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ALERTS to Threats in Europe — 2013

Comment at Objectivist Living:


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.

British writer, actor and tall person

And as a final thought – Greece is collapsing, the Iranians are getting aggressive, and Rome is in disarray. Welcome back to 430 BC.
Life is too short…

Commenter is unsure, but thinks the author may have been John Cleese.


  1. Having lived for a time in a tiny village in Flanders where the Great War memorial ran to 47 names, 26 of them serving soldiers & dined with people who fought with & lost friends & family members in the Resistance, the French reference is a little less than amusing.

  2. Sam Duncan says:

    Apart from anything else, bloke, given that France is the only government actually determined to attack Syria, the joke simply doesn’t work in this case.

    The Scots’ alert level has actually gone from “smugly aloof” (there hasn’t been a serious attack on Scottish soil since WWII; the IRA left us alone because… well, nationalists, you know?) to “totally self-obsessed”. WWIII could break out tomorrow and all or political-media complex would be concerned about is what it meant for the referendum campaign.

    The final thought’s good.

    And yes, “writer, actor and tall person” does sound like Cleese.

  3. Lynne says:

    I think it is meant to amuse rather than be serious. Therefore I’m laffing and don’t give a kipper’s dangly bits for political correctness.


  4. Philip Scott Thomas says:

    FWIW, it’s not John Cleese. But it’s still a pretty good gag. It would be stronger if it had stopped after the second paragraph, though. Concision is good in comedy.

  5. Sam Duncan says:

    Ah, good old Snopes. I must admit, though it’s a good imitation, something doesn’t quite sit right about it so I’m not really surprised. The first paragraph seems a very American view of England to me, although the rest of it displays an understanding of Europe that – and I apologize to our well-informed Kitty Kounters – most Americans are unlikely to have: the over-representation of Scots in the British military, the Belgian love of holidays, etc. Come to think of it, simply treating England and Scotland separately suggests a British origin. Chalk it up to “Anon”.

  6. RAB says:

    Yes I knew it wasn’t Cleese, I’ve seen it before somewhere. Good stuff though.

    Now then Bloke… these here Froggies. They held their end up well in the First World War, no question, but the Second?

    I have mentioned before that I had two French Aunts (both dead now alas) who turned up in Caerphilly, aged 14 and 15 to stay with their aunt who had married a Welsh Tommy in the First World War.

    They were very exotic flowers for a little Welsh Market town indeed. Their father, who was a Mayor of a little town near Caen, knew the Germans were about to invade and didn’t want the Hun messing with his delicate blooms like they did in WW1. So he sent them to what he considered safety. He then promptly set up a resistance group.

    Well it was all a bit of a struggle at first. He felt like that joke from Life of Brian… Where’s the Judea People’s Front then?… He’s over there…. Nobody was joining as all were busy having a jolly time collaborating. This lasted till well into 1943 when the French could see which way the winds of war were blowing.

    And resistance groups often spent more time fighting each other than they ever did the Germans. My aunt’s dad was grassed up to the Gestapo by a rival Communist group at one point, and only just got away with his life. Lovely chaps them commies!

    My aunts went back to their home town for a visit just after the war, and were totally disgusted to find people they knew well to be blatent collaborators, were now swanning around claiming to be heroes of the resistance, with medals and pensions to boot.

    The role of the French Resistance has been romanticised beyond belief.

  7. Simon Jester says:


    Given that the Flemish are the only people in the world who hate the French more than the English do, I strongly suspect that they wouldn’t be *too* bothered about people taking the piss out of them…

  8. @RAB
    There’s little doubt the French response to occupation was far from uniform. The inhabitants of Royan, on the Atlantic coast actually lined the streets & cheered the arrival of the German Army. But, then, if you’re aware of the treatment the Vendee received at he hands of the Revolutionary administration you might understand why feelings about the nation’s government were still mixed a century & a half later.There’s a lot of France considers itself territory occupied by a foreign, Parisian regime.

    The entry for the English I did find amusing. It’d be hard to find a more craven indigenous population in the whole of Europe. One of the reasons I left & restrict myself to the view of the place from the beach at Gravelines.. Is there anything that could be imposed on the English they wouldn’t submit to with nothing more than a few mutterings? One particular example sticks in the memory. There was a section of autoroute I pass through on trips up & down from Belgium to the Spanish border. The authorities had imposed a reduced speed limit & stuck in an enforcement camera. No obvious safety reason, damned easy to overlook & was doing a roaring trade in speeding tickets. UK side I can think of dozens of similar ones. French response was to chuck a couple of truck tyres over it & set light to them. They barbecued its replacement a month or so later. The blackened remains of that one stands as a memorial to Gallic intransigence. Can you imagine similar in England?

    No, the French didn’t particularly distinguish themselves at the fall of France. But look a the numbers on that War Memorial. My small village lost a quarter of its manhood to the Great War.( Almost as many again of its civilian residents when the tides of battle rolled across it in ’14 & again in ’18.) 1940 added another 3 names. That’s the generation & its unborn sons weren’t there a little over 2 decades later. Nevertheless, despite being appallingly generaled, the French soldier gave a good account of himself when he got a chance. It was the French holding the perimeter enabled the evacuation af Dunkerque.

  9. Julie near Chicago says:

    I sort of thought the point of the piece was to skewer everybody. :(

  10. Lynne says:

    Wot Julie said. With sugar coated knobs on!

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