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View Full Version : What is the funniest thing to ever happen to you in uniform?



first_sgt_8thky
02-08-2007, 03:44 AM
Come on, it's cold and nasty. At least in most of the country right now. How about some laughs. I'll start.
A couple of years ago we were at Lost River Cave in Bowling Green, KY. This has turned out to be a really fun little event. Anyway being in town and not getting to Bowling Green much, me and another guy when to Lonestar Steakhouse. You all know how much attention you get when in uniform out in public. We were really playing it up.
When the time came to pay, the waitress brings out the bill in that little folder. After she walks off, I put $40 in fake Confederate bills in it and pushed it to the side of the table. She came back in a few, picks it up and walks to the back. After a minute she came back and throws it on our table.
"What's this?" She askes. Oh she was mad.
"Money, ma'am." I tell her. "Is our money no good here?"
She says she can't take it. I asked why not and then told her it's good that we just got paid today.
She just walked off. I put the bills back in the folder and this time when she came back she opened it right away.
"I can't take this. Don't you have anything else?" she asked, her face was red.
"What do you want?" I asked her. "Federal money? Do we look like Federals to you?"
"I can't take this." She says again. So I told her I didn't have anything else.
"Don't you have a Debit Card?" She asked really hatefull.
"What's that?" I asked her with a stupid look on my face.
She turned and walked off really fast. Up to now, my friend hadn't said a word.
"Don't you reckon we ought to pay her and get the h*** out of here?"
Nothing else was said until we were outside. Then we lost it. I think we laughed till we cried.

Come on, top that one! :p :D ;)

Rob Weaver
02-08-2007, 07:35 AM
Several years ago, I went to an event in rural Virginia. At the end of the event, I stopped at a nearby gas station to fill up for the trip home. I didn't change from my uniform, and I put my 4-button and forage cap back on to go inside and pay. (I learned to do this years ago to avoid answering questions about being Amish.) Anyway, I was alone in the station except for the attendant. Let me see if I can accurately describe him: NASCAR ball cap holding down a shock of bright red hair, flannel shirt, Skoal-ring in the jeans. Classic to the point of stereotypical. That's when I remembered: I'm wearing a Union uniform in the rural South. I'm about to get the beating of my life. I was about to beg for just a three step head start for the door when he smiled a big ol'e smile and said "That's right! Thet big reenactment was this weeken'! Y'all hev a good time up 'ere?" We talked for about 10 minutes. I left with my hide intact, and my soul considerably enlarged at having one of my own prejudices gently exposed.

Levi Battery
02-08-2007, 07:45 AM
NASCAR ball cap holding down a shock of bright red hair, flannel shirt, Skoal-ring in the jeans. Classic to the point of stereotypical.


Hey Hey....you be taken bout me old girlfrend, Bubba joy.

Seriously, now, been there done that. You feel like a duck out of water in a galaxy far far away. You find yourself looking for the exit and hoping that they don’t say,’ Let me hear you squeal like a pig”

sbl
02-08-2007, 10:15 AM
I hope you guys left a good tip.


The Rev War group I belonged to went out for dinner and drinks (in British uniforms) after a July 4th parade in Gloucester, Mass. As we all got up to leave the crowded resturant, the "life of the party" at another table decided to say something funny about us. He was stuck and started with just "A.....". One of our guys replied with "Very good..now B...C...D" leaving the "life of the party" as the prize boob of the night.

Union Navy
02-08-2007, 11:12 AM
One of my crew was asked by a female spectator why so few Confederates fell during the previous battle (see - even THEY notice). The crewman said "That's because only every tenth round is a live round with a bullet." She said "Oh - OK." and walked away as one fully answered. We didn't know whether to be amused or frightened.

Micah Trent
02-08-2007, 12:09 PM
I was with a group heading down to Nashville for the Civil War Gun Show a few years back. We had dressed out in our union uniforms for this event. When we stopped at the welcome center on the Kentucky/Tennessee boarder, we made our way inside only to be greeted by this 100+ year old lady who said, "What are them d*** Yankees doing back down here!" The daughter of the lady who was in the there apologized to us for her mothers remarks. The old lady was a grand daughter of a Confederate veteran who went to his grave believing the south would rally once again. He never had anything nice to say about the U.S. to his dying day, the old lady didn't either. We were all shocked by what was said to us, but when we look back at it now, one can't help but laugh!

sbl
02-08-2007, 12:31 PM
A captain of a Mass. Continental Army unit was trying to organize this men for the battle when his wife started to yell at him about something 20th century and demanded an answer. (She is really a lovely woman.) The captain yelled back "NO!!!........dear."

At a Cedar Creek reenactment a Union Army dad was trying to get his pre-teen daughter something to eat. The girl started on a long detailed and loud rant about her food choices.

The dad released that this simple act was getting to be a public show. He told his daughter that if she didn't stop......"I'll have to give you a good listening to!"

bob 125th nysvi
02-08-2007, 01:21 PM
during a very hot couple of days in August at a small local event held at a living history site. I was on canteen detail. It was so hot we were allowed off the company street without our sack coats.

Now understand I am a creature of cold weather. I'll go do something quick (less than 5 minutes) with the horses in temperatures down to 0 wearing nothing but a t-shirt.

So here I am on water detail, and I have to go up to the village (and it is UP a pretty steep hill form our camp) to get the water. I get to the village green and this woman walks up to me with her family.

Sweat is pouring off of me, my muslin shirt is sticking to my body and she says: "I talked to some of the museum people and they said you guys didn't get hot wearing those wool uniforms. That they keep you cool. So are you cool?"

I just stared at her for a minute and then said: "Ma'am do I look cool to you?"

Her husband and teenage son just burst out laughing. I thought the guy was going to bust a gut.

