The firing squad


What is a joke?

There's an Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman in North Africa. They've all run away from the French Foreign Legion, been caught and sentenced to death by the firing squad. They spend their last night nervously in their cell and then, when dawn breaks, the sergeant comes to them and selects the Englishman, takes him out to a wall, stands him in front of it, opposite ten soldiers with rifles, puts a blindfold on him, and says the orders.

"Ready" The guards get ready.

"Aim" The guards take aim.

Suddenly, the Englishman gets an idea. He shouts "Earthquake" at the top of his voice and falls to the ground. The soldiers drop their guns in panic and run off in all directions. The Englishman then takes his chance, climbs over the wall and runs off to freedom.

The sergeant is really angry and screams at his soldiers. "There are no earthquakes in the desert!", he shouts at them.

He then goes to the cell, chooses the Scotsman and takes him to the wall, puts the blindfold on him and repeats the orders:

Ready" The guards get ready

"Aim" The guards take aim.

Suddenly, the Scotsman shouts "Flood!" Again the soldiers panic and run off, whereupon the Scotsman nips over the wall and flees to safety. The sergeant is beside himself with rage by now. "Floods!!! In the desert?!?!" he screams.

He marches to the cell to find the Irishman sitting there, calm as anything. The sergeant is surprised,, but still angry, so he grabs the Irishman and walks him to the wall. "I won't be needing the blindfold" the Irishman says, smiling. "Good morning to you all" he says politely to the soldiers. You see, he has seen what has happened to the Englishman and the Scotsman and knows how he's going to escape. The sergeant gives his orders:

Ready" The guards get ready. The Irishman whistles a happy tune, and waits for his moment

"Aim" The guards take aim. Suddenly the Irishman shouts "Fire!"


'Fire' is the order given to soldiers before they shoot, so the Irishman has just ordered his own death. In England all jokes which involve someone being stupid are directed against the Irish, for some reason, although most Irish people I know are far more intelligent than me!

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