Monday, March 17, 2014

Practical Joke

    Sometime last week, I read someone's blog that asked what was the best practical joke we had ever played on someone.  I can't remember whose it was, though.  Hey, give me a break.  I was in Florida last week.  And I'm old.  And stupid.

  It sounds like something that Keith,  the Optimistic Existentialist, would ask.  He's pretty smart and introspective that way.  Whenever I want to feel like a moron I visit his blog.  Or pretty much anyplace but here.

  But, I visited Musings of an Unapologetic Dreamer and couldn't find it.  So, I'm probably wrong.  Maybe I saw it on someone else's blog.  Or on Twitter.  Oh, hell, I can't remember.  Like I said, I can be stupid.

  Anyway, since I had planned on writing about it here, I'll go right ahead.

  For those of you who have been paying attention, you know I was in the U.S. Navy for a few years while I tried to figure out what I was going to do with my life 

NOTE: Nine years after retirement, I still haven't figured it out.
 
Even though it had wings, it was a boy horse.
We checked.

 One of my commands was Patrol Squadron Eleven,  which flew the P-3C Antisubmarine Warfare turboprop aircraft.  I was assigned as an aircrewman to operate acoustic sensor systems onboard the aircraft to search for (primarily) Soviet submarines.  I also got airsick, but that's another story.

"Da, we be for freezings
with the asses off here."
  From November 1988 until May 1989, we deployed to Keflavik, Iceland, one of the farthest northern American bases (in another country-we're like neighbors who never leave your house that way).  Our job was to (surprise) keep an eye on the (then) Soviet submarines which at the time routinely conducted operations from even farther north.

Historical Note:  As you may or may not know, the U.S. closed up shop in Iceland almost ten years
Besides, the Russians were our friends.
Yeah, not so much. 
ago.  There was a war going on elsewhere and it was felt that the millions of dollars spent in the post-Cold War would be better spent in what were sure to be wildly successful adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Yeah, not so much.

  Okay, I'm depressed now.  

  Still...on with the joke.  

  One of the aircraft systems (aka "MAD-Magnetic Anomaly Detector") used to find submarines exploits the fact that metal submarines (the Polish Navy's experiment with submarines made of Velveeta having gone horribly awry), distort the Earth's magnetic field.  The magnetic sensor installed in a long probe at the rear of the aircraft (we called this the "hemorrhoid."  Okay, I called this the "hemorrhoid."  I don't think anyone else did) detected these distortions.

 
"Really!!??
I gotta take a wicked crap!!"
Seemingly unrelated...the P-3 had no onboard lavatorial facilities.  Well, no flushing lavatorial facilities, anyway.  What we did have was a metal bucket (aka "Honey Bucket") that could be used if you really needed to void your bowels (Scientific Term:  Make "boom-boom").  Nobody ever used it, though, because if they did, it would make the entire cabin smell like...uh...shit. 


  There was also a urinal (aka "The Pisser."  Yeah, we didn't use a whole lot of imagination there) that could be used to take a...uh...piss (I would think the term "pisser" gave it away).  Back in the 80s they were made of metal.  I think today they're made of heavy duty plastic (damn well better be heavy duty!).

  One day (and this is where the magnetic sensor comes in), we managed to talk our most junior pilot into taking the Pisser outside the aircraft and wave it under the MAD boom.  That way, the MAD system would detect subtle changes in the Earth's magnetic field and, thus, calibrate our system.

  Nobody would have believed that anyone would be that gullible (I know I wouldn't), but thankfully he was and someone took his picture.
And we won the Cold War.
Yeah, huh?
  Thankfully, that particular pilot was not particularly bright and so got out of the Navy.  Luckily before he killed anyone or took a dump while inflight.  He then went on to get a job in....oh, I was going to write a terribly tasteless joke here involving [insert any government agency here], but I'll let it pass.

  Besides, I think I need to use my home's honey bucket.

  Which flushes, by the way.


                                                                                                        

33 comments:

  1. There's one in every bunch... or on every boat... or submarine... on in every bathroom...

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    1. His stories are legendary for their stupidity.

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  2. I prefer "pissoir" -- I am so cultured.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Don't think we never called it that, either!

