I have a friend and he's doing some research on the Great War in the archives in Douai. I asked him to keep an eye out for anything related to aviation. He came across a handwritten text, in German, that appears to be an account of a stand up comedian who called himself "Bubi V." Unfortunately, so far he's only managed to locate the first page.
I've translated it, as best as I could, and include it below for your enjoyment.
Bubi V at the Douai Kanteen, sometime in late 1917.
Hey! Great to be here! I just flew in from Marckebeeke. Man, are my arms tired.
You know, we aviators get asked a lot of questions. I guess the one we get asked the most is about how cold it is up there.
Someone in Audience: How cold is it Bubi?
Well, it’s so cold that the first thing we do when he land is to trot to the head and play “find your hoden.” Mine are usually somewhere up here [points to throat].
The other thing people always ask me is about, you know, bathroom stuff. People just love bathroom stuff.
I tell them: Piss is damned warm! So that’s a plus, when you’re freezing. As for crapping your flight suit, I mean if you fly a rotary and get all that Castor oil in your mouth, guess what? You better believe, even the Rittmeister himself poops his drawers. Quite frankly, Lil Manny is full of it. He craps his drawers more often than he downs an EA, or should I say steals confirmation for an EA someone else downed.
And speaking of the Rittmeister. [looks around suspiciously] Any of his brothers here? Cousins? They’re like roaches. They’re everywhere. Oh! crap! Is that his father? No? Just a random old guy. Thanks God!
You know, Lil Manny’s brother, Lothar has his own band. Yea, really! Lothar and the Hand People. Let me tell you, I met this Lothar character and he’s a trip. Leutnant “Kampfeinsitzer-Frisur!” Do you know what that is? It’s a style when an aviator wears his hair all greased up and slicked back, like its constantly being blown that way by a strong wind. Yea, Lothar’s a piece of work. Bad case of Kreuzschmerzen [literally, aching for the cross, i.e.medals].
I mean, I go to Berlin to get my latest medal, and there I’m am in Kempinski’s Hotel Bristol on Leipzigstrasse with Tony Fokker himself, and I’m in full dress with my Blue Max on my neck, and this guy comes up to me with a Sanke Card in his hand. He’s looking at me; then he looks at the Sanke Card; then he looks at me. And I ask if I can help him. He shrugs and says, Oh! I thought maybe you were von Richthofen and he walks away. I mean what am I? A slice of six-month-old Kriegsbrot? Yea, yea, I know. That Kriegsbrot actually tastes better after six months than it does fresh. But that's another routine.
Let me tell you, Lil Manny is a piece of work. One time we were in this Kurvenkampfen, six per side. We were in our DVs and the Frogs were in their beloved SPAD VIIs. So I get behind a SPAD and blast the hell out of him. I mean I tore him up, literally. His upper wing detached and came back and narrowly missed me. As he spiraled down, no upper wing, no ailerons, Lil Manny took a shot at this poor wingless #%&*$#. After the Frenchman crashed, Lil Manny hightailed it home, landed before me, and claimed the victory for himself. And guess what? Those schmucks at headquarters gave Lil Manny the victory! And this was the second time the Douchemeister had done this to me.
I’m sure you’ve probably all heard about the Rittmeister getting wounded.
Yea, yea, I know. That’s terrible. And it’s a serious wound. Very serious. Not one of those flesh wounds in the leg. This was big time. We’re talking surgery. But did you read in the papers how it happened? That’s right. He was closing on a British machine head to head, and the Lord got off a lucky shot that hit Richthofen in the head. But, and there’s always a big but with the Douchemeister. What? You laugh? Do you think that bulge in the back is all flight suit? Anyway, there’s a problem with that story; the official story. If an approaching pilot hit him, the bullet would have been in the front of the head, right? But check out the pictures. The wound is in the back of the head.
Now how’d that happen? [whispers] Have you heard about the “magic bullet theory”? Yea, really, the bullet flew from the British machine, went past Lil Manny’s (he hates it when I call him that) head, did a 180, and hits the Douchemeister in the back of the skull. Amazing! Simply amazing! Yea, a frigging magic bullet.
I mean, that must be what happened, right? How else could he have been hit in the back of the skull from a plane in front of him? The only aircraft behind him were from his own unit! Hmmmmm! Has the term “fragging” been invented yet? Well, between you and me, let’s just say that I’m not the only German aviator who is sick and tired of seeing Lil Manny soak up all the attention. I think you all know what I’m getting at here.
Oh! Oh! And the best part is seeing all those pictures of Lil Manny with that nurse. She’s a doll! Yea, so the guy struck by the magic bullet is with a pretty nurse. What we have here is the not so subtle suggestion that Lil Manny is fooling around with that cute nurse. Well, what can I say. That’s about as likely as the Kaiser getting a job with the circus as a juggler, or Lil Manny getting hit in the back of the head by a shot from the front, if you know where I’m going with this. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Although there is a Military Regulation. But we can’t have Lil Manny’s reputation soiled by rumors that he’s, you know. As I said, not that there’s anything wrong with that.
And another thing….
Next page missing. My source is still searching for it.
I tell ya, I get no respect from my jasta leader, no respect at all.
Last week my flying scarf caught on fire. Manfred tried to put it out with an ax!
One day I came back early from morning patrol and stopped by my girlfriend’s place, I saw Manfred out jogging naked. I said to him, “Hey Manny…why are you doing that for?” He said, “Because you came back early.”
No respect, no respect at all.
I told him the other day, “Manfred, all this flying is getting to me. Every morning when I get up and look in the mirror I feel like throwing up. What’s wrong with me?” He said, “I don’t know, but your eyesight is perfect.”
I tell ya, no respect. I was getting so depressed I was going to jump off the watch tower. Manfred came up to talk to me. He said, “On your mark, get set…”
I told Manfred we should have a dog around camp, so he got me one. His favorite bone is in my arm. No respect. He keeps barking at the door of my hut. He doesn’t want to go out, he wants me to leave.
I was tired one night after late patrol and I went to the mess to have a few drinks. Manfred was there and said, “My treat, what’ll you have?” I said, “Surprise me.” He showed me a naked picture of my mother.
I had a headache from high altitude flying. I told Manfred about it and he said I should take a handful of sleeping pills, have a few drinks, and get some rest.
BTW, Nowi, if interested, send me a PM with an email addy. I'll send you information that proves the "fragging" shot-from-behind theory is just a bunch of erroneous bollocks "supported" by literally zero evidence.
Zero evidence!! There seems to be a lot of that going around in politics these days, and heavily accompanied by ignorance me thinks
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It’s just comedy. I do not believe MvR was fragged. When I merge, head to head, I always turn my head and check my six. If I got hit in the head, it would be the back of my skull. I’m just having some fun and trying to counter the over-adulation if this guy, and all things Richthofen.