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(Globe and Mail)   "The elite troops start drinking at sunrise, then head off to city parks to brawl". Welcome to Paratrooper Day in Russia   ( theglobeandmail.com) divider line
    More: Amusing, special forces, vests, diamond, public order, Russian President Vladimir Putin  
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5443 clicks; posted to Main » on 03 Aug 2012 at 9:48 AM (5 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2012-08-03 11:35:24 AM  
6 votes:
Moscow city authorities also distributed several tons of watermelons in a downtown park at no charge; paratroopers had been known to steal them in the past.

The Hunt for Ripe Watermelons

Sergi's team mission was simple: High altitude jump, get to the coordinates, grab as many watermelons as possible and make it to extract. He checked his gear once last time. The Russian GPS unit needed winding again. Still, it was better than the old days. He remembered when he used to jump with just a Texaco map.

The Antonov AN-2 Colt dropped out of Mach 3 with a standard lurch. It would still be stealthy but the sound of it's single twelve cylinder engine would now be heard. The jump was coming up fast. The Flight engineer looked at Sergi and yelled "Soon!" Sergi pitched out in to the darkeness, the wind ripping past him at 400 miles per hours. The Flight Engineer yelled in to the slipstream "I said 'Soon!'" All he heard was Sergis' 'Gawddammitohsofarkingmuch' fading in to the night. The Colt then went back to Mach three and climbed to 150,000 feet.

Sergi fell through the darkness. He counted to ten slowly. Then he named the cities on the Volga River. Then he remembered to open his parachute. "My mind always wanders when I jump out of airplanes," he said to himself. It was a good thing that he remembered to open his parachute., The ground quickly came up just as Gravity said would.

Sergi hit the ground, and rolled. According to protocol, he gathered up and then ate his parachute. He check his Russian GPS system. the Space Dog was over there and the Vostok Capsule was down there. He had a ways to walk and a short time. If he didn't make to the Rendezvous, he would have to wait for a Ford Explorer. And the Buick Rendezvous had much better seats.

Being full of parachute, he walked slowly. As he walked, the Space Dog got closer to the Vostok. It was still dark when he got to his target: Old Man Miller's Watermelon Farm. It looked like an easy target, but Sergi knew about the electric fence. All last week, Russian satellites flew over the farm, photographing the watermelons to estimate their time of ripeness. While examining the film, analyst had noted the inclusion of an electric fence. All over the photos, they had marked "Do Not Pee Here" to delineate the fence and perimeter.

Sergi jumped the fence and skirted the electric wire. It was his only skirt so he would have to exit the farm this way. He moved carefully between the rows of watermelons. A rookie would just grab the nearest melons and run but Sergi was a pro. He carefully thumped a candidate. If it was ideal, he'd cut it loose from the vine and roll it in to the middle row. He planned to collect them as soon as he found enough good ones. In his youth, he could carry six but now he was down to just five. Perhaps this would be his last mission.

He had just clipped number four when there was a roar. Sergi knew instantly that it was a Mossberg shotgun - double barreled and loaded with double aught buck shot. It would be lethal on Sergi's behind. He wished now that he had taken additional ass armor on his mission.

Forgetting melon number 5, he gathered up the previous four and made for the fence. Old Man Miller whooped and yelled "Ah got yew now, you damned Russkie!" Sergi, turned and fired a 30 round clip from his AK-47, threw a half a dozen grenades and fired an RPG. Miller just laughed "Yew Russkies weapons are no match fer me!" Sergi knew he was reloading the double barreled shotgun. He would not miss.

He reached the fence and flung himself over the wire. There was a blast and Sergi's arm burst in to flames. He was hit. Holding on to the melons, he rolled away from the fence. Old Man Miller was known as a pursuer. He would chase Sergi all the way to the highway. He had to get away now. He had four melons!

