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A Great Dinner With Men of Honor July 31, 2008

Posted by Michael in News.
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I had dinner tonight sitting at an outside bar in San Antonio (where I can smoke),  and struck up a conversation with Randy and Ernest , two scary dark people, and both of them looked really buff.  They are both obviously lifting weights.  So I was polite.

They are both born losers, coming from modest families, by my standards.  Randy is from Puerto Rico, and Ernest is from Haiti.  These are not great places to start out.

They are now both Captains in the United States Army.

What was so affecting about the ensuing conversation is their blatant pride in America as an agency of good in the world, and in the Army as an engine of opportunity where anyone can excel.  These are both educated and intelligent men, and they were enthusiastic about the United States Army.

Ernest is currently stationed in Hawaii and figures he has a cushy job for now.

Randy just got back from Afghanistan, and he is waiting for his next command.  He talked openly about how he actually cried when he got rotated out of Afghanistan and had to leave his command there.

He was very anxious for me to know that we are winning in Afghanistan.  As he put it — we’re going to own Afghanistan just like we own Iraq (he assumes we have won there).  Unlike Iraq, Randy said the Afghans are all on our side; they want us to help them clean up the Taliban and the opium trade.  Randy says there is a mini-surge going on in Afghanistan right now, with the Army adding boots on the ground, as well as the Marines.  (I was surprised that an Army officer mentioned Marines, but he seemed to think they might be useful for something.)

They both like General Petraeus a lot.  They both are Republicans, and think “old man McCain” will be a better supporter of the military than Obama.

Randy has no doubt we can win in Afghanistan.  His basic attitude is — nobody fucks with the United States Army and gets away with it.  Nobody can really challenge us.

So, I tried something that was suggested in a post I read by RightwingSparkle.  I shook both of their hands, made eye contact, and personally thanked them for their service to our country.  I said to each of them that I was proud of them.

Sparkle says she makes a habit of this.  Many of you know me well enough to guess that this is not a natural thing for me to do.

But, you know, it went OK.  It was not really all that awkward.  They both really seemed to appreciate it.  I actually felt very good after doing that.  It did not even register on my gaydar.

Overall, a great evening with interesting men who represent our country with honor.  I was pleased to buy them some Jager shots.

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Comments»

1. eddiebear - July 31, 2008

And Captain is a rough assignment. Many times, as LTs or CPTs, they have to lead patrols.

I admit I had it easier as a logistics/QM guy, but Infantry CPTs are bad ass. I know from my brother’s experiences.

2. eddiebear - July 31, 2008

And most officers hate leaving their men behind when rotated. It really does affect them.

3. Pupster - July 31, 2008

Good on ya Michael.

When I was back in Columbus from my NY Trip, a group of soldiers were walking through the terminal, and they got a standing ovation from the people waiting at security and the main terminal entrance. They were all smiles, a little embarrassed and flustered, and ended up taking the wrong escalator to the parking lot instead of baggage claim. When they realized their mistake and about-faced back up to the lobby, they were serenaded again with applause from the same folks.

It was pretty awesome.

4. eddiebear - July 31, 2008

^when my brother had to go back after his 2+ week leave a few months ago, he was in his desert uniform sitting with my parents at the airport waiting to board his plane back. He had a couple of people come up and do what Michael did.

It meant a lot to all involved.

5. Michael - July 31, 2008

Actually, my first thank-you I fucked up. I said, “Thank you for your service to your country.”

He said, “Our country.”

Shit. That was a lesson in fellowship from a Puerto Rican.

So, I did not repeat that mistake with the Haitian.

6. The Comish (sic) - July 31, 2008

Awesome. I’m always a little sheepish about it because I figure those guys get it all the time, and maybe they just want to sit in silence and get on their plane. But every time I do it, they seem honestly grateful for my thanks. Which I guess says a lot about the guys that are serving.

7. eddiebear - July 31, 2008

What really bugs me is that my FiL is an unrepentant draft dodger. And he tried to buddy up to my folks over the years, and my brother recently.

I have had to eat a lot of shit sandwiches over the years to “keep the peace” at my inlaws’ gatherings, but when they continued to call servicemembers losers even after my brother, father, and I had all been in the service, yet none of those fools in their blue blood mindsets had ever served (hell, one of my inlaws’ descendants was one of those who paid an Irishman $300 or so to fight for him in the Civil War), I drew the line. I even had an outburst back in January, where I challenged them to go up to my brother when he came back and tell him what they were saying in their homes about servicemen.

