Saturday, April 26, 2014

FAUX PAS - Hilarious Memories of my Unforgettable Navy Days - Humor In and Out of Uniform


Hilarious Memories of my Unforgettable Navy Days

I was, and maybe I still am, an old fashioned prude.

Let me tell you a hilarious anecdote owing to my rather prudish behaviour, which happened long back when I was in the Navy.

It was the evening of the Navy Ball.

It was decided that all ship’s officers who did not live in the Navy Township (NOFRA) would assemble with our wives in the home of a shipmate who lived in NOFRA near the Command Mess – the venue of the Navy Ball.

We could park our scooters/motorcycles near his house.

(Yes, those days most navy officers had scooters/motorbikes and could not afford cars)

We would then all walk down to the Mess for the Navy Ball.

Accordingly, I and my wife reached my shipmate’s house half an hour before the commencement of the Navy Ball.

Some were already there, some trickled in, and our shipmate had generously opened a bottle of rum and told us to help ourselves while they got dressed.

My shipmate came out of his bedroom smartly dressed in Navy Uniform Dress No. 6, monkey jacket, miniature medals and all.

He said his wife was getting ready.

It was almost time for the Navy Ball and we were anxiously waiting for his wife to get ready.

After some time the door opened and his wife stepped out.

I was most disappointed to see that she had still not got ready.

“What is this Ma’am? The Navy Ball is about to start and you are still in your nightie?” I blurted out.

The lady looked at me with an expression of total shock – as if she was stunned.

Then, she pointed towards the clothes she was wearing and shouted at me: “You are calling this a nightie? Do you know how much money I spent on this exclusive custom made dress?”

Then she looked at my wife, at the other ladies, and said: “Tell me, is this dress really looking so bad?”

After that, she burst into tears and ran back into her bedroom.

Now, my shipmate’s wife was very chic and fashionable.

She had got this very avant-garde skimpy western style dress of the latest fashion especially for the Navy Ball.

Being an old-fashioned prude, I did not realize that what she was wearing was not a “nightie”, but an exclusive haute couture latest fashion skimpy dress which she had got specially made for her by a leading fashion designer.

My wife gave me a glaring look and told me to disappear.

Then, my wife and the other ladies went inside to console my shipmate’s wife.

It was decided that all the gentlemen would proceed for the Navy Ball and the ladies would join later.

I apologized to my shipmate: “I am very sorry – I didn’t mean to insult your wife.”

“Oh, come on, forget it,” he said, “I almost burst out laughing.”

“But your wife must be angry with me?”

“Don’t worry, she’ll be okay – she spent a fortune on that dress – that is why she is so upset,” he said.

Later, the ladies joined us in the Navy Ball.

My shipmate’s wife was the centre of attraction in her haute couture skimpy fashionable dress.

I wanted to apologize to her, but my wife had given me strict instructions to keep my mouth shut, lest I put my foot in my mouth again.

Many years later, my wife was shopping in the ladies’ garments section of a mall in Pune, and I was just hanging around, when I suddenly saw the same chic and fashionable lady standing near me.

I wished her.

She smiled back, and then she pointed at some clothes on display and said: “By the way, these are Kurties, not Nighties…”

We burst out laughing.

I was glad that she had forgiven me.

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