Monday, March 09, 2009

The funniest cadence

No, not like the minister of silly walks, like a marching cadence.

One time, during my military school, I got out in formation to call cadence. No big deal, really, most of us took turns during marching and running. Drill sergeants encouraged it and once you make it to the real Army you pretty had to do it at some point in time.

However, me and a few other guys had a little bet going as to who could call out the funniest, most potentially offensive cadence and get away with it. I was the first to go and I’d say I won because I got away with it. Of course, we were quickly warned by out senior drill that future cadence callers must stick to established cadences without improvisation.

This particular cadence I called was modified from a popular one that goes:
Around her hair she wore a yellow ribbon
She wore it in the spring time, in the early month of May
And if you asked her why the heck she wore it
She'd say she wore it for her soldier who was far, far away
Far away
Far away

There are some variations, but this is the most traditional.

The cadence I called went like this:
Around her wrists, she wore a pair of handcuffs
She worse them in the hotel, just below the sleeve.
And if you asked her why the heck she wore them
She’d say she wore them for her soldier who was home on leave
Home on leave
Home on leave

But this wasn’t the funniest cadence.

Shortly after this, a running group of guys were running (go figure). We were led by one of the sergeants in the cadre and one of the cadences he called was the following:
Don’t let your dingle dangle dangle in the sand,
Pick up your dingle dangle, hold it in your hand!
Don’t let your dingle dangle dangle in the dirt,
Pick up your dingle dangle put it in your shirt!

Not that any of that is particularly funny, but it was the delivery. This guy, about six-one, six-two, overweight with kind of a jolly appearance, was running, red faced, beside us and delivering these lines with the most serious, most honest expression. Don’t you dare let that dingle dangle dangle, dammit! It took all I had to not laugh then, but I haven’t stopped laughing since.

I just cannot get the image of this guy running with us delivering this godawful cadence as though it was vitally important business.

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