Rats! Episode 10 – Watch Your Step

No joke. Freshmen cadets were not allowed to use the stairs to exit Shultz dining hall. We always came down into the dining hall via the stairs, after being marched in through the front doors. But when it came time to leave, we could only exit through the back doors. This forced all the rats to take the long way back to the cadet dorms, and it was always a race to see who would get there first – the rats or the upper classmen. Rats weren’t allowed to run unless we were in our gym clothes, but we sure as hell learned how to walk very, very fast.

On those rare days when the rats decided we didn’t feel like going the long way (and when there weren’t enough upper classmen around to stop us), we would rush en mass up the stairs, running over some poor upper classman in the process. I can only recall doing this once as a rat, and we got into trouble for it, but as I recall we ran over our cadet first sergeant so it was worth it.

Other fun insanity that took place in Shultz dining hall. If an upper classman was sitting at the table, we had to ask him or her permission to sit (and we had to be sure to ask the highest ranking upper classman by name and rank, or we’d get in trouble). Also, rats had to wear bibs to every meal. Each company’s rats were expected to buy baby bibs, decorate them, and put them on when we sat down at the table. If you didn’t have your bib, you were in trouble, and so was every other rat sitting with you (that’s the way it always was – if one rat was in trouble, all rats were in trouble).

Another thing, we had to eat sitting at attention. This was usually only during breakfast and dinner, when the entire company marched to the dining hall together after formation. I hated sitting at attention to eat. It meant I had to stare straight ahead at some other rat, who was staring straight back at me. It was extremely hard not to burst out laughing sometimes because the whole damn affair was so stupid, and because some of my male buds looked pretty funny with their heads shaved.

I also recall that the rats in our company (Hotel Company, for anyone who’s interested) had to come up with a company song, and we had to sing it, standing on our chairs in the dining hall. I think I still remember that song too.

H Company was marching just the other day!
And we saw First Sergeant Phillips, we had something to say!
We said “Hey First Sergeant Phillips, man what’s up with you!”
And here is what First Sergeant started to do!

He said,
“Beat! Your face! Beat, beat your face!”
“Beat! Your face! Beat, beat your face!”

Or something like that. First Sergeant Phillips was actually Cadet First Sergeant Phillips, a man who was dedicated to making our lives a living hell. He was very good at his job. The phrase “Beat your face!” means “Get down in the push up position and crank out push ups until I say stop!” It was something Cadet First Sergeant Phillips said quite frequently.

I don’t know if the rats all still eat at Shultz dining hall, or if they still have to wear bibs or stand on their chairs to sing songs, but that’s what we had to do waaaaaaay back when.

About Cynical Woman

Cartoonist, Artist, Geek, Evil Crafter, Girl Scout Troop Leader and Writer. Also, a zombie. I haven't slept in I don't know how long.
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