Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Mess Night, Platoon Pride, & Marines in Trouble (again), Part 2

At another mess night, some years later...

Coming back from the field we got word that there was going to be a mess night the evening before we returned to our base. A building was arranged, beer runs were made, the grills were lit. The order was given to prepare skits, imitations, and jokes. Suckage was highly discouraged, on pain of the Captain's displeasure. To ensure that this one would maintain some semblance of propriety, only the first hour or so would be company wide. After an hour, the Officers and Staff NCOs would go on to their own mess night, leaving Sgts and below to see how much trouble we could get into. The order was 'hang out until the beer is gone, then clean up and hit the rack'. Nothing about seizing the initiative and making about three beer runs....

Good initiative... bad judgement.

For the first hour, everything was cool. A few funny skits from some of the platoons got everyone in a good mood, a couple of platoon jokers got up to do some dead on impressions of the Gunny, CO, etc. The beer was cold and we were pleasantly tired from running around all week. After the higher ups left, most of the Sergeants decided that they were going to hang out in another building, and it was just the platoons Corporals and below sitting around in grouped tables... eyeing each other... with mischief in our eyes.

After a couple of hours, we got tired of making the Pvts perform stupid human tricks, and the trash cans were overflowing. After the last beer run, we declared a moratorium on streaking (kidding, sort of). Finishing up a can, one Marine crushed the can and slammed it down onto the table, next to a collection of about 30 or so empty cans. As we were rapidly running out of room for the empties, one can got stacked up on another, and that is how it all started...

Looking over at our nemesis machine gunner platoon, we noticed that not only did they have a stack of cans, but it was much larger than ours.

Oh. Hell. No.

This would just not do. Platoon pride determined that ours would be the biggest and best stack of cans. When our drinking abilities didn't hold up, we turned to cheating.

In a huddle, one Marine said "Hell, we're a friggin' mortar platoon, lets call for fire". We took some hasty, drunken calculations and lobbed our first round (empty can), trying to register a target. The guy who launched it was a little too tipsy, so the can fell about two tables too short and off to the right. The Forward Observers got into the game, sounding off with a fire mission correction of "Add two tables, left one, fire for effect". This was when the MGs started returning fire, with a lucky direct hit. Thusly was demonstrated why it is a bad idea to use indirect (arcing) fire vs direct (line o' sight) fire.

Damn machine gooners.

One Corporal decided that more decisive tactics was called for and made a flanking movement on the MG table. As he was doing this, several buildings away, I can imagine that the Gunny thought he had heard something unusual. It was probably a lull in the battle, so when he heard suspicious silence coming from the general vicinity of our building (nobody running around outside serenading the trees or sidewalk or whatnot). Sounded kind of like...Marines getting into some shit. Possibly realizing the error of his previous order (not specifying additional beer runs, just that when the beer was done we were done), he scooted over to our building.

As the Cpl finished the flanking movement and began the direct attack on the MG table with a stack of about 15 cans high, the Gunny approached the door...

The Machine Gunners realized the attack was imminent and tried to block the way. As the Cpl. launched himself in the air, Gunny opened the door to see:

A room full of drunken monkeys, many beer cans and one portly Marine flying through the air like a NFL wide receiver, radios blaring, all trash cans overflowing, one lying on its side, and a few guys passed out under the tables.

WHAT IN THE HOLY (*CRASH* as the Cpl landed on the MG table, breaking it in half but accomplishing the mission of total destruction of the enemy target) HELL IS GOING ON IN HERE?!?!?

That was a loooong night.....


Old NFO said...

And the morning after??? LOL

Murphy said...

...was a continuation of the cleanup and endless working parties that the night before resulted in.

Xtine said...

oh. wow.

Because of the way parents view quiet toddlers as trouble, I didn't envision quiet marines being trouble.

I envisioned quiet marines acting like toddlers while getting in trouble.

And while that may or may not be accurate, that pushed me into the 'coworkers are asking what I'm reading' territory, instead of 'coworkers looking at me and rolling their eyes'

I love your blog. Thanks!

Kaerius said...

Oh man, that is priceless, truly priceless.

The mental imagine of what the gunny saw when he opened the door... rofl.

I bet there weren't many more unsupervised mess nights after that.

It's like a scene taken out of National Lampoon's Animal House.

Murphy said...

Xtine: It was a general rule (at least for some of my guys, anyways) that if they weren't noisily getting into trouble, they were either a) planning something that would get them (& me) on the radar, or b) quietly taking a doodie on said radar, or something the equivalent...

Kaerius: Now that you mention it, there weren't any mess nights (at least that I was in for) after that. Still plenty of other occasions of drunken note, some of which I am working on here and there.

Just by way of reminder for me, Marine Corps Birthday Balls, beer allowance, welcome home, translating for beers,beer tattoos, restricted libo- hmmm, looks like I got some work to do.