An elderly Colonel, about to retire, was holding “officer hours” for the last time and four old offenders were brought in for punishment.
The Colonel looked them over wearily, and then said:
“I’ve been listening to the yarns and excuses you men have concocted for the past three years and I’m tired of them all. If any of you can think of something new, I’ll let you off without punishment. If you can’t, I’ll give you the limit.”
“I took just one drink, and it made me ill, Colonel,” began the first.
“Old stuff,” said the Colonel.
The second offenders alarm-clock had failed to work, and the third offender had bad news from home. There was nothing new in this, and each was given the limit.
However, the Colonel’s eyes brightened at the approach of the fourth culprit, an Irishman.
“Be original, Duffy. Tell me something new,” urged the Colonel.
“Well, Colonel,” Duffy began, with his eyes a-twinkle, “when Oi heard the sad news that you was goin’ to l’ave us, it made me so down-hearted that Oi wint to the nearest public house and drowned me sorrows.”
“You win!” exploded the Colonel. “Now get out!”