Screwing with the FNG

Messing with the heads of newly reported sailors is a time honored tradition in the Navy. I was again reminded of this fact earlier this evening.

We recently spent four days in St. Thomas. Asking a young sailor (this is his first underway period) how he enjoyed his liberty ashore, he told me it was OK except he couldn’t take a decent piss after he’d been drinking.
When I asked why, he told me how his chief had let him know that on some of these islands they don’t treat their water as well as we do in the U.S. mainland. Sometimes it is infested with micro-organisms which will swim up your urine stream and give you the “drips.”
“So all night I had to keep pinching and letting go so they couldn’t get into my dick,” he informed me seriously.

I remember the terror of “missing” the mail bouy on my first Mail Bouy Watch aboard the USS Yosemite (AD-19).
“The skipper’s been waiting all day for a letter from his wife and you missed the bouy!”, the bo’sun harangued. The skipper called me up to the bridge. Still wearing the kapok (Mae West) life preserver, sound-powered phone set, andbinoculars around my neck, carrying the grappling hook and 150’ of line, tired after standing the watch for two hours, he reamed me out before letting me in on the “joke” that mail was delivered by helicopter.

Maybe I’ve been to sea too long, but these rites of passage still leave me in stitches.

Do other professions allow you to screw with the FNG? In what ways?

“Now go get me 10 feet of chow line!”

Well, there’s always the ol’ duplicate thread gag…

Modest? You bet I’m modest! I am the queen of modesty!

Does making the new network tech track down “bad ethers” qualify?

One that a former military fellow told me about was sending the newbie off to get some “prop wash” for the planes. “Go get the keys to the F14s” is supposedly a common one aboard carriers, too.

We would get the newbies at Chanute AFB in Illinois with “Tornado Watch”. We would print up a list, post it on the bulletin board, and give the guy at the top of the list a safety vest, a flare gun, a large whistle, and a chair, and pointed him/her to the top of the barracks.
Was hilarious as hell…until the night we heard the whistle blowing and saw two flares go up! Our barracks got a commendation. Nobody had the guts to tell the base commander it was suppose to be a joke. Newbie saved a lot of lives that day.

ChiefScott, some of our favorites in the oil-field were to send green hands after nonexistent but plausible sounding items. If at the dock with several other boats, we often sent them around asking to ‘borrow’ the item from another crew. The other crews usually went along with the gag.

Favorite items were:

Gallon of bulkhead remover
Gallon of wheelwash
Board stretcher
And, last but not least, the infamous left-handed monkey-wrench (which I’ve been told actually exists).

Its not junk - its a collection!

Chief: you spell underway as one word in the navy?

sunbear, ‘underway’ is one of those technical seafaring terms :slight_smile:

A vessel can be ‘underway, making way’ or ‘underway, not making way’.

‘Underway’ basically means that a vessel is not anchored, moored, or otherwise attached so that it can’t move.

‘Underway, making way’ means that the vessel is moving by some means of propulsion - engine, sails, oars, etc.

‘Underway, not making way’ means that the vessel is moving, but only in response to current or wind (not sails - wind action on the hull) - in non-Coast Guard approved language, drifting.

Too many freaks, not enough circuses.

I used to have a parttime job as a waiter in a roadside restaurant back when I was in high school. The usual prank played on the FNG was the following. It happenened to me, and to everyone else.

Experienced waiter shouts at new guy: “Hey ! Come over here, I got an assignment for you. Take this cup of coffee (or bowl of soup, whatever) and take it to the gas station owner - he just oredered it.”

Now, the trick is, there’s two gasstations, one on either side of the freeway. Naturally, the new guy will first visit the one on the same side as the restaurant. Sometimes it would rain, which would be even better. Upon arrival, it was understood that the gas station owner had to verbally abuse the FNG to the bone that he didn’t order no goddamn coffee, etc etc.

FNG would then, shakily, come back, stating that there had been no such order.

“Which gasstation did you go to ?”

Well, you get it, the FNG was then sent out again, through the pedestrian tunnel under the freeway (which is close to 100 meters in length), up to the gas station on the other side. The reaction of this gas station owner would be similar to the other one.

