Sunday, May 24, 2015

Berowne's 271 Quiz

(Also for Three Word Wednesday and ABC Wednesday: "T" is for "trouble")

For my quiz question this week I take the liberty of using something I posted years ago, because I wanted to see what the answers might be today.                             


Let’s go back a number of decades, back to when I first entered the service. I had a friend in boot camp – let’s call him “Ed” because that wasn’t his name – and we hung out a lot, talking about what we might do in the future.

One day, after we had finished boot camp, he confessed something to me. He was very excited about it. He knew it should be kept secret, but he just had to tell someone and he felt he could trust me.

It was a plan Ed had been working on for quite a while. Well before he joined the Navy he had been visiting a small city located in the central part of our state. What was unusual about these visits is that he had managed to obtain a uniform of a lieutenant-commander, complete with service and combat ribbons, and he illegally wore this when he paid the visits.   
 
In that community there weren’t many military types and very few Navy personnel – and no shore patrol. A Lieutenant-Commander, especially one with a couple of rows of ribbons, was privileged to be everywhere. He had visited some local church affairs and other such functions and had managed to meet a beautiful girl.

Quite unbelievably, after a number of dates he had proposed and the girl, undoubtedly a bit dazzled by this remarkable young naval officer, had accepted. Her folks had met him and had welcomed him enthusiastically into the family.

Now that Ed was out of boot camp, he was actually going to go up in his fake uniform and marry her.  He had managed to convince everyone there that his folks were in Africa doing some sort of relief work, so they wouldn’t be able to attend the wedding.

It all seemed weird and unreal. I wondered what I should do.

A: Should I call this family on the phone (I knew their name so I thought I could get in touch with them) and tell them that their future son-in-law was no heroic naval commander but an ordinary sailor of the lowest rank?

Or B: Should I notify the military authorities that there’s a guy illegally roving about that area in a fake lieutenant-commander’s uniform?

Or C:  Should I just sit down with Ed and try to talk him out of it, to convince him that he’s not only going to be causing misery and a lot of trouble for the girl and for her family, but that he’s heading into a lot of trouble himself.

Or D: Should I just ignore it all, figure it's stale news and try to forget about it?  After all, the marriage might turn out well; the couple might be happy together, even after it came out that his officer’s commission, and his ribbons, were phony - but that seemed highly unlikely.

Ed and I received our assignments and we went off in different directions so I heard no more from him. As far as I know, the wedding took place on schedule; I have no idea how it turned out.

But my weekly quiz question is really about you. What’s your opinion? What would you have done in such a situation?

23 comments:

Kathe W. said...

I would have chosen C. For me, a true friend will risk the friendship rather than see their friend make a terrible life decision.

naturgesetz said...

What I would do is probably (D) ignore it and hope for the best. What I think I should do is (C) have a talk with him.

brudberg said...

I would have chosen C but with the twist that he should tell the girl, and hope for the best. Just maybe she will realize she loved the man and not the uniform...

Trulyfool said...

Berowne,

If he's confiding in me, that's the moment I'd bring up C. His response to that might dictate what I'd do after that.

If we're in boot camp during the confession, I might feel 'duty-bound' to tell a superior about the uniform fraud? I'd let my buddy know that I might so feel? Let him 'back out' of the wild scheme (to me, at least) hearing that I might give it away?

Tfool

Cat-tails: here be wagging tales said...

What a character and what a rich story! Thanks for sharing this, Berowne. Regarding any reality call, who the hell knows? I certainly wouldn't have stepped in. And I'm sure if this woman had stuck it out with your friend he would have taken her on quite the ride of her life, which would have been IMO a thousand times better than her otherwise being stuck in hayseed Middle America bailing hay and shucking corn. Ha!

Your entertaining tale reminds me of the film 'Catch Me If You Can' - LOL. My father, BTW, was a character in his own right. Before WWII he flew for TWA, having learnt his flying skills by way of crop dusting. His story goes that he and his older brothers painted a target on the roof of a barn and tried to get as close to it as possible. Knowing him you'd believe this tale....hahaha. During the War, Dad enlisted as a then Army Air Corps pilot, and his mission was to fly a DC-3 from Newport, California to Cairo, Egypt. On one leg of the journey, his plane went down due to double engine failure, and he and his four-man crew were stranded on the Pacific, lucky enough to be rescued in only 3 days. Is there a God!

After the War, all of Dad's heroics didn't count for him to continue his dreams of commercially flying, as he was tested and found to be colour deficient. So, furthering his career as a TWA pilot came to naught. Undaunted, he went into the automotive industry and became successful enough to buy a small plane of his own.
We kids didn't know then how fortunate we were to grow up with a Cessna 4-seater, taking turns on local flights with our crazy dad. These things, it seems, you only really appreciate when looking back. In my youth, I thought my father a difficult man to be raised with. Now, as I age, I realize he was quite the maverick!

Old Egg said...

Clearly it is C; whilst giving him the advice that he will be conning the girl, risk serious punishment when found out, shame both himself and his family and lose you as a friend because
your friendship with him cannot continue for you to be party to such a lie.

Keith's ramblings said...

Of course I should say C, but you know what? I'd create a E wherein I'd share a bottle of Scotch with him, wish the best of luck and send him on his way!

Doctor FTSE said...

Option C, definitely. But first I would want to know the penalty for impersonating a senior officer.

Altonian said...

Firstly I would choose the 'C' line, and argue forcibly. If he was adamantly against my advice, then I would unhesitatingly go for 'B'.

Berowne said...

We've had some fascinating and thoughtful reactions to the listed situation. Thanks to all. Option C seems to be in the lead.

Kutamun said...

It all worked out well , she turned out to be a transgender atheist who used to be a sailor , she loves his audacity , they all live happily ever after ...thanks for keeping quiet !

Karen S. said...

I really believe C is the clear and truest route, as with all close friends you care about them honestly and want to encourage them to be honest, especially when one is entering a lifetime of commitment together, and trust is crucial for his friend and wife to be.

Roger Owen Green said...

In order, C - if that didn't work, A AND B. BTW, in the US, there is some tentative bill to criminalize what Ed did, not just from the military POV, but his gaining from the misrepresentation.


ROG, ABCW

CookieCrumbs Inc. said...

I'd have tried C. Talking to him and shaking some sense into him might help. If it didn't, A then. Because the girl has a right to know what she is getting into.

Jae Rose said...

Well given that it went ahead as scheduled perhaps there was an element of trustworthiness in him so i'd go for the last option - maybe that's a terrible reflection of my moral base however!

Reader Wil said...

I would do C. Because the other solutions are the acts of spies, traitors and cowards.
Honesty is the best policy.
Wil, ABCW Team.

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

C would have been my option: try to talk him out of it. No point tattling to the authorities; someone else would probably rat him out anyway, and why should I be that someone? However, people will do what people do, so my little chat with him would likely have no effect at all. **sigh**

Sheilagh Lee said...

C is the best option, I'd have risked the relationship and have told him it does no good to start a relationship on lies be truthful and for heaven's sake please stop masquerading in that uniform before he is arrested for impersonating an officer.

Lmkazmierczak said...

I concur with most of the responses...C is the best option. And I would Google him to see if I could find out if he's still married to that girl!

Sharp Little Pencil said...

I say C as well. It's the kindest thing to do all around, and your conscience would be clear. Thanks for the What If, Berowne! Amy

Joy said...

I went to a naval wedding a couple of years ago and must admit I liked all those dress uniforms and swords.

Berowne said...

And presumably they had a right to them...

Beverley Baird said...

I'd have to go with C as well.
Thanks for stopping by!

 
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