Guru learns how to clean his weapon

In between bequeathing HR expertise to the needy in what passes as a day job, and dispensing life advice to the thirsty in what lesser mortals call a few pints at the local, Guru does not have much time to watch television.

When he does have occasion to turn on the picture viewer, however, Guru tends to enjoy such wholesome fare as Newsnight, Match of The Day and, just sometimes – when Mrs Guru is away for the evening – one of those lad mag-sponsored hottest girl music video countdowns on MTV.

So imagine his surprise when he had a free evening last week, settled down with a fine Scotch, flicked on the box, and saw a naked soldier vigorously and intensely washing his appendage.

This was ITV1. At 9pm. And it got worse. The soldier started describing to a room full of recruits exactly how he was washing his appendage. It was a demonstration. No detail was spared. And they were all listening intently.

The documentary followed the lives of more than 30 new recruits as they embarked on a 32-week training programme with the ultimate goal of becoming Royal Marines. By the end of the eight-month ordeal, they would be trained killers, adept at using every ounce of skill, strength and belief to survive in war zones. But first, they had to learn how to wash their willies.

Once he got over the initial shock of what he was seeing, Guru reflected on the merits of this training. He supposed that by breaking their instructions down to the finest detail, those in charge gained total control of their subjects. He reasoned that by destroying their pride, the leaders could mould the recruits into whatever they wanted. And, most importantly, he guessed they were impressing on them the importance of clean helmets.

As always, Guru took a few lessons from his evening into the next day. He was able to hold forth to HR professionals on the benefits of strict management, simple instructions and gaining respect. And he had a few conversation starters for the pub that night, as well.

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