And So Begins My New Life

Join me as I embark on a new life and new career in Funeral Services.

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Location: Southeast, United States

I'm a Funeral Services graduate embarking on a new career. I graduated high school in 1981, served honorably in the United States Navy from 1982-1986, been married since 1986, and have one son. I've relocated to a new state and have begun working in my chosen profession of Funeral Services, and I've never been happier.

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Thursday, July 06, 2006

I'm A Shellback

There hasn't been much going on at work to write about, so I'll flashback to my Navy days for a quick post.

As you may or may not know, depending on how long you've been following this blog, I was in the Navy. One of our traditions is a celebration, or initiation, whenever a ship crosses the equator. Those onboard who have undergone this initiation previously are known as Shellbacks. The uninitiated are referred to as Polywogs, or wogs, for short. The night before the crossing, shipboard duties are relaxed slightly as everyone prepares for the big day, commencing with the arrival of King Neptune's court.

Following the arrival of the King's Court, we then hold a Miss Polywog contest. It's like the Miss America pageant, only uglier.

This was the winner:
The next day begins with the arrival of King Neptune.
All of the polywogs gather on the bow (the front part) of the ship. At this time we were offered a breakfast of pancakes with sardines cooked in. I declined. We then had to crawl from the bow to the stern
on our hands and

The whole time, shellbacks were standing over us with lengths of firehose, smacking us on the butt as we passed. Once we reached the stern, we had to kiss the Royal Baby's belly. The Royal Baby is the fattest shellback on board. His stomach is greased up with lard and a cherry is inserted in his navel. Polywogs then have to remove the cherry with their mouth. Of course, when you move in to take the cherry, the Royal Baby grabs your head and smears it around on his big fat greasy belly.

Once we kiss the baby, we then crawled through a garbage-filled chute.
After emerging from the chute, we then jump into a life raft filled with seawater and crawl to the other side. When we climb out, the shellback asks you who you are. Now, up to this point, anytime a shellback asked you that, you were supposed to say, "I'm a Wog!" However, after undergoing this hazing, you are now a shellback. Anybody who answered, "I'm a Wog!" was shoved back into the raft. Repeat until they answer "I'm a Shellback!" Now, all of this sounds a little cruel, but it's really all in good fun. Participation is strictly voluntarily and no one gets hurt. Of course, I had one question going into all this, "How do you know who's a shellback and who's lying?" Easy. It's documented in your service records. In fact, one of the last things I did before I left the ship was to check my record to make sure it was in there. It wasn't. I made them put it in while I waited.

I'm not sure why these photos didn't scan very well. Maybe it had something to do with the paper they were printed on. I tried my best to make them clearer, but I couldn't do much with them. Also, I always have a heckuva time posting multiple photos in the same entry. Moving them around and getting them positioned is very awkward, at least to me. Maybe I just don't know how to do it properly. Also, I don't know how to reposition the text to avoid all the blank spaces. Every time I try, I end up accidentally deleting the photo. If any blogger out there knows how to work with photos, I welcome your advice.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

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8:34 PM  

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