With apologies to Alan Menken.
Archive for the ‘Skippy was a dumbass’ Category
So last week I received an informative email**. The kind of informative email that has been forwarded somewhere around a billion times, contains really big font, and contains almost nothing but lies.
You all know it. Everybody has one or two relatives, or workmates who send you this sort of thing. Well thanks to my website, my address appears in a great many folk’s email applications. And so I get dump-loads of helpful emails on a simply staggering variety of subjects.
So it turns out that upon closer examination, Chuck is actually advocating purchasing a tea -stained flag, which is made with cotton that has been tea stained, for an old-timey look. Which should probably be a lesson to people to not write blog posts when they’re in a bad mood, or at the very least, to read things very carefully, to avoid looking like a jack-ass. Granted his article is still “underpants on head” stupid, but he doesn’t actually call for the flag to be desecrated.
I was originally working on a post about my wife’s pregnancy, which was really funny. I’ll finish it next week.
I’ve had a long day of running errands for my wife, and finishing up the last assignments for my first semester of online school. And *that* has been a whole great big wad of fun, that I will also need to write about soon. There are many advantages to online schools. But sometimes they can be a pain in the ass.
For those that don’t want to read what he wrote, he writes a bunch of the standard things that members of the Tea Party movement say. Most of it isn’t particularly groundbreaking, and mainly has to do with using older style flags as a symbol of resistance and protest. All of which is fine and dandy, and I would have never paid it any attention if it wasn’t for one thing.
To say that I have a talent for languages would be like saying that the Hindenburg was fireproof.
Yes this get’s to Pop Rocks and Coke. It just takes a little bit, please bear with me.
Being raised Jewish, I attended Hebrew School from Kindergarten to the Seventh grade. That whole time I was given classes in how to speak Hebrew. I managed to get to the point where I could memorize the sounds enough to get through my Bar-Mitzvah. In Middle School, and again in High School I attended French language classes. I managed to learn to conjugate verbs, but that was about it. When I briefly attended college before joining the military, I took French classes. I managed to pass the first level, but couldn’t advance any farther than that, despite multiple attempts.
So to depart from what has become my normal routine, I will give the list update tomorrow, so that I can bring an issue to your attention.
I was browsing through my daily news sites earlier in the week when I came across this article. For those too lazy to go and read up on the story I will summarize it briefly here.
Raed Jarrar, an American resident, tried to board a plane wearing a t-shirt that had Arabic Script on it. Security stopped him, because they felt that printed Arabic was the equivalent of declaring “I am a terrorist”. He was detained and ultimately was not allowed onto the plane until he agreed to cover the shirt up.
Soldiers typically have things showing on their uniform. Their names, their ranks, their unit, and sometimes even their country of origin. This is done so that you can instantly tell vital information about the other people around you such as who’s in charge, who possesses specialized skills, and who can be safely turned into a scapegoat for anything that happens to go wrong.
In the US Army, rank goes on the collar. And only the lowest of the lower enlisted, the buck private, has no rank symbol to display. Buck privates are generally considered to be slightly less valuable than dirt, receive absolutely no respect, and basically spend their time hoping that no one notices them long enough to make them go and clean something.
Please remember this, because it is important later.
So one evening right after we got to Bosnia a bunch of soldiers were drinking in the barracks. Because this was during a multinational task force we had several different uniforms present. And as it usually goes when you have a bunch of soldiers, alcohol, and no serious adult supervision there is a variety of good-natured smack-talking going around. Generally along the lines of who beat up whom in a previous war, or which countries military could get France to surrender the quickest, that sort of thing. It was fun and I got to meet foreign soldiers for the first time. But then out of nowhere we had that guy.
If you’ve ever been at a place with young men and alcohol, chances are you’ve met that guy. Too loud, too aggressive, and probably too drunk. Instead of good-natured ribbing he’s offering personal insults. He’s yelling and generally making a tremendous ass out of himself. Normally when someone behaves this way he gets shouted down, or one of his friends takes him away to go sleep it off. But in the case of this one particular British soldier no one did anything. Everybody just let him keep on acting like an ass and ruining our night.
So I looked a little closer at him and noticed that he didn’t have any rank on his collar. (Note: Where I went looking for it was important.) This guy is a buck private and everybody is taking crap from him. This makes absolutely no sense; the world has gone crazy. So I did what any PFC whose judgment was seriously impaired by alcohol would do when a guy twice his size was acting up.
“Hey asshole! Why don’t you shut the hell up?!” I was, as always, a master of witty banter.
All conversation halted. Several soldiers near me began to edge way slowly.
“What did you say, Yank?”, he asked me in a very incredulous tone of voice.
“I’m sorry do I need to put that into British for you? I said: “Be quiet you bloody wanker”.”
He stood up and asked very quietly, “Do you want to go outside and talk about this?”
I glanced up to see one of my Sergeants standing behind him clearly signaling through hand gestures: “You can take him and I’ve got your back.” Which to sober people might have actually appeared to be: “Are you insane? This guy is going to murder you!”. But I had consumed enough alcohol to know what he really meant.
So I looked this guy square in the general direction of his head, weaved a little, and boldly announced, “I sure would. Let’s go.”
He looks stunned for a few seconds, and then just starts laughing. Crisis averted, he decided that I was his friend now. He shared some strange licorice tasting booze with me and acted decently for the rest of the evening.
The next morning my sergeant sat down with me in the chow hall.
“What on earth made you think you should start a fight with that guy last night?”
“You saw his collar Sergeant, he was a buck private, and I’m not gonna let a private talk to us like that.”
“British uniforms are different than ours. He’s not a private. He’s an NCO and he’s in the SAS. You’re only alive because he thought you were funny.”
And if you’ve read the list, you can pretty much guess what the next two instructions were.