The US Navy ceremony for crossing the equator, or what it was like back in the day before political corectness overwhelmed the Navy, started out with Davy Jone's Locker.

When it was time for all of us lowly wogs (never been across the equator) to begin their journey to shellback status (been through the ceremony and across the equator), we were all herded up towards the bow of the ship (that's the pointy end) at one o'clock in the morning. We were all lined up on our hands and knees, and we were instructed to pay tribute to the man himself, Davy Jones.

We were to shout out, "Hail, Davy Jones!"

Meanwhile, as we were yelling and shouting greetings to ole' Davy, the shellbacks were busy hosing us down with saltwater firehoses.

Oh, did I mention we were all in our underwear?

Salt water tends to get nasty and cold, especially at one in the morning. As they were hosing us, they progressed to putting eggs down our shorts and smacking us with cut lengths of firehoses. Honestly, sounds much worse than it actually was. At least the eggs rinsed out... the cocoa powder tended to stick to your butt crack and chafe.

There were some shellbacks who went through and talked to people they knew, telling them that they had no cajones if they didn't jump up and yell out, "Fuck Davy Jones!" Those that did got special treatment all through the rest of the ceremony, which ran until about six on the evening.

Nobody asked me to dis Davy Jones, I was prepared to jump up and yell, "Fuck Davy Jones, and the rest of the Monkees for that matter!"

I'm sure I would've had to run through the ceremony twice if I had.

The new ceremony lasts a couple of hours, and is a sham of a tradition.