Sunday, January 15, 2006

The Teeth of Another Day

Army teeth are some of the dirtiest, butter-looking teeth I’ve ever seen.
Just so you get the idea, I originally joined the Navy thinking how fucking great it would be to travel the world and meet different people and cultures. I thought it would be coochie-peachy to find myself in the middle of an endless ocean screaming “Batten down the hatches! Hoist the yardarm! She’s blowing something fierce” in the middle of some sea storm that I’d never walk away the same from. The last statement was the only one I’ve ever been able to use.

I thought about joining the other services and they all let me down in one fashion or another. To prove my manliness, I sought out the Marines. I did the regular “thanks, I’ll think about it” routine that you give to anyone who’s overselling something and met an overwhelming force of machismo before I could vacate the premises. I was talked to by my recruiter’s superior and then his superior and then the highest ranking official sat down—I mean over me and asked me what made me a man. He asked if I had balls. All I could muster was "of course, I have balls". To which he made a cupping motion with his hand while gnashing his teeth as my brain processed his actual words apart from his body language, "THEN REACH DOWN LIKE YOU GOT A PAIR AND MAKE A DECISION LIKE A REAL MAN". I told him in the nicest possible manner, a marine could understand, that he could go fuck himself if he wanted to start insinuating I was any less of a man than he, due to the fact that I stubbornly insisted on shopping around.

The Air Force wanted to make me a cook or a mechanic even though I scored higher than 91% of the population on their aptitude and intel tests. Fuck you very much for aiming high but no.

I never even considered the Army—sleeping in tents, eating shit meals, filling sandbags and digging trenches was and is not my forte.

The Navy was perfect for me. The Big Blue offered me a great job, 3 hot meals daily, a roof over my head and the world travel, of which, I was in great need. So now, in my fourth year gone Navy, I find myself not on any great hunk of floating steel but on a hot patch of dried out desert surrounded by nothing but Army. I’ve done a lot of tent living and many shit-meal eating and learned all about what I missed by not joining the Army.

Why am I wasting your time with this meandering account of woe? I just felt like posting something but had nothing vaguely interesting to post and the Army has been frustrating the fuck out of my feeble brain. I’ve met many strange Army folk with many a strange Army way. If you know anyone in the Army, don’t ask them why they do it, as I feel like doing daily, instead, shake their hand or buy them a pint of good beer and let that be your thanks coz these guys go through a heavy dose of shit for the right to go off to some hairy patch of dried out earth to possible death. They’re dying out here and if they’re not dying, they’re returning home maimed beyond repair. That’s what I think about every time I meet a less than intelligent soldier who’s memorized all the stats of his favorite football/baseball team and stories of NASCAR heavyweights—this kid could be dead next week and I dare to sit here wondering “when was the last time he brushed his teeth”.

2 comments:

infinitesimal said...

Not a waste of time at all my friend, consider me addicted to you.

K said...

I went Navy also. But, mostly for the travel and the ratio of like 4 men for every woman!
I barely missed Desert Storm.
I was an AG2 and a lot of my friends who stayed in - were just on the ships where they called it 'the middle of absofuckinglutely nowhere'.
Sixty miles of blowing sand and they were on ship.

I feel for you. I've been on missions that totally sucked as well. Luckily for me, though, my tours were just Guam and Hawaii.