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Archive for December 2nd, 2008

Better than Being a Dumb Ass

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

As a PFC fresh out of AIT I had a long and easy summer.  In July 1979 I arrived at Ft. Hood, herbal Texas about the time that my unit, asthma the 142nd Signal BN of the 2nd Armored Division went off to train at the National Training Center (NTC).  As part of the rear detachment I would do very little work in the morning and have the afternoon off.  I had a lot of three and four day weekends too.

I had fallen into some bad habits, anesthetist one of which was speaking my mind without actually engaging the brain cells.  The three sergeants that I dealt with on a daily basis the entire summer must have thought that it was okay as no one ever corrected me.  They were all Vietnam vets and would laugh when my mouth would engage without the guidance of my brain cells.

In September this came to a screeching halt when my unit returned back to Hood.

During one of these episodes my section sergeant called me a smart ass.  My mouth engaged of its own volition and said, “That’s better than being a dumb ass.”

I quickly tap danced around and explained to my sergeant that what I really meant was that it could be much worse if I was a dumb ass rather than a smart ass.  He didn’t buy it for even a second.

I did KP every time we went to the field until I PCSed to Turkey 18 months later.  We went to the field every month for at least ten days plus those three months in Germany for the Reforger/Autumn Forge war game.  The Germany trip works out to at least 45 days washing metal trays, pots and pans for our entire battalion, plus a maintenance battalion.

On the good side, I can wash dishes quickly and correctly even today.  My mouth still runs off of its own volition from time to time, but now I just get a counseling statement suitable for framing.  One day I’m gonna put them all in a notebook.