All hail the p-iss-pond

When I was in Ireland we had an horrific installation known as the p-iss-pond. A couple of years earlier, one of the lads in the unit, an engineer, decided to spruce up the bar surroundings a bit and built a small fountain just outside the back door. He used various bits and bobs that were knocking around to construct a little set up that Carol Smillie would have loved. A central spout coming up through a concrete goldfish, gobbed water into a brick built pond with about the same capacity as a kid's paddling pool. He was chuffed to bits with it and went as far as mounting a little plaque with a completion date on it.

As with all lovingly created things in the army, someone smashed it to pieces within a matter of weeks. The goldfish was far too magnetic a target. They waited till Chris, the engineer, went on leave and one night, that bunch of mindless vandals, hoyed pool balls at it until it lay in ruins in the pond, with the water still spuming straight up, like someone splashing down with a semi-on. When he came back, he dealt out retribution beyond the legal requirement but that's another story. After a couple of days of watching his creation lamely vomming water back and forth he declared it an eyesore and turned off the supply.

The pond was left to fester and may have been forgotten had someone not noticed something very important one night. It took fourteen steps to make it to the bog from the bar, but the pond was a mere eleven steps. It seems like a small difference but three steps over an 18 p-iss night mounts up. Before long, the traps were only getting used for solids and the pond was receiving the entire lag output of a 38 person unit that had a half full bar every night.

I was posted in, the summer after this filthy practice had began. By then, the pond was completely toxic and entirely filled with wazz with the occasional bit of rain dilution. It had also become the practice to chuck newcomers in to the fcuker on their first night in the bar. Always a willing participant, I got thrown in head first, managed to cut my swede open on a piece of the hardcore-algae coated goldfish. Changing out of your clobber was considered the pu-ffs option, so I spent the entire night in my p-iss soaked threads. By 7am all my stuff had dried out rigid, and I smelt like John Mcruricks sideburns.

For my two years, the p-iss-pond was lovingly replenished every evening. It was always brimful, with an interesting wee-wee meniscus across its surface. After a bit of practice I could reach it from the back door when I had enough pressure built up. By the time I left, the entire pond had the consistency of olive oil and looked a bit like piccalilli.

Since being away from the army and encountering H and S nazis, I often wondered what they would have made of the p-iss-pond. I could just picture him walking through the back door with his clipboard and encountering a 6ft 2in head-the-ball with his strides round his ankles, doing a no-hander with his hands on his hips, sending a great big p-iss-arc into something the mozzies were avoiding. It being his first visit, it would have been quickly followed by his near drowning in other peoples lag.

Does anyone else have stories of practices that the health and safety executive might raise an eyebrow at?
Having attended several APWTs with TA Int Corps operators armed with Small Metal Guns and 9mm pistols (looking at the gats in a "WTF is this?" kind of way) I can honestly say that the average H&S instructor would probably die of massive Risk Assessment Overload.

Mind you, the London Scottish bloke I saw on the ranges with a runaway gimpy who decided to shout "Look! No hands!" rather than do his IA drills was a close second.

I was but a lad when the miners went on strike and we encountered power cuts.

It was considered an absolute hoot to run out mantraps along the corridor at the AA Coll Harrogate. The corridors were long and very dark without the lights switched on you couldn't see a damned thing.

The hours of entertainment provided by some poor swine screaming in agony as he's garotted by some throat height string or falls arrse over t!t as he trips over some strategically placed 'obstacles'

You tell the H&S gestapo this and they just won't believe you.
I have the mental image of the expression on a health and safety execs face after entering the Junior Ranks Club at Detmold on any given Saturday morning at 8am.

Picure the puzzled look at he sees the vending machines, some smashed, some smeared with ketchup, blood and greenies.

A half baked cable, hanging in a bid to escape the microwave... its younger brother on the floor with feet marks through it.

The stench of the cooked cable, the stains on the ceiling, the stale beer, broken glass and sleeping soldiers on the floor all in various stages of undress, decorated by other not quite so pissed up troops.

Sausage rolls half eaten, and the scald victim next to it, still in agony from his top lip and tongue being nuked as he took a bite
Not so much a H&S issue, but your pond story sent me a'rememberin.

Johnny Gurkha's restaurant in Aldershot, I'm not even sure it exists during the day time - it only appears by magic to drunk and worthy souls who are marked in each others' urine. It has the Fallujah of Fishponds and the hardest Koi Carp this side of Iwa Jima.

I don't know who thought of putting exotic fish in tanks next to tables full of p1ssed squaddies singing Fallschirmjaeger and affectionately throwing glasses of stella at each other, but he should be in charge of reality TV for channel 4. I gather that Koi Carp aren't cheap - they're not the easiest to catch either unless there's 6 of you trying to catch one of them while a seventh is in the tank with it with a jabbing fork in either hand. Those fish didn't swim idly around thinking about the lass with the big fins he saw seven seconds ago, no -these bastar.ds hard-targetted from treasure chest to piece of choral, ever aware that a bill oddie with death in his eyes would come screaming after them at any moment, head first and mouth open like a crew-cut cormorant. Evolution had also enabled them to breathe for a good ten minutes out of water while they were variously passed, punted and catapulted from table to table. If push came to shove they could breathe when immersed in a chicken dhansak and could do some savage damage to any airborne genitals they happened to encounter.

Best of all was the reaction of the staff. It was common knowledge that the Koi Carp was sacred to the Nepalese waiters, which made defiling them such top sport. As soon as one was lifted aloft in triumph, the staff would leap into action like something off Crouching Korma Hidden Bhuna. Like a well drilled snatch team, 3 of them would lay into the crowd with chairs and woks, whilst another would rescue the fishy once he fell from his, likely by now unconscious, kidnapper. The bill would be doubled and we'd all be asked to leave without having any of those crappy ice cream desserts. We'd finish with a quick hop over to the next pub up to show the stripper the other carp we had snatched in the melee. Good times.
At Ebrington in 1975, as I drove through the front gate with my posting order in my hand, the Afghani gentleman who tended the burger emporium and his assistant were being shaved and deloused and reclothed next to the fire being made of their old pyjamas. I'd wondered about the smell of rancid fat since turning right into Browning Drive. Later in the day I tasted some of their product, and that kept me from taking any active part in my new unit for a few days.

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