It’s a Wind-Up…
Over the years I have seen, participated in, and borne the brunt of a lot of wind-ups. It’s part of service life, and let’s be honest, is a cracking good laugh.
Many, many of these are far to detrimental to the individuals involved or are far to scary to write about here, but some of the best I have seen – or been involved in include these pearlers…
When deployed away in Italy in the mid 1990’s an individual didn’t want to take out all his albums on cassette – so produced compilations of his favourite songs. The gang we hung about with took to playing cassettes in the vehicles that took us to work. Another fella enjoyed listening to “Africa” by Toto. Now, I don’t know if you know the song – but it’s not the best tune I can name…and we always moaned when it came on.
Our hero was lying in bed listening to his favourite songs – trying to drift off to sleep – when all of a sudden he sits up in bed, bolt upright. The other lad had stolen his tape and halfway through the second side, at the end of one of the songs he had recorded Toto’s Africa on to the tape – and then replaced it back in the box ready to be played.
A second wind-up was on another deployment, when the squadron had a couple of days off. One lad decided to go away for the weekend and see a bit of the country – and his room-mate decided that whilst he was away, his boots could do with a polish. Well, actually he decided that the tourists BOOT – just the right one – needed a damn good polish. And so decided to bull it up to parade standard. Over three days he polished and polished and polished. He bulled the whole boot so that it gleamed. The Grenadier Guards would have been proud of this boot is was so shiny.
Unfortunately the left boot was left for the weekend sitting on the floor and so by the time the tourist returned he found his pair of boots – left foot as he left it, dull and workman like – and the right one gleaming like a new pin.
A third involved a certain Flight Sergeant slowly and gently letting the front tyres down on a corporals car. Not to a dangerous level, but enough so that whenever the corporal checked his tyres they needed topping up. Eventually, the corporal decided that there must be something wrong with his tyres and went out and bought two new ones to the cost of £145…
Another was locking a room-mate out of his room, whilst on detachment at RAF Valley. The poor chap was late getting back from another bar and his room-mate wouldn’t let him in. The late-comer spent the night in one of those children’s playhouse trees – you know the sort, pub beer gardens have them. They have a slide built in and maybe an “arm” sticking out with a swing hanging under it. Anyway, the guy spent the night curled up in the base of the tree.
Once I saw an airman’s entire bed space moved out on to the balcony of the block that he was living in. Bed, wardrobe, chest of drawers, bedside table – with bedside light – and even a little mat he had by the side of his bed – all placed perfectly outside. I saw him standing there with his beret pushed back, scratching his head wondering…how…?
As I say, there have been many, many more – most involving bodily fluids in some way – or involving events that COULD be considered to be inappropriate…but I will leave them to your imagination.
The point is though, that they are all about morale. Some may be a bit disgusting, some may even be a little bit painful, some even expensive, but they all do their little bit to increase morale and make places that little bit more tolerable.
We go to some terrible places (as well as some good ones!) and see and do lots. We work hard and play hard – and it’s in that playing that people learn more about each other and become better able to work together. I don’t think that ANY of the wind-ups I’ve seen have ever been malicious, and pretty much ALL of them have been taken with good humour, because it’s that humour that makes the services what it is.
I think the old adage is true…”If you can’t take a joke, you shouldn’t have joined…” and it’s funny that the ex-servicemen that I talk to all say the same thing. They miss the armed forces, not particularly for the jobs that they had the chance to do, not for the places that they went too, but for the people.
You see it’s the craic that makes service life what it is. And it’s the wind-ups that makes the craic what it is…