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Literature / Skippy's List

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Skippy's List proves that The Loonie can be applied to the military as well as Tabletop Games. The list consists of things that Skippy—an enlisted man in the US Army's psychological operations departmentnote —discovered were forbidden in the US Army, generally without much context as to how he found out (although the blog does provide some explanations). It first came to the Internet back in 2001, lists 213 things Skippy Is No Longer Allowed To Do In The US Army. As the site explains, everything on the list actually happened, either as something Skippy himself did, something he saw happen, something he was spontaneously informed he was not allowed to do, a clarification to one of the above, or "I was just minding my own business, when something happened."

The original list is no longer available, but has been reposted here. An internet archive of the original website can be found here.

See also Things Mr. Welch Is No Longer Allowed to Do in an RPG, it turns out Skippy and Mr. Welch knew each other in real life but didn't know that each of them had written these lists they were both fans of until they were invited to attend a convention together. Then there's "Things I Am No Longer Allowed To Do At Hogwarts", which has several different iterations, most commonly numbering one hundred and fifty. Not to mention Survival Tips for S.H.I.E.L.D. Recruits, which is past the five hundred mark, and still counting. Another variation of this list while still keeping the military theme is Things XCOM Operatives Are No Longer Allowed to Do which has civilians getting in on the action as well. See Things You Are Not Allowed to Do for more.

Provides examples of:

