In Search of a Bacon Stretcher – A Military Tradition

During my military years one prank comes to mind that I often recall, summoning much hilarity. I was a private in the United States Marine Corps and was newly assigned and finished doing basic training in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Being too green to suspect a prank, I was ordered by my Sergeant Major to search the mess hall for “bacon stretcher.” I had no idea what it was at the time and looking back, I felt like a complete moron for not comprehending the obvious. Following my command, I scoured the mess hall and then kitchen in search for the famous bacon stretcher. After a good twenty minutes, I began asking other fellow marines in my unit, and they had a similar response…“Oh, yeah…the bacon stretcher, eh? Go ask so-and-so. I think he had it last.” And so I went, trudging through several rooms on base and asking along the way a Lance Corporal a Gunnery Sergeant and so on… After one too many smirks, I finally figured it out. And those asshole comrades of mine never let me live that one down. A bacon stretcher my ass! 

Like any good prank, this one was a long-standing tradition that obviously didn’t end with me. In fact, it continued with each new recruit. And when the unsuspecting fool came to me, I smiled inside and sent them to a place I’d thought they’d never search…the latrines. Hah. Hah. Hah! Evil? Yes, but too much fun not to add my spin.

Happy Veterans Day to all those who served. Semper fi.

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