It’s Thursday night, it’s late, and I have nothing to post. So have a bunch of stuff by people other than me.
Archive for October, 2008
Don’t you just love voice automated systems, error messaging services, and all the other technology out there so that people no longer have to talk to actual people? Well what happens when you get a particularly dumb or literal person on the other end of technology?
Person dials a number on a phone. Three raising tones and then: “We’re sorry. The number you have dialed has been disconnected or is no longer in service. Please hang up and try again.” Person hangs up and dials the same number. Three raising tones and then: “We’re sorry. The number you have dialed has been disconnected or is no longer in service. Please hang up and try again.” Person hangs up and dials the same number. Three raising tones and then: “We’re sorry. The number you have dialed has been disconnected or is no longer in service. Please hang up and try again.” Ad infinitum.
Or the instructions that become so famous I need only mention them and most of America knows of which I’m talking. Lather, Rinse, Repeat. Well what happens if you get stuck on the repeat part? Are you doomed to a lifetime of showering and washing? And even worse is the conditioner. Lather, let stand 2-5 minutes, rinse, repeat. So now there is the 2-3 minutes of standing in the shower added in the mix. Aigh!
Then you have the directions that seem to be arguing with themselves: “To open package, carefully cut open with shark knife or scissors.” followed by big bold letters “DO NOT OPEN USING SHARP OBJECTS!” Make up your mind will you?!?
And everyone’s favorite, the directions and warnings so obvious that you know someone had to do it for them to put the warning on there. Like the warning on a hair dryer: “Warning: Do not use while in the shower!” Duh!
Well I thought I’d keep this short, and let you all put your favorites in here, so feel free to contribute.
Here is a short list of a few of my personal favorites:
- Found on a chainsaw: “Do not use as a Halloween prop! Can cause real dismemberment!”
- Found on a toaster: “Do not use to heat Pop Tarts as fire may occur!” (BTW: There is a basis for this! Search YouTube or Google for “Strawberry PopTart Toaster Fire” as I found it rather awesome)
- Found on Microwave: “Do not use to dry small pets!” (though sometimes I wish I could use it to “dry” my neighbors chihuahua who pees and craps all over my back porch)
- Found on bottle of massage oil: “Do not use as personal lubricant. Do not use on waterbeds as injury or suffocation may occur!” Just below this warning is a picture of a person UNDERNEATH the waterbed mattress.
- Found in a 9mm Baretta 92F instruction manual: “Do not look down barrel and squeeze trigger!”
- Found on Army mortar round: “Do not hit with hammer!”
- Found on a Peanut container: “Contains nuts!”
- Found on a box of matches: “Caution! Flammable!”
- Warning sign near volcano: “Caution! Do not touch flowing lava! Contact with lava may cause burns or death!”
- On a Holmes Bathroom Heather (it’s actual name!): “Caution! this product is not to be used in bathrooms!”
So the other night I was in Wal-Mart to pick up some supplies. I’m not bragging, just setting the scene.
While heading towards the back of the store I find myself getting close to the women’s shoe department and what appeared to be an epic argument between a customer and an employee.
You know how sometimes you can tell a lot about a conversation from just the visual cues, without ever hearing a word that’s being spoken?
The customer was an enormous angry sweaty woman, wearing a tank top and the worlds most ironic pair of biker shorts ever. She was shaking a shoebox, and pointing furiously. With every gesture she set of waves of secondary tectonic shifting. It was like watching angry jello.
The employee was this tiny little woman, whose expression and body language just read defeat. She would periodically offer up a short phrase, which would only inspire the customer to greater peaks of wobbly rage.
I could tell that the problem was probably beyond the employee’s ability to fix and was probably not her fault in the first place. Anyone who has any sort of customer service job has seen this fight dozens of times.
As I got closer I was able to hear the details. The angry lady evidently wears a size 8 shoe. And the shoes she was holding were apparently labeled size 8. But they hadn’t fit. Clearly Wal-Mart had labeled the shoes wrong in a deliberate attempt to humiliate her and now everything was ruined forever. And naturally this was the employee’s fault.
Just as I started to pass them the poor employee suggested, “Maybe if you tried an eight wide it would fit better?”
“And eight wide? Do I look like I wear an eight wide?!”
You know how sometimes you have those moments where your mouth just turns itself on with no input from your brain? Well I had one of those moments.
“Lady, everything everything you wear looks wide!”
Every person for about three aisles stopped talking. The cranky one dropped her shoebox, and everybody looked at me.
“I just said that out loud, didn’t I?”
The employee slowly nodded.
And with that I left, before I could be knocked down, trampled, and ultimately devoured,
I’m lucky to be out of that shithole apartment anyway. They actually had the balls to call it, “Autumn Oaks Bluff on the Lake” — you know, so it sounds serene and natural. “Graffiti-strewn stretch of cinderblock and broken glass abutting the sewage treatment plant” would have been just as accurate. And under that, on the brochure, in smaller letters they could add, “where illegal immigrants sit on the steps, get drunk and blast their horrible oom-pah oom-pah music at all hours when I’m trying to watch TV, because they don’t actually all fit in the tiny rooms they can barely afford.”
