SECRET ? or is it.
I found this Editorial Extract in a 1946 copy of the Glasgow Herald, and
thought folks would be interested to see it here.
The story behind it is that there appears to have been a report, or scandal,
about some missing 'secret' files belonging to the British Control Commission
in Berlin. Following the end of the war the previous year, the BCC were effectively
the local government in the British Sector of occupied Berlin, ruling affairs in the city until post-war Germans could rule themselves.
The said 'missing' files then turned up, prompting this editor to comment thus with his
tongue-in-cheek poke at officialdom and their bewildering methods, and particularly at the military.
Missing official files, documents, scandals thereto ... nothing changes, does it.
SECRET or TOP SECRET
There has been some excitement in the British Control Commission in Berlin
because a “top secret” file disappeared for a few days and then reappeared on a
shelf in the office from which it was missed.
And not even a signature for it. We are appalled. We have in fact, been
appalled for just ten minutes, having just refreshed our memory on the proper
treatment of “secret” documents as set out in the voluminous notes we made
during the transition from AC1 to officer.
“Top” is the highest degree of secrecy. It used to be “Most”, but the
Americans did not like it, so we adopted their style between 1943 and 1944.
A “Top Secret” document is so secret that its very existence is not known, and
its circulation and custody are hedged with the most stringent precautions.
Indeed, it is so secret that it is doubtful if really there is any such thing.
Another rule, which helped to add mystery to “top secret” letters, was that
they had to be typed by the adjutant himself. This, of course, was the
equivalent of putting them in code.
The difference between a “top secret” and a “secret” document is only the
degree of suspicion that there is as to its existence, and its contents “must
remain unknown save to those having direct concern with it.” That was
generally interpreted as meaning everybody from the C.O. to the men on jankers.
The movement of a secret document, or file, is directed by a fixed routine. It
is placed in an envelope heavily marked “Secret”. This is just to make sure
that nobody knows of its existence.
It then passes through all the hands in the orderly room and arrives at last at
a registry, where a clerk noted its reference number, signs a receipt, and
encloses it in a plain envelope with the address.
A despatch rider is then given the plain envelope, but to ensure that he does
not dawdle on the way he is told that there is a “secret” letter inside. That
makes him feel important, and has even been known to make him hurry.
The rules for the custody of “secret” (which includes “top secret”) files are
equally strict. They must be kept by the adjutant, locked in a steel chest or
safe. That must not be the safe that contains railway warrants and routine
forms. Custom, however, has allowed that it may be the safe in which the
whisky bottle is kept, for, like the secret document, its existence should not
In transit, “secret” files must be sealed in a large plain envelope, and at
every point on its travels a receipt must be signed.
Presumably, the regulations of the Control Commission differ from these only in
One other point remains to be mentioned in the deception of the curious. That
is the disposal of “secret” documents which are no longer current. All such
documents, metal fastenings having been removed, should be put in sealed sacks
conspicuously marked “Secret Waste” and these set aside to await an opportunity
for treatment at the nearest pulping mill.
One has often wondered why the terms “secret” and “top secret” are always used
officially between inverted commas.
From the Glasgow Herald; Dec 1946
There's some SHORT STORIES right at the bottom of this page,
in the event you're bored, or have trouble sleeping.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The Sunday School teacher was describing how Lot's wife looked back
into a pillar of salt, when little Jason interrupted,
'My Mummy looked back once while she was driving,' he announced
'and she turned into a telephone pole!'
A Sunday school teacher was telling her class the story of the Good
She asked the class, 'If you saw a person lying on the roadside,
bleeding, what would you do?'
A thoughtful little girl broke the hushed silence, 'I think I'd throw
DID NOAH FISH?
A Sunday school teacher asked, 'Johnny, do you think Noah did a lot
when he was on the Ark?'
'No,' replied Johnny. 'How could he, with just two worms?'
A Sunday school teacher said to her children, 'We have been
powerful kings and queens were in Bible times, but there is a
Can anybody tell me what it is?'
One child blurted out, 'Aces!'
MOSES AND THE RED SEA
Nine-year-old Simon was asked by his mother what he had learned
'Well, Mum, our teacher told us how God sent Moses behind enemy lines
rescue mission to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. When he got to the
he had his army build a pontoon bridge and all the people walked
Then he radioed headquarters for reinforcements. They sent
the bridge and all the Israelites were saved.'
'Now, Simon, is that really what your teacher taught you?' his mother
'Well, no, Mum. But, if I told it the way the teacher did,
THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD
A Sunday School teacher decided to have her young class memorize one of
quoted passages in the Bible - Psalm 23. She gave the youngsters a
to learn the chapter.
