Back from our first weekend out of camp we’re called to line and ordered to down two litre bottles of water in two minutes or else it’s refilled and started again. It’s a lot harder than it sounds as a soldier either side of me heaves sending spray across both my legs.
Marched into a large hall we’re left to stew and squirm for two hours while they slowly invite us in one by one and check our piss for traces of drugs and after a third hour my dick feels as if it’s going to burst. I’m going to piss my pants and I have to go now!
I race towards the toilet and thunder out two litres of piss that seems to blast out all at once. It feels great and I don’t think to save a single drop. Entering the hall I freeze at the sight of only three people remaining in the queue.
Darting back in I slam on the tap and drink like a fish before the sound of a voice hits me like a brick “Corporal says you’ve to stop drinking from the tap. You’re up now”.
Nerves are frayed as I walk in dripping of sweat and pick up my tube. I have no piss left, disobeyed a direct order not to go to the toilet and they’re already suspicious of me as they know my drug history.
*Note to one’s- self. When asked what drugs you’ve tried in the past by your Platoon Sergeant, just lie.
My hand shakes as I’m escorted to the bathroom by a Corporal whose sole mission is to make this as awkward as Hell. I can’t pee around others at the best of times but this is unbearable.
I really don’t need and this time I have an audience commanding it from me. Eventually I dribble just enough to reach the required level but the teasing and taunts about my results would keep them amused for weeks before finally trying to convince me I’d failed the test. Yeah, good one lads. I’m a good boy now. Maybe not as forthcoming with my integrity anymore but it’s all good!
After almost five weeks of sleeping on the floor because I didn’t want to ruin my perfectly made bed we’re given certain privileges, taken from us at every opportunity, that include comfy duvets (pink horses supplied by our Corporal) plus posters and photos from home in the hope of distracting the Sergeant during room inspections.
My photos from Turkey and evening chat on-line to the missus -Did I forget to mention I married in Turkey? Not a real wedding, just showing us how it’s done there. We’ve been chatting a lot recently and now I wouldn’t mind going back to Turkey- makes me start to think seriously about what I’m getting myself in for. In the army I can’t just drop everything and do what I want. I need to think about this. I need more time.
I kind of have the feeling my minds been made up for me now anyway as I have the reputation of being a drug fiend that will surely follow me to battalion no matter how well I do in PT (Physical training). That and the fact I have a complete mental block when it comes to rifle training!
I had my section in stitches during one class where just as we were being told “never pull this leaver right out of your rifle..” BOOM!
The sound of my rifle dismantling itself and shooting across the room in bits after I pull that leaver right out. “RITCHIE YA WEE PRICK”! Would soon become an all too common phrase from an increasingly aggravated corporal losing the rag at a man losing the will to live.
Speaking of losing the will to live. I remember one instance while we all stood waiting to enter a class. A soldier walking by informs us that he’d just came from a lecture about depression and suicide and had this one helpful little thought for us:
“Why kill yourself? Why not wait until you’re on the firing range, slap on a full magazine of thirty rounds and take out half your platoon? You’ll be famous!”The high ranking officer walking by did not look best pleased with that but you really can’t beat the army for good banter, fun and games!
Three months into my training and during my two week window of time where I have to decide to stay for four years or pack it in, I throw in the towel and leave behind some great friends and memories not to be soon forgotten.
It wasn’t easy to leave training. Charrington hid my letter of resignation and together with some other mates almost talked me out of it. Once my mind was made up I had to go to a Sargent Major (I think that’s what he was) and explain why I wanted out. He threw me out of his office four times for making the wrong entrance. At one point while marching towards him, I spun on my heels in an effort to throw my salute and kneed the table sending his pens and paper work almost to the ground.
This was the scariest man I have ever met in my life. On one of our first days he introduced himself with “I am the reason your Mother said don’t talk to strangers. I am Stranger Danger”! This is the man who will kick us into touch if we’re out of line.
He was a nice guy though. He told me not to leave. The report he had about me was that I was doing well. My run time plus general fitness was good although my weapon skills and saluting needed work. I was told there are no jobs out there. I’d regret leaving and they’d see me back within six months.
But my mind was made. I felt like an idiot for leaving but I don’t think my heart was ever really in it. I learned a lot, had a lot of laughs and met some crazy cats. If truth be told then I only really joined because I had to get a girl out of my head. Stupid reason I know but I think it worked!
Thirty three grand it costs to put a man through training. Thirty three grand and worth every penny. The food is great.
So back to civy street I go. But lets not get too comfortable now as it’s looking like that time. Time to see the world. Again.