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Sergeant Bellamy found an empty barracks at midnight. He sat on the front steps to wait and to compose the proper “greeting” for his wayward troops.
Private Sam ran up. “Sorry, Sarge, but I can explain. I had a date, you see, and then my motorcycle wouldn’t start. I ran for the bus, but I missed the last one. I hailed a cab, but it broke down. I started jogging back from town and saw a farm. I bought a horse there and started off again. But it dropped dead. I ran the last ten miles.
Sarge had a soft spot for a fellow motorcycle enthusiast, and Sam was back, so he let it go.
Just then a dozen more GIs came running in. “You there, Smith, tell me what happened to the lot of you,” Sarge demanded.
“We all had dates in town, Sarge. For some reason, none of our motorcycles would start. We all missed the last bus and shared cabs, but they broke down. We found a farm and bought horses, which all dropped dead, and we had to run the last ten miles.”
Sarge thought this was more than a little fishy, but, before he could begin his tirade, another solder came up. “Okay, Private Wilson. What’s your excuse?” Sarge asked.
After I took my date home, my motorcycle wouldn’t start. I missed the last bus, so I hailed a cab…”
Sarge interrupted, “I think I’ve heard this one before. The cab broke down…”
“Oh, no, Sarge. There were so many dead horses in the road, it took forever to get around them.”