Heaven forbid that people who could somebody be sent to fight in a war slip down an obelisk and dislocate a toe during a ritual that’s been going on since about 1940, so fortunately the Safety Patrol has arrived on site at our military academies:
ANNAPOLIS, Md. â€“ As they have for 70 years, students at the U.S. Naval Academy celebrated the end of their grueling first year by scaling a 21-foot obelisk on Monday. But this time, without a lard coating on the monument, students completed the task in minutes.
For years, the Herndon Monument was slathered in the grease to make the event as challenging as possible. It often took hours for a group of first-year students, or “plebes,” to hoist a peer on their shoulders to place an officer’s hat atop the obelisk.
This year, the event drew more attention after Vice Adm. Jeffrey Fowler, the academy’s superintendent, cited “unnecessary injury risk” as a reason the school could end the yearly ritual.
I’m still trying to figure out if the reason that the lard was prohibited is because of a risk of slippage, or because it’s so dangerously high in fat that accidental ingestion could have tragic consequences — a few decades later.
Vice Adm. Fowler, who ordered the lard use discontinued, added:
“I just think at some point it will become not very interesting and it will just cease to be a climb.”
World safer for Democracy!
Now it’s on to putting corks on the end of all forks in the mess hall — those things are pointy-sharp and I can’t believe there hasn’t been a utensil-caused fatality yet.