And she looks blankly at me for a moment and then says: "But the musuem people said you'd be cool in that uniform. Maybe it's because you aren't wearing your jacket."

At this point the son spit out a mouth full of water he had just taken and I thought dad was going to pee on himself. Dad just shook his head and started to lead her away and all I could hear between the laughs was: "But the museum people said......"

toptimlrd
02-08-2007, 02:54 PM
My wife relayed this gem to me. At the battle of Olustee a few years back she was with the spectators when the question of how we kept from hitting one another when we fired came up (you would think that with Hollywood people would finally understand the use of blanks). Anyway, the truly funny part was when the man next to her turned and said with an air of authority (and in all sincerity): "well you see how they aim up a little when they fire? ...........".

The other was when I was preparing the fire to cook my dinner at an event. Two teenage ladies walked up to me and asked my name which I replied "Robert"; to which they responded "no your pretend name". They then went on to ask me what I was doing with my "little plate" (canteen half) and I explained I was about to cook something to eat. Their reaction was "but not for real though" so I had to explain that yes I was really about to cook in that "little plate" over a real honest to goodness fire. Their response? "You're not really going to eat it are you?" I just wish they had hung around to actually see the salt pork and coosh I had.

paul hadley
02-08-2007, 04:05 PM
Call me old-fashioned, as I like the idea of funnin' the public with "odd" money and quaint remarks as much as the next guy, but why couldn't you have let her in on your little joke before you left. Wait-people can have enough to do without having to being treated in a manner that would get my teen-aged son written up at school for such near-bullying/taunting behavior. Was it really THAT funny? I surely hope the tip you left was appropriate.
As for purposely giving out false information because we think someone is hopelessly ignorant of our hobby/passion, is there a wonder why some think "we" are a bunch of yokels?
Being less than a gentleman certainly is period correct, but is it necessary to reinforce others' opinions of us? Call them 'tators or whatever else "we" think is amusing, but we living historians can greatly impact their vision/understanding of history, and that might make a difference the next time CWPT or some other group asks them to help preserve a battlefield or conserve a battleflag or support a new movie about the WBTS.
Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.
PJ

Radar
02-08-2007, 05:07 PM
A couple of my fellow reenactors from Kentucky were at an event in the "deep South". Since they hadn't taken "real" clothes, they drove off-site in the Yankee duds for a beer run. They went into a little gas station/diner/carry out. The proprietor told them to take the beer and get on up the road (he didn't even charge them). When they went back a second time in Confed dud, there were like old buddies from WAYYYYYY back. Gues the clothes do make the man.

first_sgt_8thky
02-08-2007, 06:29 PM
Paul,
Everyone has a right to their opinion. You don't have to read what I write or reply to it either. Respectfully, Shannon

Encase anyone wondered though, she did get a very generous tip.

Everyone else has had some really funny stories. Keep them coming.

John Legg
02-08-2007, 06:32 PM
Walking in the Ghetto of Detroit at 11 pm in uniform at a party store... not a good idea :)

Battln. Drill 06
aka beer run

One year at Historic Fort Wayne, there was a Battln. Drill or something. Late on saturday night everyone herd gun shots. The next morning they found out there was a triple homicide or something like that, only a couple blocks from the fort. I belive it was on Jefferson(if you know what im talking about)


John

wagen dawg
02-08-2007, 07:41 PM
First: At Bentonville 12 (?) years ago we were coming off the field and we (The Union) were taking a heck of a verbal beating from this one group of locals. Oh, they were all over us. Our Captain stopped in front of the biggest big mouth and said to her in a voice that carried for miles " Hey, I know you. We just burned your house down!" The silence was golden, until we all broke up. God Bless Capt. Randy C.
Second: At G. v L. we were returning to camp after looking at the trenches and on the ground I found a damp bagel. I cleaned it up and put it in my haversack. In the distance we saw another group from our regiment approaching. In it was the biggest mooch and slovenlyest person to ever squeeze into a size 54. We called him Baby T. After some small talk I told them I had a left over bagel and did anyone want it? Before I could finish the sentence, Baby T said yeah, grabbed it out of my hand and took a big bite. We shivered, smirked and walked away. He finished it on the fly and we haven't stopped laughing.

reb64
02-08-2007, 09:12 PM
[QUOTE=first_sgt_8thky]Come on, it's cold and nasty. At least in most of the country right now. How about some laughs. I'll start.
A couple of years ago we were at Lost River Cave in Bowling Green, KY. This has turned out to be a really fun little event. Anyway being in town and not getting to Bowling Green much, me and another guy when to Lonestar Steakhouse. You all know how much attention you get when in uniform out in public. We were really playing it up.
When the time came to pay, the waitress brings out the bill in that little folder. After she walks off, I put $40 in fake Confederate bills in it and pushed it to the side of the table. She came back in a few, picks it up and walks to the back.

You offered to pay with obvious not legal tender notes, good thing they had patience. The girl probably had other customers to deal with and this bill which she could have been stuck for by her manager. How did she deserve that?

reb64
02-08-2007, 09:14 PM
First: At Bentonville 12 (?) years ago we were coming off the field and we (The Union) were taking a heck of a verbal beating from this one group of locals. Oh, they were all over us. Our Captain stopped in front of the biggest big mouth and said to her in a voice that carried for miles " Hey, I know you. We just burned your house down!" The silence was golden, until we all broke up. God Bless Capt. Randy C.
Second: At G. v L. we were returning to camp after looking at the trenches and on the ground I found a damp bagel. I cleaned it up and put it in my haversack. In the distance we saw another group from our regiment approaching. In it was the biggest mooch and slovenlyest person to ever squeeze into a size 54. We called him Baby T. After some small talk I told them I had a left over bagel and did anyone want it? Before I could finish the sentence, Baby T said yeah, grabbed it out of my hand and took a big bite. We shivered, smirked and walked away. He finished it on the fly and we haven't stopped laughing.


