Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Submarine Wardroom Dinner Pranks

Mealtime aboard a submarine was always one of the highlights of any day underway. Some would skip the meal and get a quick half hour of sleep; others would line up several minutes early. (On USS Topeka, our Supply Officer boycotted eating in the WR to avoid the constant criticism of the food by the CO, "He Who Must Not Be Named".) Eating with the Captain in the wardroom was, on many boats, about the closest you would get on a submarine to "regular Navy" traditions.

For those who haven't seen one, an SSN wardroom table is a pretty small space to serve 10 (or 11) men. Here's a picture of the one on USS Providence (SSN 719):

In addition to experiencing tradition, it was also a good place for good-natured pranks. Because the wardroom table was so small, there wasn't room to put down anything other than what was laid out at the beginning of the meal (condiment servers, pitchers, etc.). As a result, serving dishes would be passed around at the beginning of the meal (the Captain got first dibs). The game would be to try to get someone with a serving dish in each hand -- once someone got in that situation, no one would take either one from him until he admitted how stupid he looked.

My favorite prank was played by the mess attendents on USS Connecticut (SSN 22) on one of our JOs. The first day, they got him with the old "cellophane wrap on top of the drinking glass" trick, which is mildly amusing. What made it a classic was the next day, when the JO made a big deal of checking his glass for cellophane; instead, they'd put the cellophane on his soup spoon, so when he went for his first bite -- the spoon came up empty! (It was hilarious if you saw it, trust me.)

Does anyone else have any favorite "dinner pranks" from their submarine days?


Blogger RM1(SS) (ret) said...

The best thing about that picture? I've been away from the boat long enough that I can only remember the names of three of those people....

12/11/2006 6:20 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 616 class had crew's berthing in OPS lowest level fwd, directly under the Ward Room. There was an escape hatch that came out directly under the Ward Room table. Usually on "O Div" movie night, some members of the crew would take a stout piece of line and go "fishing". Quietly open the hatch, lasso a JO's foot and haul away. This brought merriment to the crew and O-Divvers until the XO sat in the "wrong place".

12/11/2006 10:38 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

When we did midshipmen ops on the USS Baton Rouge, we would remove the middies collar device from their poopy suite and replace it with whatever officer rank we could find along with a command star while he was sleeping and make sure he was racked out to eat in the WR. The officers always had fun with him when he unwittingly showed up with his newfound hardware in the WR. The middies would also eat eith us in the crews mess and when one poor soul sat down with some of our A-gangers, they passed chewed meat from one mouth to the next around the table to share their wonderful dining experience with each other. If the middie wasn't gone after the first pass or two, he usually was by the time the food was being passed to him.

12/12/2006 2:07 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, yes...the altogether disgusting side of the submarine service. Miss it, anyone? I thought not.

Speaking of submarine humor (puking sound goes *here*)...what follows at this link are some thankfully more digestible "suggestions for the ex-submariner that misses the good old days on the boat."


12/12/2006 7:19 PM

Anonymous Rusty700 said...

We had a crusty old MT on the Alabama that used to tie a string to a huge paperclip with a sign on the other end that said "pull me." He would drop the string down the escape hatch from MCC in to crew's mess on the mid watch and then wait to hear the paperclip snap off whatever panel he had attached it to. He then would come bounding over to the hatch and make the unsuspecting slob get him a fresh cup of coffee. Great trick, but once all the NUBS had fell for it he didn't usually get any more suckers.

12/12/2006 8:21 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Late one night a messcook was cleaning out something which involved a lot of grease -- he used a cookie sheet to catch the drippings.

Somebody took the sheet with the congealed grease, smoothed it all out, and cut it into squares. Somebody else found a can of smoked almonds and placed one on each square, then cut out a few squares, tossed them away, and left the spatula on the tray.

The tray sat on a table and growing number of "shipmates" waited around (with a baaaaad taste in their mouth) for the next dope to scoop up one of these delicious looking "white chocolate brownies" and take a bite....

12/15/2006 11:58 AM

Blogger LLrat said...

late one night below decks roving watch conducted turnover in the radio room without supervisor element , they then got into trouble the next day when chief metcalfe threw them under the bus.
it seemed like a funny prank until the watchstanders found themselves cleaning the torpedo room "snake pit" bilge.

6/12/2008 12:53 AM

Anonymous said...

This will not succeed in reality, that is what I think.

10/17/2011 12:44 AM


Post a Comment

<< Home