Wednesday 22 October 2008

Trick Or Treat

With Halloween fast approaching, we are girding our loins in preparation for an evening of fun, fun, fun.

ALthough the vast majority of youths out there are law abiding citizens, there are a significant minority that love Halloween for all the wrong reasons.

Mainly that over the week leading up to it, our young robbers, car thieves, burglars and other unsavoury characters can wear any type of mask or disguise with complete impunity, and chances are not even get a second glance from the overworked response team officers.

Incidentally, am I the only one that views trick or treat as borderline robbery anyway? I admit I am naturally a grumpy bugger, but offering a threat of violence in order to take someone else's property just seems too borderline for me...

Anyway, it has got me to thinking about tricks played on colleagues; often the younger service members of the team.

We've all heard of most of the tricks done, and we also know that a huge amount are handed down from copper to copper without actually being done very often.

The only one I've ever seen done more than once is the asp throwing competition. Namely, in the wee small hours of a night duty as it quietens down, the team meat in a large local park, tucked away in the dark and nice and private.
We all line up at a spot and explain that, for a laugh, we're going to have an asp throwing competition - loser buys breakfast for the others next early turn.

The probationer steps proudly up to the mark, and of course when the command is given, throws with all his might along with the others.
The more suspicious probationary officers may hesitate, suspecting foul play, but they will see the asps being thrown with force and the other coppers letting go, so join in with gay abandon.

Of course, what they don't see is the other PCs holding on to the lanyard attached to the asp, so that when they let go of said asp it flies for a very, very short distance before bouncing back into their hands.

Leaving said probationer to crawl around in the dark looking for his lost asp, with the help of his or her tiny maglite.

Disgraceful. I've obviously never seen it happen for real.

Apparently, if the probationer needs to be taken down a peg, whilst he or she is searching for the offending item, a Sergeant (who has known about this since the start) drives up and asks the PC what they are looking for.
Then asks them to explain how they lost it...

Many call this the "honesty test."

Any others anyone else cares to mention?
Please try and avoid the hackneyed "Bi-annual water sample from the Thames" trick, or the "hiding in the morgue/morgue version II/morgue version III"


Anonymous said...

In the navy we have small fluorescent arrows on the deck for assisting in escape with low visibility due to smoke or the lights going out. Nothing funnier than the newbie going around and "charging" them up.

Anonymous said...

Navy Red - as an ex-matelot myself I know that.

Regarding Halloween. Im with you ATNS. Another American tradition that they are quite welcome to have back (any Yanks reading this it has only got big in the UK in the last 15ish years) I dont remember doing it as a kid.

Last year on Oct 31st, we got called to a...errr not nice part of town. PCSO car had something thrown at it. Our response was first on scene, and our car had something thrown at it. Other units arrived and we expected a big kick off with the usual suspects. It didnt kick off this time. Really looking forward to next Friday!

Anonymous said...

Never heard of the asp throwing competition, but it sounds like a grand idea. I've only ever seen a couple of decent pranks on newbies - the best one being the Cycling Proficiency Test. Thank god for camera phones is all I can say ...

Roses said...

Viking told me that one of his intake was told to pass the Cycling Proficiency Test.

In catering, the head barman used to send the newbie into the cellar to get a new bubble for the optic.

Anonymous said...

I've always thought that trick-or-treating is basically extortion, and refuse to have any part of it.

Anonymous said...

When I was in the (US) Navy a number of decades ago, newbies were sent for all kinds of "interesting" items. The funniest was sending someone for "blue water line" (line is what they called fiber rope/of course the "blue waterline" is something else). The newbie was given a handful of requisition forms to fill out.

The trick actually had a practical side. Since everyone was aware of the joke. they would send him from one department to another and from one end of the ship to the other to attempt to locate the item. It was a great introduction to where things were located.

In law enforcement, the usual trick was to send the rookie to one of our non-violent delusionals without first warning him that the person was not working on a one-to-one relationship with the real world (the type that always has "strangers" come into their house and sit on their sofa, but the "strangers" run into the closet and "escape" when the police arrive).

Metcountymounty said...

We used to go trick or treating when I lived overseas, it's not just an American thing. My other half never did though and her parents thought it was akin to begging which I think is a bit harsh. It's good for the young kids to get out after dark with parents and meet the neighbours and have some fun but as usual it's pissed up idiots who ruin it.

