Friday Funny: What really happened to the Kursk


Well-known member
24 Sep 2003
What really happened to the Kursk

Some new information has come to light over the Kursk disaster. For those with short attention spans, the Kursk was the submarine that blew up and sank in the Arctic Ocean killing all 118 on board. The Russians tried to blame the incident on a collision with an unidentified object. However, sonar tapes which recorded the blasts (a small one at first, then a much larger one two minutes later) cast doubt on these claims. A whistle blower within the Russian military has leaked that the crew of the Kursk was testing a new type of torpedo when the accident occurred. It seemed very likely that the test didn't go quite as planned. While rescue efforts to save the survivors of the Kursk failed, salvage crews were able to recover a 'Black Box' from the submarine which contained detailed accounts of the events leading up to the explosion. As luck would have it, we got a copy of those tapes.
It turns out that the submarine crew was trying to load Microsoft Windows XP on their fire control computer. Their intent was to replace the ageing CP/M operating system with the flashier Windows OS. Apparently, the Russians didn't know about the legendary stability problems exhibited by Windows. The log tapes make this painfully obvious:

Captain: Is the new fire control Windows OS installed yet Comrade?
Seaman: Almost Sir. We just need to finish filling out the registration card.
Captain: Excellent. Soon we will be able to point and click our enemies into oblivion. [evil laughter in background]
Seaman: Comrade Captain! It is booting! Look, it says 'Preparing to run Windows for the first time'. [long pause]
Seaman: Arrgh! Sir, it wants me to reboot again. That makes the 27th time.
Captain: Hmmm. This is not encouraging. Go ahead and reboot again.
Seaman: Aye Sir. [another long pause]
Seaman: Captain, it is up again. It says it found new hardware ... A CD-ROM drive and that it needs drivers.
Captain: Where are the drivers?
Seaman: On the CD-ROM.
Captain: You are joking, no?
Seaman: No Sir.
Captain: Reboot the damn thing again. I am starting not to like this Windows. [another long pause]
Seaman: Sir! It is back! It says it found the Gorby2000 Torpedo and is looking for the device drivers. Do we have a driver disk?
Captain: I do not think so.
Seaman: I will tell it to use the default drivers. [another long pause]
Seaman: Crap. It wants to reboot again.
Captain: How many times are we going to reboot today? This is taking forever. Our hull is going to rust out before this works. [another long pause]
Seaman: Sir! It is up and this time it is not asking for anything!
Captain: Really? No device drivers? No registration cards? No user profiles?
Seaman: No Sir. I think it is ready.
Captain: Good work comrade. Now click on the fire control icon and let us see how this works.
Seaman: Clicking now, Sir. [another long pause]
Captain: Why does the fire control screen have a dancing paper clip on it?
Seaman: I have no idea Sir.
Captain: Hmmm, well try clicking on the menu.
Seaman: Aye Sir. Let us see; Open E-mail, Spam a friend, Mail a Virus, Fire a Torpedo...
Captain: We will spam a friend later. Let us fire a torpedo.
Seaman: Aye Sir. [another long pause]
Seaman: It is asking us to load the torpedo and to click when ready.
Captain: Torpedo room, load a torpedo in tube number 1!
[intercom]: This is the Torpedo room. The torpedo is loaded Sir.
Captain: Click on the continue button.
Seaman: Aye Sir. [another long pause]
Seaman: It is asking for a target Sir.
Captain: Hmmm, target the Rainbow Warrior.
Seaman: Aye Sir. Damn! It says the torpedo is low on ink.
Captain: Click ignore. We will get some ink when we return to base.
Seaman: Aye Sir. We are ready to fire.
Captain: Very good. You may fire when ready comrade.
Seaman: Firing torpedo Sir. [another really long pause]
Captain: Well?
Seaman: I am trying Sir. Nothing is happening. Wait a minute.... [a loud explosion is heard in the background followed by screaming on intercom]
Captain: WTF was that?!?!?
Seaman: Captain! A new screen has appeared! Outlook Express Fire Control has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down. Click 'OK' to continue.
Seaman: Oh my God! The paper clip has died! What should I do?
Captain: Shut it down! Shut it down!
Seaman: It is not responding Sir!
Captain: Try 'CTRL-ALT-DELETE'!
Seaman: Aye Sir. We are in luck! The task manager is still operating. I am instructing the task manager to shut down Outlook Fire Control. [another long pause]
Seaman: The task manager says that Outlook Fire Control is not responding.
Captain: Well no [censored]. Tell it to 'end task'.
Seaman: Nothing is happening Sir.
Captain: Try 'CTRL-ALT-DELETE' again.
Seaman: Aye Sir. [sounds of frantic pecking on keyboard.]
Seaman: Oooh! What a pretty blue screen!
Captain: Holy $@#%! Not the blue screen of dea....[ KABLAM! A really big explosion. More screaming and the sound of rushing water.]
The tape ends at this point. During the week long rescue effort, divers reported hearing tapping in the form of morse code coming from survivors inside the damaged sub. The rescuers couldn't understand why a group of men would spend the last of their strength tapping out "windows sucks" in morse code. The tapes of the last moments of the Kursk may offer some insight into this.



Well-known member
24 Sep 2003
Arghh... for God's sake!

What's next? You can't make a joke about the sea, or ever mention a big wave cause 160,000 people died in a Tsunami?


New member
16 Mar 2004
Must admit, tend to agree with Dylan even though I'm about as non-PC as you can get. There's a big difference between making a joke about the sea or mentioning a big wave, and making one about a specific tragic incident. While it doesn't particularly offend me, the joke is in pretty poor taste.



22 Aug 2001
Ignore them Yanita

Lots of good jokes are in bad taste - that's what makes us laugh


New member
18 Feb 2002
West Yorkshire, UK
The joke did not need the Kursk reference. Indeed it would have been much funnier in a fictitious setting where only the issue of MS & WinXP was being ridiculed.

The joke was funny, the context not.
19 Sep 2002
True, not in good taste. But we have a long tradition of jokes in bad taste: it's almost a way of rationalising terrible events and keeping them in people's thoughts. You laugh at the joke, but in the back of your mind, you remember those that survived for several days, cold, wet, and tapping on the inside of the hull.

Would you prefer the US approach to free speech ?

1 Jan 2005
South West
I'm all up for a joke however, I'm sorry I think this crosses the fine line between humour and bad taste.

As you say dvinell

"You laugh at the joke, but in the back of your mind, you remember those that survived for several days, cold, wet, and tapping on the inside of the hull"

It's then you realise it's not funny and shouldn't be mocked.

The sinking of the Kursk was a terrible disaster and IMO respect should be shown to those who perished.

It's not funny and it's most certainly not clever.