How much offensive shit can I get away with at work?

Coworker1 “I could be your granddaddy. Is your grandma single?”

Coworker2 “Actually my grandmother is dead.”

Me “Well, is she single?”

Coworker2 “No, she’s actually buried next to her husband.”

Me “Oh… well uhh… ‘Till Death Do Us Part’ am I right?”

— — — — — — — — — —

Normally that’s not the kind of joke I would tell at work. I tend to tone it down a bit. During my last few months in the military, I really didn’t give a shit. So yes, that dead grandma joke is an actual thing I said to a coworker.

So I decided to push the envelope.

What could I get away with, and where was the actual line I couldn’t cross without consequences? I wasn’t going to do or say anything unnatural or purposely go above and beyond something I would typically say in my social life. I just decided to drop the filter and never hold back when it came to telling jokes at work. Followed basically the same rules as my “most offensive song ever” story.

Here are the ones I wrote down:

— — — — — — — — — —

Someone mentioned the name of an individual (aka a fuckin’ terrorizer) we were tracking, and the guy had an obviously Arab name. Muhammad Abu Bin-something-or-other.

Coworker1 “Does anyone have any information on [name]?”

Me “Well… he sounds like a terrorist.”

I guess I didn’t exactly follow the ‘no racism’ rule.

— — — — — — — — — —

Coworker3 “It smells like pickles in here…?”

Coworker4 “You’re like the fourth person to say that today. And all of them have been women.”

Me “It’s my new cologne.”

They obviously knew I was kidding.

Coworker3 “Your cologne smells like pickles?”

Me “Yeah.”

[Conversation ended.]

Me “Well, by ‘cologne’ I mean that I dipped my balls in pickle juice this morning.”

They kinda chuckle a little bit, obviously unsure whether they can safely laugh at something so crass while in the office.

[I do a squat]

Me “You know, just really get down in there and soak ’em a bit.”

— — — — — — — — — —

Coworker4 “Want any of these?”

Some high falutin walnuts or free-range almonds or whatever from Trader Joes.

Me “Nah, I’m good.”

For some reason, he offered me some about three or four more times over the next hour.

Me, shouting “I DON’T WANT YOUR NUTS, BRIAN!”

— — — — — — — — — —

We were having one of those ‘mandatory fun’ events that everyone always loves going to. Although I actually liked all the people I was working with at this command. It was good to leave the military working at a place where I actually legitimately respected every person I worked with. Well, nearly everyone; we’ll get to that later.

Plus this was going to be held during the workday, so it’s not like it was cutting into my evening time, which was very strictly reserved for binge drinking, napping, masturbating, and playing Xbox. Sometimes all four if I was feeling frisky.

This month it was going to be a basketball game, Officers vs Enlisted. When the email went out to the whole department, I responded, with the body of my email addressed directly to the person who sent out the email, a friend of mine.

Me “I suck at basketball, but I can be a turncoat for the officers and throw the game in our favor if you want. Keep this between us, though.”

Only as a joke, I intentionally hit Reply All instead of Reply, making it all look like an accident. Sending my stupid joke to the entire department.

— — — — — — — — — —

Me “Have you ever played dodgeball against kids? It’s so easy. They’re such pieces of shit.”

— — — — — — — — — —

During the basketball game itself, my friend Kelly and I arrived late, so we decided to be cheerleaders until there was an opening on the field. Or court. Whatever. I’m not even sure how many people are supposed to be on a team.

By ‘cheerleaders’ I meant that we just sat against the wall and talked mad shit to everyone, regardless of what team they were on. I don’t remember any of the things we said, but I do remember laughing my ass off and feeling like basketball might not be so bad after all.

When it was my time to play, I made it plainly obvious that I didn’t know dick about playing basketball whatsoever. The other team took advantage of this once and told me that I needed to bounce the ball outside some certain line before I could shoot the ball. Well that line was the out-of-bounds line, and the other team got the ball after that. They all thought this was hilarious.

