“Square Peg” in “Round Hole” – Humor in Uniform

Humor in Uniform 


Someone asked me:

“How is it possible for an officer to remain honest in the all pervasive corrupt environment of today…?”

I told him the story of an incorruptible officer I came across in the Navy – let us call him “J”.

Dear Reader:

Let me tell you the story of this honest officer who was afflicted by the “virus of honesty”

So– I will delve into my HUMOUR IN UNIFORM archives – and pull out the story of “J” – for you to read – and ponder over…


Story of the Incorruptible Officer

A Fictional Spoof By Vikram Karve 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/04/humor-in-uniform-virus-of-honesty.html

“SQUARE PEG” IN “ROUND HOLE” – An Apocryphal Story By Vikram Karve

“J” was an honest, sincere, upright, straightforward, patriotic, service minded officer.

He truly epitomized the motto of his “alma mater”:


“J” also scrupulously followed his Academy Honour Code:

“I shall not Lie – I shall not Cheat – I shall not Steal – and I will not tolerate those who do so” 

In a nutshell  “J” possessed ideal OLQ (Officer Like Qualities).

One day  most unexpectedly  “J” was posted to a “lucrative” appointment.

Everyone was surprised.

There had to be some mistake somewhere.

How could a “morally upright” officer like “J” be appointed to such a “profitable” appointment…?

There were rumors that this most “sought after” appointment was auctioned.

Or  you had to have heavy pull/patronage to get this “prize” appointment.

Sometimes  they gave such “lucrative” appointments to “loyal” officers on the verge of retirement  to enable them to settle down “comfortably” after retirement.

Most people were surprised how “J” had got this “lucrative” appointment.

Even “J” was aghast on seeing his appointment letter.

“J” was a career conscious officer.

Till now – his track record had been perfect.

“J” had done all the right courses – he had even qualified the prestigious “staff college” course which was a “passport” to higher rank.

“J” had held the best of appointments – in operations – on staff – and in training.

And – suddenly – out of the blue – disaster had struck – and “J” was appointed to a peripheral organization which had quite a sleazy reputation.

Were they trying to sideline him…?

Was it the “end of the road” for his Navy career ambitions…?

Had they put him on a “slippery slope”…?

“J” told his boss to get the transfer cancelled.

“J” protested to his boss:

“There is no way I am going there. I do not want to work in a corrupt organization.”

The boss looked sympathetically at “J” – and he said to “J”:

“It’s no use. I have already spoken to everyone to have your appointment cancelled. But orders for your transfer have come from the top. They want an honest and upright officer to clean up that organization and you have been handpicked to do the job. So – you have to go. I am sure you will be able to sort out those corrupt buggers and improve matters – and set things right over there.”

After “J” left – the boss murmured to himself:

“I only hope that he sorts them out – and that they don’t sort him out instead…!!!”

“J” reported to his new assignment.

From the very first day – “J” got on the job – setting things right – and ensuring that everything was done honestly – and strictly as per the rules and regulations.

All corrupt activities were stopped.

A few honest vendors and contractors were happy that things had been streamlined – and now – they did not have to pay bribes anymore – as long as they did things properly as per procedure.

But – most vendors and contractors – who had got used to profiteering by subverting the system – they were most unhappy.

And – as an immediate expression of their displeasure – they stopped paying the customary “mamool” – and the time-honored monthly “hafta” – to the employees of the office where “J” was in-charge.

Everyone tried their best to corrupt “J” – and – entice him into their corrupt ways.

But – “J” would not budge.

When they tried to bribe him with money – “J” refused – and he said to them:

“The salary I get is enough to meet my needs – so I don’t need any extra money.”

When they tried to induce him by offering him a flat in a posh township at “concessional” rates – “J” refused – and he said to them:

“My father has left me a bungalow – so I don’t need a house.”

When they offered him prized bottles of the choicest Single Malt Whisky – “J” refused – and he said to them:

“I drink Rum – and I can get as much Rum as I want from the Navy canteen.”

They tried everything – gifts, perks, favors, booze, discounts, kickbacks – but nothing worked.

His fellow officers in the organization were worried that “J” was setting a dangerous precedent.

They feared that if they did not act fast – the “virus of honesty” that “J” was afflicted by – this “virus of honesty may become contagious and spread all over – and “contaminate” the entire organization.

So – the other officers counselled “J” – and they advised him not to “rock the boat” – and that he should let things go on – as they were going on for so many years.

But nothing worked – and “J” remained steadfast in his honesty.

It was decided to call a meeting to discuss this grave issue of “J”.

Vendors, Contractors, all the staff of J’s office – even a rep from the organization’s headquarters – all were present.

“corruption consultant” (who was an expert on bribery and corruption) was specially invited to the meeting to brainstorm on how to cure “J” from the “virus of honesty.

“We are all in bad shape ever since “J” has arrived. All commissions, mamoolhafta, cuts – all our earnings have stopped. I am finding it impossible to pay my EMIs of the flat I have booked. Had I known that an incorruptible officer like “J” was coming – I would never have booked that expensive flat. Even day-to-day living has become difficult…” the No. 2 Man in J’s office complained.

