Once at an obscure outpost of the French Foreign Legion someone with a desk job and more time than work counted and recorded the number of flies that the office fly paper had caught that day. The next day he did the same. After a month of this he titled the paper “February’s Flypaper Report” and sent it along with the regular monthly reports to central headquarters.

At CHQ they didn’t know what to make of this so they created a new folder and filed the report. Time passed and those at CHQ who had received the first Flypaper Reports were gone. Eventually the fellow at the outpost was replaced and his replacement had never seen such a report, let alone a requirement for such a report of which there was none. At month end, lacking the accustomed report, CHQ asked for its monthly Flypaper Report.

This is a story I heard many years ago with as few changes here as I can recall. I have heard the story more recently in other forms. I have no idea of its origins.

In late 2009 Frank Troy writes me that one Hugh Troy invented this story. He goes on to say:

You can check out a lot of his practical jokes by reading the book “Laugh With Hugh Troy” written by his uncle Con Troy.