I guess all I really need is a place to put my casket and a little bit of dirt from my homeland, but I’m used to living in castles and communing with the wolves, not to cramming my treasures into an efficiency and saying, “nice doggie,” to Ray-Ray’s pit bull.
Once, I didn’t move my car for a month because I drive so infrequently. I hadn’t even noticed when someone broke out the window and stole an ancient tin of mints I left in the passenger seat. I guess they thought there were drugs in it. So, because my car hadn’t been moved or repaired, the management had it towed, because they thought it made the place look “trashy.”
Yeah, my Cavalier was the problem.
The thing that sent me over the edge, though, was when they started locking the laundry room at midnight.
It was a Wednesday. I started a load in the washer about 11, like I always did. At 11:45, I went back and switched the load over to the dryer and went back to my room to watch TV. At 12:30 I went back — locked. A sign on the door read: “For the convenience and safety of all our residents, the laundry room will be locked at midnight effective immediately. Thanks for making Autumn Oaks Bluff on the Lake the best. — The Management.”
Convenience? Are they kidding? Whose convenience is met by making the laundry room available less hours?
And safety? I hadn’t drained anyone in there. Were they having problems with people being raped? I doubt it because I’m the only one I’ve ever seen in there past midnight and I’ve never been raped.
I considered busting the door to splinters, but decided I could wait until the next evening to pick up my clothes and file a letter of complaint. So, at 11:30 the next night I went to get my clothes and they were stolen!
Who steals a load of laundry? Especially my laundry, with its faded colors and graying whites because I never bother to separate them.
The response to my incredibly polite-given-the-circumstances complaint was so typical of this ridiculous era.
“We cannot be held responsible for items left overnight in the laundry room.”
So fuck that place. I’m glad they kicked me out.
For the time being, I’m staying at a motel of meager accommodation. It’s suitable for now, as long as the maids abide the “do not disturb” sign on the door handle. But I know my time here is limited. As when you leave one of those signs on the door for too long, people start to talk.
My only problem with the room itself is that one entire wall is a mirror. I suppose it’s to make the room look bigger and allow mortal men to see themselves scratching their balls while they watch television. If I am to stay here for long I shall have to remove it.
On the bright side, I get free HBO and WiFi.
It’s that time of the week to once again show you a list of things that you should not do. This list came with an introduction from the author.
I worked in an amusement park for about three years (summers only, as that shit closes down when it gets cold. No one wants to hit the batting cages in January). It was not a “name” amusement park; we were very low-rent, even by New Jersey shore standards. We were several miles from the local boardwalk, and were pretty much only visited by people who could not afford the boardwalk, or the gas to the boardwalk, and in some cases, didn’t own the car required to get the gas to get to the boardwalk. Upkeep was kind of a joke. Anyway, we (the teenage workers, or in the less successful cases, the twenty-somethings) got bored rather frequently. Only on specific days did we get much foot traffic, and that was because we did deals that gave people free reign for something like ten bucks (yeah, *that* low rent). Because of this, we got up to what can only be described as nearly criminal levels of irresponsible and somewhat reckless behavior. We also just did things that in today’s litigious society would cause enough lawsuits to make us have to change the cheap pirate theme to whatever the new owner desired. Here’s some of what that stuff was:
Things You Should Not Do While Working At The Amusement Park
(Submitted By Sean Beattie)
1. When walking the mini-golf course for maintenance, don’t make customers take penalty strokes for trying the “Happy Gilmore”.
2. Don’t trip them for doing the same, in the middle of the backswing.
3. Not allowed to play a practice round in the course, while on duty, “just to check the break on the greens”.
4. Not allowed to ask to play through while doing same, and then cause the hole to be closed because of what you did.
5. You know what you did, dammit, now stop acting like you didn’t do it.
6. While mowing the grass around the course, not allowed to keep the naturally-growing marijuana secret because your coworkers are working on a “grow farm” while on the job.
7. The final hole of the course is hard because we reward those who get a hole in one, and lose money if you tell people how to do so. Repeatedly.
8. The lagoon is not for bathing. Especially while customers are on the course.
9. Neither is the waterfall…during a birthday party, what the hell were you thinking?
10. The archery range is for archery. The paintball range is for paintball. Don’t confuse the two.
11. When checking the fuel level of the generator, your Zippo is not proper illumination.
12. If you can’t drive stick, don’t take the truck on the highway. Ever.
13. No matter how bad of a day you’re having, or how much of a pain in the ass a customer is being, you are not allowed to cork his batting cage machine with a softball, then say his cage is out of order.