How is it funny to make fun of a overweight person? especially a pard or memeber. What if the bagel was urine soaked or mildewed?

CivilWarBuff1863
02-08-2007, 11:15 PM
About 4 yrs. ago I was at a living history event that took place around the time of another localized event. Anyways a pard who was a Confed, that I became friends with, had his wife and 2 kids there. I became a "victim" of his kids little mischief and thought nothing of it. It wasn't until I played a little game of hide and seek while being under "fire" from the Confeds that were camped just 50 ft. or so from our camp. The night was cool and crisp and I was having a blast, for a while one of thier sharpshooters joins me in the fray. After what seemed like 30 minutes my pards kids comes up and tackles me. They tripped me and everything, I yelled at them to stop cause my rifle was loaded and I didn't want to hurt them if it went off. Thier dad yelled for them to stop and away they went into the darkness, yelling, hootin, hollerin and what not. It was comical and fun and noone got hurt.

tompritchett
02-08-2007, 11:17 PM
Originally Posted by wagen dawg
First: At Bentonville 12 (?) years ago we were coming off the field and we (The Union) were taking a heck of a verbal beating from this one group of locals. Oh, they were all over us. Our Captain stopped in front of the biggest big mouth and said to her in a voice that carried for miles " Hey, I know you. We just burned your house down!" The silence was golden, until we all broke up. God Bless Capt. Randy C.
Second: At G. v L. we were returning to camp after looking at the trenches and on the ground I found a damp bagel. I cleaned it up and put it in my haversack. In the distance we saw another group from our regiment approaching. In it was the biggest mooch and slovenlyest person to ever squeeze into a size 54. We called him Baby T. After some small talk I told them I had a left over bagel and did anyone want it? Before I could finish the sentence, Baby T said yeah, grabbed it out of my hand and took a big bite. We shivered, smirked and walked away. He finished it on the fly and we haven't stopped laughing.


How is it funny to make fun of a overweight person? especially a pard or memeber. What if the bagel was urine soaked or mildewed?


I think that you missed the mooch part. It is one thing to be over-weight and another thing to be a mooch and to be sloven in your appearance.

first_sgt_8thky
02-08-2007, 11:57 PM
Reb64, please read my last post again, only put your name at the beginning this time. Respectfully, Shannon

If you have a funny story please share. If you don't think something is funny, don't share. We're all looking for laughs here. Anything is better than another farb vs hardcore vs mainsteam thead.

WestTN_reb
02-09-2007, 12:15 AM
Fort Pillow, TN. Approximately 5 years ago.

Several of us went into the actual redoubt after dark, and tried to scare the crap out of each other with ghost stories and whatnot. Anyway, as we were coming back to camp, we heard several people coming towards us on the trail. We hid in the bushes until they got right on top of us, then Captain Richardson stepped out and said, "Halt! Who goes there?" We stepped out all around, and found it was a group of teenagers, boys and girls, walking togehter, kissing and whatnot;) . We let the poor lambs go though, but laugh about how we probably helped prevent teenage pregnancy that night.

Rob Weaver
02-09-2007, 07:52 AM
At the conclusion of Summer of 62, my daughter, another guy from our unit and I were gassing up at the Sheetz to go home. I thought all I wanted after the soaking rain of the event was a cup of coffee. But on the ground in front of the store was this brownie. This perfect brownie, still on its little paper wrapper, just out of the rain. It was like roast quail after days of manna! I looked that brownie over for about 2 minutes, and was actually about to pick it up when another one of our guys swooped in, plucked it up, and deposited it in the garbage can. "Your daughter wanted me to do you a favor." was all he said. I'm not sure I've forgiven her for the favor yet.

captdougofky
02-09-2007, 08:29 AM
One year at Perryville, which most years is our last reenactment of the season I always throw a good feed on for the troops in the Battery and friends. That year right after the Saturday Battle I went back to camp and got the shrimp on, which this year consisted of about 10 lbs. of 18-23 count. Thats right the big boys. I have a big kettle 12-15 gallon size, which I use. I know I'm mainstream no one on the A/C side can get that into their haversack. Anyway I had just got the water to a boil when a couple of ladies walked by and I was putting the shrimp in, noticing the size and quality of dinner one of them made the comment, you boys eat better good for Confederates, my reply to her was, we lost the war not our appetite.

Another funny moment was the time the cannons were real close to camp and I mean close, and this time I had one person in camp watching the fire which had the kettle going with about 30 ears of corn boiling. Our second shot we had a failed primer. My next command was post on the wheels do not advance, Charlie check on the corn. I still hear about that one.

This year at Perryville which was the national I had 8 slabs of ribs and 3 packs of counry style ribs. Did the per-boil in the kettle and then put them on the grill and cooked slow with BBQ.

Lost the War but eat'n good

Always
Doug Thomas
Lyons Battery
Kentucky

flattop32355
02-09-2007, 08:32 AM
About ten of us were in two vans convoying back to Ohio from McDowell in '05. We had spent the morning climbing and fighting on Sitlington Hill, and were, shall we say, quite ripe in our uniforms.

Our fearless captain was determined to find a steakhouse on the way back. Unfortunately, it was Mother's Day, and all the restaurants were packed.

On we drove, until finally, we found a place that was no longer full to overflowing. In uniforms, we marched in to eat.

They put is in a room. A large room. Alone. In the back.

Forquer
02-09-2007, 11:30 AM
Long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away, when I first got started in this madness, one of the lads from the first unit I was with had lost about the lower third of his left leg when he got clipped by a drunk driver while living in California. He was fitted with a prosthesis and managed quite well in the field.