Instead, they pussed out at my daughter’s birthday party when my brother was on town. They avoided him like I avoid a weight loss clinic.

8. Michael - July 31, 2008

They avoided him like I avoid a weight loss clinic.

That cracked me up.

Otherwise, a sad story of assholes in the family.

Eddie . . .

*Michael makes full eye contact*

. . . thank you for your service to our country.

Dang, that still is not all that easy for me.

9. eddiebear - August 1, 2008

While I thank you, and I do, I didn’t do shit. I served in the 90s, when the toughest task I ever had was making sure I didn’t get a tick bit on my nutsack.

I too share your difficulties, but when my brother and his “Army buddies” all gathered in STL back in March, I felt so weak and worthless, I could barely even look them in the eyes. They really deserve it.

Michael:

I thank you again, but those serving today are what Licoln used to call the Better Angels of Our Nature.

10. eddiebear - August 1, 2008

I meant “Lincoln”. Damn.

11. geoff - August 1, 2008

…are what Licoln used to call the Better Angels of Our Nature.

Last Name!?!

Washington.

First Name!?!

[removing sunglasses] Liiiicoln!!!

12. Michael - August 1, 2008

Eddie:

OK, I take it back. If you can’t spell “Lincoln” you are a disgrace to the military and your country.

13. The Comish (sic) - August 1, 2008

Screw that. Eddie, people that have served in the military are better than me. You’re better than me. Your brother is better than me. While I sit in an air conditioned office and bitch about how long it takes for the elevator to arrive, folks like you and your brother are out there putting your asses on the line for things that are more important than anything I’ve ever done and probably will ever do. I’m a smart and well-read guy, but you guys have a deeper understanding of human nature and how the world works than I’ll ever have. You’re more capable of taking care of yourselves and the people you love than I’ll ever be. And you’ve done more to take care of me and protect me and my loved ones than I deserve. The only problem with saying “thanks” is that it doesn’t convey the gratitude that I actually feel.

I’ve got this pesky Y chromosome that makes it difficult for me to actually say what I want to say, so the best way for me to show gratitude is typically to do what Michael did and buy alcohol. So if you and/or your brother is ever in Dallas, I hope you’ll let me buy you many beers as a pitiful attempt to say thanks.

Sorry. I tend to be kind of irrational about the military. Hope my little tirade didn’t go too far. Quick, someone make a joke about Lutherans.

14. geoff - August 1, 2008

Well, if The Comish is buying, I’d better relate how I won the Cold War from my desk in California.

You don’t go to war with the office supplies you want, you go to war with the office supplies you have.

15. The Comish (sic) - August 1, 2008

By the way, the “screw that” wasn’t in reference to Michael’s joke. It was in reference to eddie saying he didn’t deserve thanks.

But screw Michael anyway.

16. The Comish (sic) - August 1, 2008

Beers on me, geoff. Mission Accomplished.

17. Michael - August 1, 2008

*Note to Lutheran Millennium HQ — Comish gets a Grade D Camp.*

18. geoff - August 1, 2008

Beers on me, geoff. Mission Accomplished.

Thanks, Comish, but you can give mine to the real military guys. My time in the military was cushy and fun. I owe those guys as much as you do.

19. xbradtc - August 1, 2008

I was pretty amazed back in January of 86, heading to my first assignment. I was at LAX with 5 or 6 other guys, all in uniform. An old guy (musta been ancient, like 40) came up and told us how proud he was to see us in uniform. He had been in Vietnam and went through the whole “babykiller” routine when he came back. Insisted on buying us all a drink in the airport, even though we were all underage. The waitress didn’t even blink.

Kinda weird in retrospect, because I was always pretty much in awe of the guys in Vietnam.

Comish is lucky if he gets a Lutheran Camp. Us Presbyterians would have him making casseroles all day and night…

20. Michael - August 1, 2008

You don’t go to war with the office supplies you want, you go to war with the office supplies you have.

That totally cracked me up. It reminded me of Catch 22, for some reason.

21. xbradtc - August 1, 2008

Hey, you try fighting a war without markers. How the hell are you gonna mark up your map?