14. Five times.
15. The customer is always right; even if that kid was too small to enter the batting cages by himself. Even if the helmet made him look like Dark Helmet because the brim hit his nose. Even if he couldn’t lift the lightest bat available. Even if he ended up standing on the home base in the middle of the cage and got hit in the face as a result.
16. Don’t laugh when the mother asks for her money back. That’s management’s job.
17. The batting cage netting is not to be climbed on.
18. Even if you are in a Spider-Man costume because you got volunteered, and were staying “in character”.
19. If the parents didn’t pay extra for it, don’t visit the birthday parties in costume, despite how much the kids will love it.
20. When working the water balloon slingshot battle, do not give extra “help” to the girls wearing bikinis.
21. Or play against them.
22. Do not attempt to talk a girl into playing the water balloon battle, just because she’s wearing a white tank top and nothing underneath.
23. The hose is for washing down the pavement of the water balloon battle. Not to “even things up”.
24. I don’t care how hot she was, she didn’t want to get wet.
25. Just because you can, does not mean you should use the water balloon slingshot to hit passing traffic on the highway.
26. That officer really didn’t appreciate that.
27. Only management is allowed to revoke the “free reign” rights of a $10 wristband holder; you can’t “separate the wheat from the chaff” yourself.
28. But that kid who pointed the readied bow at you did deserve it.
29. Watch your ass cleaning up the archery range on wristband days. Those jackals will take arrows, and your life, for themselves if you’re not careful.
30. Don’t put a semi-broken helmet from the batting cages on, and rush around the park like a bull with your head down.
31. Don’t charge from one end of the parking lot to the ticket booth, throw your head down, and slam into the wall of the booth, just to test the same broken helmet.
32. Batting cage machines are for batters to hit balls; not to hit batters with balls.
33. The joust is for customers to play; not to settle grievances with middle managers of the park.
34. No matter how cool it is to watch your scrawny ass get knocked off the inflatable bit the first hit from the manager.
35. The go-karts are not to be used for Death Race. Just…don’t.
36. Not allowed to re-enact the “gas fight” from Zoolander while filling up the go-karts’ tanks.
37. Not allowed to rig the protective band around the go-karts to spark while running around the track, because you know where the guy who did #36 will be watching the race.
38. The go-kart manager is easily angered. Do not test this.
39. If you’re going to drop someone’s soda, don’t drop the go-kart manager’s. He will end you.
40. The go-kart manager is a huge comic nerd. Don’t tell him you like the first Spider-Man movie. He didn’t.
41. The bumper boat pool is for bumper boats. Not skinny dipping.
42. The park installed security cameras for after-hours. We know it was you in the bumper boat pool.
43. The kiddie park…just don’t go near the kiddie park after-hours. That’s wrong.
44. If the go-kart manager, who also manages the bumper boats, calls you a sadistic bastard for spraying the kids with a focused-nozzle hose after they spray you with their 1 psi water guns, then stop it. We use that to power wash with.
45. The water jet explosions in the bumper boat pool are not to be activated while the water is lowered for maintenance and the go-kart manager is the one maintaining.
46. Especially if he’s working on said jets at the time.
47. You are not allowed to chase geese in the ball picker on the driving range.
48. You are not allowed to chase people in the ball picker on the driving range, no matter if we have ten signs that tell customers not to chase balls that don’t go far enough for their liking.
49. Not allowed to take the ball picker off the driving range, just to “do something cool” with the collector.
50. If your supervisor asks you to turn your uniform shirt inside out, go to a competitor’s park and hand out coupons for ours, don’t.
51. Don’t talk the guys in the arcade into giving you infinite lives in the video games just so you can make it to the ending.
52. The trailer in the back of the park is there because one of the workers got kicked out of his house and needs a place to stay. It’s not a nightclub just because he put up Christmas lights and got the fridge to work.
53. If he brings his girlfriend back there with us, they will not be shy when it’s “time to go to bed”.
54. They will take it as an insult, however, if you bring 3D glasses and popcorn, expecting it to happen.
55. After-hours go-karting on the track is forbidden.
56. After-hours go-karting off the track is forbidden. The police will respond.
57. Don’t get drunk, and do either 55 or 56; it won’t help the situation when the police respond and you run.
58. Employees are no longer allowed to ride the go-karts. You ruined it for everybody, guys. Way to go.
59. Your time sheets are subjective. Be prepared to fight for your agreed upon wage.
60. Customers believe they own the park because they paid “you” (the park) five bucks. Let them believe this, as it is probably the best feeling their lives will allow.
61. Do not point and laugh when a customer is hit in the crotch by the batting cage machine, no matter how off-center it is.
62. Do not tell the injured customer that he can now audition for Jesus Christ Superstar with his new falsetto.
63. Never turn your back on the flow of traffic on the go-kart track while correcting a turned around go-kart. Just because they can see you, doesn’t mean they can, or will, stop.