One of the other lads, who did a medical impression and is a doc in real life had talked him into being his "victim" for the amputation scenarios. At a living history early in the year they began doing their thing, when a woman in the crown was loudly proclaiming that she knew all about how this worked, how the doc was sawing through a piece of PVC for the effect, and that it was all fake. She was quite proud of herself for her authoritative de-bunking.

Once the procedure was over and they lifted our gent off the table, she observed his pant leg flapping in the breeze and fainted dead away.

Same guy......the first thing I ever did with this unit was a weekend living history with a set up in a shopping mall in Ashland, KY. During a break, he and I went over to the food court to get a little refreshment and take a load off. While we're sitting there a little girl walks up and starts trying to sell us Girl Scout cookies. Our lad gives her a very soulful look, apologizes and says that all he has is Confederate money. She didn't get it and it showed. He then looks at her and, serious as a heart attack, says "can you do this?" and proceeds to turn his left leg so that the foot is now pointing to the rear. Her eyes got huge and her jaw dropped, but she gave it the old college try. Needless to say, she wasn't quite that limber. After that she exited rather quickly.

vamick
02-09-2007, 11:40 AM
A couple of my fellow reenactors from Kentucky were at an event in the "deep South". Since they hadn't taken "real" clothes, they drove off-site in the Yankee duds for a beer run. They went into a little gas station/diner/carry out. The proprietor told them to take the beer and get on up the road (he didn't even charge them). When they went back a second time in Confed dud, there were like old buddies from WAYYYYYY back. Gues the clothes do make the man.

!!!!!! well thats cause us folks down South are used to yankees commin in and jus helpin themselves to what ever strikes ther fancy!...*:evil: hahaahhah on the up side looks like wearin blue getsya free beer!:D "funny ole world iddinit"??

NC1862
02-09-2007, 01:44 PM
Me and some pards walked in to a taco bell to grab a bite to eat on the way to an event wearing our confederate uniforms and the girl behind the register asked us if we were in a dance group.

Rob Weaver
02-09-2007, 02:08 PM
If you're not careful walking in places like Taco Bell, the heelplates you're wearing will rapidly give you the reputation of being a dancer. Or a clumsy drunk.
Once while shopping in a grocery store before heading to an event site, a clerk passed by me and said quietly: "Muskets are in Eisle 10."

Spare_Man
02-09-2007, 02:11 PM
A long, long time ago...

A late night stop in Maryland to get gas, me and a pard were still wearing red zouave pantaloons and canvas leggings. The attendant looked at us and asked...

"You guys clowns?"

Then re-thinking what he had just said, he quickly re-worded it;

"Uh... I mean, you guys with the circus?"

"Yep. Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey," we answered, paid for the gas, and drove away laughing.

Georgiana
02-09-2007, 03:04 PM
Wow, I was expecting to see at least one comment from a civilian reenactor in their own "uniforms".

I have to wonder what goes on in some of the motels and small Southern cities my daughters and I have visited. I can't tell you how many times we have check in and out of hotels dressed in our period clothes and being greeted without so much as a blink of an eye or lift of an eyebrow. All of these times there had been no reenactments going on in the area so we can safely say we weren't just one among many. We were just out "time traveling", so to speak. All we can figure is either some of these towns are so small that they don't realize time has changed in the last 140+ years or some really kinky wild things have gone on in those little hotels!

The only thing we ever had said to us was by a cashier at Stuckey's. She asked if we dressed that way everyday--hmm maybe we are right about people not realizing fashions had changed! :p

G.

John Legg
02-09-2007, 03:57 PM
Tyler,


Thats the best one! HAHA :)


John

NC1862
02-09-2007, 05:25 PM
Thanks john, I'm glad I could be of some amusement. If I think of any more (and of course there are MANY more) I'l post'em

jda3rd
02-10-2007, 11:13 PM
Funniest thing to happen to me? On the way back from one of the 125th events in Virginia, my pards and I stopped at a motel. Still in CS uniforms, the desk clerk offered us "meeleetaree deescount". We wouldn't have dreamed of asking for it, but since it was offered . . .

Funniest thing I wish I had seen in person? A friend was at a tactical in Tennessee several years ago, and it strayed onto some adjoining property. An elderly black couple living in a very old farmhouse wasn't sure what was going on, and with a yard full of soldiers, the wife wouldn't open the door to let the husband in. An officer in Federal uniform stopped and read a copy of the Emancipation Proclamation to them, congratulated them on their new status, the soldiers marched away, and as I heard it. the old gentleman was still pounding on the door to get inside.

Frank Brower

paul hadley
02-12-2007, 01:46 PM
Shucks, Reb64, they were just having fun, don't you see? Scroll up to the reply to my earlier post and you'll see I'm so totally in the wrong to hint that such behavior "might be" inappropriate. I'm with you -- when did teasing/taunting waitresses become such a national pasttime?
Gosh, it's a free country blah blah blah.
Guess I'm attending the wrong eateries.
PJ

sbl
02-12-2007, 02:16 PM
PJ,

Fun usually doesn't mean making helpless people the butt of a joke. I didn't get whether the waitress was being rude or offensive and deserving a come-upance.

NoahBriggs
02-16-2007, 10:57 AM
Me and some pards walked in to a taco bell to grab a bite to eat on the way to an event wearing our confederate uniforms and the girl behind the register asked us if we were in a dance group.
__________________
Tyler Murphy

I was mistaken for a clog dancer upon approach. I never wore heel plates ever again. They are overrated.