When the FNG would then come back - usually quite stressed at this point - we would tell him to take the damn cup of coffee to the roof terrace.

Which of course we didn’t have, since this was a one story road restaurant with the terrace out front and not a singe fixed staircase leading up to the roof.



“You know how complex women are”

  • Neil Peart, Rush (1993)

During a Cadet cruise, I sent the Kaydet assigned to me to the Bosun’s hole to get me some batteries for the sound powered phone out of the sea chest. Turned out the key to the sea chest was on the bridge. :slight_smile:

There was waterline paint… and “100 feet of shoreline”, relative bearing grease.

Ranger Jeff
*The Idol of American Youth *

I had an author once who was just over the TOP excited about his new book coming in. (This was his fifth, not his first…I would NEVER to anything this mean to a first-timer.) He’d phone in every day to see if the early copies of the finished hardcover had arrived from the bindery.

“Yeah, they just came in,” I told him when he called on that fateful day. He told me he was phoning from a booth just down the street (!) and would run right up to see it.

Well, the Evil One entered my heart that morning. I took the dustjacket off the book, and put it back on upside-down.

When the guy came dashing in, I handed it to him with a long face. “Bad news, man. the binder fucked up. They printed your new book UPSIDE-DOWN.” Stricken, he opened the book and saw all the type the wrong way round.

He copped to it in about fifteen seconds. But the look on his face, for those fifteen seconds…

I was on the rowing team in college. At my first regatta, my crew tried to send me looking for twenty feet of shoreline. I knew better than to fall for it.

Another new coxswain had his crew bawl him out because he’d “forgotten the keys to the oarlocks”. I don’t think they fooled him either, but at least it was original.

Laugh hard; it’s a long way to the bank.

Chief, I’m surprised you left out the old “ID10T” forms we used to commenly send FNG’s to fetch. If you set this one up right, you could have him/her running all over the place.

Used to work with magnetic tape reels, when you mounted them, if you didn’t secure the lose end before you spun them up, the tape would un-reel all over the place…had a new guy once that did this of course, and we told him to wind the tape back on the other way because we were south of the equatore and the magnetic fields were backward…he re-wound that tape 3 times for he figured it out…

I haven’t lost my mind, I have a tape backup around somewhere.

Atreal – I’ve heard of that one and many others, sea bats, ambidextrous Red Devil blowers, and many more. I was curious if stuff like this happens outside the Navy or military.

Another favorite is sending young guys to medical for their Papp smears. I’ve got it set up with the doc to make it really effective.

In Athletic Training circles, there’s an item known as the ‘three-man lift’ which I’ve seen sold so many times it boggles the mind. It is performed annually at the National Convention without fail. It requires a large crowd and considerable amounts of alcohol - hell, what kind of fun doesn’t?

Basically, a distinguished member of the profession bets a colleague that he can single-handedly lift three people at once. After much arguing, side-bets, and warnings about ‘what happened last time,’ two seasoned vets and one FNG are told to lay on the floor - FNG in the middle - and interlock their arms and legs. The lifter will then grab the belt of the middle man and lift all three. In order to facilitate the lift, the FNG is told to undo his belt and pants for a better grip. Once the FNG is thus compromised - and securely pinned to the floor by the other two - the lifter gets a secure grip, makes for the big lift…and everyone in the audience proceeds to dump their drinks down the FNG’s pants.

The beauty of the gag is the sincerity and showmanship displayed by the most distinguished members of the profession - truly a credit to the trade.


P.S. Yes, I fell for it too.

“Diplomacy is the art of saying “nice doggy” until you can find a rock.”

  • Will Rogers

A popular one we do in prison is when a new guy is working the gate to the exercise yard. You call him up and tell him you’re the Captain. You then tell him there’s a rumor that a new gang is forming and they all wear baseball caps to identify themselves. You tell him to count how many prisoners enter the yard wearing caps and call you back at the Captain’s office with the total.

Screw King –

Perhaps I’m just not as familiar with the American penal system as I should be, but in what way is that funny?
Am I missing something, or have I been in solitary too long?
Prison guards are usually such jocular fellows.

