Words and Terms Used in the Summary of Mishaps Long-time readers of the Summary of Mishaps become privy to a number of inside jokes that puzzle newcomers. The following explanations will bring you up to speed.
ATV – Stands for “Anyone Tossed-off Violently.”
bonfire – Something that Sailors or Marines (often at night, on a beach and under the influence) fall into. Balconies, on the other hand, are something that intoxicated Sailors and Marines fall off of.
“Brrrzzzaaappp!” – The sound made when someone, usually aboard ship, receives an electrical shock, often due to someone else’s incompetence, faulty QA or lack of PMS.
“Foon!” – Sound effect made when someone pours a cup of gasoline on a pile of brush and drops a match on it. Scorched eyebrows and a new appreciation for the explosive flammability of gasoline are common results. This word was often used by cartoonist Don Martin during the classic era of Mad magazine.
Gene – A real person (now retired), keeper of an imaginary sound-effects vault. For example, in an item about a Sailor who climbed an apple tree in his backyard to do some pruning and then deciding to swing down on a branch: “Gene, cue the soundtrack from ‘Tarzan the Fearless.’”
Goofus – Patron Saint of Skylarks. Sailors and Marines who hurt themselves and each other during horseplay become members of Goofus’s retinue.
LIMPDU – The variety of Limited Duty (LIMDU) served by people who hurt one or both of their legs doing something dumb and who end up on crutches or in a cast.
Not-O.K. Corral – Any place where someone shoots a gun by mistake (what a regular Navy message would refer to as an “inadvertent handgun actuation”). If you haven’t heard of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday, look them up immediately.
O.O.P.S. – The Organization for Obvious Precautions and Safeguards, a fictional sponsor of the Summary of Mishaps. Other fictional sponsors include the National Association of Monday Morning Quarterbacks and the Society of Second-Guessers.
Risk-o-Matic – An imaginary device that sounds an alarm (a loud “Onnnkkk!”) when someone starts asking for trouble and/or is about to propel himself into the message traffic.
RSOTW – Rocket Scientist of the Week. Someone who stands out even amongst the usual nitwittery described in the Summary of Mishaps..
Summary of Mishaps Museum – A surprisingly elaborate, imaginary museum that pretends to exhibit dozens of actual objects mentioned in issues of the Friday Funnies. One wing of the Museum is devoted to safety items that were involved in mishaps.
Wreckter Scale – A sub-routine on the Risk-o-Matic, which gauges the likelihood that an intoxicated, sleepy or otherwise incompetent driver is going to lose control of his vehicle.