64. If you jump to avoid getting hit by the go-kart mentioned above, try not scissor the neck of the driver between your legs. You get sweaty out there on the track and they will notice.
65. “No bumping” applies to everyone on the track. As a track race attendant you are expected to enforce, not exempt yourself, from this rule.
66. Even if the guy in the lead is being a total dick.
67. The kill switch is for stopping the flow of traffic during a crash. Not ending a race because they don’t know how to drive the damn karts.
68. Not allowed to rig a crude cannon by welding together metal end caps and a pipe, filling one end with acetylene and then lighting the other end with a blowtorch.
69. And no, the driving range does not want those balls back after you fired them from your cannon.
70. That cannon was awesome, though.
71. The ticket booth is for selling tickets.
72. Even if no one can see what they’re doing below the counter of that booth to you.
73. And if you’re going to do #71, don’t act like every sale is a miracle. The customers will catch on.
74. Stop quoting “Super Troopers” when the little kids are around.
75. When re-filling the soda machines, you cannot give away some, and then chalk it up to “universal entropy”.
76. Bank shots are not allowed on the mini golf course. They never work.
As any person who has participated in a military deployment can tell you, boredom can be one of your worst enemies.
Now granted the foreign guys with guns and bombs who want to kill you are probably a little more of a concern. But boredom can usually get second place.
Maybe third if your home base has a crazy bitch trying to get her church group put in charge of your recreation.
Or a distant fourth if you’re stationed in a place with camel spiders Because once you have camel spiders all of your problems pretty much become secondary to the “A giant spider is going to have it’s way with my skull and fill my brain with it’s demonic spawn” issue.
But whatever the case boredom tends to feature pretty high on the “things that suck” list.
So while I was in Bosnia I worked in an office, designing propaganda products to try to convince the locals that maybe they should stop trying to basically kill everybody that has ever had an ancestor in that part of the world. Because nothing says “time to end centuries of sectarian violence and attempted genocide” like a really awesome poster or leaflet.
Since I worked in an office in one of the nicer installations in the region, we got some perks, such as electricity, running water, and satellite TV. But unfortunately for me and my team mates, we were forbidden to set the TV to any channel except for CNN. And so we got to watch world news on a loop all day while we worked.
At one point the news informed us of a lawsuit that seemed a tad out of the ordinary. Some European dance-pop band had angered Mattel by making a song that seemed to portray Barbie in a less than flattering and chaste fashion. (And on a side note, if a chick has no job, a closet full of designer clothes, and a custom pink corvette she’s sleeping with someone. Or she’s Paris Hilton, which is probably worse)
So we knew about the Barbie Girl song. But CNN only played a tiny 3 second snippet of the song during their story. The song may have been all over the airwaves back in the states, but we hadn’t heard it yet. And somehow, over the course of several days, the entire Product Development Detachment became obsessed with it.
You know how you can sometimes get a part of a song stuck in your head, and the only way to get rid of it is to hear or sing the whole song? That was us. Except that nobody had any way to get a copy of the song out to Sarejevo all that quickly.
After a few weeks of hell, one of our teammates was flown out to Germany for a medical procedure. And while she was there, she managed to buy a copy of the Aqua CD at the PX.
Upon her return the CD was played loudly and repeatedly. And we danced in triumph.
Now, before, many people over the years have asked for a description of the Infamous Barbie Girl Dance. I will just go on record as saying that I was a twenty-three year old, painfully white nerd, dancing with victorious purpose to a bad European pop song.
I’ll let you do the math on how that one looked.
But like many of the things I did while deployed, my co-workers found it funny. Eventually word spread, and soldiers from other sections would stop by, and request to see the dance.
Again for people wondering why, bear in mind when your entertainment options are watch CNN for another hour or watch PFC Skippy do the funky white boy, you might see why the Barbie Girl dance became popular.
On a related note, while we were deployed to Bosnia there where rules about drinking. We were allowed to have beer or wine, but no more than two 12 ounce glasses in one day. As you can probably imagine, those rules where treated as suggestions. And not particularly strongly worded suggestions at that.
And so one day, shortly after my duty shift ended, I was approached by a female reservist. She was a SSG, and sloppily drunk. It should also be noted that when it came to her appearance, she fell somewhere between “Not particularly attractive” and “Kill it! Kill it with fire!”, leaning just a teensy bit towards the later.
“Are you the guy that does the Barbie dance?”
Thinking quickly, I tried to determine whether or not it would be in my best interest to admit that I was. So I came up with a clever answer to stall until I could figure it out.
“Naw you are so that dancin’ guy. I wanna see the dance.”
“I don’t want to dance Sergeant.”
“Well I wanna see you dance. I like men who kin dance.” She that look that drunk people give that they would describe as “smoldering” but everyone else would describe as a “bad-touch party clown leer”.
“Umm, no thanks?” And I tried to step around her.
“Dance for me Private!” She moved to block me in, and clapped her hands like a sultan giving orders to a harem. We were beginning to draw a crowd.
