During the World War I an Irishman wanted to take a week or two off. He went to the colonel's tent. He saluted, and said:
"Colonel, I've come to ask you to allow me the pleasure of a furlough for a visit home. I've been in the field for three years now, and I haven't been home yet to see my family. And I've just got a letter from my wife. She wants me to come home to see her and the children."
The colonel shook his head decisively.
"No, Mike," he replied. "I'm sorry, but to tell the truth, I don't think you can go home. I've just got a letter from your wife myself. She doesn't want you to come home. She writes me that you only get drunk, and disgrace her and the children. So you'd better stay right here until the end of your service."
"All right, sir," Mike answered, quite cheerfully. He saluted and went to the door of the tent. Then he turned around.
"Colonel," he said, "would you pardon me for a brief remark?"
"Yes, certainly," the officer agreed.
"You won't get mad and put me in the guard house if I say this?"
"No, indeed! Say what you wish to."
"Well, then, Colonel, I think there are two of the biggest liars in all the Army in this tent at this moment and I'm sure I'm one of them. I have no wife."