We’d give newbies a hammer and tell them to check for “soft spots” in the tank’s armor;

We’d tell them to go get a box of “grid squares” for the maps;

We’d tell them to go get the keys for the “turret lock” (a simple lever-operated locking device to prevent the turret from turning);

We’d use a variant of the “left-handed wrench” gag and send them looking for a “left-handed track spanner”;

We’d tell them to get a “can of squelch” for the radio"; or to get a can of “track grease” to keep them from squeaking and watch them lube both side of track while trying to keep a straight face;

We’d tell them to go get a funnel to “fill” the radio (“filling” a radio entails connecting a small data storage device to the radio to load COMSEC variables);

And after leaving the Regular Army to join the weekend-warriors as a crew chief on a Chinook, we’d send the newbies to get a can of “Prop Wash”, which one newbie did bring us one day, as the OH-58 was getting new rotor-blades made of a composite material requiring a special cleaning solvent, commonly known in Supply circles as “prop wash”. !DOH!

<FONT COLOR=“BLUE”>“Don’t ask me about the ‘Railhead Pass’…”</FONT> :o

Grinds the Tank – We’d give newbies a hammer and tell them to check for “soft spots” in the tank’s armor…

Especially hilarious if you had reactive armor…

Now about the “Railhead Pass” …

Send the newbie driving all over town for a variety of items:

  • Left handed spanner wrench
  • Water hammer (its a phenomenon caused by opening and/or closing a valve too quickly)
  • A bag of falopian tubes for the EMS bag
  • 75’ of hose (comes in 50’ and 100’ lengths)
  • the master key for any padlock in town (bolt cutters, but they don’t know that)

My favorite trick is to put a centerpunch in the index finger of an old pair of gloves I have during extrication/car fire classes for the newbies. A centerpunch looks like a pen, except it has a spring loaded spike in the front. Push it into a window, and the glass shatters. With it inside the glove (and the end just poking out of the glove), walk up to the window and tell them “if you push just right, the glass breaks.” Proceed to shatter said window with the punch. For the rest of the week, the newbies will be driving their fingers into car windows trying to break them.

What can I say, its the little things.


I can think of no more stirring symbol of man’s humanity to man than a fire engine - Kurt Vonnegut

I’m hesitate to even mention this in such testosterone drenched company…but heck, every profession has NFG…
{Okay…check your illusions at the door…}

In public libraries there are the known cranks, wackos and perverts who are Citizens that you still have to handle…So a new kid comes out, brimful of theory, ideals and so wet behind the ears they drip all over the floor.

Said NFG meets notorious crank: say, the one who belives Nietzche lives in the elevator and speaks through the “2nd floor” button, or the lady who is sure she is the rightful Queen of England, and wants proof of it…

So…NFG approaches Crank and applies theory, The Rules, etc. Hardbitten veterans watch, trying not to laugh. NFG earnestly examines elevator button, or tries looking in established sources for loopholes for wannabe throne-groupies…
True story…
Young couple get on elevatror. Guy is a cool dude, drenched in Monkey Sex Aftershave. He and dudette get carried away, drop trou and get it on…

Concerned battleaxe library type gets concerned that elevator isn’t responding and uses overrride key: opens door…

NFG, as “flunky in charge” stations right outside elevator doors. Doors are forced open, resulting in a bad case of elevator interuptus…

Young couple flee, tugging, zipping and trying to contain bodily fluids…

Battleaxe (deaf and nearly blind) charges into the Scene of the Crime.

NFG, sweating Bowie knives, has already called the cops about The Crime.

Cops arrive in time to hear The Battleaxe, checking out the elevator, say in tones that would etch tungsten steel “THEY WERE HAVING SEX IN HERE! I THOUGHT SOMETHING SMELLED GOOD!”

NFG is left to explain to convulsed cops
about musk-based Monkey Sex Aftershave and scrambling for a description (“uh, well, hairy!”) while the veterans are helpless in laughter under the desks.

Damn, it’s always so hard to destroy illlusions. Does this one count, ChiefScott, Mike and others?