[Dixielandjazz] kludge/klunge/swoosh/gloop, etc.

Bill Gunter jazzboard at hotmail.com
Tue Sep 23 22:00:43 PDT 2003

Hi all,

Don Kirkman wrote (regarding my short version of this topic):

>Nah, that's a variation on the original gloop, which was popular in WW
>II.  The way I heard it, a sailor just out of training was assigned to a
>destroyer.  When he reported, the officer in charge asked him what his
>training was.  He replied that he was a trained gloop maker.  The
>officer wasn't too current with all the new specialties, so he didn't
>press the issue.  He asked the sailor what kind of facilities and
>supplies he would need, and the guy ended up with a machine shop and
>several large blocks of solid steel.  He spent day after day locked in
>his shop, and passersby could hear the machines whirring and grinding
>away inside.  After a couple of months his chief began to wonder just
>what was going on, and started asking how he was coming and when he
>would be finished.  After several more weeks the sailor said he was
>almost finished, promising to display the gloop on the fantail the next
>morning.  At the appointed time, he appeared with a tarp draped over a
>large object, the contours of which couldn't quite be discerned.  When
>all was ready, the tarp was removed and a large steel ball was
>revealed--it was immediately sent overboard with a resounding "gloop".

Exactly right! (except, possibly, for the name of the device).

I was also in WWII and that's where I first encountered the story. It was a 
simple "shaggy dog joke" and who is to say which name (klunge, kludge, 
swoosh, gloop, etc.) was the original. It makes no difference anyway because 
the thrust of the story was in the telling - not the precise name of the 
stupid thing.

The names are all onamatopoetic (sp?) versions of the sound created by an 
object falling into a body of water (splash, splish, klunge, plunge, swoosh, 
gloop, bloop, bleep, etc.).

Also, seems to me I remember a popular song of the era entitled "Bloop, 
Bleep." It's about a leaky faucet preventing someone from going to sleep,. 
Anybody remember that old song? I bet it would make a funny OKOM song at a 
festival somewhere.


Bill "Glug" Gunter
jazzboard at hotmail.com

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