“XO, the lookout spotted a bogey at Position Angle 90 and I can’t find it. Can you see it?”
The XO sprang out of his chair and as he paused at the bridge door, he said, “Position Angle 90? Heck, that’s straight up!” He stepped onto the bridge wing, looked up and SPLOOSH! He was hit full in the face with a bucket’s worth of water from the signal bridge.
It was the best prank ever.
It had started innocently enough. Our ship had a tradition of troughing people – pouring water in their laps during dinner. Troughing begat squirt guns and water balloons, which begat buckets of water over doors, which begat threats from the XO.
At this point, we were at a fork in the road. Fork A was to desist and return to our official duties. We chose Fork B. We didn’t WANT to do it…but we felt we owed it to him. Even old dogs can be trained.
So we set it up – one junior officer on the signal bridge with a bucket of water, and one accomplice on the bridge. We waited until the XO came up to do some paperwork – fitness reports, ironically – and sprung the trap. It was like taking candy from a baby.
The problem with a prank is that no one considers its consequences until the prank is over.
The XO, drenched from head to toe (it was a great shot), turned toward me shocked and flustered. He had a crazed look in his eyes. “You two – my stateroom – NOW!”
To save you the gory details, we were punished and publicly humiliated. The XO re-established himself at the top of the pecking order.
Afterwards, when we had the chance to reflect on our adolescent behavior, we came to the same conclusion.
We needed to find some water cannons.