My signature move was to knock the ball out of someone’s hands so that it would roll across the floor out of bounds, and then we would get the ball. Fuck if I’m gonna actually throw it at the hoop. They were annoyed at my ‘strategy’ but it made sense to me.

— — — — — — — — — —

When we were on defense, I only covered my friend Monty. He and I had this ongoing gay chicken thing that is unfathomably common in the military, so when I was trying to make sure he didn’t get the ball, I didn’t just stand in between him and the ball. I fucking violently twerked my ass on him every single time he wasn’t actively moving.

Not only was it hilarious, but it seemed to work pretty well.

— — — — — — — — — —

Someone kept saying “hands up!” in an attempt to be able to pass the ball to one of his teammates. Makes sense.

I countered by yelling “Hands up, don’t shoot!” which I feel is a really underrated basketball-friendly double pun.

— — — — — — — — — —

For months I was obsessed with this food truck that served Korean food.

Me “Are we doing Korean for lunch?”

Jane “Of course! I couldn’t go without you; are you serious? You’re like the Jay-Z to my Beyonce.”

First of all, I’m offended that I don’t get to be the Beyonce in this metaphor.

Me “So, I cheat on you a ton throughout our relationship, and then we both write songs about it and capitalize on our infidelity?”

Jane “Why’d you have to take it there?”

Me “I think we should choose a different analogy. Let’s say that I’m the Chris Brown to your Rihanna.”

— — — — — — — — — —

I was talking to Monty (who is also one of my bosses… basically everyone is my boss) in his office, and I sarcastically referred to him as Dear Leader. He didn’t react much, so I called him ‘Mein Fuhrer’ a few sentences later.

Monty “I didn’t hear your heels click.”

I worriedly looked behind me to see if anyone else was around, slammed my heels together, and gave a full Hitler salute. And I immediately felt that sort of comedic uncomfortability when you tell a risky joke.

Him “Okay, don’t do that.”

Me “Yeah, that felt wrong, even to me.”

— — — — — — — — — —

In the bathroom/lockerroom, I spotted my boss, who we will call Campbell. Different boss than the last one. Just like the line in Office Space, I literally have eight different bosses.

Me “Can you do me a favor?”

He finishes his business at the urinal and turns around to see me standing there behind him, wearing nothing but my bright yellow boxers.

Campbell “Oh God… what do you need me to do?”

Me “Can you go to my desk and bring me my backpack? I changed out of my uniform and realized I forgot my clothes in my backpack at my desk.”

I couldn’t exactly walk around the office in my underwear, although I did consider if whatever consequences I would face would have been acceptable in the long run.

He went and got my backpack, but when he got back a couple minutes later, instead of handing it to me, he just threw it on the other side of the narrow hallway that was in front of the bathroom door.

Campbell “Here you go Adam! Go get it, boy!”

So I’d have to walk out into the hallway about 4-5 feet in my underwear in order to get my clothes.

Laughing to myself, I did just that. Scurried forward to grab it and bolted back into the bathroom before anyone could see me.

— — — — — — — — — —

[Watching some news program with an attractive anchor on screen.]

Me “She’s got big… ideas.”

— — — — — — — — — —

I was assigned to give a 1-3 minute presentation on the Navy fitness standards. One rep from each service was giving one at our all-hands event that week, as an opportunity to learn more about each service at our joint command since Air Force, Marines, Army, and Navy all worked here blah blah blah.

This isn’t all that funny to everyone else, but I enjoyed it. I chose a picture of a skeletal/muscular system skeleton guy as the graphic for my Powerpoint, because everyone likes pictures even if they’re irrelevant.

But I chose this specific picture because it (1) has an etch-a-sketch boob outline, and (2) it looks like the skeleton is copping a feel of the dude’s ass in front of him:

skeleton

— — — — — — — — — —

Coworker5 “What’s the new Avengers movie called?”

Me “I think it’s called The Great Super Hero Cameo Jerk-Off.”

— — — — — — — — — —

I don’t remember the context, but at one point I expressed my desire to become a urinalysis (piss test) coordinator. As in, one of the people who escorts the dude into the bathroom who is getting tested, and physically looks at his cock as the urine comes out, to ensure 100% that no cheating is occurring.

