Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Jody Call Contest! Win a Copy of Operation Yes

This is a reprint of a post at my OperationYes blog. I'm posting here to send you there, but also because I know some folks have difficulty commenting at an iWeb site. So, backup plan is to leave your entry here. Okay?

Also, an archive of the Twitter Chat between me and my editor, Cheryl Klein, is here

SOUND OFF! Jody Call Contest

What’s a jody call? It’s a song used to make a difficult job easier. In the armed forces, military members chant them during PT (Physical Training) to help everyone stay together on a long march or a run. Units also use jody calls to build up their sense of community.

In Operation Yes, Miss Loupe teaches her students jody calls because the back and forth rhythm is like the give and take of the improvisational theater games she’s introducing. But maybe she’s also stealthily building her team in Room 208!

Here are some real life jody calls:

They Say That in the Air Force 
They say that in the Air Force, the chicken's mighty fine
One jumped off the table and started marking time
Oh, Lord I wanna go
But they won't let me go
(last word stretched out over 8 paces, and a "Hey" on the right foot to
end the refrain)

They say that in the Air Force, the biscuits are mighty fine
One rolled off the table and killed a friend of mine

They say that in the Air Force, the pancakes are mighty fine
You can try to chew them, but you're only wasting time

They say that in the Air Force, the bed's are mighty fine
But how the heck would I know, I've never slept in mine

They say that in the Air Force, the mail is so great
Today I got a letter dated 1948

They say that in the Air Force, the toilets are mighty fine
You flush them up at seven, they come back up at nine.

They say that in the Air Force, the tents are waterproof
You wake up in the morning and you're floating on the roof.

Jody calls don’t have to rhyme. But they do have to have a rhythm:

Alpha Flight
Everywhere we go - oh
People wanna know - oh
Who we are
Where we come from
So we tell them
We are  Alpha Flight
Mighty Mighty Alpha Flight
Rough - n - tough Alpha
Straight shooting Alpha
Better than Bravo
Big baby Bravo
Better than Charlie
Chicken chicken Charlie
Better than Delta
Dumb-dumb Delta
Better than Echo
Icky icky Echo
We are Alpha
Mighty mighty Alpha

So here’s the challenge: Make up a jody call and post it in the comments. (Anywhere from 2-12 lines.)
It must be related to children’s books in some way.
It doesn’t have to rhyme, but it must have rhythm.
Keep it PG clean
The drill sergeant says you may use one of these lines to start with, but you don’t have to:
I don’t know but I’ve been told... (or it’s been said...)
Every book we open...
They say that in the library the ____ is mighty ____ ...

Prize for the best three jody calls:
signed copy of OPERATION YES, delivered to your door by a man or woman in uniform. (That would be the postal uniform.)

Deadline: October 16, 2400 hours, EST
(that’s midnight for you civilians.)

Judge: Brig. General Mike Holmes, who is unlikely to know any of the contestants, but is still a great reader of children’s literature. (Really. Not kidding. Don't try to slip War and Peace by him as a children's book.)


  1. I am SO going to do this, Sara!
    BTW, just got Operation: YES in the mail and am already reading it.

  2. Can't wait to give this a go, especially for a chance at your book, Sara!

  3. One of my favorite M*A*S*H episodes is where they sing about each other while Klinger fixes the projector. Those were some fine jody calls.

    I need to put my thinking cap on and get humming...

  4. I can't WAIT to see all three of your entries! I'm hearing the possibilities in my head now, especially if Tricia's going to be inspired by M*A*S*H!

  5. Hi Sara,
    What a fun contest!
    Here's my entry:

    Reading Rocks!

    I don’t know, but I’ve been told
    a good book’s worth more than gold.

    At the book store you can find
    stories--almost any kind.

    Special books can take you far,
    check out Where the Wild Things Are.

    Charlotte’s Web or Dr. Seuss,
    Nate the Great or Mother Goose

    Harry Potter, Junie B.,
    Goodnight Moon, The Giving Tree

    Books can take you any place--
    countries, worlds, or outer space.

    Donna V.

  6. Go, Donna V.! Thanks for your entry.

    Okay, the rest of you: let's hear it. Sound off! :)

  7. Okay, then. (Self-conscious throat clearing.)

    They say that when you're reading
    The real world disappears
    So I'm grabbing Judy Blume
    Cause I've got dishes out my ears

    And if I read some L'Engle
    There's no dust upon my shelves
    And if I read some Rowling
    I'll get help from three house elves

    The laundry's getting moldy
    The vacuum might be broke
    But Octavian's escaping
    Wimpy Kid just told a joke

    My own kid's done with school
    Let the wild rumpus start
    We'll order out for dinner
    Pumpkin juice and treacle tart

    Oh Lord, I want to read
    My house has gone to seed
    Please, Lord, I want to read


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