Little Michael was excited about the task -- but he just couldn't
After much practice, he could barely get past the first line.
On the day that the kids were scheduled to recite Psalm 23 in front
congregation, Michael was so nervous.
When it was his turn, he stepped up to the microphone and said
Lord is my Shepherd, and that's all I need to know.'
A Rabbi said to a precocious six-year-old boy, 'Your mother says
for you each night? That's very commendable. What does she say?'
The little boy replied, 'Thank God he's in bed!'
The vicar's 5 year-old daughter noticed that her father always paused
his head for a moment before starting his sermon. One day she
'Well, sweetheart,' he began, proud that his daughter was so observant
messages, 'I'm asking the Lord to help me preach a good sermon.'
'So, how come He doesn't?' she asked.
UNTIMELY ANSWERED PRAYER
During the minister's prayer one Sunday, there was a loud whistle from
the back pews.
Tommy's mother was horrified. She pinched him into silence and,
asked, 'Tommy, whatever made you do such a thing?'
Tommy answered soberly, 'I asked God to teach me to whistle, and He
TIME TO PRAY
A pastor asked a little boy if he said his prayers every night.
'Yes, sir.' the boy replied.
'And, do you always say them in the morning, too?' the pastor asked.
'No sir,' the boy replied. 'I ain't scared in the daytime.'
When my daughter, Kelly, said her bedtime prayers, she would bless
member, every friend, and every pet, current and past.
For several weeks, after we had finished the nightly prayer, Kelli
This soon became part of her nightly routine, to include this closing.
My curiosity got the best of me and I asked her, 'Kelly, why do you
the part about all girls?'
Her response, 'Because everybody always finishes their prayers by
SAY A PRAYER
Little Alexander and his family were having Sunday dinner at
Everyone was seated around the table as the food was being served.
When Alexander received his plate, he started eating right away.'
Alexander! Please, wait until we say our prayer,' said his mother.
'I don't need to,' the boy replied.
'Of course you do.' his mother insisted. 'We always say a prayer
at our house.'
'That's at our house.' Alexander explained. 'But this is Grandma's
she knows how to cook!'
An Introduction to Tools ...
and how to use them . .
including the hazards encountered in such use,
recognisable to anyone who used to maintain his own car in the old days.
: A tall upright machine useful for suddenly snatching flat steel bar
stock out of your hands, striking you in the chest and flinging your
beer across the shed, splattering it against that freshly painted part
on the workbench.
: Cleans paint off bolts and throws them under the workbench at the
speed of light. Also removes fingerprints and guitar calluses in the
time it takes to say "ouch!" and less time it takes to say "b****r it!!"
Electric Hand Drill
: Normally used for spinning pop rivets in their holes until you die of old age.
: Used to round off bolt heads. Often also used to create blood blisters.
: One of a family of cutting tools built on the Ouija Board principle.
It transforms human energy into a crooked, unpredictable motion and the
more you attempt to influence its direction the more dismal your
: Generally used after pliers to further round off a bolt. If nothing
else is available, they can also be used to transfer intense welding
heat to the palm of your hand.
: Used almost exclusively for lighting various flammable objects in
your shop on fire. Also handy for setting fire to the grease around
that wheel bearing you were trying to remove by heating the hub.
: Once used for working on older British cars and motorcycles. Now
mostly are hammered over bolts previously rounded by vice grips.
Hydraulic Floor Jack
: Used for lowering an automobile to the ground after installing new
brake shoes, trapping the handle firmly under the bumper. May also be
used to lower vehicle onto the plastic pail you drained the engine oil
into, immediately prior to moving the vehicle and spilling oil all over
your garage floor or concrete driveway.
Two by Four
: An eight-foot long bar made of wood used for levering the vehicle
upward off the hydraulic floor jack handle.
: A tool for removing 2X4 splinters or wire wheel wires from your fingers.
E-Z Out Bolt and Stud Extractor
: A tool 10 times harder than any known drill bit that snaps off in
bolt holes. Works well in inexpensive or easy to replace parts but
using this tool in expensive parts of your engine will cause almost certain costly failure.
Two-Ton Engine Hoist
: Used for testing the tensile strength of electrical wires, hoses etc
that you forgot to disconnect when removing your engine or gearbox.
Craftsman 1/2 X 16 inch Screwdriver
: A large pry bar that inexplicably has an accurately machined flat tip
at the opposite end to the handle.
Aviation Metal Snips
: See "Hacksaw."
Trouble Light ; aka Inspection Light
: A very appropriately named tool. Its two main purposes are to shine
an intense light directly into your eyes instead of onto the part you
are trying to illuminate and also to consume 40w light bulbs at the
same rate as a 105mm howitzer consumes shells. Sometimes called a drop
light for reasons obvious to anybody who has used one.
