diamond geezer

 Tuesday, May 20, 2008

ATTENTION CITIZENS: Do you show sufficient respect to our marvellous boys and girls in the Armed Forces? We at the Ministry of Defence don't reckon that you do. Which is why we've published a report proposing the introduction of a new bank holiday called British Armed Forces and Veterans Day, every June. Because respect is due. Or else.

Programme for British Armed Forces and Veterans Day
Trial run: Little-Dumley-in-the-Marsh, Monday 30th June 2008

04:47 Reveille: played by the Little Dumley Infants Wind Band
06:00 Commemorative flypast by the Red Arrows. That'll rouse the lazy civvies who think a bank holiday is for laying in bed and going to IKEA.
07:00 Kit inspection: Sergeant Major Harris will be on hand to ensure that everyone in the village has shiny-buffed boots and perfect hospital corners.
08:55 Message of Support: Prime Minister Gordon Brown (tbc) speaks out via YouTube, and then Ross Kemp reads a stirring poem.
rah rah rah09:00 Homecoming Parade: Our Lads are back home after three months in a godforsaken foreign desert fighting some war that almost nobody in the UK understands. Come and watch them march up and down a bit.
10:00 Meet The Regiment: Find your Army soulmates, either in the West Henley ToffGenerals or the East Thurrock CannonFodders.
10:30 Wild Applause: Don't forget to burst into spontaneous appreciative clapping every time you see a man in camouflage gear. Oh rah rah that man.
11:00 Not the Two Minute Silence: Oi, you lot, stop gathering by the war memorial! Today is about remembering our glorious Armed Forces and Veterans, not commemorating the dead. They get a day to themselves in November. Now get back to the parade ground and start cheering.
12:00 Another Flypast: It's some old Spitfire and a couple of Chinooks this time. Honestly, it's noisier than living under the Heathrow flightpath.
12:15 The Flotilla of National Pride: The Royal Navy, who've been feeling pretty excluded so far, push a few paper boats across the duckpond.
13:00 Gasmask Pilates
13:30 Vocational Learning Demonstration: Teach yourself some useful army skills, like tank-driving, battle logistics and bayonetting.
14:00 'Freedom' Parade: Because if we brand the Armed Forces properly, somehow all that killing doesn't sound quite so bad.
14:45 Press Gang: Royal Navy Recruitment Officers kidnap a few lanky-looking adolescent yobs from the bus shelter on the edge of the village green and cart them off to live out the rest of their lives in a submarine.
15:00 Military Tattoo: Anybody fancy "I Our Brave Boys" needled into their forearm?
16:00 I Fought In The War You Know: The Vicar awards tiny gold-plated medals to all the local WW2 veterans that society has shamelessly ignored for the last 60-odd years.
16:30 Teenage indoctrination: Members of the newly formed Little Dumley Combined Cadet Force stand around in ill-fitting uniforms, fondling rifles and making their mothers terribly proud.
17:00 The Great Military Quiz: Schoolmistress Miss Humphries tests Class 3B on all the famous battles they've been learning about in Citizenship lessons this term.
17:45 Rounding Up of the Conscientious Objectors: Join the vigilante squad in the High Street so that the disrespectful can be named and shamed in tomorrow's Sun.
18:30 The Goat Race: Regimental mascots compete for a shiny silver cup.
19:00 Billycan Bonfire: Come share some rations out of a warm squeezy tube.
20:00 The Royal Tournament: Ah, remember the golden days when our TV schedules were cleared once a year so that the BBC could screen bagpiping bandsmen, formation horse-trotting and that pointless contest where two teams dragged a cannon across an obstacle course without touching the ground? Well it's back, and you will not switch over to ITV.
22:00 Fireworks: Choreographed by the Basra Aerial Assault Display Team
22:30 The Last Post: Little Dumley's residents bubble with crusading pride. And then straight to bed, because it's back to work in Civvy Street in the morning.

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