starboard 20 degrees.

Voice: This is the lighthouse. [pause] Your call.

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