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I Take My Hat Off To You

Chief Inspector McSwiggan arrived at Ballymena RUC station for his first day in charge, and gathered the entire contingent together for a lecture on riot control and crowd dispersal.
'I'm sure you all realise that we could be faced with a long hot summer of riots over this new Public Order Order, he said. 'So I've asked headquarters to send us twenty armoured Land-rovers, 500 plastic bullet guns and 100,000 baton rounds for crowd-dispersal purposes.'
'Waste of time,' came a muttered voice from the back of the room.
'Stand up that man!' roared the chief inspector. 'What is your name, constable?' 'Bloggs, sir,' said Constable Bloggs, shuffling to his feet.
'So, Bloggs,' said the chief inspector, 'you think it's a waste of time sending for all this extra and very necessary equipment which could very well save the lives of you and your fellow officers in an emergency?'
'I do, sir.'
'Well, Bloggs. Let us imagine for a moment that you are standing alone in the middle of Ballymena, confronted by an angry crowd of 10,000, hurling petrol bombs, bricks and the spare wheels of Volvos. How exactly would you got about dispersing this mob?'
'I would take off my hat, sir, and threaten to pass it round.'


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