“Sergeant I don’t think–”
“I SAID DANCE BOY! DANCE FOR ME NOW!” She then pushed me into the corner, grabbed me by the shoulders and began to shake me like an angry British nanny.
“Schwarz!” Bellowed my team lead stepping into the vicinity. “What do you think you are doing?”
“He’s gonna DANCE!” Countered the scary reservist.
“I’m sorry Sergeant Scary Behemoth Lady, but my Private is just about to go on duty, and he’s not allowed to perform his famous Barbie Girl dance while on duty. Isn’t that right Schwarz?”
“Then get the hell out of here soldier.”
“But I wanted to see him dance.” She sulked, like the worlds saddest Hutt.
“Yes Sergeant! Thank you Sergeant.”
And with that, I ran away as fast as my legs could carry me.
My national guard unit, 139th ROC, North Carolina NG, was sent to Slavonski Brod, Croatia to staff the Task Force Pershing HQ for SFOR in Bosnia. We were a glorified truck stop for the units moving between Germany and Bosnia.
As an E-5 – Buck Sergeant for the civilians – I ended up being the ranking enlisted man in the Intel section. One of my guys was Aaron. Aaron never stopped whining. “It’s too hot,” “It’s too cold,” “It always rains.” Waah, waah, waah. And he worked in an office that heat and AC, plus, being the Intel section for a brigade we had a TV in our room with cable so that we could “monitor the news.” Cough, cough, ESPN, cough, cough.
I was counseled by my captain for calling Aaron “my bitch” and “Jennifer” because he whined like he had PMS all of the time. I also couldn’t mention PMS in any context.
I worked a night shift. I slept during the day – duh. My cot was near the entrance of our GP medium tent – about the size of the hospital tent in MASH. We were able to spread out since only six of us slept in it, and since the tent was draped over a wooden frame, we had a door to keep out the weather.
My cot was by the door. The door had a spring on it so that it would stay shut, but this meant that it would slam shut when opened. One day Aaron woke me up with his slamming and banging as he switched out his sleeping bag for a freshly cleaned one. A few minutes later, after he had gone back to work, the door began slamming and banging at a furious rate.
I sat up ready to tear some ass, only to see a line of Specialists and Sergeants formed up and taking turns sitting on Aaron’s fart sack. Each guy would sit down and then rip a nasty, wet sounding fart, courtesy of nutritious Army chow, then make room for the next guy.
Before I could say, “What the hell?” One of my specialists, as he was sitting down said, “We do this every time he turns in his fart sack.” To emphasize his statement, he reached into his butt crack and pulled out some butt fuzz, which he stuffed deep down into the fart sack.
I then got an earful of how Aaron had become a dick after he made Sergeant. I commiserated with the guys, because it was all true. I then went back to sleep, but first I took my turn in line.
A few days later as Aaron was hitting the sack and I was getting ready to go to work, Aaron said, “I don’t get it, I just turned in my old sleeping bag and this one already smells like ass.”
I bet it did. About 20 asses.
ALERT: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS. IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN OLDBOY AND INTEND TO, TURN BACK NOW.
It’s amazing how two people can watch the same movie and, depending on their life experiences, each give you a completely different description.
For example, after months of urging by a co-worker who loves Asian cinema, I watched ‘Oldboy.’ My mother-in-law was home so she watched it with me.
‘Oldboy’ is a Korean film about a man who is kidnapped one night, framed for his wife’s murder and imprisoned ina hotel room. After 15 years, he’s let out with only one goal in mind: revenge. But first he has to find out who did this to him and he wants to know why. The result is Hitchcockian suspense meets Sophoclean tragedy with shining moments of darkly absurd humor, and a smattering of high-octane chopsocky violence. Ultimately, ‘Oldboy’ is a statement on the futility of wrath and brings a fresh new twist on the Oedipus story.
Now, just because ‘Oldboy’ is stongly rooted in highbrow cinematic and literary traditions doesn’t mean it’s strictly for eggheads. There’s a claw hammer dentistry sequence that makes anything Quentin Tarantino’s ever done look like H.R. Puf’N’Stuf.
I gave it five stars on my Netflix rental history. Loved it.
FINAL WARNING: THE REST OF THIS REVIEW GIVES AWAY THE TWIST ENDING. READ NO FURTHER IF YOU DON’T WANT THE ENDING SPOILED.
Now, here’s how my mother-in-law later described the movie:
“It was real campy. It’s about a guy who eats a live octopus, then he cuts his tongue off, and he has sex with his daughter.”
She’s not wrong. All that stuff does happen. We just have different perspectives. She still thinks ‘Wet Hot American Summer’ is softcore gay porn, but she liked ‘Oldboy’ okay.
(Submitted by Speed)
1. I am not allowed to call “Operation Enduring Freedom” “Operation Enduring Boredom.”
2. Just because a sleeping bag is referred to as a “fart sack,” the entire section is not allowed to line up and fart on Aaron’s sleeping bag.
