If you’ve never been, the Marine Corps is a great (and simultaneously crappy) experience. For example, any Marine will tell you that they’ve been “..all over the world and seen the same desert.”…see what I mean?
The one great thing that I miss is the comraderie…the brotherhood. We were just a bunch of dudes in our early twenties with a lot of downtime…that made room for creativity and pranks. Here are some that I remember from the same desert all over the world:
#5 – Prick E-7
Everything in the Marines is either an acronym or the oddest-named stuff you’ve ever heard of, which leaves open the opportunity for great jokes. Radios are no different. To name a few, there is the PRC-119, PRC-115, GRC-171(B) etc…
Read aloud we’d pronounce “PRC-119” as “prick-119” and so on. As time goes on and depending on what gear you’d take, sometimes it would just be, “Get me the prick.” So, understandably, we would use this to mess with the new guy.
For those not in the know, your Gunnery Sergeant (E-7) was usually in charge of your shop just below the vagina-ey lieutenant you never saw…and more often than not he was a salty, roughed up hard-ass that you probably didn’t like. That being said, when we were training a new guy on radios, we’d send him out for a “Prick E-7”. After being sent around asking everyone (who obviously knew what was going on) where the PRC-E-7 was, someone would eventually tell them that “Gunny keeps it in his office, ask him.”
You can imagine how that always ended.
Other notable sent-for items for new killers included:
- Id-ten-tango form (ID10T Form)
- B-A 1100 Novembers (BA1100NS)
- 100 feet of flight line (flight line is a runway)
- Frequency grease for the prick
#4 – Missing Rifle Bolt
Marines hardly leave their weapons lying around, so the only way I was able to get this one was to swap weapons and hope they don’t recognize it. We would clean them, and then lean them back against the Hummer and get back to our card game…but I would keep the bolt out of theirs.
Later on, when we’d go for inspection or chow or whatever, they’d check the serial number and pick theirs up – successful bolt removal YAY!
During inspection, you pull the charging handle back to lock the bolt so the inspector can see that the chamber is empty…without a bolt, the handle just falls limply back and then a yelling storm accompanied by yakety sax (again) ensues.
Oh, and don’t do this in war – obvious reasons.
#3 – Post The Wrong Target Markers
Here’s how the rifle range works – you’re in a pit below the target and every time you hear/see a “snap’ on it, you pull the target down, plug-in a 4” marker and raise the target so the shooter can see where he shot. He’ll then take record, adjust his sites for elevation and windage and then shoot again from 200/300/500 yards. Being in the pit sucks.
…except when you plug the markers in the wrong holes, then it’s incredibly fun. As I remember it, we got 3 days of shooting, then the all-important qualifying day…so day #1 was usually the joke day…I mean, messing with someone’s sites the day before qual is like messing with Justin Beiber’s auto-tune the hour before his concert (now that I think about it, that would actually be hilarious).
So as it works, we would hear the snap of the bullet coming through the target. We’d pull it down, plug the original bullet hole and stick the marker one foot right, then raise it up. Seconds later there would be another impact right next to the original hole. Again, we’d plug that up and move the marker about a foot right. After his adjustment, he’d be way left, so we would move the marker back to the original spot, but low. Eventually, you could control where they shot, with the ultimate goal to hit one of the targets next to you…and it was priceless to see the Marines next to you just staring at their target wondering why there are two holes.
On perfect days, you could even coordinate during rapid fire (10 shots in a row). You’d have your buddy shoot, then you pull the target and mark in the shape of a happy face no matter where he hit. He wins the bet with the Marine next to him about shooting a rapid-fire happy face and you drink for free that night. Get some!
#2 – Portable Turd
This one isn’t so much a prank as it is a thing of luxury. During deployments we would sometimes have some portable toilets…usually five for 300+ Marines. As you can (but probably don’t want to) imagine, it was a matter of days until all TP was depleted and they stunk to high hell…especially if you were in Asia.
Well, when you’d get a good MRE there would sometimes be what was originally a chocolate bar but over time transformed into something that looked like mud with bits of sawdust. This think could be molded into any shape after being left in the sun for about 20 minutes.
So, we would make this fake turd and set in on the toilet seat of one of the shitters. People would open the door, see it, slam it shut then go to the next. It worked even better if you put a piece of TP on it. Then, when one of us that was “in the know” had to take a dump, we would go into the turd-hut, move the candy bar and enjoy a nice, clean portable. When you were done, replace the fake turd to keep traffic at a minimum.
DOWNSIDE: This tactic will eventually be compromised and someone will eventually replace the fake turd with a real one. Make sure you’re not the one to find it.
#1 – Creamer Inferno
MREs came with coffee creamer. Besides the pound-cake and peanut butter, it was the most coveted item in the MRE to some (well, at least to me). The reason is that when poured over an open flame, it would make a fireball. It didn’t last long enough to do any real damage, but just long enough to burn someone’s eyebrows. Here it is in action:
How it would work is that you wait for someone to finish eating, then when they’re relaxing and having a smoke, you sneak behind them and pour the creamer down onto their lighter. The fireball comes up, singes their eyebrows and everyone laughs…fantastic. Just make sure that you come from the opposite side of the sun so as not to be detected…and if you want to be “safe”, make sure the wind isn’t blowing in their face…you’re a prankster, not a total asshole.