Three examples of sea-bat jokes
1. You’re on a Navy ship with a bunch of new Marines and Sailors shipping out for the first time.
You wait for good weather and an available cardboard box that you cut a small hole in, like a little open door.
You then get someone to start poking a broom sedge strand or something like that into the hole to get the sea-bat to come out. Periodically you can amplify the whole scene by jumping back suddenly. But the sea-bat never comes out because, of course, the box is empty.
Eventually some newbie Marine or Sailor will take the bait, start doing much the same thing to entice the sea-bat out of the box and through the hole.
That’s when a more experienced person, usually a Sailor, comes up and swats the newbie on the ass with a broom. Boy, they usually jump then.
The whole crowd watching from several heights of decks laughs, the newbie sucks it up, and then all return to the more mundane operations of life at sea. On a good day, one can get several iterations of this off-Broadway type of show.
2. Some dumb ass Marine left-tenant (me) gets a haircut at a Royal Marine Base in Scotland. It looked like someone had just placed a bowl on my head and cut around it. I could have been one of the Three Stooges. I ate crow at the Officers Club, later.
3. The Swedish military taught the USA Marines that an alternative toast (like skoal) was “bingo”. Well bingo in Sweden is the same as bingo in the USA. So we Marines got even, and taught the Swedes that a popular USA toast was “snatch”. All Marines kept a straight face during the proceedings.