3. Rather than get into line with the others, I should have tried to disperse them.
4. Especially since Aaron had just turned in his old sleeping bag in for a new one.
5. Not allowed to reply to army emails as “global” during Warfighter 2000 when adding to the Top Ten Reasons For Being A Jedi Redneck – and yes, #1 was “You sleep with Princess Leia because she IS your sister”.
6. Not allowed to rename Aaron “Jennifer,” or “Bitch,” or “My trophy wife,” or anything else that would make him pout.
7. Not allowed to print out M-O-U-S-E on the printer, trim off the excess paper, and clear tape it under the NCOIC’s signature block:
8. Not allowed to post a street sign outside the hooch with “Bakka Lakka Dakka Street” on it, ala Team America.
9. Not allowed to post that street sign even if I got the translator to write it in Arabic.
10. I’m not allowed to run the last 100 yards of the 2 mile run backwards, even if I’m the first one across.
11. I’m not allowed to cross the finish line of the 2 mile run with a cart wheel.
12. I’m not allowed to tell the NCOIC the number of times I’ve lapped him when I pass him again during the 2 mile run.
13. I’m not allowed to point out that my NCOIC only ran three laps instead of four on the half mile track during the APFT [cheater!].
14. When the Sergeant Major says, “When I was in ‘Nam…” I’m not allowed to insert, “In supply.”
15. Being posted to Kuwait does not change “Operation Iraqi Freedom” to “Operation Photo Op,” or “Operation Shopping Trip.”
16. While standing in formation in civvies with the rest of the CI gang, I’m not allowed to tell the new 2LT “I am here from Hezbollah to learn Amerdican Tahctics.” [his reply, “Really?!]
17. Not allowed to hide all of the ashtrays in the comm-center inside the sub-floor conduits, the freezer, and up inside the ceiling tiles [back when you could smoke inside], and laugh at the NCOIC’s nic-fit.
18. Not allowed to place a small collection of local little, green frogs in the NCOIC’s desk drawer while stationed in Turkey.
19. Not allowed to place a small collection of local little lizards in the NCOIC’s brief case while still stationed in Turkey.
20. Not allowed to go into the chief’s office when he’s not there every time I have really bad gas.
21. When the chief asks why his office stinks, I shouldn’t say, “I pass.”
22. When the females from the Navy walk by I’m not allowed to sing, “Catcha wave and you’re sittin on top of the world” like the Beach Boys.
23. I’m not allowed to comment on the chief’s habit of carrying on conversations with the crypto equipment, even when he replies to “their questions.”
24. Not allowed to use the phrase, “yada, yada, yada” while conducting the G2 portion of the brief for the DCG of the XVIII Airborne Corps.
25. While acting as a pointer for the captain when he’s briefing the general, I’m not allowed to shrug my shoulders instead of pointing on the map when the captain goes off script.
26. Not allowed to tell my National Guard colonel/politician that Bob Dole could kick his ass after he was talking smack about Bob.
27. Not allowed to call the sergeant major a Don Knotts wanna be.
28. After looking at all six ribbons on the sergeant major’s Class A uniform, not allowed to call him a “PX hero.”
29. When the sergeant major calls me a PX hero, I’m not allowed to say, “You’re just jealous you never went anywhere.”
30. When asked by a reserve private how I got the Good Conduct Medal, not allowed to say, “I never got caught.” [bwa-ha-ha-haaa!]
31. Not allowed to make chicken calls when the colonel walks by on his little chicken legs in his PT uniform.
32. When the sergeant major talks about being under small arms fire in Desert Storm, I’m not allowed to ask when the army started sending National Guard maintenance units into combat.
33. I’m also not allowed to ask if Damman, Saudie Arabia was on the front lines.
34. When the sergeant major starts talking about the harshness of war, I’m not allowed to ask how long the DFAC line was.
35. While observing urine tests, not allowed to refer to myself as “piss-boy.”
36. Not allowed to offer my observational services to the females during the urine test.
37. Not allowed to ask for a little more time to “bone up” prior to the HIV test.
38. Not allowed to say “Ooh baby!” and act aroused when I get stuck with a needle.
39. The best way to become the EEO rep is to get caught telling off color jokes.
40. Not allowed to tell off color jokes as EEO rep to show examples of what’s not allowed.
41. After the colonel has missed every target on the pistol range, not allowed to pick up his pistol and knock down five targets in quick order.
42. Not allowed to say that the colonel “couldn’t shoot shit in an outhouse.”
43. Not allowed to console the colonel with, “That’s okay sir, maybe they’ll still deploy you.”
44. Not allowed to make up a “Spec Eight” sign and hang it up on the door to the NCOIC’s hootch, even if he “works” at night and refuses to do his job.