I even volunteered to do it as a freelance job, anywhere and everywhere someone needed my services. Maybe even if you just need a practice go before your actual piss test.

— — — — — — — — — —

I did a lot of situational humor based on whatever was happening on the TV, which was usually CNN. This day they were covering the events of April 3, 2018, when a shooting occurred at the headquarters of the video-sharing website YouTube, in San Bruno, California.

Seems like obvious, low-hanging jokefruit to me.

Me “They missed out on a great ‘news anchor bad pun’ for this one.”

Coworker6 “Do tell.”

I imitated a newscaster voice.

Me “Film isn’t the only shooting going on today at YouTube headquarters.”

Coworker6 “Aww…”

Me “No? …Too much?”

— — — — — — — — — —

Coworker5 is a former military officer, now turned contractor. I was in the Navy at the time, in case you haven’t read any of my other stories.

The running joke, which I helped perpetuate, was that I wasn’t really in the Navy. I had never been on an actual naval vessel, EXCEPT for the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, which was a complete joke as far as ‘deployments’ go, and everyone knew it.

He was tying up some sort of equipment box.

Coworker5 “Here, Adam, this’ll prove how much of a sailor you really are. Can you tie this into a [something] knot?”

I’m such a proudly pathetic sailor that I didn’t even recognize what knot he was talking about. He might as well have made up a word.

I responded loudly.

Me “FUCK no.”

[Silence…]

Me “I mean… no, sir.”

Coworker5 “Yeah, that’s right bitch.”

— — — — — — — — — —

J.D. “That new super gonorrhea scares me.”

Me “I’m unfamiliar with this super gonorrhea.”

Monty “It’s breaking out in Britain apparently, and there’s just nothing they can do about it. You’re fucked. No antibiotics can eat it.”

J.D. “Fuckin’ spiders crawling out of your dick.”

Me “Well I know THAT’S not true.”

Monty “How do you know? You don’t even know about the super gonorrhea.”

Me “The question is can I do this at will, though?”

[They laugh.]

Me, louder “Like, can I flex a little and shoot a few spiders out whenever I want.”

[More incredulous laughter.]

Me “Cause that’s a super power.”

— — — — — — — — — —

We were talking about exercise. Well, they were. I have nothing of value to offer in this conversation.

Me “I only work out my ass.”

Coworker5 “Yeah, we’ve seen what you can do to a watermelon between your thighs.”

Me “Not just my thighs…”

[Nervous laughter, and then the conversation stops for a few seconds.]

Me “I’m saying I can crush a watermelon with my asshole.”

— — — — — — — — — —

Me “They gave me steroids for my back pain. I hope they make my dick smaller.”

J.D. “I don’t think that’s possible.”

Me “…I guess I kinda walked into that one.”

— — — — — — — — — —

Coworker5 “Yeah, you gotta download this widget to make the program work properly.”

Me “I believe the term is little app.”

Silence. Maybe they didn’t get it.

Me “That was a midget joke.”

— — — — — — — — — —

I was obsessively talking about the Korean truck, again. I can be incessant when I become focused on something I like. One of the guys, whose real name is surprisingly not Coworker6, is married to a woman from South Korea.

Me “Who wants to come with me to the Korean food truck?”

Coworker6 “I’m probably eating Korean tonight, so I’ll pass.”

Me “Are you talking about dinner or your wife?”

— — — — — — — — — —

I sent this sarcastically congratulatory email to someone who was getting promoted.

“Congrats! You finally made it. Nobody has ever believed in you throughout your whole life, and not a single person thought you would make it… but you proved them all wrong.”

Even though the two of us were cool, I was an E-5 and he was an O-4 getting promoted to O-5. For you non-military folk, let’s just say I should be a LOT more respectful in any official correspondence to him (for example, email).

— — — — — — — — — —

Another situational news joke, this one during the Hawaiian shitstorm that was the 2018 lower Puna eruption.

Unprovoked, I turn to my coworker and show him what’s on my desk.