Sergi hid in the weeds and checked his wounds. He heard Old Man Miller muttering and walking back and forth. He was too close for Sergi to attempt a get away. Sergi feared he would miss the Rendezvous. Those leather seats. Suddenly Sergi remembered why he didn't wear his ass armor. Because he wanted to really enjoy those leather seats! He had to go now!

Old Man Miller began to widen his patrol and Sergi slipped away. With his wound, four melons and the parachute working its way through his upper colon, he couldn't move quickly. Only the thought of the leather seats gave him the energy to move forward. He checked his Russian GPS. The Space Dog was now moving away from the Vostok and moving towards the Cute Russian Cosmonaut. He reached the road, put down his load and waited.

Right on time, the Buick Rendezvous pulled up. Sergi threw his melons in to the back seat and climbed in. He had called 'shotgun' back in Russia and took the passenger seat. Oh the warm leather! Almost made him sad that he wore pants.

"Comrade, I know you called 'shotgun' but the rules have been changed. Do not adjust the radio. It is set to the wife's crap and the kid's Radio Disney. If it is reprogrammed, the wife will have a fit."

"Yes Comrade," Sergi grunted. "No NPR tonight."

The assistant driver who had to get in the back seat announced "Vehicle approaching from behind. My view through the back window says that it is gaining quickly."

"As does my view through the rear view mirror" exclaimed the driver. "I fear it is Old Man Miller!"

"Old Man Miller has never been know to pursue with a vehicle" Sergi said. "But let's get going just to be safe."

The Buick jumped from the side of the road and quickly attained a dangerous speed of 45 miles per hour. The vehicle began to shake and trim parts fell from the side. "Is no problem, Comrades. I will blame all this on the wife. I will tell her not to park at the front of the Wal mart!" As the pursuing vehicle closed on the Buick, the assistant driver reported "It looks to be a farmer armed with a shotgun, comrades. What should we do?"

"Stop and fight!" yelled Sergi. "We will die as heroes."

"I like the heroes part," shouted the driver but the dying part doesn't suit me! Here is a little lesson I learned in the Soviet Submarine Navy!"

The driver deftly pulled off to the side of the road and turned off the headlights. The pickup truck with the shotgunned armed man boomed by quickly. The Buick driver did a quick U-turn and headed back the way they came. A turns down a couple of side roads and they were safe.

The mood in the Buick became suddenly festive. "I wonder if Old Man Miller is still out cruising the highways" laughed Sergi. Perhaps we should revisit his farm and gather even more melons!" They all laughed at the prospect. "Old man Miller would be so angry!" the driver roared.

Just then, one of the melons began to move on it's own. It split open and Special Agent Jack Sparrowhawk. He quickly disarmed the Russians and produced his 15 mm Sears Automatic. "Fun times over, fellas. We gotta stop these shenanigans. This is your last haul for a while. You can take these melons back to Russia. When you get there, you'll find a whole bunch of new bosses. They are going to stop sending you on these missions. Old Man Miller has been calling NORAD way too many times on you fellas. He's got the Air Force all ticked about it. They can't go anywhere without coming back to a dozen voice mails from him. The Air Force called the UN and the UN called Vlad. Vlad is telling your bosses to stop, one bullet at a time. Games over. No one wins. Now drop me off at the Circle K."

The men dropped the Special Agent off at the Circle K and drove back to Russia. It was exactly as Sparrowhawk had said: There were new bosses and blood stains everywhere. There would be no more missions. The group ate the remaining three melons in silence and sadness. There were the sweetest, most delicious watermelons they had ever eaten but they ate them as if there were flavorless honeydews.
2012-08-03 09:55:04 AM  
6 votes:
"Aug. 2 is Paratrooper Day in Russia and every year more than one million burly active and retired soldiers take to the streets in their signature blue berets and striped undershirts to mark the occasion"

No pants? One million raging drunks, all dressed like Donald Duck.
2012-08-03 09:54:57 AM  
2 votes:
englishrussia.comView Full Size

A Russian paratrooper parade bares a striking resemblance to a gay pride parade. Good for them.
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