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Author Topic: Funniest Things / Best Moments  (Read 3428 times)
Mike
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« on: August 20, 2014, 11:52:15 PM »

A while ago, I asked a pretty serious question and received a lot of responses. All were supportive, informative, and indicative of the passion everyone reading this has for this subject area. For that, I thank all of the contributors...

Now, I ask another question - mostly because I/we could use a laugh or a smile:

In the museum boats out there, what sticks out as some of the funniest or best moments?

Having worked in a tourist-driven economy, I know that there are TONS of stories that are of the "they-forgot-to-pack-their-brain" caliber that are better left for laughter and a shared drink, but I have faith that the folks reading this are fairly wise in what is and isn't... appropriate... here.

(If this is a rehash of a different thread, point me in the right direction and I shall adjust accordingly... but for the moment, something to bring a smile is needed)
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"When you're holding people's attention, I feel you must give them high-quality ingredients. They deserve nothing but your best. And if they need information, get it, cross-check it, and try to be right. Do not waste their time; do not enjoy the ego trip of being onstage."

Henry Rollins
Fred Tannenbaum
Unofficial Independent USS Silversides Historian
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« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2014, 06:35:34 AM »

Good thing I'm taking a solo day trip today to give me time to think of a few.

But to be honest, Mike, to me, there's no such thing as a dumb question from a guest. If they're asking something, it's a good sign to me. It means they're absorbing what's around them and what you're saying, digesting it and trying to learn more. That's what it's all about. And remember, we're talking about people who may have had no exposure to a museum sub, historic ship or even the military. That's what a museum sub/ship's mission is all about: Education!

That being said, one moment immediately comes to mind. I was leading a tour in Silversides in 2002. There was an older gent in my group who was on a destroyer tender (era unknown). At the end, he said, "That was a good tour but you should have used more jargon."
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Mike
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« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2014, 10:33:45 AM »

Fred,
Excellent point... I stand clarified. Smiley In the case of my recent trip to the Silversides, my wife (a classical pianist with no exposure to ships at all), I think her presence there was mostly to see what I was so excited about. The details of life on a sub was amazing to her and really opened her eyes to a much different way of living through necessity and not comfort.
With that, though, it was amusing when I excitedly pointed out to my son that they had a hedgehog and she began looking past the big grey thing I was pointing at for a cute spiny creature...
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"When you're holding people's attention, I feel you must give them high-quality ingredients. They deserve nothing but your best. And if they need information, get it, cross-check it, and try to be right. Do not waste their time; do not enjoy the ego trip of being onstage."

Henry Rollins
Fred Tannenbaum
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« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2014, 10:29:09 AM »

If you REALLY want to open your wife's and son's eyes to how they lived on U.S. subs in the Pacific, then plan a trip to Cleveland during warm weather to see the Cod (the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a short walk away. Also, have your wife read "Overdue and Presumed Lost" by Martin Sheridan, the only journalist allowed on a submarine war patrol. He really takes you "there."
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Mark Sarsfield
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« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2014, 12:30:57 PM »

Occasionally we would get a question during one of our event weekends that leaves you thinking... "WTF???..."  None are coming to mind right now.  One thing that did blow my mind was the number of claustrophobic people that would go on our tours.  Not sure if they were brave or stupid, because sometimes we'd have a line backed up from the CR all the way up the FTR stairs on deck and someone would finally snap and try to swim upstream. 

I've done other types of public interactions/displays for WWI and WWII and I've had idiots come up to me (while I'm wearing a Wehrmacht uniform) and ask if I'm "union or confederate".  You just can't fix stupid.
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Mark Sarsfield
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Karen D.
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« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2014, 06:44:46 PM »

We've often joked about writing a book on interesting museum or sub questions!

Here are just a few of my favorites:
>While in the aft torpedo room at the end of the tour. "Did we go in a circle?"
>Did this sub ever sink?
>Can this boat still go under water? [My response is always "Sure, any boat can go under water"]
>One visitor thought a seagull was an albino duck. (My all-time fav!)
> One first grader "Why don't women serve on subs?", another first grader "Because they'd make love"
> Indian couple to tour guide (half way through the tour) "Does this boat go anywhere" Tour guide "No" "Oh, then we don't want to listen to you. We go now."

Karen
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Mike
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« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2014, 11:05:27 PM »

See? That's what I'm talking about - a couple of "don't-read-whilst-drinking-milk" stories. LOL

I completely missed the recommendation Fred... once I finish the current book, that one shall be showing up via Amazon... Thanks!