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  3. There's one in every platoon or squadron, isn't there? Thank God, or it might be you...

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    1. When I reported to my ship, I was posted to watch for sea bats and the mail buoy. Then, after being sent to go get a couple gallons of prop wash, I caught on and just went to my bunk to take a nap for a couple hours. When I finally got back and they asked me where I had been, I told them I was looking for what they told me to get.

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  4. A bucket? At least you could have got a litterbox to bury the stench lol thankfully it was never used. Geez that gullible guy must be president by now.

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    1. If you did use it, you had to buy a case of beer for the crew.

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  5. Heh...yep, sounds like some good fun military humor. I was in intelligence, and we made the new guys run around the complex with a box of ball bearings and visit all the other stations asking for new satellite bearings. Ah, good times....

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    1. Similarly, we had to look for a bucket of relative bearing grease.

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  6. I was never in the military so I missed out on all the shenanigans.

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  7. In Soviet Russia urinal waves you

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  8. Soooooo if all you had was the bucket in which to defecate (HA! I defeated you again, ending a sentence in a preposition! Oh, wait, I'm not done with the sentence.), then where did you make a boom-boom?
    I'd like to act like I would have been or am above falling for such a ruse, but I suffer from hyper-gullibility and I hope no one mocks my condition.

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    1. Part of our "preflight" (no shit...no pun intended) was to take a preemptive crap (flights were regularly 12 hours in duration so if you even thought you had to go, you...went). Trust me, NOBODY wanted to use the honey bucket. There were plastic trash liners to line the thing, but the funk was incredible. I was fortunate in that it never happened to my crew inflight, but I heard the stories. One time, somebody tried to dispose of the bag via what was called a free fall chute. The bag shot out of the aircraft and got snagged on an antenna. Yep, shinola ALL OVER the side of the airplane.

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  9. A friend of mine told me that hazing is now prohibited in the military. I wonder if this would even come under that, it's not like you hurt the guy. Don't make jokes about government agencies either. They're the ones who watch you and will get retribution.

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    1. This would MORE THAN LIKELY be considered hazing. When I was in the Navy, though, that kinda crap (no pun intended) was everywhere. You should read about when I crossed the equator.

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  10. Damn - that's some serious gullible-ness there. And so funny you would mention looking for that on my blog - I have a post along those lines planned, asking people their best April Fool's Day prank.

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    1. What can I say? You inspire me even when it's not your intent.

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  11. That poor guy. Penwasser, I've only met you online, but I would know not to trust you as far as I could throw you. Your mischief spans the miles. :)

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    1. That's what made it so unbelievable. That someone would believe me.

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  12. You mean we aren't in a Cold War anymore? Someone should tell Putin. He's pretty angry with us right about now. You know, "the right of the strong" and all.
    I digress.

    Really? This guy was that dumb? Good Lord help us all, glad he didn't stay in the Navy…please tell me he didn't cross-train into the Air Force!

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    1. He didn't. The Air Force (all kidding aside) has higher standards.

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  13. There's always some poor sod who's targeted for the practical jokes. I recall in my brother's engineering department they would send the new apprentice to the store room to ask for some ridiculous/fictitious piece of equipment - such as a 'little dipstick' or a 'bolt twanker'!

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    1. Or a "left-handed screwdriver." Yep. They got me.

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  14. So, no one got sent out to find the "propeller stretcher"?

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    1. I had forgotten about that one. Once upon a time, someone was sent on such a mission (along with 1000 yards of flight line).

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  15. I thought MAD meant 'Mutually Assured Destruction'. Having the same acronym to mean different things is dangerously ambiguous. It's a wonder you military people don't get confused. Did the junior pilot join the Air Force?

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    1. I know. I think the people at the BNA (Bureau of Naval Acronyms) hoped nobody would notice.
      Actually, he didn't. In fact, I don't think he flew anymore. And, for that, civilization owes him thanks.

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  16. I don't know I have read this twice and I can still not come up with a comment I am blaming that on the fact that it is 3.30pm and I have been up all bloody day watching little ones and my brain has gone to sleep

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    1. Jo-Anne, I am with you. I got nothing.

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