My story? Do not shoot Pyrodex on a humid day. I did just that at a small dog-and-pony show at a plantation in Northern Virginia. We fired a volley, but my gun popped the cap only. Just as I lowered it to see what was wrong, it began to sputter and belch smoke irregularly, like a diesel exhaust. It tooted and honked and gasped and sputtered. It sounded like a wet fart on a muggy day. The entire skirmish ground to a halt as everyone gawped - us, the spectators, the Rebs, everyone. I wanted to crawl into the deepest hole around. Now, though, 17 years later (and hopefully wiser) I can look back and laugh.

sbl
02-16-2007, 12:12 PM
This happened, like many of my stories, way back. The Camp Chase Gazette was serializing Si Klegg and His Pards. I hadn't read the story before and was enjoying each installment. I was at an event on guard at the HQ when two officers walked by discussing the series.

"I was really bummed when ****** died."

I forgot I was on duty and said " ****** dies???"

The two officers both turned and the speaker apologized.

CivilWarBuff1863
02-16-2007, 01:20 PM
My story? Do not shoot Pyrodex on a humid day. I did just that at a small dog-and-pony show at a plantation in Northern Virginia. We fired a volley, but my gun popped the cap only. Just as I lowered it to see what was wrong, it began to sputter and belch smoke irregularly, like a diesel exhaust. It tooted and honked and gasped and sputtered. It sounded like a wet fart on a muggy day. The entire skirmish ground to a halt as everyone gawped - us, the spectators, the Rebs, everyone. I wanted to crawl into the deepest hole around. Now, though, 17 years later (and hopefully wiser) I can look back and laugh.

And you wonder why most of us use regular black powder these days. Now as for "It tooted and honked and gasped and sputtered. It sounded like a wet fart on a muggy day." wish I would've been there to hear and see that. :D Are you sure your rifle just didn't eat beans the previous night or something? LOL!

Marie21stOVI
02-16-2007, 04:21 PM
Besides reenacting I go into our local high school and do presentations to various classes from time to time.

Once I came back to the office where I work still dressed out in my day dress and was sitting at the reception desk. A new client walked in, I helped her and she kept giving me odds glances. I finally reassured her that "I don't usually dress this way." Oh, says she, "I thought you were Amish."

I thought my boss was going to fall out of his chair :)

tompritchett
02-16-2007, 05:38 PM
Do not shoot Pyrodex on a humid day.

Do not shoot Pyrodex period. I used to have misfires all the time when I used it. When it did not misfire, there was usually a hard second delay between the time the primer went off and the Pyrodex actually fired with its whoose. More than once I had my 1SGT come over to ream me for being late over firing in a volley only to have the man next to me tell him that I had fired (he heard the primer) but the powder was late.

dbuckey
02-16-2007, 10:26 PM
I wrote this a few years back for my friends who did not understand anything about my reenacting, (we all do here, so forgive me for saying things that to us seem obvious or stupid) so I put on my best Mark Twain hat and went to work. This is what I wrote:

Reenacting Civil War lessons.

1. Death is never fatal. One time I died in the sun, without thinking of course, but it looked good. An artilleryman came running up telling all the dead guys that a cannon was being moved up to shoot them Johnnys and we better get out of the safety zone. I realized now I was only wounded, got up, and using my musket as a crutch managed to get out of the line of fire, only to collapse into a lifeless heap a little closer to the nearest video camera.

2. Having visiting relatives in camp can be a bad idea. My Aunt and Uncle stopped by a reenactment to witness their nephews try to preserve the Union. And they carried into our camp of 1863 an ice chest, picnic basket, and those newfangled folding camp chairs. They failed to understand why they should really sit "over there somewhere" so as not to ruin the experience for ourselves and the rest of the public. However, since they bribed the company with chocolate chip cookies, they were forgiven, but they still had to sit over there.

3. Ladies love a man in uniform. Yup, it's true. However, the ladies that love us in our uniforms always look like they were born during the Civil War. Once while standing in full gear at the edge of camp, inviting the public in and to engage them in conversation a lady (almost fitting into the above category) stopped in front of me, unsure of what to do. I asked if she had any questions, and she thought for a moment, looked into the sky, and seeing a jet contrail asked if I felt that that was a strange thing to see. I went into a little bit of what is called first person, (taking on the persona of an actual soldier of the period) and answered, "A bit. But your manner of dress seems most strange to me" (pantsuit) She thought for a moment, and then pulled up her trouser leg a few inches showing some ankle and said, "What about that?" I covered my eyes in shame, and said scornfully, "My mother warned me about ladies such as yourself." She hurries over to her husband, who is watching a musket demonstration about thirty feet away, and says, "Dear, I just got that young man over there all excited!" He gets this puzzled look his face so she demonstrates what she did. He looks at me, and then scolds her. "You brazen hussy!"

4. Everyone wants to see your gun. Every Dad out there sends his kids up the see the gun, not so they can see it, but so he has an excuse to get closer to it himself without looking like a goober. Any stacking of arms looks magical, and everyone who has a camera will take a picture of the stack. No one cares about all the gear you schlepp around, they want to hold the gun. And they want a picture of themselves holding the gun.

5. No one can hear anything after watching a battle. It must be those loud cannons. Standing in camp after a battle the public can never seems to hear my answers. Looking at a dog tent the conversation goes like this.
"You actually sleep in that thing?"
"Yup."
"All night?"
"Yup."
"On the ground?"
"Yup."
"Really?"
"Yup. All night, in that tent, on the ground."
"You're kidding."
"Nope."
"Wow. I'd never do that. Honey, come here. They actually sleep in these things. All night, on the ground."

6. Some people just don't get it. It's hard to get people to come into camp, and ask questions. They're unsure of the rules of visiting the camp, so most just look, shoot a picture, and move on. That's why I wear my gear and stand there sometimes to get them to look around and ask questions of the soldiers. "Come on, I spent a fortune on this crap, let me show it to you." But occasionally you get someone who thinks it's all a museum and I've seen people attempt to go into an occupied tent, get in line for chow, or talk about you like you're not there.