22. geoff - August 1, 2008

…there I was, hordes of Commie threat assessments coming over my paper trays…

23. The Comish (sic) - August 1, 2008

You guys are killing me.

24. eddiebear - August 1, 2008

Sorry about spelling Lincoln incorrect and all that. I was painfully sober, yet fatigued.

Besides, math was never my strong suit.

25. daveintexas - August 1, 2008

Scary Brown Men of Honor. Good on you Michael.

On my flight yesterday I sat next to a Major in the 10th Mountain Div, he’s home for a few weeks from Afghanistan. We talked quite a bit, he’s been stationed at a firebase near the Pakistan border.

I asked him what’s different now (his unit’s specific task is finding IEDs). He said the Taliban is feeling froggy right now, and when they engage, it’s in large numbers”. And he was grinning when he said it. So I said “ok, so you can like, kill em easier now”. And he said yeah, “we throw rounds and mortars downrange and wait for the Warthogs to roll in. It’s a beautiful thing”.

Also his kids are adorable (greeted him at the airport).

26. cranky - August 1, 2008

eddie, I think you’ve probably shown remarkable restraint when it comes to your father-in-law. He probably knows it himself, but when men were needed he was found wanting — he just didn’t measure up.

Maybe you could get him some of those enlargement pills they advertise on late night TV.

Michael, I envy you your dinner companions.

27. Lipstick - August 1, 2008

they continued to call servicemembers losers even after my brother, father, and I had all been in the service

Time for the wife to step in and lay down the law.

28. Lipstick - August 1, 2008

Maybe you could get him some of those enlargement pills they advertise on late night TV.

oooo, every time the F-in-Law has a drink, snarkily refer to it as his “liquid courage”!

29. Lipstick - August 1, 2008

Do it! do it! do it!

30. Retired Geezer - August 1, 2008

Many of you know me well enough to guess that this is not a natural thing for me to do.

Then how do you explain the butt fondling at the IBSBP?

31. geoff - August 1, 2008

Then how do you explain the butt fondling at the IBSBP?

No one could resist those butts.

32. lauraw - August 1, 2008

You don’t go to war with the office supplies you want, you go to war with the office supplies you have.

Oh man, I’m dying. Geoff is so funny.

Been a stressbucket this week. It’s still kind of going on.
Laughing feels good.

Damn. Typo. Geoff hunkered down behind the huge 5-drawer Steelcase, rummaging frantically for Wite-Out while vicious office gossip whizzed past his position.

33. eddiebear - August 1, 2008

28: my FiL is a teetotaler as well.

34. Michael - August 1, 2008

Take cover!!! Incoming Fedex packages!!!!

35. Lipstick - August 1, 2008

my FiL is a teetotaler as well.

Crap. It’s really sounding like he has no redeeming qualities.

36. lauraw - August 1, 2008

Charlie had us pinned down by the water cooler, barraging us with stories about his weekend.

37. geoff - August 1, 2008

Frantically babbling the coordinates, I called a pizza strike on my own position. Too late. The bastards outside my perimeter were already deploying Chinese takeout.

38. geoff - August 1, 2008

Enduring the searing heat, I flinched as a series of bright flashes lit my face. “Freaking secretary,” I muttered, “Why can’t she make the copies?”

39. lauraw - August 1, 2008

This is teh awesome, right here. Best medicine.

40. Michael - August 1, 2008

Sensing a chemical attack, Geoff desperately grabbed a gas mask from his desk drawer. Too late. The over-perfumed secretary had enveloped him with her noxious fumes.

41. geoff - August 1, 2008

Maneuvering my inadequately armored vehicle through the deserted streets, I carefully picked my way through the debris to my Islamic contact. The loud rumbling echoed off the building walls, finally quieting when I killed the engine. “Gotta get that muffler fixed,” I mused as I stepped out into the hot night.

I ducked inside my contact’s shop, and began pressing him for answers. “How much is a Slurpee?” I snarled.

42. lauraw - August 1, 2008

geoff’s eyes narrowed dangerously, and he let out a low expletive under his breath. All the donuts were gone. Gone.

43. Michael - August 1, 2008

Geoff felt an intense bond with the guys in his unit. They were a band of brothers; men who had endured the worst and lived to tell the tale. On one horrendous August afternoon, they ran out of Post-it stickers . . .

44. eddiebear - August 1, 2008

What about the shortage of essential MWR items, such as coffee, toilet paper, and microwave popcorn?