Mark - I have no words as far as the "Union or Confederate"... None. Though, while inside the powder magazine of the Alabama on the recent trip to Mobile, my son and I almost got knocked over by a woman rushing by due to claustrophobia. I suppose her husband was either mean or clueless to get her that far into the ship, but apparently he learned his lesson and disappeared with her...

Karen - albino duck is probably the best other than the "We go now"...

Thanks for the laughs - keep them coming... it's better than watching the news. Smiley
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"When you're holding people's attention, I feel you must give them high-quality ingredients. They deserve nothing but your best. And if they need information, get it, cross-check it, and try to be right. Do not waste their time; do not enjoy the ego trip of being onstage."

Henry Rollins
Jay Boggess
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« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2014, 09:34:23 PM »

My wife understands my submarine fascination, but seldom indulges it with me (i.e. she's content to remain ashore while I explore). When I finally got her inside her first sub (Cavalla, pre-hurricane) we started in the forward torpedo room, thru the fwd battery, thru the control room, thru the after battery, thru the fwd engine room, thru the after engine room, AND THEN she saw the electrical cubicle thru the after engine room hatch.  Her eyes got wide and she said she announced she wanted to turn back!  "Well," I replied,  "it's either make it around the cubicle or go back thru those 5 hatches!"  She made it to the after torpedo room, but I don't think she's been in another sub...
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Paul Farace
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« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2014, 06:34:49 PM »

List of really dumb questions I've personally heard from visitors during the 2014 season and my replies:

Does the entire sub go underwater??  -- If it doesn't we're in big trouble!

Did the sub ever sink Japanese ships? (standing in front of the kill flags -- a very common question -- with my best snarky replies)... -- no, it was used for catching fish to feed the surface Navy... no, these Jap flags are just for decoration, the crew was composed entirely of conscientious objectors... No, the crew only made rude gestures at them to insult their ancestors... (basically you can say anything if you smile while saying it)!

Did the crew run out of air and/or suffocate?    -- Yes, and they next crew had to remove their bodies when the sub returned on autopilot.

Is this a WW I or WW II sub? (not a totally dumb question), but the kicker was their next question, and this from a man who said he was a lawyer! DOES IT HAVE A NUCLEAR REACTOR?   -- yes, it was given a retrofit reactor at Pep Boys in 1970!

Is this a German sub?  (also have been asked by adult Americans -- is this an enemy submarine?) ... ja-vol est ist Das Kod!

Still I remind myself, as dumb as they may be, their dollars are just as smart as those from Mensa members! God love them!     smitten
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Mike
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« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2014, 07:55:50 PM »

Paul,
I have no words. It really makes me wonder if some people are really as dense as they appear to be. Granted, these are (hopefully) the exceptions as opposed to the rule. Actually, I can almost see the logic for a couple of the examples you gave:
“Does the entire sub go underwater??” Translation: “This is incredibly incongruous with what has come to be known as ‘submarines’ today. This looks like a boat. Oh, look – a squirrel!”
“Did the crew run out of air and/or suffocate?” Translation: “I came across an article about the depth-charging of the USS Puffer and I began to develop a series of really interesting and well-constructed inquiries to discuss on my next trip to Cleveland. However, I kissed my intellect good-bye as soon as they fired the deck gun, and how I have the incredible misfortune to be unable to babble inanely to this gentleman with a truly awesome career. I shall despise myself upon returning to my place of residence.”
“DOES IT HAVE A NUCLEAR REACTOR?” Translation: “I’m a lawyer.”

My own limited experiences with interesting statements I’ve heard:
“These are the telescopes…” Preteen in the Drum conning tower...
“Do you think we’re allowed up there?” Guy next to me in front of the “DO NOT CLIMB” sign on the ladder to the Bowfin’s conning tower…
“This is… like… ‘Hunt For Red October’…? Or something?” Twentysomething girl on the deck of the Bowfin…

It’s not limited to subs, though. Once, in my distant life before the Army, I worked at an Old Time Photos shop on Atlantic Avenue in Virginia Beach. Through the lobby of the hotel across the street, I could watch carriers and other shipping as they sailed to and from the horizon.
More times than I care to remember, I got asked “How do I get to the Ocean?” After about the fifth time, I started routing them back on to 44 headed west.
Smiley

How goes the winter preparations?
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"When you're holding people's attention, I feel you must give them high-quality ingredients. They deserve nothing but your best. And if they need information, get it, cross-check it, and try to be right. Do not waste their time; do not enjoy the ego trip of being onstage."

Henry Rollins
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