In my more cynical states of mind I sometimes imagine coming up with a handout to be given to the public as they enter the reenactment site. It will contain such facts as:

Yes, the uniforms you see are wool and yes, they are **** hot.
No, we don't shoot real bullets. If you watch, all the dead guys will get up and move around eventually.
None of the people you see here today actually fought in the Civil War.
Yes, we sleep in these tents, all night, on the ground. Really.
No, we do not do this every weekend, and no, I don't get paid for this.
Sorry, we don't have any slaves here. It's hard to find volunteers for that.
The recruiting posters you see are replicas. You do not actually get a $100 bonus for signing up.
To avoid confusion, the blue guys are from the north, and the gray guys are from the south. BTW, the south lost, in case you haven't heard.
We are not fighting the English, French, Mexicans, or Indians.
Although many of us are veterans, none of us actually believe we are Civil War soldiers. We are reen-ACT-ing. We are here to entertain, and to educate. And drink beer and hang with our buds after you go home. And yes, we can write this stuff off on our taxes.

tompritchett
02-17-2007, 11:05 AM
Rob Weaver's story about putting his hot coffee back into the fire (different thread) reminds me of a funny coffee related incident. It was Sunday morning at Cedar Creek and I was enjoying my first cup of coffee and the first cup of the batch when another member of my old unit proceeds to accidently spill the whole batch into the fire. I went into a routine about the spilling of the coffee with all sorts of groans of pain and complaints about how grievous a sin he had committed. After about 2 or 3 minutes and about half of the unit now wake, I settled down and stopped the act. The spiller of the coffee and the few who caught most of the routine were in stitches. Later in the day I was asked to reenact the spilling of the coffee for those who had only caught the very end of the routine. It was totally spontaneous and it too may have been partially the result of sleep deprivation as I was the acting 1SGT of the unit at the time. I don't know which was more humorous to me, the original episode or the many requests to reenact it.

cannnfodder
02-18-2007, 07:18 AM
Please bear with me- this is my 1st post!
My funniest story in all of my two years of reenacting-
4 of us from Mass. drove 8 hours in a Honda Civic (another story) to 1st Manassass at Cedar Creek last July. We had just finished the 2nd days battle and figured we'd get a headstart back to Mass (now still 8 hrs.back ,unshowered, in a Honda Civic). so we just left the battlefield in full uniform (instead of going back to camp).
We go into the local Burger King to change (someone had crapped their pants and left their underwear in the stall- another story!) and were spotted by the cashier. I left my kepi on and go to order. The overbubbly cashier yells out " ya'll one of those REACTORS!!! (nuclear I guess) and I says "yes ma'am- I'd like a whoppah with cheese (I'm from Boston).She yells out "ya'll even talkin' like a Yankee!" I says "yes ma'am that's cuz that's where I'm from and don't know how else to talk". She just couldn't contain herself and yells " Listen to 'em talkin' just like a yankee!" She must've thought I was the best REACTOR evah!

Anita
02-20-2007, 11:44 PM
One of the funniest things that happened to me at a CW event was almost 4 years ago at the first Herndon, VA CW Days which was highlighted by Mosby's Herndon Raid. It was held in the old part of Herndon and Kathryn Coombs our past president of AGSAS (Atlantic Guard Soldiers' Aid Society) had organized it. Members of the 4th VA Cavalry, Co. H (Black Horse Troop), the 2nd US Cavalry, AGSAS and the 17th VA Infantry plus various other independents got together to put on the event. We had several hundred folks including parents, kids and teens who came to take part in this very successful event. I got permission from Kathryn to bring my 125 lb. Alpine wether goat Beauregard as this would be a nice quiet first event for him. I was portraying a local citizen of Herndon for the event. I loaded the goat up in my jeep with my pet barrier up and parked in designated parking area. I unloaded Beau and Kathryn greated me and was fawning all over Beau when a suburban dad walked up to us with 3 kids in tow and asked with a straight face "What type of dog is that?" The guy wasn't laughing but was dead serious:eek: !! My mouth dropped 20 stories and before I could utter a response, Kathryn who much better at PR than I am said "Well Sir, this is not a dog, THIS IS A GOAT." She said this pleasantly and without any hint of derision, then the guy said "oh this is a goat dog then..." I decided to take the academic approach and launched into a basic description of Alpine dairy goats, their characteristics and uses, etc. What I really wanted to say you stupid a#$h*&( haven't you ever seen a goat before??!!! However, I believe in being kind to tators in spite of the stupid questions but this one sorely tempted me to do otherwise....It was hilarious and we guffawed after the guy and his family left out of earshot. It also was quite sad in that an educated suburbanite would not be familiar with a common domesticated farm animal. It speaks volumes about how detached and isolated modern, urban America is getting from it's rural roots. At the same event, a kid and his friends came up to me and asked if that was a live goat!!! His friends immediately jumped all over him and said "of course stupid, it is alive."!!! I couldn't improve on his friends' statements but just smiled:p

Anita L. Henderson
Atlantic Guard Soldiers' Aid Society
http://www.agsas.org

reb64
02-21-2007, 12:00 AM
Please bear with me- this is my 1st post!
My funniest story in all of my two years of reenacting-
4 of us from Mass. drove 8 hours in a Honda Civic (another story) to 1st Manassass at Cedar Creek last July. We had just finished the 2nd days battle and figured we'd get a headstart back to Mass (now still 8 hrs.back ,unshowered, in a Honda Civic). so we just left the battlefield in full uniform (instead of going back to camp).
We go into the local Burger King to change (someone had crapped their pants and left their underwear in the stall- another story!) and were spotted by the cashier. I left my kepi on and go to order. The overbubbly cashier yells out " ya'll one of those REACTORS!!! (nuclear I guess) and I says "yes ma'am- I'd like a whoppah with cheese (I'm from Boston).She yells out "ya'll even talkin' like a Yankee!" I says "yes ma'am that's cuz that's where I'm from and don't know how else to talk". She just couldn't contain herself and yells " Listen to 'em talkin' just like a yankee!" She must've thought I was the best REACTOR evah!