45. xbradtc - August 1, 2008

The blood flowed freely from his wound. Could he go on? The mission was critical. The briefing must go on. “I’ll just have to hack it. No one ever said being a Chairborne Ranger was gonna be easy…” The papercut would just have to take care of itself…

46. Michael - August 1, 2008

Geoff stared in horror, shocked and sickened by what he had just witnessed. He would never be the same. His life would never return to normal after viewing the most boring PowerPoint slide deck in military history.

47. kevlarchick - August 1, 2008

Jager shots = torture.

48. eddiebear - August 1, 2008

PowerPoint Warrior!

49. Dave in Texas - August 1, 2008

suddenly the radio crackled to life. “Sgt. Geoff, gimme a sitrep”. Geoff climbed out from under the navy gray steel desk, sharpened pencil in hand, reached for the handset, and keyed the mic. “Uh, we’re uh, you know. Chillin”. “Ok Sgt. be advised, we got goons inside the perimeter, doin the nasty on our guys. Are you armed”?

Geoff clutched the sharpened pencil, and grabbed his M1A1 broomstick tightly, his eyes narrowing into a steely 100 yard stare. “Let em try sir. I ain’t going down without takin a few of them with me”. Suddenly a hot burst of AK rounds traced the door, and the teletype bell starting ringing frantically. “SHUT THE FUCK UP YOU BITCH” Geoff yelled as he crammed a stack of requisition forms under the bell hammer…

50. Sobek - August 1, 2008

I love the smell of toner in the morning.

Smells like … victory.

51. lauraw - August 1, 2008

The rookies liked their new toys, bragging about capacity and speed. But geoff preferred to stick with a reliable old hunk of metal he had trained himself to take apart and reassemble in his sleep; a Stanley Bostitch that was so heavy it could be used as a bludgeon if need be.

52. Retired Geezer - August 1, 2008

Sgt Geoff crept down the hallway, furtively looking left and right. If I can just make it 20 more yards meters.
Too late! He was spotted by the annoying Engineer and his stack of vacation photos.

53. Sobek - August 1, 2008

You talking about markers? Hmm? Y’all experts? Y’all know about markers? I’d like to hear about it, potheads.

*takes sharpie and breathes deep*

Are you inhaling this shit so’s to escape from reality? Me, I don’t need this shit. I am reality.

54. geoff - August 1, 2008

The room was littered with bodies, each having dropped where it stood. Moaning came from a corner. My eyes narrowed: it would take another shot to put that one down. I shook my head wearily: I’d spent round after round on these guys, to the point where I was almost dry.

“The Captain was right,” I thought, staggering to the corner with the Jager, “bachelor parties are hell.”

55. Sobek - August 1, 2008

Oh God, it was everywhere, hot and wet, running through my clutching fingers, pulsing away. Where was my backup? I cried out for help, knowing that it was too late. “I need more towels, now!”

The coffee … the coffee…

56. composmentis - August 1, 2008

Looking over his shoulder, making certain he hadn’t
been followed, he grasped the handle. Looking
left then right, geoff held his breath as he
slowly pulled the door open. It didn’t take long
for his eyes to adjust to the darkness. He could
tell someone had been here. geoff swallowed
hard as he reached the place where he had hidden
it. It had to be there. His world depended on it!
Searching, reaching farther, grasping, his heart sank
and his anger rose. It had been stolen by the enemy! Pulling his hand back, he clutched the piece of
polyvinylidene chloride with his name on it.
“Sons-a-bitches!” he growled through clenched teeth. Geoff looked around for clues. Sure enough, the dumb bastards weren’t careful enough. “I’ll find you . . .
and you will pay!” he muttered as he traced his finger along
the edge of his spork. His nostrils flared as he stealthily
crept off to find the douchebag who had stolen his piece
of cake.

57. BrewFan - August 1, 2008

you knuckleheads crack me up :)

58. composmentis - August 1, 2008

How could he have been so careless? Years of training
and experience should have kept him from making
such a rookie mistake. They were all around him and
he was certain to be discovered any moment. He felt
so exposed.

The draft was upon his little soldier. Geoff needed to
get the barracks door closed without anyone noticing,
vowing to never go commando again.

