Humor Mitigates Grief 

Source: Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve

HUMOR IN UNIFORM

VERY GOOD  VERY GOOD : An Apocryphal Naval Yarn By VIKRAM KARVE

Humor can do wonders.

Genuine humour can dissipate anger and dissolve grief.

Here is a story – maybe apocryphal – narrated to me long back by one of my course-mates.

The Executive Officer (XO) of his ship was quite a character.

The XO was a cheerful, jovial, absent-minded guy who was obsessed with solving crossword-puzzles.

His favourite words were: “very good, very good”.

In the Navy – when your senior gave you an order – you said: “aye aye, sir”

And – when your junior made you a report – you said: “very good” 

Now – since the XO received lots of reports – he seemed to have developed the habit of saying: “very good, very good”.

One day – a young Lieutenant – a Divisional Officer – brought a distraught looking sad faced Sailor to see the XO.

It was just after breakfast – and the XO was sitting in the wardroom – busy with his Times of India Crossword Puzzle.

The Divisional Officer gestured towards the Sailor said: “Sir – we have just received a telegram that his mother has passed away.”

Very Good, Very Good…” the XO said instinctively – without even looking up from the newspaper – and he continued with his crossword puzzle.

There was stunned silence.

No one could believe his ears.

The poor sailor had been bereaved – his mother had died – and the XO was saying: “Very Good, Very Good…” 

For some time there was stunned silence – then – after a moment – the absentminded XO paused – and he put down the newspaper.

Then – the XO looked up at the sailor – and the XO said to the sailor:

“What…? Your mother died…? Very Bad, Very Bad…”

Everyone – including the bereaved sailor – burst out laughing.

Though he was quite a character – in his heart – the XO was a most compassionate and genuine man – he was a True Naval Officer of the “old-mould”.

In true Naval Tradition – the XO did everything humanly and administratively possible to help the bereaved sailor – and made all welfare arrangements to enable the sailor to mitigate his personal grief.

VIKRAM KARVE

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Disclaimer:

  1. This article is a spoof, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
  2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.

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This is a revised version of my article which I had Posted Online Earlier in my Academic and Creative Writing Blog at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2012/03/very-good-very-good-apocryphal-naval.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/03/very-good-very-good-humor-in-uniform.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/09/humour-in-uniform-very-good-very-good.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/12/humor-in-uniform-very-good-very-good.html

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