Yeah, on a sub you don’t have the internet, you don’t have Facebook, you don’t have any of that stuff
I mean, I asked that because on my deployments I was attached to an infantry battalion in Afghanistan and one group of guys was real up front about it and set up a “jack shack” and that’s exactly what it was for, it was a closet in the back of the compound and there was just a curtain.
I had an incident once. I’m always the last guy to go down. We had literally just gotten underway; As soon as you get underway everyone turns off the lights and people try to start getting some sleep. I went down into the crew’s berthing, and it’s basically just a really narrow hallway with rack after rack after rack, and I flipped on the lights and every single curtain was rocking, and I just screamed “Oh my god, you guys couldn’t wait an hour?” and all of a sudden it just kinda stopped.
Whenever you have a major accomplishment in the maritime community, you have this big ceremony. For crossing the equator, you have what’s called the crossing the line ceremony. The people who have crossed the line, they’re called shellbacks, and they initiate all the people who haven’t crossed the equator, they’re called wogs (which stands for pollywogs).
What we have to do is we have to polish these trash weights. When we compact trash we have to put these weights in it so it sinks to the bottom. So, we take these rusty red weights and polish them to make them nice and pretty. We have wear them around our necks for a week and when we cross the equator they put us through the ritual of crossing a line, which basically culminates in us singing songs, crawling around on our belly, swimming in urine, and eating M&Ms; out of a fat person’s belly button.
You don’t turn that kind of opportunity down
I’ve gotta ask man – I’m not gonna let the story end right there – with eating M&Ms; outta the fat guy’s belly button, did you ever participate?
Oh yeah. What they had you do is they gave you this M&M; and that was your pearl. You had to hang onto it for the entirety of this ritual and you have to go around and they’re spraying you with water hoses and they’re dunking you in ice cold water that just so happens to be filled with urine, and you’re holding onto it and you’ll go into the ward room where the officers sit, and sitting there is the biggest fattest guy on the submarine, and he’s wearing a diaper and covered in whip cream, malt vinegar, mayonnaise, mustard – all the good stuff – and you have to place your fatflirt pearl in his belly button and then retrieve it before becoming an honorary shellback.
The captain typically dresses up as Neptune. … We have a fashion show where the candidates dress up as women, and they make their own clothes – they do fantastic strip teases for us – and typically the biggest fattest guy is the baby, who dresses up in a diaper and does all the aforementioned stuff … You don’t have emails, you don’t have TV, you gotta do what you gotta do to have some fun. That’s what happens when you get a bunch of guys together.
Yeah, every military unit has something like this. You put a bunch of guys together for six months or more, and you get bored and gotta entertain yourself, especially when the job’s really tough.