Ok, if you have ever been in the military you will know what this is. I also wonder who among you may be able to look at a wine glass the same ever again.
This, and many other hilarious stories, can be found in a book I was happy to co-author with Michael Garst called Laughing at a Military Enlistment. Just click on the title and you will be instantly transported to the book on Amazon (Kindle, Paperback, and Audio).
I now give you a chapter from our book called…Dining In.
If you were ever in the military, you have probably been to a Dining In function for either your unit, or graduation of some training course. They happen to everyone, and they are usually fantastic events for unit moral.
If you aren’t familiar with them, a Dining In is a formal dinner. You get nice white linen napkins, real plates, place cards, and actual, real food that doesn’t have a twenty year shelf life. If you are just coming out of a military training rotation this is an amazingly refreshing treat as compared to life during the training course.
During one such formal event there was a prank, of sorts, pulled that suspended these formal events for that particular school, at least for a while.
As you shall see, it is probably better that way.
For this event, the soon to be graduates were tasked with setting up the dining room, which is not unusual. This process involved placement of all the plates, silver, glasses, Polaroid cameras, and seating arrangements.
Wait, what, Polaroids?
If you remember those cameras that will let you know how long ago this was. If you don’t remember those go to Google and look it up, they were a ton of fun before digital cameras.
We will wait right here while you see what they were.
During the set-up, one of the males involved in the setup procedures, without any identifying marks on his “male wedding tackle” had taken Polaroid pictures of his kibbles and bits inside of the wine glasses belonging to the head table, with the all of the high-ranking people’s nameplates clearly visible in front of it. He then placed the pictures in envelopes under the appropriate dinner plates. In the picture, all that could be seen was, well, a bare wang stuffed inside a wine glass with the name of a high-ranking officer very clearly readable in the foreground.
Once the room was set everyone left and went to go get freshened up for a wonderful evening of wine, women (or men depending on their gender) and song. In other words, PARTY ON DUDE (give us a break, we both came of age in the 80s, we have to have a Bill and Ted reference somewhere).
Just remember, this is a formal gathering. So that means dress uniforms, with all the decorations and shiny things attached.
Now the party has begun. All of the graduates for this class are in attendance, along with their respective dates. Everyone is done up in their best uniform, nicest dress, greatest suit, all pressed and dressed in proper formal attire. People are looking great.
The head table has a bunch of high-ranking officers ranging from the head of the school all the way down to a crusty looking Warrant Officer. For whatever reason the Warrant decides to move his place setting around and he happened to notice the envelope under the plate. Without fanfare or theatrics he pulled the envelope from under the plate and peaks inside. With a small smile and a flickering glance at the other members of the head table, he pushes his wine glass away without taking so much as a sip out of it.
During the beginning of the festivities are the toasts: to the President, the United States Army (or insert favorite military branch here for your Dining In event, for us it was Army), and so on down the line. At each toast, each and every person takes a drink out of their wine glass and a soft hint of laughter runs through a small number of people in the crowd. As the toasts continue, and food was consumed, the wine is refilled until the dinner is over, and the mood to kick back and relax starts to take hold.
Now remember, the Warrant Officer has not touched his wine in any way, shape or form. He has also hidden the envelope that was under his plate so, as his plate is removed, there is nothing out of the ordinary. But, as the rest of the dishes are removed, the other envelopes come out into the open. The members of the head table carefully look at each other in wonder of what the hell is going on, and why there are envelopes under the plates.
While the higher-ranking members of the head table don’t open the envelopes right away, a few of the more junior officers do. Let’s just say, the reaction was worth the price of admission, it was certainly worth all the bruises, lost sleep, and hell of that particular training cycle.
One junior officer turned the color of a rotten apple, if he had been a cartoon steam would have been coming out of his ears. Another officer, had a hard time covering the deep laughter he was hiding, to a point of choking, from laughing so hard. That particular officer had to leave because he was making a scene. Every time he would look one of the senior officers, or their wives he would start laughing so hard that he ended up drooling.
We think he had a bit more than his share of the wine, but we could be wrong.
Word had gone around to let the other members of the class in on what was happening. There was so much rejoicing in the fact that they finally pulled a prank that would survive in the lore of the school for all time.
Come on, male genitalia, in wine glasses is a good one.
Epic, you might say.
The best reaction was yet to come, and it happened when the senior officers opened their envelopes, and then the wives of the senior officers opened them. One wife fainted dead away, two went screaming out of hall in horror because of what was done. There was that one who just smiled, licked her lips and went about partying down. While the wives were having mixed reactions to the wonderful little surprise, the officer/husbands were trying to figure out what the hell was going on.
That is, until a specific one of them opened the mystery envelope. Once one was open, the others were opened, and the remainder of the head table found out that they had been wine-nutted (yeah it’s a new word, watch for it in the urban dictionary). A short time later the entire head table left, with their horrified wives in tow, and the party raged till the very early hours of the morning.
The next day was interesting. There was an early morning formation, in which a very high ranked officer screamed, yelled, fumed, and generally carried on like a pissed off crazy person. He was sputtering on and on about the lack of decency and decorum for such a time-honored and traditional event. He kept yelling about how the person(s) who did this despicable act had no honor and so forth. The real shock happened when the officer demanded those responsible to step forward and face punishment.
One of the first things you learn when you join the military is to never volunteer for anything, ever. There is even an old joke that claims that NAVY is an acronym meaning Never Again Volunteer Yourself.
The second thing that gets burned into your brain is that if someone says that whomever said or did whatever it was should step forward, DO NOT step forward, look straight ahead, do not smile, in fact don’t even breathe differently.
So, here is this officer blowing a gasket, face turning purple, vein in his forehead about to explode, saying who ever put their junk in the wine glasses is to step forward. Like that is going to happen. He then states that if no one steps forward, he will pick people at random for a penis inspection.
There was stunned silence followed by snickering from the ranks of men and women in formation.
Seriously, a penis inspection.
Wow, so many questions come to mind.
Who performs the inspection?
How will that inspection be performed?
There is at least one thought that comes to mind. The rest we think you can figure out on your own, with no help from us.
About this time, as the ranting and ravings are still ongoing, there is talk of penile inspection, and general blanket repercussions, when the grisly old Warrant officer strolls by with what turned out to be a member of the JAG Corp (JAG is the Judge Advocate General, or military lawyers). There was some good news, for once.
Well, there was no inspection of the privates, no repercussions, and that was the final Dining In event that particular school had, that we are aware of. While no one came out and said whom the nut dipper was, rumors have flown around for years. So just remember, if you are reading this and still on active duty, wipe your glass before you drink from it, because you just can’t be sure if you are getting a wine glass with a set of dipping nuts.