Philips Head Screwdriver
: Normally used to stab the silver vacuum seals under the screw off
lids of oil cans but can also be used, as the name implies, to strip
out the heads of Phillips screws.
: A tool often used to crumple the metal surrounding a clip or bracket
you needed to remove in order to replace that 2/- part. (for you kids, that's two shillings, or 10p)
: Used to make hoses too short. Can be saved/stored in various parts of workshop or garage with many others of its kind for company, for when you need a shorter hose. On finding a suitable looking hose for the job, it is invariably just slightly too long ... and so the whole process goes round again until the one time hose is now a rubber washer. Thence to be kept in a suitable tin in a suitable drawer, with many other similar ex-hoses, now redesignated washers.
: Originally used as a weapon of war, but nowadays used as a device to
locate and partially destroy the most expensive parts or your engine or machine, adjacent to the part you are really trying to hit/loosen/move/bend/knock off.
: Used to open boxes and slice through the contents of packages
delivered to your front door. Works particularly well on items such as
seats, CD's, liquids in plastic bottles, official documents, collector magazines etc.
Especially useful for slicing through work clothes, overalls, but only when you are in them.
: Any tool that gets thrown across the garage as you yell "Dammit!" It
is also the next tool that you find you will need, and so need to go and find it. In Britain, aka B*****D tool, as in file of same name.
A soothing balm, or mechanics lube, usually applied verbally and in hindsight, which somehow eases the pain and embarrassment of your lack of foresight. Two starred examples are above.
wonderful Church Bulletins!
Thank God for church ladies with typewriters.
These sentences (with all the errors ) appeared in various
church bulletins or were announced in church services
and are collected for your amusement here.
The Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals.
The sermon this morning 'Jesus Walks on the Water.'
The sermon tonight 'Searching for Jesus.'
Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale.
It's a chance to get rid of those things
not worth keeping around the house.
Bring your husbands.
Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our community.
Smile at someone who is hard to love.
Say 'Hell' to someone
who doesn't care much about you.
Don't let worry kill you off - let the Church help.
Miss Charlene Mason sang 'I will not pass this
way again,' giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.
For those of you who have children and don't know
it, we have a nursery downstairs.
Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir.
They need all the help they can get.
Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married
on October 24 in the church.
So ends a friendship that began in their school days.
At the evening service tonight,
the sermon topic will be 'What Is Hell?'
Come early and listen to our choir practice.
A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall.
Music will follow.
Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the
addition of several new members
and to the deterioration of some older ones.
Scouts are saving aluminium cans, bottles and other
items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.
Please place your donation in the envelope along with
the deceased person you want remembered.
The church will host an evening of fine dining, super
entertainment and gracious hostility.
Potluck supper Sunday at 500 PM –
prayer and medication to follow.
The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of
every kind. They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.
This evening at 7 PM there will be a hymn singing
in the park across from the Church.
Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.
Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10 AM.
All ladies are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after
the B. S. is done.
The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the
Congregation would lend him their electric girdles
for the pancake breakfast next Sunday.
Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM.
Please use the back door.
The eighth-graders will be presenting
Shakespeare's Hamlet in the Church basement Friday at 7 PM.
The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.
Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM
at the First Presbyterian Church.
Please use large double door at the side entrance.
The Associate Minister unveiled the church's new
campaign slogan last Sunday ''I Upped My Pledge - Up Yours.''
A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall.
A FEW SHORT STORIES
mostly for children, and some with a local interest.
with local interest, but around 5,000BC
WATTLE & DAUB
inspired by the re-opening of
MURDER IN THE MUSEUM
is a black tale that bears no
relation to the presentations
we occasionally run.
JUST TWO FEET
a story inspired by the finding of the bones of
RICHARD III, but minus his feet.
AND FINALLY ....
an ode to everyone who has ever cursed their computer
It hates me, my computer
It just sits there and blinks.
They say it’s just machinery
But I’m sure the damned thing thinks.
I’ve worked it out on paper
That the closest I can get
Is ten feet from the keyboard
Before it gets upset.
I have been on all the courses,
I have taken all the tests.
But if my machine is active,
Then it likes to take long rests.
It becomes a competition
To see who gets fed up first,
But in this “Man/Machine” encounter
It’s my eyes that come off worst.
I can strike required buttons,
I depress the correct keys,
But my mouse has curled its toes up
And it’s brought me to my knees.
Now there’s only one thing for it,
Nice and simple, clean, no fuss -
Just re-programme with a chainsaw
And reach for the abacus!