The Whole Truth

A sailor had a good time visiting pubs in the port city while on shore leave. He was tipsy when he made his way back to the ship and stumbled up the gangway. The captain noted in the log: “First mate drunk tonight.”

The sailor learned of the log entry and complained to the captain. “This isn’t fair. I was still on leave when I returned to the ship. We were moored, and I wasn’t on duty. This account makes me sound like I’m always drunk.”

“This is the official account of all happenings on this vessel,” the captain replied. “The truth is the truth. The log may not be altered.” Days later the captain was looking at the log and saw an entry written by his first mate. It read: “The captain was not drunk today.”

The captain’s face went red, and he turned to the first mate, demanding “What is this?”

The first mate looked at the log and then back at the captain and said, “This is the official account of all happenings on the ship.”

“You know what I’m talking about!” the captain shouted. “Anyone reading this will get the impression that I’m not always sober … Oh, I see.” He paused, then said “Shall we make two annotations to the log?” The first mate agreed.

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