We're all for goofing around at work -- our entire business model is based on it. But when that workplace is the military, you'd hope there wouldn't be people running around doing dumbass things like sticking firecrackers down each other's pants while they're trying to pilot a state-of-the-art weapon system. Sadly, this isn't the case.
#6. A Drunk Russian Soldier Crashes His Tank into a Light Pole
As we've previously discussed, pretty much every driver in Russia has a dashboard camera installed in their vehicle to incriminate the culpable party in the event of a collision and/or capture a visual document of the last moments of their lives. Additionally, as one driver discovered, the cameras will allow you to record magical moments like a soldier drunkenly attempting to pilot a tank through a busy intersection:
The video begins as the driver comes to a stop in front of a Russian soldier blocking traffic to make way for a military motorcade. The traffic director, gripping a baton authoritatively, waves his comrades through behind him, and the first tank proceeds into the intersection. However, the tank suddenly comes to an abrupt, axle-shattering stop in the middle of the street. It's as if the driver spotted a raccoon in his path.
Via Ivan Ivanov
After several motionless seconds, which we assume were spent thumbing frantically through the operating manual, the tank suddenly lurches forward another 5 feet before slamming to a stop again, snapping the man in the gunner's hatch violently around like a whip antenna on a Ford Bronco.
Via Ivan Ivanov
Then, with the subtle, practiced grace of a teenager getting blown on his way to prom, the driver sends the tank zooming up over the curb and directly into an electrical pole, throwing a visible shockwave through every power line in the area. He continues trying to push forward, as if he hasn't noticed that the pole is in his way, but the tank remains firmly stuck in place, because the laws of physics do not care how much you are embarrassing yourself.
Via Ivan Ivanov
It deserves to be mentioned that at no point during this caravan of failure does the guy directing traffic offer any kind of reaction. He just stands there like he's in a staring contest with a repressed memory. Either he has the thousand-yard stare of a Spetsnaz soldier or he's just seen Sergei crash that goddamn tank so many times that it no longer even registers.
Incidentally, the driver is currently facing a court martial for this, even though (judging by other dash cam videos) this was a pretty typical day at a Russian intersection.
#5. A U.S. Army Pilot Crashes His Helicopter While Showing Off
Kim Steele/Photodisc/Getty Images
Showboating is a natural response to being put in a position where you have more power, control, prestige, or access to cool toys than your peers -- even pulling doughnuts in the parking lot of Wendy's with an Oldsmobile Cutlass is badass if you're the only one of your friends who owns a car. And if instead of an Oldsmobile it's an awesome attack helicopter worth $20 million, well, the temptation must be overwhelming.
This was the precise situation faced by a U.S. Army pilot as he got behind the controls of an Apache attack chopper at an American military base in Afghanistan. His sworn duty to both represent and defend the ideals of his great nation came into direct conflict with his obligation to look awesome in front of his friends, and that "sworn duty" bullshit got launched right out of the cockpit like Goose in Top Gun.
Kim Steele/Photodisc/Getty Images
"No biggie. You can just work for free for the next 180 years to pay for it."
The pilot came zipping in close to one of the main buildings in the compound, literally clearing it by inches. He then made a hard bank that nearly sent the helicopter completely vertical before coming back around to dazzle spectators by making an even lower pass over the snowy ground. However, it's clear that he hadn't quite mastered this particular maneuver, because instead of coolly missing the rocky terrain by a hair, he smashed an $18 million whirling death machine into the middle of a wintery field surrounded by his fellow soldiers. Eight tons of rotating metal blades then bounced into a snow drift and flew upward in a cartwheeling spiral of self-defeat that would be comical if it wasn't so defecatingly terrifying.
Impossibly, no one was injured, but the Army is investigating the possibility of filing criminal charges against the pilot for doing the dumbest fucking thing you could ever possibly do with a helicopter outside of trying to use it to chop vegetables.
Keith Brofsky/Digital Vision/Getty Images
"No, it wasn't the crash. He pissed himself so hard, it dehydrated him."
#4. A Fighter Jet Flyby Shatters the Windows of the Brazilian Supreme Court
As we just discussed, flying dangerously close to buildings that you aren't otherwise attacking is generally not met with a congratulatory round of beers and backslapping, regardless of how cheekily you may cause an overbearing superior officer to spill his or her coffee. If we may once again relate things to Top Gun, which is an unspoken tenet of every exercise in gentlemanly discourse, the trouble Maverick got into for buzzing the tower must have been minuscule in comparison to the punishment faced by two particular Brazilian air force pilots who decided that a flag-changing ceremony in their nation's capital was a stuff-shirted fanciness parade ripe for pranking.
So, while doing their scheduled flyover for the event, they instead took their jets dangerously low to the ground and scorched past the crowd of surprised onlookers at supersonic speeds, shattering every single window in the city's joint supreme court/congressional building.
For those of you who have never played Street Fighter II, whipping something through the air at supersonic speed creates a sonic boom. As its name might suggest, a sonic boom is a seriously loud goddamned noise accompanied by an actual release of force. The force is generally harmless, unless it happens to go off near some kind of brittle structure, like, say, the glass facade of the supreme court building in Brazil.
Fortunately no one was hurt, and the Brazilian air force is currently working to cough up the money to pay for the damages, which will probably come as a great expense to the nation, considering that they apparently couldn't afford to give two different branches of the government separate headquarters in the first place.