I think it's safe to say that we are under no illusion that life in the RN, RM or Army can't be considered for everyone. During your time you will see, hear, do and desperately try to forget some frankly horrific and haunting things that will stay with you forever. Experiences that numb us to the core and leave us hardened, emotionless and resigned to the fact that humans are terrible, terrible things. I'm not talking about war or conflict, I'm talking about being sat in a pub in Gibraltar whilst in the corner, someone wanks off the dog. Noting out the corner of your eye a dwarf get closed down on a pool table in Santiago. Wondering what all the noise is in the mess square only to be greeted with the sight of a spoof loser drinking a tin strained through a deployment old love sock. Etc, etc. Before I'd even got my first badge I had thought that I was absolutely immune and conditioned to the very worst things anyone is capable of. I wouldn't bat an eyelid when asked by the LHOM to stick his piles back up his arse with a biro or impromptu puppet shows with bodies hauled out of the Med, shit juggling in the Falklands, 'gay or scared'. Nope, impervious to it all. Nothing prepared me for the bogey ball though. Around ten years ago, for some inconceivable reason, a number of our mess members on a certain stumpy 42 had been collecting the contents of their noses and storing it in the drawer under the TV. By the end of deployment, there was just under 8 months worth collected and moulded into a nice beige, waxy plum sized moon. This was bad. Very bad. Even the sighting of the bogey ball was enough to have people gagging and walking out of the mess square to howls of laughter, but it wouldn't end there. Channel night and things had gone the usual way, all bets were off and things had got medievally unhinged. The bogey ball was out and a game of spoof was underway. The cost of losing? Eat it. Fucking eat it. I'm game for many a thing but this was a snag too far, I watched incredulously as the game came to a climax and a young welsh OM AW, (who incidentally was my go-to man as killick of the shithouses for always uncomplainingly unblocking a throne with his arm) was declared the winner / loser. It wasn't the bite that did it, although he took his time, milked the moment and slowly, very slowly sunk his nashers into the soft, brown, meteor. It was as he looked up and smiled, with 8 month old, howling dried nasal mucus stuck to his teeth that it all came apart. I had to get out of there, leaving to the sound of retching and language you'd even feel offended by in a 50 man mess. It was that moment, right there that had me submitting my request to sit my PO's PQE ASAP and get the fuck out of a JR's messdeck. I probably owe my career to snot. I can't be alone, there has to be that moment of clarity when you've thought "Jesus Christ, this is inhuman?"