Me “If you ever need a coordinate for a target, or you need something geolocated, I have this new device.”

It’s a pathetically tiny globe, probably the size of a baseball. It was barely large enough to include New Zealand on it.

Coworker4 “Yeah, can you find me an uninhabited island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean?”

Me “Hmm… well, how about Hawaii in a couple months? Am I right, everyone??”

— — — — — — — — — —

A group of us were discussing beauty pageants (another conversation in response to whatever was showing on CNN). Specifically, the swimsuit competitions, the trauma that kids experience in these pageants, the rampant sexual abuse/harassment, and the horrible parents who live vicariously through their children and treat them as an extension of themselves.

Coworker5 “I was actually in a beauty pageant as a young man.”

I pretended to take him seriously.

Me “Really?”

Coworker5 “Yeah.”

Me “Like, as a kid?”

Coworker5 “[Laughs] No, man, I was kidding.”

Me “Did you win?”

Coworker5 “No, I wasn’t good enough.”

Me “Did you get fondled?”

He laughs and makes a reference to “show me on the doll where he touched you.”

I thought the talk was over, as I made my offensive joke and expected it would kill the conversation.

Coworker5 “But I would have been offended.”

I didn’t really understand what he meant, and still don’t. It didn’t matter.

Me “Like, you’d be offended that you weren’t fondled?”

He was speechless. He stopped what he was doing and looked down at his desk.

Coworker5 “You know… you always manage to hit rock bottom, and then you just keep on drilling.”

Me “Yeah, I really do.”

— — — — — — — — — —

So I bought these gay lighters.

I wasn’t sure what the hell I was gonna do with them, but I recognized the prank value immediately upon seeing them at the grocery store. I was deployed to a relatively Muslim country at the time, so I was surprised that they were only a few dollars worth, in addition to being surprised at their presence at all in the first place.

If you don’t find these as obviously hilarious as I do, I’m not even sure why you’re reading my blog:

gay lighters
I’m so glad they’re labeled as “child resistant”

Obviously there’s a reason one is missing.

I was at some “mandatory fun” event that our top commander was hosting at his house, which was basically a palace. Especially for the country we were stationed in. I think it might have been New Years, but I don’t know for sure.

Wish this was more epic-sounding, but all I did was inconspicuously drop it on the floor as we were leaving. I like to think someone found it and thought it was hilarious and/or embarrassing, but I have no idea. I was about to leave the country, and I was running out of time to use one of these lighters, so there it is.

— — — — — — — — — —

For about seven of my closest friends in the office, a couple of whom were bosses of mine, I set up a program in my email to send them a message automatically whenever they emailed me at work. They would immediately receive this in their inbox if they emailed me, even if the email was addressed to several people or the whole department.

Sir/Ma’am: Your email message originating from IP address 24.xxx.xxx.xxx has been rejected by an automated secretarial program set up by “user:Adam.Desautel”. We apologize for any inconvenience.

It wasn’t real, it was just an autoforward message. It’s not like the IP address thing would change depending on who sent me an email; it said the same thing every time. I’m good, but I’m not a fucking government computer hacker. Basically like one of those “I am out of the office until XXDate” messages, but only sent out to certain emailers.

They were so annoyed at them. They would get that automatic response for EVERY SINGLE EMAIL they sent me for a whole two months. Eventually they just ignored them and deleted them, but at first I did get a few frustrated emails from people asking why I was rejecting their emails.

— — — — — — — — — —

We worked in Stuttgart, Germany. There was another military post we would sometimes coordinate with, located in Baumholder, Germany.

I liked to call it Bum-Holder, because I am a comedic genius. The place sucked to work at, so Kelly would call it ‘The B-Hole.’ I liked that name better.

Coworker5 “Hey Adam, do you know if John is in Baumholder today?”

Me “I don’t know.”

Coworker5 “Oh yeah, you’re leaving soon. You don’t give a shit.”

Me “In like a week.”

He walks away. But I knew Kelly talked to Baumholder people all the time for her job.

