They promised any officer or NCO who volunteered for early retirement a bonus of £100 for every inch measured in a straight line between any two points on his body, the officer/NCO choosing what those two points would be.
The first officer who came forward for early retirement asked that he be measured from the top of his head to the tips of his toes. He was measured at six feet and walked out with a bonus of £7200.
The second officer who came forward was a little bit smarter and asked to be measured from the tip of his outstretched hands to his toes. He walked out with £9600.
The third person to come forward was a grizzled old Chief Petty Officer. When asked where he would like to be measured from, he replied, “The top of my ‘John Thomas’ to my testicles”
The old CPO insisted on his wishes being adhered to, so they asked the chief medical officer to enter and do the necessary measurements and paperwork. The MO arrived and instructed the CPO to ‘Drop ’em’, which he proceeded to do.
The medical officer placed the tape measure on the tip of the CPO’s ‘John Thomas’, and began to work back.
“Good God”, the MO cried, “Where are your testicles?”
The old Chief Petty Officer smiled and replied, “On board HMS Antelope at the bottom of San Carlos Water in the Falkland Islands”