As for the wind up, the version I've 'heard about' is to get all the vehicles out onto a common with the headlights on full beam and then the team takes it in turn to lob their baton as far as possible and go and collect it. When the probie so very proudly toddles off to get theirs after getting the farthest, the lights go out, the doors shut and everyone else buggers off at speed for a nice hot brew. It usually takes an hour before they call up for a unit to assist with 'an area search for someone who made off from them on the common'

mwah ha ha ha ha

Anonymous said...

I'm hitting Dublin for Halloween!!! C'mon! Not working and hoping that one of the people I'm with do not become one of my usual customers

loveinvienna said...

I like the asp/lanyard idea, would be very amusing to see. My Dad told me a few classic tricks to try out on newbies,

1) Send the newbie to a department asking for a rubber hammer and glass nails.

2) I doubt this one would pull even the densest newbie's leg, but they used to send them off for a bucket of steam to help melt the glue on maps (he was a Town Planner in the drawing office)

3) Send them to a busy department to ask for a 'long stand'. 30 minutes later after waiting for the 'long stand' to appear... they get it or someone takes pity on them.

4) Another town planning one - asking the newbie to carry the 'portable benchmark' on site visits. In case you don't know, benchmarks are engraved into buildings etc. so that an angle iron could be accurately used to create a 'bench' for a leveling iron (for measuirng the elevation above sea level etc). The 'portable benchmark' was a big box containing a few bricks... and it HAD to be carried around every site visit by the newbie of course.

Good luck with the idiots in masks on Halloween. Trick or treating used to be fun but now a lot kids are out for what they can get (some ask for money!), not because it's a laugh.

Liv xxx

blueknight said...

Send the newbie to the local chemist to pick up an urgent prescription for a prisoner. Except that the envelope that the newbie hands to the pharmacist reads 'hello I am a bit shy, I want to buy some condoms but I am too embarrassed to ask.'
One of the DCs who was NOT a newbie bought a tin of beans for lunch. One of the other DCs bought an equally sized tin of CURRIED beans, steamed the label off and stuck the plain beans label on the CURRIED tin.
At lunch time the DC emptied his beans into the saucepan and was annoyed to find they were not what the label said. One of the other DCs asked him where he bought them and advised him to ring the manager to complain. Of course the other DCs knew where he had bought them and they had already forewarned the manager with the advice, 'when he rings up to complain, give him sh*t'.
Voices were raised.

Anonymous said...

When I worked for a well known chain of car spares stores we used to stitch up newbies by ringing the store and making them answer, then asking for one of the following:

glass hammers, sky hooks, spare bubble for a spirit level, left handed screwdriver, replacement air for a foot pump, a long weight and my personal favourite - a tin of tartan spray paint!

funny times

Anonymous said...

One we had in the army was to give a newbie a note to take to the stores or the sarn't major (RSM, who is God!) telling him to hand it over a pick something up. Obviously the note reads something like " Give me £20 or i'm gonna break you legs and I ain't kidding you pansy"
Then sit back and watch the fun!

Dark Side said...

Halloween, I hate it, I remember vividly how the local youngsters used to terrorise my poor grandmother when she was alive.

It is just glorified robbery and all the fireworks going off scare the wits out of me.

Only do fireworks at an organised display...not in the street possibly attached to something or other..x

Anonymous said...

When working in engineering, we always had problems getting apprentices to get air tools, such as an air saw or air drill (compressed air powered tools) the brighter ones just giving you a look saying “Yeah right.” After careful explanation and abuse of their mental faculties and parentage along with producing said items they where ideally set up for a long wait, tartan paint, or embarrassing trips to the office girls.

Joseph K.

Anonymous said...

My favourite response to a "Go and fetch me a ..." was the newbie turning up five minutes later and saying "couldn't find any, will this do?", before handing the old timer a tub of KY Jelly...

As to trick or treating, my Dad came up with a nice response. He has a big wheely bin which he sits next to his front door, before climbing in with a super soaker.... "TRICK!!!"

Anonymous said...

My favourite response to a "Go and fetch me a ..." was the newbie turning up five minutes later and saying "couldn't find any, will this do?", before handing the old timer a tub of KY Jelly...

As to trick or treating, my Dad came up with a nice response. He has a big wheely bin which he sits next to his front door, before climbing in with a super soaker.... "TRICK!!!"

Anonymous said...

Double tap, sorry!

Anonymous said...

I always thought that 'trick or treat' was a form of extortion...

