Friday, June 10, 2011

Be Careful Who You Prank - 6/10/2011

This blog is the first of several that I may or may not write concerning my penchant for practical jokes and pranks. First, a little backstory:

In 1983 I attended the Manpower Management School at Keesler AFB, Mississippi. After over ten years as a missile systems technician, I thought it might be advantageous to retrain into a carrier path that might make me more employable once I left the Air Force. Manpower Management is Air Force speak for Industrial Engineer. Obviously, I was mistaken about the applicability to civilian life, but that is another story.

Many of the Air Force schools are attended by foreign military members. Manpower is one of those. This is a story about one of those officers, and my inappropriate behavior towards him.

I arrived at Keesler on a Friday to start classes on Monday. Most of my classmates also arrived prior to the weekend. We were assigned rooms and immediately began the long military tradition of partying all weekend. One of our classmates was a Korean (South) Major named Ko. He was a very nice, quiet, little man, who had never been to the United States and was overwhelmed by the plenty we take for granted. He also enjoyed that during the months as an exchange officer, he received the pay of an American Major, many times that of which he was accustomed. We introduced him to the American custom (which I made up) that the ranking officer traditionally bought most of the beer. In reality, that NEVER happens. His English was very broken but as always, the more we drank, the better we communicated.

When the meet and greet ended, Major Ko and most of the students retired to their rooms and the rest of us to my room for a few more beers. I noted that Major Ko’s room was directly across the court from mine. An idea for a prank came to me, which seemed very funny at the time. I called several pizza delivery stores and had them deliver a pizza to Major Ko. Then, a few of my new comrades and I watched from my window. As each arrived, Major Ko answered the door, accepted the pizza, and paid the driver. There was never a discussion or attempt to refuse or dispute the order.

On Monday, as we arrived for the beginning of class, Major Ko came in toting several pizza boxes and set them down on the coffee bar. He said, “here are pizza for anyone who want them. It is too much pizza for Major Ko. I no order but they bring them to me. I don’t know what happened. I like Pizza but one is enough.” At that point I took up a collection from those that were involved and gave the money to Major Ko. I explained to him that it was a joke. I wasn’t sure if he fully understood, but he smiled and declined the money.

When class started, we all had to stand up and introduce ourselves to the class and give a little background as to why we were in there and what we did previously during our military service. When it was Major Ko’s turn, he stood up and introduced himself and said very seriously: “I am Major Ko. I am from South Korea and before I came here I, how do you say, administer death penalty.” (Looking directly at me and using a chopping motion towards his neck). Several of us immediately turned a bit pale. As he sat down, he leaned over to me and said quietly, “I funny too.” I laughed so hard I painfully shot whatever beverage I was drinking out my nose.

We became instant friends. Funny is universal.


Anonymous said...

What a great story! You've had some of the most amazing experiences! I'm glad you didn't light him on fire. lol Love ya. Carly

Forgetfulone said...

That's an awesome story! I'm so glad you both dealt well with your pranks. I hope to read more stories like these. Very enjoyable.

Anonymous said...

Rick I loved this one, it actually made me cry!

Marites said...

hahahaha! The joke's on you, huh! :D love the story! :)

Chris said...


ladydayton said...

Both of my in-laws where stationed at Keesler. That's where Jon was born. His parents actually met while they were stationed in Okinawa. Great story!