45. Not allowed to make up fake front pages of Stars and Stripes making fun of how short an Ops captain is. He is not short enough to be in the Lollipop Guild or to take Tattoo’s place on Fantasy Island.
46. Not allowed to step on the toe of Gen. Shinseki’s jump boot, even if I didn’t see the little guy.
47. Not allowed to send in pictures of the Bosnian Serb Special Forces manning illegal roadblocks attached to a Serious Incident Report up to division the same day Special Ambassador Holbrook announced that the Bosnian Serb Special Forces had been disbanded. That will get you confined to base for 30 days.
48. Not allowed to make fun of the officers ordered to go to Tuzla to eat lunch with Hillary Clinton, even the one that went on sick call.
49. Not allowed to tell the rappers of Nappy Roots that we have steak at the DFAC every time a camel steps on a land mine.
50. Not allowed to sell decks of “Enemy” cards to contractors for $10 each while in uniform and in front of the DFAC.
51. I am allowed to sell those decks of cards if I give a few free decks to an ARCENT sergeant major. But I’m still a disgrace to the uniform. Even if the money goes into the unit fund.
52. Not allowed to laugh at NCIS for paying the same guy for bad information three months straight.
53. Even if the USA went into “Orange Alert” two times because of it.
54. Not allowed to mock regular army guys for not PTing in the rain by saying, “But tharge, my candy coating ith gonna melt!” in a Sylvester Cat voice.
55. Not allowed to take pictures of the UN personnel and add them to the terrorist wanted poster for Bosnia. Even if they are dicks.
56. Not allowed any more “show stoppers” at the embassy correlation meeting. I must give all reports of international incidents to the military attaché prior to the meeting. Heh.
57. Not allowed to bargain for the price of fuel when a UN driver wants to buy five gallons for an out of fuel truck.
58. Not allowed to push peeing privates into each others’ streams when relieving themselves in an open parking lot next to a residential neighborhood while screaming, “Use the latrines dammit!”
59. Not allowed to tell 1st Cav troops the difference between Air Cav and Armored Cav. [Air Cav can run from battle faster]
60. After completing the XVIII ABC 20k ruck march for time in 3 hrs 1 minute, I shouldn’t admit that my time would be better if I hadn’t stopped at the shoppette for breakfast.
61. Especially when SFC “Snackwell” took much longer and didn’t stop.
62. Not allowed to call Section Sergeant “SGT Snackwell” even though she eats an entire box by herself every day.
63. Not allowed to set any of the computer passwords as “Snackwell,” “Snackster,” “SnackAttack,” “Snacky,” or any other combination using the word “snack” in it.
64. Not allowed to reply to the 1SG of HHC 525 MI, “Why yes, you do look like an out of shape National Guard soldier.” Don’t ask the question if you can’t handle the answer.
65. Not allowed to point out that the 1SG of HHC 525 MI “falls down and gets hurt” at the beginning of EVERY brigade run, and she has to go to the TMC.
66. When saying “F— you!” to an anonymous smart ass in the dark, be sure to add “Sir!” when you find out it’s your OIC.
67. Not allowed to frame each and every counseling statement and hang them in the office.
68. Not allowed to make fun of the others for not having as many counseling statements as I do.
69. Not allowed to refer to it as a “tri-fecta” when I get three counseling statements in one morning.
70. When given four counseling statements the day before my NCOER is due, I’m not allowed to ask “If three are a tri-fecta, what’s four called?” [use of the magic words ‘no follow up’ and ‘JAG’ removed all from the record]
71. Just because the humvee chock block is chained to the vehicle is no reason to toss it out and yell “Anchor’s Away!” after parking it.
72. Not allowed to refer to the center seat in the LMTV as the “baby seat” when Spc “Shortcake” sits in it, it “wounds her feelings.”
73. Not allowed to spray paint Afrika Corps-esque logos on unit vehicles during deployment. Even if the colonel has an unauthorized logo on his vehicle.
74. Not allowed to change the colonel’s call sign to “Sprinting Chicken 6.”
75. Not allowed to call that cute young 2LT “Lieutenant Dish” like in MASH.
76. Not allowed to make privates cry, even if all I said was, “Hi, what are you doing?” Even if I was smiling.
77. I must come to parade rest when XVIII ABC G2X SFC Mikey walks into the office to show proper respect since he outranks me, otherwise I will get a counseling statement.
78. [the next day] If I come to parade rest when SFC Mikey walks into the office, I will get a counseling statement for mocking him. WTF?
79. When SFC Mikey’s computer, which is NT4 and runs Service Pack 5 [many years out of date] keeps losing its print drivers, it’s all my fault even if I never touched the damn thing.
80. Not knowing Outlook or Frontpage will get you fired as IMO and make you happy.
81. When the new IMO tells the Battle Major in a loud voice so the entire TOC can hear her, “Sir, it’s easier to log in if you first turn on the computer,” I am not allowed to laugh loudly. Or start laughing again every time someone says “log in.”
