An island militia group has been left with egg on its face after trying to shoot down the moon, thinking it was a Chinese spy balloon.
Believing it was defending the island against covert surveillance, the militia fired three .22 rounds at the large white spherical object moving slowly through the night sky.
But rather than hit a floating piece of nefarious high-altitude equipment, they missed the earth’s only natural satellite by approximately 238,855 miles.
This has led to much laughter and derision among the island’s militia community.
The 2021 Militia is a group of military history enthusiasts who also believe that the island is under imminent threat from foreign powers, who are jealous that Jersey is such a well-regulated and well-regarded international finance centre.
It was one of their commissioned rank, Major Major Major Mauger, who thought he spotted the spy balloon after finishing a six-hour sentry duty in the Prince of Wales.
He called his fellow militiamen Heckler Le Cocq, his cousin Gaston Le Glocq, and Walter PP Kay, who had also been keeping guard in the Dog and Sausage.
Together, they each grabbed a musket from their extensive collection of licensed weaponry and tried to shoot down the Asiatic invader.
It was only after a lady walking her dog in French Lane pointed out the lunacy of their endeavours that they returned to the nearest alehouse for last orders.
The 2021 Militia was set up to remember and occasionally reenact the famous Second Battle of Jersey, which took place in May of that year.
Then, a fleet of French vessels, led by Granville fisherman Brian du Rullecourt, attempted to invade the island using a comprehensive arsenal of three flares, some rude belching and eight badly spelt banners.
But a brave militia rose up in opposition. First mustering in Peirson Road, they marched to the Peirson Pub, where they imbibed three flagons of ale before charging to the end of the Albert Pier, where they threw some inflammatory remarks at the invaders.
Devastated by these cutting words, and the fact it was almost lunchtime, the French departed.
It was a great victory for the local defenders, who had been let down by the island’s British Commander, Field Marshal Henry Seymour Conway, who was in the UK having a sauna at his Henley pad with James Corden.
A famous picture depicting the battle was painted by Valerie Singleton Copley, which now hangs in Tate Britain, a gallery named after the sugar baron and not the imprisoned misogynist. And the sugar baron is Henry Tate, not Lord Sugar.
(Ed … You’re fired!)
Picture credit: Dale Fischer