adhesive plaster on a hairy chest

The following are instructions on disguise, posture and gait from a Manual of Covert Warfare and Training 1939-1945:

image found here

“If you have round shoulders, a strong “figure eight” cord, crossed in the back, will serve as a reminder to throw out your chest and stand up straight. Put your arms through it and slip it over your head. If you want round shoulders, cross it in front instead. 

image found here

Try the old trick of buttoning your pants to your vest to acquire a stoop. Another way to keep hunched over is to use a strip of adhesive plaster from just above the navel up to the hair on the chest. It should be applied while slouched over. Then try to straighten up!

Mark Ruffalo found here

A mechanic’s face, with ingrained grease, can be affected by rubbing in black grease from an engine or hubcap. A fine crop of synthetic blackheads can also be achieved this way. 

real blackheads found here

Building up the inside of one shoe heel will give a “short leg” limp. With the same device it’s easy to assume the walk of someone who has been paralysed on one side. Build up your left heel an inch and a half, crook your right arm into a useless set, drop the right shoulder down and swing the right half dead leg forward. Be sure your face has a drooped, dull, set expression. Your eyes are usually all that will move, with a bewildered, anxious expression. This cover, if not overplayed, has a good psychological angle because one’s natural impulse is to look away from such cripples.

image of “The Cripple” found here

A hard object in one sock heel will produce a convincing limp. Slightly larger ones in the arch of each foot will produce a “flat foot” walk. Pencil erasers or other firm but pliable articles are best as they do not bruise the foot so much after a period of time. Try also a tight bandage around the calf of your leg with something under it to hurt the muscle as the weight is put on that foot.

Tungara frog perched on pencil eraser found here

Try the “lost arm” which is best done when wearing a double breasted coat. Take the left arm from the coat sleeve. Tuck the empty sleeve into the coat pocket. Hold the elbow close to the waist at the side front and put your forearm around your waist with the left hand on the right hip. If you can button your vest around your arm, it will keep it even flatter, but you may want your arm more readily available.

image found here

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50 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. That is like something from a Boys Own comic!

  2. This reminded me of Kevin Spacey in The Usual Suspects.

    • I hadn’t made that connection but you’re right

  3. the ‘anxious expression’ comes easy when your chest hair is in the grip of adhesive tape !

  4. quite a manual here. someone actually sat down to study and write this. very interesting !

    • i think I’d rather read a manual on fly fishing

  5. Another way to create a limp is to develop blisters on the bottom of your foot. If you don’t have time to “develop” blisters, simply take a knife and make 2 or 3 slices in that area.
    Timely post. I have blisters, I’m limping and it does feel like someone took a knife to my foot. Too bad I’m not engaging in covert warfare – at least then I’d get paid for this. ;)

  6. Reminds me of “Illness saves / Krankheit rettet”. The Brits sent over to German troops instructions on how to simulate illnesses (think Sefton Delmer, XX), the Germans to the Brits, the Russians to all of them …
    German article in SPIEGEL, book in English. If the enemy did not shoot you, one had to do it by oneself.
    Germany had spy training schools through the war, I know of two (one in Southern Bavaria, one in Western Prussia), where people were sent to learn basical military skills and in special courses handling explosives, using radios etc. I do not know whether such a manual existed here.

    • Great link – I love it!

  7. What it doesn’t explain of course is why exactly you would need a stoop, a limp, a mechanic’s face or whatever. Surely they would make you more conspicuous, which is not much use if you’re trying to be an invisible spy blending into the background?

    I remember as a kid being fascinated by one-legged men in plays (like Long John Silver) and wondering where exactly they kept their hidden real leg.

    • My son once won a dress-up competition at primary school when he went as Jake the Peg. He manged to keep his leg bent backwards inside his trousers from the knee up for nearly an hour.

  8. theatrical tricks, as well as spy tricks…

    • I bet you know plenty darlin’

  9. I’d love to see what the modern, updated CIA/MI-5 versions say.

  10. mark ruffalo and john currin? i’m there!

    • Which one do you want most? I’ll toss you

  11. My goodness. I have a house full of teenaged boys. synthetic blackheads are the last thing on my t3

  12. I often lay awake at night fantasizing how I could achieve the most sought after blackhead in the ear look until now. You, Nurse Myra are a genius! I’m off now to find a greasy mechanic with dirty hubcap or is that a dirty mechanic with a greasy hubcap? BTW Is “hubcap” a colorful euphemism for something else by chance? I really long for that sexy inner ear blackhead look. I’m hoping the guys will find me more attractive. If so, I owe it all to you and your blog! *wink* I do love you so. <3

    • Is “hubcap” a colorful euphemism for something else? Ooooh… I don’t know. but an image did just flash into my dirty little mind

      • I kind of thought it would. :-)

  13. That “fake blackheads from hubcap grease” trick never works. Believe me.

    • Thanks David, now I’m even more optimistic! ;-)

      • Guess I read your comment wrong- sorry, so discouraging. :-(

  14. This is all excellent advice which I shal endeavour to put into practice.

  15. Mark Rufallo must wax because he wasn’t so hairy in the Avengers movie.

    • Wasn’t he? I can’t remember. I like a hairy chest :-)

  16. At first I thought it was ways to avoid induction but you ain’t fooling army docs.

    • did you click on the link in 63mago’s comment? it’s well worth it

  17. A good reminder that espionage is not the glamorous occupation portrayed in movies!

  18. [...] post can inspire a post for one’s own blog.  Such is the case here.  I was reading this post from Gimcrack Hospital, when I was reminded of another item from More of Paul Harvey’s The [...]

    • thanks for the linkback Scott

      • Thank you, Myra!

  19. This is truly bizarre. But no doubt useful when in a sticky spot, or on the run from the police. I will therefore remember it – if not print it out and keep it with me at all times in some safe place. Where, I wonder, would a really safe place be?

    • Inside the tight bandage you have wound around your calf?

  20. Such a sweet little frog. Ruffalo’s not too bad either :)

  21. Very useful tips and tricks, all :)
    Always learn new stuff when I come to your corner (and enjoy every lesson :))

    • Thank you ZaG. I really enjoy your photo polls

  22. I wonder if doctors can be convinced into issuing us a medical certificate using any of these methods… ” help, doc, I’m limping and can’t work today”

  23. Fortunately I’ve been gifted with a dull expression since birth…

  24. Thanks…very useful for my next trip to the supermarket

  25. I must be doing some of these. I just glanced in a mirror and saw an old man looking back.

  26. I’ve read a lot of beauty tips about how to avoid blackheads, but never how to acquire them … until now.

  27. I have most of those attributes without even trying!

  28. Oh my…Mark Ruffalo…YUM.

    As for the blackheads – you know!

  29. Certainly the “pants attached to vest” explains the stoop on many an elderly gentleman.


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