  • Actually Pretty Funny: He got commended for some of these, specifically:
    154. Shouldn't treat "piss-bottles" with extra-strength icy hot.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
    106. I may not trade my rifle for any of the following: Cigarettes, booze, sexual favors, Kalishnikovs, Soviet Armored vehicles, small children, or bootleg CDs.
  • Because Destiny Says So:
    7. Not allowed to add "In accordance with the prophesy" to the end of answers I give to a question an officer asks me.
  • Black Comedy:
    54. "Napalm sticks to kids" is *not* a motivational phrase.
  • Black Magic:
    3. Not allowed to threaten anyone with black magic.
    4. Not allowed to challenge anyone's disbelief of black magic by asking for hair.
  • Body Paint:
    43. Camouflage body paint is not a uniform.
    73. Woad is not camouflage makeup.
  • Breast Expansion:
    5. Not allowed to get silicone breast implants.
  • Brick Joke:
    113. There is absolutely no need to emulate the people from Full Monty every time I hear the song "Hot Stuff".
    131. No dancing in the turret. This especially applies in conjunction with rule #113.
  • Buffy Speak:
    177. I am not to refer to a formation as "the boxy rectangle thingie".
  • Bullying a Dragon:
    21. Must attempt not to antagonize SAS.
    22. Must never call an SAS a wanker.
    27. Don’t tell Princess Di jokes in front of the paras (British Airborne).
    110. Never, ever, attempt to correct a Green Beret officer about anything.
  • Calvinball:
    142. "Calvin-Ball" is not authorized PT.
  • Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys:
    20. Must not taunt the French any more.
  • Combining Mecha:
    191. Our Humvees cannot be assembled into a giant battle-robot.
  • Crossdresser:
    80. Not allowed to wear a dress to any army functions.
    81. May not bring a drag queen to the battalion formal dance.
  • Dirty Communists:
    11. Not allowed to join the Communist Party.
  • Dude, Not Funny!:
    27. Don’t tell Princess Di jokes in front of the paras (British Airborne).
    54. "Napalm sticks to kids" is not a motivational phrase.
    93. Nerve gas is not funny.
    172. “A full magazine and some privacy” is not the way to help a potential suicide.
  • Duel to the Death:
    86. May not challenge anyone in my chain of command to the "field of honor".
    188. May not challenge officers to "Meet me on the field of honor, at dawn".
    • This isn't just a Skippyism, it's actually a law. It's been illegal to duel people while in active military service since the days of George Washington and the Revolutionary War even. Washington likely got it from the British, who formally banned lower-ranking officers from calling out higher ranking ones (because the Klingon Promotion trope doesn't work in real life) and informally discouraged challenges from higher-ups or between officers of equal rank.
  • The End of the World as We Know It:
    39. Not allowed to ask for the day off due to religious purposes, on the basis that the world is going to end, more than once.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    2. My proper military title is "Specialist Schwarz" not "Princess Anastasia"
  • Everything is Big in Texas:
    47. I am not a citizen of "Texas, and those other, forty-nine, lesser states".
  • Exact Words:
    33. Not allowed to chew gum at formation, unless I brought enough for everybody.
    34. (Next day) Not allowed to chew gum at formation even if I did bring enough for everybody.
    48. I may not use public masturbation as a tool to demonstrate a flaw in a command decision.
    55. An order to "Put Kiwi on my boots" does *not* involve fruit.
    56. An order to "Make my Boots black and shiny" does not involve electrical tape.
    135. An order to put polish on my boots means the whole boot.
    • The wordings on him taking a religious day off and buying people's souls imply that in the former he gets to do it once per world ending (for obvious reasons) and the latter is permitted on his own time, just not while on duty.
  • Full-Frontal Assault:
    175. We do not “charge into battle, naked, like the Celts”.
  • Genre Savvy: Eventually, his COs caught onto his looniness.
    14. Not allowed out of my office when the president visited Sarajevo.
    62. It is better to beg forgiveness than to ask permission, no longer applies to Specialist Schwarz.
    87. If the thought of something makes me giggle for longer than 15 seconds, I am to assume that I am not allowed to do it.
  • Gilligan Cut:
    33. Not allowed to chew gum at formation, unless I brought enough for everybody.
    34. (Next day) Not allowed to chew gum at formation even if I *did* bring enough for everybody.
  • "Have a Nice Day" Smile:
  • I Just Shot Marvin in the Face
    6. Not allowed to play “Pulp Fiction” with a suction-cup dart pistol and any officer.
  • It's Raining Men:
    35. Not allowed to sing "High Speed Dirt" by Megadeth during airborne operations. ("See the earth below/Soon to make a crater/Blue sky, black death, I'm off to meet my maker")
  • Jumping on a Grenade
    201. Must not valiantly push officers onto hand grenades to save the squad.
  • Less Disturbing in Context: He states In-Universe that a lot of the list isn't stuff Skippy actually did; they're just real regulations being quoted in such a way to imply someone was stupid enough to disobey them.
  • Life Imitates Art: Chem-Light batteries now actually exist.
  • The Loonie: Just not in terms of role-playing games.
  • Loophole Abuse:
    124. Two drink limit does not mean first and last.
    125. Two drink limit does not mean two kinds of drinks.
    126. Two drink limit does not mean the drinks can be as large as I like.
    127. "No Drinking Of Alcoholic Beverages" does not imply that a Jack Daniel's® IV is acceptable.
    135. An order to put polish on my boots means the whole boot.
    • As one of his superiors put it: "Specialist Schwarz is following his instructions to the letter. If the chain of command wants to re-state those instructions in some way that doesn't violate any Equal Opportunity regulations, they’re welcome to try. But you and I both know that Schwarz is way better at this sort of thing than they are."
  • Malicious Misnaming:
    2. My proper military title is "Specialist Schwarz" not "Princess Anastasia".
    37. Our medic is called "Sgt Larwasa", not "Dr. Feelgood".
    38. Our supply Sgt is "Sgt Watkins" not "Sugar Daddy".
  • Monster Clown:
    65. There are no evil clowns living under my bed.