Glass hammers, Maiden Water (For pure air equipment). Sending someone for the keys to the Dutch Barn was quite fun, especially, as the victim would have to walk past it at least twice in his quest.

As a fairly harmless practical joke, A friend used to be addicted to coke (COLA!!) when it started to be sold in the thin walled aluminium cans, I pierced a can, drained the fizzy caffeinated gop, and replaced it with cold caffeinated coffee. You need a syringe to do this. Hilarious!

Tony F

Anonymous said...

I live in Pendle, and usually for several weeks up to halloween the local kids go round trying the "trick or treat" routine with as many local houses as don't keep a bucket of water handy, thus managing to annoy everyone so intensely that doors are never opened on Halloween at all.

This year, everything's been dead quiet up to now; not a masked sprog to be seen anywhere. All I can assume is that the Credit Crunch has all the locals feeling so hard up that they've not bought the usual assorted tat for their kids, and without props the little beggars are scared to go out.

Metcountymounty said...

anon 1141 - benefits haven't been affected by the credit crunch, that's why Argos recently posted an immense profit on their "Elizabeth Duke" jewellery line.

Anonymous said...

Best windups are the message ones.
Leave a note for a colleague, 'phone DC Tenn,' and give number of local airport. Or, phone 'Mr C Lyon urgently,' and give number of nearest Zoo, oh I could go on and on.

Anonymous said...

On morgues, as a trainee nurse my sister was told to give a cadaver a wash. She sat it up to wash its back, and this compressed the lungs, so that its breath sighed out.

Gave her quite a turn.


Old BE said...

My local council's newsletter had a poster on the back page to stick up on your front door which said something like "Enjoy Halloween but don't knock on this door". As if that will work!!

When I was a kid we used to do trick or treat but it was carefully controlled so that we only knocked on "friendly" doors who had been briefed in advance. Except for one year one house said "trick" and got their front door covered in what turned out to be some pretty nasty potion devised by one of the kids....

Anonymous said...

One of the better ones I heard of, was on a neigbouring patch with an estuary.
At around 0200hrs, a call went out to the patrol with the new lad, that there appeared to be a body floating face down out there.
Sure enough, some 20yrds offshore, there was a "body" alright.
Junior boy on patrol gets to take off boots, roll up trousers and start wading.
Meanwhile on shore, his partner quietly calls up the patrol on the other side of the estuary - the one at the far end of the nylon fishing line attached to the dummy - and the "ebb-tide" starts to take the body away at a speed just fast enough that laddie winds up getting thoroughly soaked......

Max said...

SPLODGE wrote:

Double tap, sorry!

26 October 2008 19:33

Hmmm, I dont know double tapping trick or treaters sounds good to me!

Anonymous said...

Sprouts coated in chocolate...Mmmmmm Or not.

Tony F

twotoast said...

My favourite used to be on nights with a sleepy probationer next to you as you aimlessly drive round waiting for the next job to come in or car to stop. It is good to have a few colleagues near by - you may as well as much mileage out of this as possible :o)

Anyway, all you need to do is flip the blues on, brake hard (probably not wise to be going too fast!) and shout 'foot chase'. Ahh yes, the joys as they try and wake up, extricate themselves from the seat belt and get out the car looking for someone to chase.

Funnily enough, seems to be a good cure for sleepy procons!

Anonymous said...

When I joined the army, we had a particularly vicious drill sergeant. He wasn't just hard and aggressive, but was a genuine bully and sadist who loved humiliating all and sundry. If he'd been a platoon sergeant he'd never have led from the front because someone would have shot him in the back.

One day, we were all paraded for his attentions when he spotted a dog turd lying on the parade ground. He went apoplectic and demanded one of his regular targets to come and remove it—with his bare hands.

But when Wingnut picked it up, the turd turned out to be a plastic, joke one. The drill sergeant just about blew his cap off in anger and we had to do extra drill.

Next day, the same thing happened. And the next. And the next.

On day five, we were fallen in again and out marched HIM (as we'd dubbed the drill sergeant, short for His Imperial Majesty).

Again, he found a dog turd lying on the parade ground. But this, HIM roared about how were pathetic little worms, marched over to the turd and stomped on it with his right boot.


It was real this time and dog turd splattered all over his immaculate boots and battledress trousers.

It had gone much, much better than anticipated and was well worth our collective stoppage of leave and extra drills for the rest of the month.

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