Unfiltered Story #105980

, | Unfiltered | February 24, 2018

(My brother isn’t high enough ranked to tell the captain, “She cannae take the strain, sair!” but he works with the ship’s engines and is high enough ranked to boss around the newbies. A number of his underlings are older and more experienced than he is because they had a civilian career before switching to the military, whereas he enlisted fresh out of high school. Those guys he’ll listen to, but some newbies are exactly as useless as you would expect.

Take the time he finds a newbie struggling to loosen something. The newbie spots him and yells, “It’s not working! It won’t budge.”

My brother waves it off. “Ah, just use some elbow grease!”

Now, some people do not speak English as a first language. You would expect slang to go over their heads. Not this guy. Anglophone from the cradle, he gawps at my brother and asks, “Where’s that, sir?”

My brother blinks and thinks for a moment. He is not debating whether to prank this guy. I don’t know if this is universal to militaries or if it’s just Canada, but it’s believed that if you’re dumb enough to fall for something, you deserve the fall. So it’s just a question of what prank to pull.

“It’s in the bilge,” my brother says.

The ship’s bilge is… unpleasant. It’s not helped by the fact that military funding in Canada is a tad sporadic, leading to a culture of neurotic hoarding in case you can’t ever get a certain widget again–hoarding done largely by young men… who are either bachelors or else effectively bachelors while deployed with the family at home… with all of the organization and cleanliness one would expect from such a group.

“Okay,” says the newbie and toddles off to the bilge.

My brother restrains laughter until the guy’s out of earshot, laughs, and gets on with the workday.

Fast forward a couple hours and a superior officer comes up to him, trying desperately to suppress enough laughter to talk. “Hey, [nickname]! Did you send [newbie] down to the bilge to look for elbow grease?”

My brother’s eyes and mouth go circular. “Oh, sh*t! I forgot about that! Is he STILL down there?”

“Yeah! He told me what you said, so I told him, ‘Keep looking! It’s always way in the back!'”

As soon as my brother finished dying of laughter, he sprinted off to go rescue the newbie… who never did realize he’d been had.

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