EXERCISE K89 By Greg Hopgood, 1 RAR
This story that happened during K89, I’m not sure if it’s true.
Anyway, our RSM, WO1 Selms (Feddy) came out to visit our platoon out in the sticks, bringing with him some juicy stories and gossip. He told us that the boys from 1 RAR, who were working with the Yanks, had set them up for a joke.
The story goes that a couple of diggers were sitting at the bottom of a hill with some Yanks and brewing up; the diggers were facing back up the hill while the Yanks were not. The diggers were warning the Yanks about all our most dangerous animals, like the fearsome Drop Bears and the vicious Hoop Snakes. They were particularly talking up the Hoop Snakes and how they would bite their own tail and roll to get around that way, adding that they were extremely vicious and would attack even if they could get away. They said that they were the most poisonous snake in the world, and could kill you in minutes.
Just as they’d finished making their brews and settling down to enjoy them, the two diggers suddenly threw their brews away, got up and ran, yelling, “HOOP SNAKES. RUN,” and pointing up the hill. The startled Yanks turned to see two hoop-like things careering madly down the hill at them and also got up and ran. Well, most of them did. One wasn’t quick enough and one of the ‘Hoop Snakes’ ran over him, ‘biting’ him numerous times.
He started to writhe on the ground, screaming, “I’m going to die. It bit me.”
The two diggers and their mates from the top of the hill came over pissing themselves laughing. They tried to show him that it wasn’t a Hoop Snake and that it was in fact concertina wire rolled up and covered with sandbag hessian. His mates started to laugh but he didn’t. He continued to scream and carry on.
Anyway, apparently they had to medivac him by chopper to hospital and the staff there had to administer the ‘anti-venom of saline before he would calm down.
I’m not sure if it’s true but our RSM told us and an RSM would never lie to his boys.