Infantry versus Gravity

Updated: October 16, 2007


Mike, Ranger Up Fan

This year was my senior (firstie) year as a cadet at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York and my friends and I were determined to do our final Army/Navy football game this past December in style. So we rented an RV in order to have a “hotel room with a steering wheel”.

Our mandatory formation for the game was Saturday morning, and we arrived in the parking lot of the football stadium on Friday night. There were several of us split between two RVs. Knowing that we had a formation the next morning, and that the consequences of missing said formation were severe, we of course decided to get plastered out of our minds and not worry about it. This was the beginning of one of the most ridiculous nights I’ve had with the clowns who I call my friends.

I’ll start this little tale off close to the beginning of the night, just as everyone was starting to get hammered. Being early December, it was getting pretty cold, so I put on a jacket before I stepped out of the RV. Just as I walked out to set up our little grill so we could have some burgers, I see a white flash shoot past me. It’s my buddy Joe, wearing only jeans, running at top speed around the empty parking lot and waving his arms around. He came running back to me as I was kneeling down to deal with lighting the fire in the cold. Abruptly, he stopped and stood next to me with his hands now in his pockets, breathing heavily, but still able to muster enough oxygen to make the comment: “Wow, pretty cold, huh?”

No shit Sherlock.

“My nipples are hard as rocks.”

Wonderful, thanks for the info.

I Hate My Friends

Joe stood there staring at me until I stood up and walked back to the RV to get some coals. “Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike” he called to me, over and over again. I turned around, kinda irritated. “What, Joe?” And that’s when he punched me squarely in the forehead and sprinted off giggling like a school girl.

Son of a bitch.

I chased after him, and we had one of the most violent fights I can remember. The sad thing was, we didn’t feel anything and were laughing the whole time. At the end, he bruised my ribs by kicking them and made me bleed out of the knee somehow, and I had punched him so hard in the face, that his gums were split and he was spitting up blood for the rest of the night. The other guys in the RV, Jim and Rob, watched us kick the shit out of each other and were just staring when we came wobbling back, laughing.

I Never Met an Awning I Trusted

At this point, the wind was whipping through that parking lot, which made the cold almost unbearable. Some genius in our group had the bright idea of putting up the awning on the side of the RV, ostensibly to “stop the wind”. Needless to say, the awning didn’t do shit. All it did was flap around wildly, making us all nervous. To make things worse, the struts that held it up kept collapsing, which made the awning fall several inches on a regular basis. This stupid fucking thing ended up being a huge pain in the ass for the rest of the night. For some reason, we never took it down. That thing had it out for us, and injured every single person in our RV with the exception of two love birds who never left the comforts of their mini bedroom and just had sex all night. I was the first victim. A little after the “fight” Joe and I had, I stepped out of the RV to warm my hands up by the little grill we had going’. I passed under the awning and all of a sudden, it dropped like a sack of potatoes on my head. The wind made the struts that supported it give way and it collapsed, so the heavy aluminum end of it connected with my skull and I crumpled to the ground in a heap. I started whining (being drunk and all) and bitching about the awning while Joe, Jim, and Rob were laughing hysterically. Little did they know, that son of a bitch had something special in store for each one of them.


A little while later in the night, the struts supporting the awning collapsed again because of the wind. Joe, being the hero that he is, rushed over to reset the struts again and bring our trusty awning back to its functioning position. Just as he got it back in position, the wind took it again and made it collapse. The struts fell in on each other and crushed his thumb in the process. He’s standing there, with his thumb pinned in between two pieces of metal, looked at me, and said in a very calm voice “Mike, could you come over here and help me, please?” I didn’t know anything was wrong, so I slowly set down my beer and casually walked over to him. As I got closer, he got louder. “MIKE, MIKE, GODDAMMIT, MY THUMB!”


I finally realized what had happened and I rushed over, but Rob got to Joe first and attempted to free him from the struts. Rob succeeded in getting Joe’s hand from the struts by straightening them out again, and just as Joe’s thumb was freed, the wind took the awning again and brought the strut right back down, but this time on Rob’s thumb, in the exact same fucking way it had with Joe.


He began to scream and Jim rushed over to help him out. Well, the winds of fortune were not on our side (no pun intended). Jim freed Rob’s thumb in the same way Rob freed Joe, but the wind was being a bitch and brought that strut right back down on Jim’s thumb in a heartbeat. He started screaming bloody murder, but by then Joe and Rob were in too much pain to help, and I was nearly peeing my pants laughing. Eventually he got himself free, and all three of them were in pain holding their thumbs and cursing up a storm. I was laughing so hard I could barely control the tears coming down my face. After the pain in Joe’s thumb and my abs subsided, we decided to visit the guys in the other RV.

God Loves the Infantry

The RVs were in different parking lots, which were separated by a guard rail and a steep-as-shit-gotta-walk-sideways-or-risk-death, grassy hill that we would have to descend. We approached the hill, and Joe (of course) insisted on assaulting it head-on and going straight down. I was a little more reasonable and decided that in our drunken state, we would never make it down with both feet under us. I recommended the much gentler path that connected the two parking lots by a walkway. Despite my protests, Joe ran and jumped over the guard rail with a plastic cup full of beer in his hand and before he ran down the hill, turned around and shouted “INFANTRY!! FOLLOW ME!!!” (as he had recently been given his crossed rifles). After he yelled this, he launched himself down the hill and didn’t take more than two steps before he fell face first down the hill and began tumbling like a seasoned stuntman – we’re talking bouncing body, legs flailing, head-over-feet, holy-shit-is-he-going-to-live, kind of shit. When gravity was done with him, we found that he had banged himself up pretty good, but amazingly, at the bottom of the hill, he didn’t spill a single drop of beer.

There I am at the top of the hill wondering if my friend is alive and he looks up at me with this stupid shit-eating grin on his face and shouts “THAT’S SOME FUCKIN’ LAND NAV, HUH?” I started to laugh hysterically as he ran off to the next RV shouting “QUEEN OF BATTLE!!” at the top of his lungs over and over again while holding his beer above his head. This still ranks as his proudest achievement.

Closing Time

The rest of the night went pretty much the same way. Everyone got pretty ridiculous and we all did stupid shit. There was vomiting in taxis, picking up butt-ass ugly girls, getting stuck in the ghetto and having one guy yell “West Side!” to a bunch of thugs walking down the street (we were in Philly, by the way). Stupid? Yes. A hell of a lot of fun? Absolutely.

The next morning, we made it to formation by some miracle in the right uniform, despite the hangovers. We cheered our hardest for the team. Our last year watching Army play Navy, we saw them almost win, but it’s alright, we’ll do it next year – Go Army.

Copyright of Mike



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