Few things are more infantilizing than getting screamed at by a grown man because you failed to properly make your bed. It’s an experience all too familiar to those who grew up with an anal-retentive parent, or for those who join the Marine Corps.
It’s also an experience shared by one unlucky, but brave, reporter.
Amanda Steen, a journalist with Staten Island Advance, went to Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, recently. There she met Staff Sgt. Ryan Granados, a senior drill instructor, who introduced her to the time-honored training method of making your rack.
Called “two sheets and a blanket,” it’s one of the many fuck-fuck games that drill instructors play in boot camp. It involves standing on line in front of your rack with a pair of sheets and a blanket and then being counted down by a drill instructor as you try to make the bed. Inevitably, the final numbers of the count bleed into each other until they come out sounding something like this: “10, 9, 8, 7-6-5-4, 1, stop!”
In the video, Steen gets a small taste of recruit training as she desperately tries to figure out how to fold a sheet at a perfect 45-degree angle, while struggling to remember to respond to each question or command with either “Yes, sir” “No, sir,” or “Aye, sir.” Though she does her best, Granados is predictably unimpressed.
“That’s probably the worst rack I’ve ever seen,” he says. “You unner’stand?”
It kinda makes you feel bad for the recruit who’s going to come into the squad bay later and realize that his rack looks like a bag of ass, right before his drill instructors encircle him like a pack of hyenas out on the savannas of Africa.
Two things are clear though, first: Nasty civilians can’t make a rack to save their lives. And second: Drill instructors are the undisputed masters of fuck-fuck games. Think about it, it takes a special kind of deranged dedication to make someone stress out over making a bed.
The Corps’ motto might as well be: The Marines: Making adults cry with nothing but two sheets and a blanket since 1775.