He was already at the other end of the hall, and at this point there were probably 15 desks with people at them between me and Coworker5 (let’s call him Mike).

I fucking shouted across the room.

Me “HEY, MIKE!”

He turns around.

Me “KELLY WOULD KNOW; SHE KNOWS ALL ABOUT THE B-HOLE”

That one actually almost got me in trouble. One of my superiors came up to me and asked me quietly if I was alright. I guess that’s passive-aggressive military speak for ‘knock it off.’

— — — — — — — — — —

I had some medical forms on my desk that I needed to digitally scan so I could upload them to the Veterans Affairs department, as part of my process for getting out of the military. I wrote “SCAN THESE FOR VA” on a sticky note and put it on the forms to remind myself for when I came in the next day.

That next day, Kelly stopped by my desk to chat about something unrelated to the documents I still hadn’t scanned.

(She is one of my best friends in the world, and we make these kinds of jokes to each other all the time. I never would have done this to a random female coworker. Kelly actually appears in the sunburnt in Croatia story, and our standard protocol for hanging out was daydrinking and doing little else throughout the day.)

I took the “SCAN THESE FOR VA” note and slapped it on her collarbone, so she now had a sticky note on her chest suggesting she stick her tits on a copy machine.

— — — — — — — — — —

I had two Going-Away dinners, one official and one unofficial. At the unofficial one, my friend Jane set it up and invited literally everyone in the office EXCEPT the one person I hated, who we will call Spencer. She made an obvious and specific point to blatantly tell everyone around him when and where the meetup was, but did NOT invite him.

(Spencer didn’t show up; that’s not what this story is about. Otherwise I would have just told him, “Look, you aren’t invited. Please leave. Don’t make this awkward.” Even though he was one of my eight bosses.)

During the dinner he came up in conversation, and as it turns out, nobody else liked Spencer either! Sally was ordering her food or doing something else for a minute or so, and missed part of the conversation we were having.

Sally “Wait, what did Spencer do?”

At this point in the evening, I’d had two soju shots, a medium-sized beer, two large-sized beers, and two fairly large glasses of wine. I had also pregamed.

I responded to Sally’s inquiry in a loud, drunken slur, in front of about 6-7 people, all of whom I worked with.

Me “Long story short, Spencer is a pissy little cunt.”

— — — — — — — — — —

For my official going away dinner, the one where the whole department would be in attendance, I had an even better idea.

I thought of it in the shower and couldn’t stop giggling to myself about it. And that’s always the sign that I should go ahead with whatever it is I’m considering. If it keeps making me laugh whenever I think about doing it, then it was meant to be.

When I was called upon to receive my farewell, one of my bosses (a cool one, not Spencer) said a few words about me and my time there at the command, he talked about some of the work I had done blah blah blah.

It was expected of us to say a few words, but not very long or anything.

Well, I had prepared.

This is a nearly verbatim transcript of the speech I gave:

I’ve actually really enjoyed my time here, and that’s not something I would have said about the previous places I’ve been stationed at.

What I’ve learned is that it’s the people that make it so that I actually look forward to coming to work in the morning, rather than dreading it.

I realize part of this is that, as the lowest ranking person here, I don’t have to deal with as much of the BS that everyone else seems to complain about all the time, but you know… that’s fine… for me. That’s fine for me.

[Some laughter.]

But I am going to miss this place. I’ll miss the people I work with, and there’s one person in particular who has carried me through for the last couple years.

[I glance at Kelly, my best friend, and pause for effect. She looks worried.]

And will probably continue to carry me through, probably forever. I just wanted to say thank you personally, and that person… is…

…me.”

Everyone starts laughing.

I start rubbing my nipple, looking upward toward the ceiling, and sighing to myself.

I wasn’t sure what the reaction would be, but surprisingly, most of the crowd was laughing, and not even just the people who knew me personally. One person said “Well done, Adam” while another told me “That was the best speech ever; I’m never gonna forget that.”

— — — — — — — — — —

So I guess there WAS no line I couldn’t cross. None of this shit actually got me in any trouble.