82. I am not allowed to insinuate that LT Dish was drinking beer at the German chem unit’s beer garten in violation of General Order #1.
83. I am not allowed to offer to sell pictures of LT Dish drinking at the German beer garten, or offer to post them on the ARCENT web site.
84. Not allowed to say that LT Dish isn’t cool any more after she made captain.
85. Not allowed to refer to the Czech, Slovak or Romanian females in the chem units as “comfort girls” even if that’s all they really do.
86. Not allowed to refer to the barracks for the female chem troops as “Madam Orr’s House.”
87. Not allowed to refer to third country nationals [TCNs] in their little blue suits as “Smurfs.”
88. Not allowed to call TCNs “Oompa Loompas.”
89. I must tell the XO verbally and give him a memo that I am going on leave, even if he signed my leave form.
90. It’s my fault when the XO forgets that I am on leave.
91. Not allowed to walk into the TOC with a bag of Burger King food when we’re supposed to be locked down.
92. Even if the command staff did the same thing.
93. Not allowed to reply “In the rear sir!” when saluting an airborne officer, even if I do work in the Corps Rear TOC.
94. Not allowed to reply “Leg!” when saluting an airborne officer. Even if he laughs.
95. Not allowed to walk past the SOF captain hiding in the shadows by the TF Pershing headquarters after sunset without saluting him.
96. Not allowed to salute the SOF captain on the Slavonski Brod bridge when Bosnian Serb snipers are present. Heh.
97. Even if I yell “Sniper Check!”
98. Not allowed to ask the Bosnian translators if Comrade Tito was Tito of the Jackson Five.
99. Not allowed to ask the Bosnian translators if Comrade Tito pursued a musical career as Tito Fuentes.
100. Not allowed to call the master sergeant that just became a warrant “spot,” “dot” or any other name making fun of the single little square on his bar.
101. When the old master sergeant starts talking about the “brown boot army,” I am not allowed to say anything about his being on the “advance party for Moses.”
102. When the same master sergeant complains that he does all of the work and everyone else gets the medals, I’m not allowed to say, “I told Hannibal to take the elephants over the Alps, but he got all the credit!”
103. Not allowed to tease the privates because I packed Charmin and they didn’t.
104. Not allowed to call the captain “Radio Killer 6” after he has destroyed two different radio sets.
105. Not allowed to say that the almost 60 year old master sergeant does the “Show up and breath APFT.”
106. When the colonel barely bends his arms and bobs his head up and down doing push ups for the APFT, I’m not allowed to call them “colonel push ups.”
107. Not allowed to carry a magazine in the well of my M-16 like everyone else because “Cut the bastard down!” is not what we do when we take fire in Bosnia.
108. I am not the “native guide” for US soldiers in Kuwait City.
109. Not allowed to tell the marines that I’m a “part time soldier.”
110. My rank is not “REMF.”
111. I am not a member of the “Special Needs Forces.”
112. I do not ride the “short helicopter.”
113. SWO means “Staff Weather Officer,” not “Swell When Oiled.”
114. The field jacket liner is not my smoking jacket and is not to be worn as leisure wear.
115. When I see a female drug dog, I’m not allowed to say, “What’s up bitch?”
116. When the captain fires his M9 into the clearing barrel, I’m not allowed to yell, “Do over!”
117. Not allowed to make friends with the dogs at the main gate to Camp Doha. Even if they break training and approach me.
118. Not allowed to call contractors that work for CSA “Confederates,” “Rebels,” or “Johnny-Rebs,” even if they wear butternut brown uniforms.
119. Halliburton employees are not “Damn Yankees.”
120. Not allowed to tell my OIC that it would be easier to promote me than getting a new memo every time I teach ANCOC as a staff sergeant.
121. When the commander and his staff are trying to figure out what happened to the missing unit fund while we were deployed in Kuwait, I’m not allowed to start asking rhetorical questions like “How many times did y’all go to TGI Fridays?”
122. After the sergeant major gives his speech about us buckling down because we’re in a war, I’m not allowed to wish him a good time as he and the commander leave to go to TGI Fridays in their civilian clothes.
123. When the captain complains about the PX theater showing the same movie for three nights straight, I’m not allowed to comment that “War is hell”.
124. When the captain slips and falls down on the freshly waxed hall floor, I’m not allowed to make umpire hand signals and yell, “Safe!”
125. At the confidence course, I’m not allowed to say, “Someone’s going to break a hip before this day’s over,” while looking at the almost 60 master sergeant.
126. When I see the Shiite women in Kuwait dressed in their black gloves, black veils, black chadrs, black fest-tents, etc., I’m not allowed to call them Ninjas.
127. During a SCUD alert I must get up, don my pro-mask and go to the bunker instead of saying, “Wake me if it hits,” and then go back to sleep.
128. At the confidence course I am not “Too old for this shit.”