A little gem from desert life

I found this little piece from a book ‘The Mounted Riflemen in Sinai and Palestine’ published in 1920 by Briscoe Moore of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles and I just had to share this delightful bit of humour

While at El Arish, a “de-lousing” parade was held. These parades were held at odd times when opportunities offered, and were often most amusing. All of a man’s wearing apparel, and his blanket, would be put in big batches into a steam disinfector. There it would remain for about twenty minutes, when it would be supposed to be cleared of lice or other vermin — the writer one day heard a man remark that this treatment merely “refreshed them!” The steam disinfectors were either portable, or if on the railway, closed iron cars fitted with shelves and supplied with steam from an old engine.
On this day at El Arish, numbers of men had stripped, and were waiting in most airy attire beside their horses until their clothing should be “cooked.” Suddenly a “Jacko” aeroplane appeared, which shortly afterwards dropped a bomb not far from the disinfector. Then ensued a scene that baffles description, as men in all stages of deshabille, from a shirt to nothing at all, sprang on to their horses and scattered for their lives in all directions. It is perhaps superfluous to add that the humour of the situation was only appreciated afterwards.

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