  • My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels
    123. I should not teach other soldiers to say offensive and crude things in Albanian, under the guise of teaching them how to say potentially useful phrases.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Comes up in several items, but this one sums it up pretty well:
    166. No, the pants are not optional.
  • Noodle Incident:
    58. The following words and phrases may not be used in a cadence- Budding sexuality, necrophilia, I hate everyone in this formation and wish they were dead, sexual lubrication, black earth mother, all Marines are latent homosexuals, Tantric yoga, Götterdämmerung, Korean hooker, Eskimo Nell, we've all got jackboots now, slut puppy, or any references to squid.note 
  • Noodle Implements:
    183. My chain of command has neither the time, nor the inclination to hear about what I did with six boxes of Fruit Roll-Ups.® note 
    200. My chain of command is not interested in why I "just happen" to have a kilt, an inflatable sheep, and a box of rubber bands in the back of my car.
  • "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer:
    174. Furby® is not allowed into classified areas. (I swear to the gods, I did not make that up, it's actually DOD policy.) note 
  • ...Or So I Heard:
    207. The Chicken and Rice MRE is *not* a personal lubricant. (Skippy wanted this noted for the record that this is not something he has ever attempted or considered! It was something we heard at dinner on 22 September 2001 and it was just so obscene it had to go here.)
    209. An airsickness bag is to be used for airsickness *only*. (Also not a Skippy-ism...this was the same dinner.)
  • Our Lawyers Advised This Trope: Why we can post at least part of his list.
    I don't mind if you want to quote a few items from my list of your site. But please do not copy the list in its entirety.
  • Patriotic Fervor:
    26. Never tell a German soldier that "We kicked your ass in World War 2!"
  • Perfectly Cromulent Word:
  • Reference Overdosed:
    1. Not allowed to watch South Park when I'm supposed to be working.
    6. Not allowed to play Pulp Fiction with a suction-cup dart pistol and any officer.
    16. Must get a haircut even if it tampers with my Samson like powers.
    18. May no longer perform my now (in)famous "Barbie Girl Dance" while on duty.
    29. The Irish MPs are not after "Me frosted lucky charms".
    49. Not allowed to trade military equipment for "magic beans".
    50. Not allowed to sell magic beans during duty hours.
    51. Not allowed to quote "Dr. Seuss" on military operations.
    52. Not allowed to yell "Take that Cobra" at the rifle range.
    53. Not allowed to quote Full Metal Jacket at the rifle range.
    97. Gozer does not dwell in my refrigerator.
    113. There is absolutely no need to emulate the people from Full Monty every time I hear the song "Hot Stuff". note 
    136. Shouting "Let's do the village! Let's do the whole fucking village!" while out on a mission is bad.
    181. Pokémon® trainer is not an MOS.
    185. My name is not a killing word.
    202. Despite the confusing similarity in the names, the "Safety Dance" and the "Safety Briefing" are never to be combined.
  • Rule of Funny:
    To explain how I've stayed out of jail/alive/not beaten up too badly...I'm funny, so they let me live.
  • Running Gag: The inflatable sheep.
  • Sabotutor:
    123. I should not teach other soldiers to say offensive and crude things in Albanian, under the guise of teaching them how to say potentially useful phrases.
  • Sarcastic Confession:
    199. I should not confess to crimes that took place before I was born.
  • Schmuck Bait:
    100. Claymore mines are not filled with yummy candy, and it is wrong to tell new soldiers that they are.
    189. Do not dare SERE graduates to eat bugs. They will always do it.
  • Sex Sells:
    42. Not allowed to attempt to appeal to mankind's baser instincts in recruitment posters.
  • Snipe Hunt: Even provides the page quote:
    152. The following items do not exist: Keys to the Drop Zone, A box of grid squares, blinker fluid, winter air for tires, canopy lights, or Chem-Light® batteries.
  • Sound Off: Naturally, there are several things Skippy is not allowed to use in this context, listed above under Noodle Incident. Plus:
    76. "Teddy Bear, Teddy bear, turn around" is *not* a cadence.
  • Stealth Pun: Happens only when reading 179 and 180.
    179. On Army documents, my race is not “Other”.
    180. Nor is it “Secretariat, in the third”.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial:
    151. The proper way to report to my Commander is "Specialist Schwarz, reporting as ordered, Sir" not "You can't prove a thing!"
  • Take Over the World:
    203. "To conquer the earth with an army of flying monkeys" is a bad long term goal to give the re-enlistment NCO.
  • Take That!:
    8. Not allowed to add pictures of officers I don’t like to War Criminal posters.
  • Team Dad:
    89. Must not refer to the Commander as "Dad".
  • Team Mom:
    88. Must not refer to 1st Sgt as "Mom".
  • Toilet Humor: Recurring, but two examples are probably the most literal you can find.
    145. I should not drink three quarts of blue food coloring before a urine test.
    146. Nor should I drink three quarts of red food coloring, and scream during the same.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: One story, "The Battalion Dance", tells the story of Skippy and his fellow soldiers being forced to attend a dance that they really didn't want to (mainly because they were actually forced to work in multiple car washes to raise money for said dance, and when that didn't work out, attendance was made mandatory... but everyone had to either buy/rent a suit or a dress, and buy the damn ticket. Suffice to say, everyone hated this dance). Skippy initially tries attending wearing a dress, but before the dance, someone rats him out and he is not allowed to wear the dress. Then he meets a transvestite... and gets ratted out again, and shortly afterwards, mandatory dance attendance is cancelled. Skippy noted that his attempt to go to the dance with a drag queen may have had nothing to do with the decision, since it's kind of against the rules for the higher-ups to order their soldiers to spend money on a dance for their wives (and it's also against the rules to order them to appear in any uniform that wasn't issued to them, incidentally.).
  • Your Soul Is Mine!
    10. Not allowed to purchase anyone's soul on government time.