An Introduction to Skippy
(Not particularly funny. Go ahead and drink something.)
I am a graduate of SMU’s Guildhall program and have found employment in the video game industry.
A few years ago, I spent some time in the Army. Some people seem to find this piece of knowledge amusing for some reason.
How the list started:
It was just some emails I sent back to a few friends of mine. I was stationed in Bosnia, it sucked, and I got bored. I mean *really* bored. People who have been on a military deployment can understand what I am talking about here. I’d tell my friends back home about the kinds of pranks me and the other soldiers would play on each other to keep amused. By about month three, I had taken to ending every email with a few things I was no longer allowed to do. It didn’t actually start as a joke (See item number 1). My friend assembled these into a list, and named it “The 101 Things Skippy Can’t Do” and started passing it around. The problem was, there were only 30 or so items on it. And people seemed to like it. So I wrote some more. And some more. And I kept at it for a few years. Acquaintances of mine would pass it back and forth, and laugh at it. Shortly after 9/11 another friend of mine asked if she could make a web-site out of the list. I said “Sure, why not”. I would occasionally get email about it, but didn’t think much of it any more. After it had been up for a few years, my friend asked if I wanted to keep the site going. I figured “This gag has been done, it was funny for a while, but I don’t feel like paying money to keep this going.” It went down, and I forgot about it.
A few months later, I got contacted by a journalist, looking for the author of the list. I was told it was now a considered ”The definitive guide to subversive army humor”. I wasn’t so sure about that (I’m pretty sure that the StrategyPage.com humor section covers that) but out of curiosity I did a search for my list.
People evidently like this thing.
So I guess I’ll put it back up.
Why did the site go away for so long?
Because I got out of the Army. Nobody gives me orders any more. Hence, no more additions to the list. I’ll try to write other funny things, but the list is pretty much done. I’ve got a few stories that never worked their way onto the list, maybe I’ll put them there.
I am releasing a secondary list of things that other people have done. I can’t make any guarantees about whether or not they actually happened, but they will be funny. (Or at the very least, *I’ll* think they’re funny.)
Some amusing misconceptions I have found floating around the net:
1. Skippy is a woman.
Not exactly sure why. Interestingly enough, only Male Non-Commissioned Officers seem to make this mistake. One of them even sent me his picture, in case I wanted a boy friend. (Note: I don’t.)
2. I was a Sergeant, or an Officer.
Nope. I was, in Army Speak, a career E-4. I was good at my job, but I lacked the Army Mentality necessary for promotion. I like to think of it as having a low tolerance for bullshit. Others would describe it as a total inability to keep my barracks room clean, or be nice to people simply because they outranked me.
3. The Skippy’s List was shut down by the army, who thought that it made them look bad.
Not the case. The Skippy’s list went down because I was no longer in the Army. It just kinda felt wrong to continue to add to it, after I had received my separation orders.
4. Skippy was in (fill in the blank with some unit or other usually Intel related).
I was in Psyop, the whole time I was in the army. I have served in the following units.
- 1st PSYOP Battalion
- 6th PSYOP Battalion
- 9th PSYOP Battalion
And that’s it.
5. Skippy must have been a horrible soldier to serve with.
Oh be fair. Do you really think that I spent the whole time I was serving coming up with ways to screw with people? There’s a time and a place for making jokes. You probably have a “funny guy/girl” in your office or military unit. That’s what I was. I just wrote it down. There are only 213 things on this list. I was in the army for six years. That’s one item every 10.14 days. The rest of the time I was a model soldier. Maybe not model, but at least passable. Um….well, I showed up, that has to count for something.
6. Skippy made all of that stuff up.
I assure you, every thing on this list is something that I personally was instructed not to do, or I witnessed another soldier receive instructions about. Not to say that everything actually happened, just that it was discussed. For example, I didn’t get breast implants, but I pretended to be interested in getting them, just because it made my Team Sergeant’s face turn all kinds of interesting colors. The list gives the impression that I did everything, only because it sounds funnier that way.
7. Skippy did *everything* on the list.
Jesus. I’d be locked in a little padded room, clutching my knees, mumbling about the rats. I’m not *that* crazy.
8. Skippy got a Section 8.
Heh. No, that didn’t happen. I actually got an Honorable Discharge. Then I went to college, which is a lot like being in the Army, except when stupid people yell at me for stupid things, I can hit them.
9. Skippy was a (Fill in the blank with an MOS, usually something in the field of Military Intel).
I entered as a 25M (Multi-Media Illustrator). After a few years I transferred to 37F (Psychological Operations Specialist). I switched mainly on account of the fact that when home on leave, “I do Psychological Warfare” has a better chance of impressing women than “I defend our country by drawing decorative illustrations”. And it got too annoying explaining to people why on earth the Army saw a need for me to be an Airborne Illustrator. (To this day, I’m not exactly sure why.)
10. Skippy was a weird little cuss.
Look, if spending your leave assembling a kilt out of fruit roll-ups in order to be the world’s first “Edible Scot” makes you weird…on second thought, that is kinda weird, so yeah, I guess that one stands.