“I have never seen a terrible bugger like “J” – he just won’t eat money himself – and if that is not bad enough – “J” does not let us eat money…” someone said, “He seems incorruptible.”

“No one is incorruptible – everyone has a price…” the “corruption consultant” said.

“But we tried everything possible – money, gifts, booze, concessional flat, plot of land – he does not want anything…” the No. 2 Man said.

“He must have some weakness that can be exploited…” the “corruption consultant” said.

“I don’t know whether I should say this…” said a young lady steno – a stenographer – who was J’s secretary.

“Say whatever you have to say. We need to brainstorm…” the “corruption consultant” said.

“I have seen him giving me the “glad eye” when he thought I wasn’t looking…” she said.

“See – I told you – the bugger has got to have some weakness…” the “corruption consultant” was exultant – and he said to the lady steno who was J’s secretary:

“So your boss “J” has got a roving eye for beautiful women…?”

“I think so – I have noticed the way he looks at me with yearning in his eyes…” the steno said shyly.

An entrepreneur – who was the main vendor – looked at the steno – and he said to the Steno: “Why don’t you…?”

“Me…? Are you crazy…? I am a married woman. How can you even say such things…?” the steno shouted angrily.

“Don’t worry. I have handled many such cases. I will make all the arrangements…” the “corruption consultant” said, “But we will need some funds…”

“Not to worry. We will finance everything…” the contractors and vendors said in unison.

“Now we have to find an opportune time…” the “corruption consultant” said.

The No. 2 Man looked at the consultant and said:

“I think he will be living alone from Monday onwards. His wife is going away to her mother’s place along with the children for the summer vacation.”

“Then what are we waiting for…? This is the opportune moment. See – everything is falling into place. You go ahead and talk to him – and I will arrange everything accordingly,” the “corruption consultant” said.

Seeing the confused look on the No. 2 Man’s face – the “corruption consultant” said:

“You don’t worry – I will tell you exactly what you should do…”

On Monday morning – the No. 2 Man entered J’s office – and after some official discussion – the No. 2 Man looked at “J” – and the No. 2 Man slyly said to “J”:

“Sir – your Madam has gone away to her mother’s place – so you must be feeling lonely. If you want – I can arrange some company for you…”

“You need not worry…” “J” said, “I have the company of my books. I plan to catch up on my reading.”

“Sir – not that type of company – I meant something to fulfill your desires…” the No. 2 Man said.

“To fulfill my desires – what do you mean…?” asked “J”, looking puzzled.

“Sir – we can arrange for you have a good time – the best girls – Sir – from top-class “escort services” – whatever you want – models, film stars, college girls, housewives, matured girls, working girls, virgins, aunties – “high society” girls – as per your choice – Sir – from best escort agencies – very discreet – Sir – as per your choice and taste – Sir – you name it – and we will arrange whatever you want…” the No. 2 Man said.

“J” could not believe what he was hearing.

He was dumbstruck.

“J” looked in stunned silence at his No. 2 Man.

The No. 2 Man broke the silence.

The No. 2 Man said to “J”:

“Sir – if you prefer male company – we can arrange cute boys, macho men….”

On hearing this – “J” lost his temper.

“J” shouted at his No. 2 Man:

“You get out of here immediately – or I will take disciplinary action against you…”

“J” looked so angry – so furious – that the No. 2 Man thought that “J” was going to have a heart attack or a paralytic stroke.

On seeing J’s anger – the terrified No. 2 Man ran away from J’s office.


They tried again and again to corrupt “J”.

But – they did not succeed in corrupting “J”.

They could not “cure” “J” from the “virus” of honesty.

“J” remained scrupulously honest for his entire tenure.

Yes – “J” proved that he was truly incorruptible.

After completing his tenure of 2 years without blemish – “J” moved on to his “criteria appointment”.

Then – a sad thing happened.

“J” was “passed over” for promotion – yes – he was superseded for promotion.

“J” was so devastated by his supersession – that he quit the Navy immediately.

I am happy to report that “J” did extremely well in his second innings in the “civvy street” – and he is enjoying great success in the corporate sector – where his ethics and moral values are valued.

Yes – his “Military Ethics are valued more in the civilian Corporate World – than in the Military itself…!!!

Quite a paradox, isn’t it…?

“J” still feels bad about quitting the Navy – a service he loved so much.

But – the fact of the matter is that:

J’s departure was a greater loss to the Navy – than it was to “J” himself.


Copyright © Vikram Karve
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.


  1. This story is a fictional 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.

Copyright Notice:

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.

Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/04/humor-in-uniform-virus-of-honesty.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This is a Re-Post of my Humor in Uniform Story “A Square Peg in a Round Hole” – Earlier Posted by me Vikram Karve in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog at 3/07/2014 04:03:00 PM at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/03/humor-in-uniform-square-peg-in-round.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/04/honesty-in-uniform-incorruptible-officer.html  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/10/humor-in-uniform-square-peg-in-round.html and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/06/a-square-peg-in-round-hole.html

1 Comment »

  1. […] and https://karve.wordpress.com/2017/04/25/square-peg-in-round-hole-humor-in-uniform/ […]


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