Gosh klnows what she would have done to your food if she thought you were really a yankee-now that would be funny.

"Doc" Nelson
02-21-2007, 12:15 PM
Shannon,
One of the "funniest" moments that happened to me was in November of 1989. The unit I was with then (1st Virginia Co. B, CSA), was heading down to an event in Hamilton, NC (Fort Branch (http://www.fortbranchcivilwarsite.com/)), from Virginia. We were about half there, on one of those back rural roads, when we happened upon a truck that had run off of the road into the ditch. Well, being the "Southern Gentlemen" that we were. We decided to stop and see if we could render some kind of assistance. Now mind you, our entire unit is traveling together (we had about 10 to 12 vehicles in a row). Well, as we all got out, of course in our Confederate uniforms, we noticed that the driver was a black man. And, when he seen us coming towards him, he just stood there and didn't move. He was staring at us, so intently, eyes wide open. This road we were on didn't really have anything on in (well, at least for quite a few miles). And, to add to it, it was very dark outside. We walked up and asked if there was anything that we could help with. The gentleman began to stutter a bit, I'm not sure if it was because of fear or not. Well, we tried to get the truck out and, it wasn't budging. We were able to call tow truck for him. He thanked us for stopping and, as we were driving away, what we could see, he was waving at us. Then we continued on our way. We never gave any thought about us being in Confederate uniform. We more than likely scared the bejesus out of him.

The next story happened after we arrived at the very same event we were heading to, when we happened upon the guy in the ditch, above.

During the same event, there was a black reenactor that had come to event with a Confederate unit. While there, he received threats, from some ignorant a--holes, for wearing a Confederate uniform. Well, the event organizers quickly found a Union unit for him to fall in with. Well again, being the "Southern Gentleman" that we were. Our Captain gathered all of us together and took off to find this guy and apologize for the ignorant a--holes. We did find him, over in the Union camp, dressed in a blue uniform. And here we come, in force, almost the entire company (I think about 20 in all), dressed in Confederate uniform. As we were heading straight for him, he looked at us and just stared. We walked up, introduced ourselves. We proceeded to apologize to him for their ignorance and, told him that if anyone else gave him any trouble the rest of the weekend, to just come and find us.

tompritchett
02-21-2007, 12:30 PM
One of the "funniest" moments that happened to me was in November of 1989. The unit I was with then (1st Virginia Co. B, CSA), was heading down to an event in Hamilton, NC (Fort Branch), from Virginia. We were about half there, on one of those back rural roads, when we happened upon a truck that had run off of the road into the ditch.

While I truly do see the humor in the events you describe, I am also saddened by the U.S. history that enabled such events to be humorous. After all, there would have been nothing unusually in any the events had it been a white man being assisted by a large group of men in Confederate uniforms. It is sad that the scars of the 20th Century are still so deep and fresh, that the color of the man's skin is what made those occurrences so unusually to receiptant of the help. BTW, I also agree in your description of yourselves as true Southern gentlemen as was evidenced by your actions in those instances.

"Doc" Nelson
02-21-2007, 03:25 PM
While I truly do see the humor in the events you describe, I am also saddened by the U.S. history that enabled such events to be humorous. After all, there would have been nothing unusually in any the events had it been a white man being assisted by a large group of men in Confederate uniforms. It is sad that the scars of the 20th Century are still so deep and fresh, that the color of the man's skin is what made those occurrences so unusually to receiptant of the help. BTW, I also agree in your description of yourselves as true Southern gentlemen as was evidenced by your actions in those instances.

Quite agreeable Tom.

bulletsponge
02-21-2007, 06:03 PM
I was getting a sandwich with my pard at a rest stop Subway when a large group of young Mennonite women walked past our table. As we were dressed in our finest wool, we attracted their attention - especially my pard, who is actually the right size to be wearing 19th century clothing. I enjoyed watching my pard turn all kinds of shades of red - I doubt my pard's ever attracted that much attention from the fairer sex. For once it was nice to be mistaken for Amish...

reb64
02-21-2007, 06:42 PM
Shannon,
Then we continued on our way. We never gave any thought about us being in Confederate uniform. We more than likely scared the bejesus out of him.

ignorant a--holes, for wearing a Confederate uniform. Well, the event organizers quickly found a Union unit for him to fall in with. .

Questions=
First off why would confederate uniforms scare a man, black or white . Most civilians I see don't know any history and confederate soldiers don't look like kkk.

Second what event organizers and what event made the man change, they ought to be shunned, banned and given a history lesson etc. how dare anyone steeer someone/orient them like that.

tompritchett
02-21-2007, 08:26 PM
First off why would confederate uniforms scare a man, black or white

Let's see. You are a black man by yourself at night stuck on a rural road in the South when a group of white men pull up behind your stuck vehicle and get out. If you grew up in the South in the 50's and 60's, that in itself would be frightening. Then given the more recent racist past of the Confederate flag (40's - 70's) in the South, the fact that these gentlemen were all wearing Confederate uniforms for no apparent reason, you definitely would have to wonder.

wagen dawg
02-23-2007, 02:42 PM
I think that you missed the mooch part. It is one thing to be over-weight and another thing to be a mooch and to be sloven in your appearance.
__________________
Thomas H. Pritchett
3rd Ark, Co. H

Thanks for saying so nicely what I couldn't say without starting a wizzing contest.

Basically, any group, every group that has been around for awhile tends to eat it young and or shoot it's own wounded. That's what groups of guys do. As far as the bagel being urine soaked........................****! Why didn't I think of that.

Tim

Gregg Hensley
02-23-2007, 08:44 PM
My unit does a small Living History event that has reenactors from several time frames in early American history, with an emphasis on period activities. So you'll see cooking, weaving, gunsmithing, etc., as well as our tired old Confederates. Last year a female tater walked up to me and asked "are you the French and Indian War guys?" This was said in an obvious Northern accent with a rather snobbish attitude (coulda been the way we smelled). I could hear chuckles from the troops nearby who overheard her query. Before answering, I looked around. Let's see, I'm standing near a half dozen men dressed in grey (sorta). I'm standing near a Confederate battle flag. I can see the "French and Indian guys" talking to spectators, oh, maybe 30 feet away. While suppressing my laughter, I managed to tell the lady that we were the Confederates and those were the F&I men. With a rather haughty turn of the head she replied "oh", stuck her nose up in the air and walked right past the F&I men and straight out to the parking area. Needless to say, she was the topic of conversation later that night.

majdoc
02-23-2007, 10:53 PM
I was at an event several years ago, while waiting at the blue confessionals a little old lady came out and said" It sure is nice of them to have a place for we to put my pocket book in" My friend and I were laughing so hard we did'nt want to blow her bubble.:D

reb64
02-24-2007, 12:19 AM
Let's see. You are a black man by yourself at night stuck on a rural road in the South when a group of white men pull up behind your stuck vehicle and get out. If you grew up in the South in the 50's and 60's, that in itself would be frightening. Then given the more recent racist past of the Confederate flag (40's - 70's) in the South, the fact that these gentlemen were all wearing Confederate uniforms for no apparent reason, you definitely would have to wonder.

the facts were they were wearing confederate uniforms, not flying the flag. I would think maybe he was apprehensive about the the large group but not the skin color or uniforms. That would have been a obvious sign of some sort of historical group and maybe caused a humorous reply from the man. Once in miss a large group of us confederates walked past a man, who was black, frying fish outside a ramshackle house on a old dirt road and he asked us ifwe were hungry from fighting the yanks, hed sell us some fish. this was miss. the heart of the racist movies and he saw no danger/threat from some grey uniforms.

reb64
02-24-2007, 12:24 AM
to let the husband in. An officer in Federal uniform stopped and read a copy of the Emancipation Proclamation to them, congratulated them on their new status, the soldiers marched away, and as I heard it. the old gentleman was still pounding on the door to get inside.

Frank Brower

mans that pretty insulting, pretty dehumanizing to even assume or joke that they were slaves then or now. I don't get all this yankee humor on here and they call the south racist. we wouldn't dare do such a thing.

tompritchett
02-24-2007, 09:56 AM
True the uniforms probably were not that great of a factor, but I can still see how a large group of white men getting out of their vehicles on a dark rural road could make a middle-aged black nervous in certain parts of the South.

toptimlrd
02-24-2007, 08:56 PM
True the uniforms probably were not that great of a factor, but I can still see how a large group of white men getting out of their vehicles on a dark rural road could make a middle-aged black nervous in certain parts of the South.


Tom, I find that comment somewhat insulting. As a life long southerner, it is very rare something like this happens and is probably as likely to happen in rural areas in the north, midwest, west etc. as it is the south. Stereotypes like that are what give our hobby whatever black eyes it gets from time to time.

Rob Weaver
02-24-2007, 09:26 PM
When I was an Army chaplain (modern) my assistant and I got gas in our Humvee one night at a rural southern gas station. My assistant was African-American. He confided in me that had he been driving alone, he would have passed that station up. I hadn't thought twice about it. I guess what I'm suggesting is that our perceptions of the safety/danger were different, and related to our racial preconceptions.

tompritchett
02-25-2007, 01:18 AM
Tom, I find that comment somewhat insulting. As a life long southerner, it is very rare something like this happens and is probably as likely to happen in rural areas in the north, midwest, west etc. as it is the south.

Possibly, but when I was growing up in the South, that was how some people did end up disappearing. Again, it all depends upon how old the individual was on whether he would have had similar memories. Fortunately, I think that has changed for much of this country.

GaWildcat
02-25-2007, 08:31 AM
" It sure is nice of them to have a place for we to put my pocket book in"


Thats almost as good as the time some pards of mine put blue gatorade powder in this kids canteen. The Col. commanding the battalion made an announcement that someone was seen filling a canteen at an unapproved source, and made the front rank dump thier canteens... well... down the line it went.. water.. water water. water... BLUE water.. the rest were about to bust a gut or a bladder laughing... while the kid in question made a lovely shade of purple.... red face and blue water...

vincentdoc
03-12-2007, 12:15 AM
OMG, the post about the blue water had me on the floor.....brilliant!!!!

Funniest thing a tater ever asked me was:
"Do you do these reenactments at Valley Forge?"same woman, about an hour later:
"By the way, are you a man or a woman?"
same day, different tater...
i'm trying to catch a cat-nap in my tent with the flaps tied shut. The tent flaps begin to come untied, & someone is trying to enter...I look up to a woman with two very young children "oh, sorry, didn't know you were a real person in here, mind if we look around?"

Back when I did a civilian impression, I briefly stopped at a classic car show on my way home from an event. The urge to see a pristine 1963 Nova was too great to pass by, so out I poured of my rusty S-10 standard-transmission pickup truck in a hoop dress. Unbelievably, someone still asked me if I was Amish.

Most fun? Too hard to choose - seems after every event I've gone home with sore ribs & cheeks (face, that is) from laughing so hard!! If I could get through one meal at Gettysburg with the 97th without a beverage coming out of my nose, then that's an accomplishment. They are a hoot!!!!

-Sherri