59. War is Heck « Bring the heat, Bring the Stupid - August 1, 2008

[...] that most of you will recognize instantly. To learn of the horrors of these alternate battlefields, visit this site. It starts out on a serious note, and I hope you will pay  attention to that. But it evolves, and [...]

60. Dave in Texas - August 1, 2008

“Never get out of the office. Absolutely goddamn right. Unless you were going all the way. Geoff got out of the office. He split from the whole fucking program. How did that happen? What did he see here that first tour? 38 fucking years old. If he joined the USAF Statistics and Charting Brigade, there was no way you’d ever get above Staff Sgt.. Geoff knew what he was giving up. The more I read and began to understand, the more I admired him. His family and friends couldn’t understand it, and they couldn’t talk him out of it. He had to apply three times and he had to put up with a ton of shit, but when he threatened to resign, they gave it to him. The next youngest guy in his class was half his age. They must have thought he was some far-out old man humping it over that course. I did it when I was 19 and it damn near wasted me. A tough motherfucker. He finished. He could have gone for Weather Forecasting, but he went for himself instead.”

61. xbradtc - August 1, 2008

You don’t win a war by dying for your country. You win a war by making some other poor bastard spend all his time doing revisions to the 327 slide presentation you did on diversity and sensitivity.

62. Michael - August 1, 2008

^
Apocalypse Excel

63. Pupster - August 1, 2008

Eddie felt his eyes go out of focus as he gazed absently across the battlefield. Is this what they mean by the ‘thousand yard stare’? He’d seen it in the eyes of the men he had passed…men who were traveling from the dangers of the front lines to the safety of the rear. “Gone. All gone” one of the soldiers had muttered.

Eddie knew what it meant now. The hopelessness. The loss. The out of control emotions digging at your guts until you wanted to scream in pain. All the way gone.

With a heavy heart, Eddie began to type. He’d better get this business out of the way. Someone back home needed to know. It was his job to tell them. The army had a form for everything. Even this.

The pain-filled shouts of the men, his men, still ringing in his ears, he completed his task.

REQ ITEM————-QTY.——————-URGENCY
PAPER, TOILET____100 CASES___________HIGHEST

64. Michael - August 1, 2008

Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: What’s your name fat-body?
Private Geoff: Sir, Geoff, sir.
Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: Geoff? Geoff of Colorado?
Private Geoff: Sir, Yes, sir.
Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: That name sounds like royalty. Are you royalty?
Private Geoff: Sir, No, sir.
Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: Do you suck dicks?
Private Geoff: Sir, No, sir.
Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: Bullshit! I bet you could suck a golfball through a garden hose.
Private Geoff: Sir, No, sir.
Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: I don’t like the name Geoff, only queers and sailors are called Geoff. From now on you’re Gomer Pyle.

65. lauraw - August 1, 2008

Oh wow. Bridge on the River Kwai has lots of great dialogue for this.

66. Cathy - August 1, 2008

GLAR.

You guys are precious!

67. Michael - August 1, 2008

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that pushes paper with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That filled out forms with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

68. Lipstick - August 1, 2008

This wasn’t training any more — this was the real stuff. The time had come.

He had reconnoitered and taken up position. No one in sight — perfect.

Easing into the cramped space, he unwrapped his back-up weapon. The one only used in special circumstances. His heartbeat began to ease and the smell of success was that much closer.

*clank clank*

His head whipped around. “How the hell did that happen?” Someone was approaching! Friend or foe? It didn’t matter, in this situation you had to assume everyone was foe.

“Abort abort!”, he screamed to himself. “Hold your fire, I repeat, do not fire!”

“Can’t even take a crap in peace”, he muttered as some asshole came into the men’s room and was taking for-fucking-ever to wash his hands!

69. Will - August 1, 2008

01AUG2008: Received the latest MX518 opticals. Much better accuracy and precision at all zoom levels. Should allow the troops to completely dominate both paper space and model space.

(This stuff is almost Beaucampian)

70. eddiebear - August 1, 2008

The Victoria Cross was awarded to those who were able to replenish Liquid Paper supplies while under furious assault from overambitious graphics presentations.

71. skinbad - August 1, 2008

Goddam Sarge is always crawling up everyone’s ass, thought Geoff. Always screaming about “discipline.” Well, if that stupid lard-butt had any himself he might not have that enormous spare-tire. Hell, if he knew which end of a toothbrush to use, he might have more than one tooth in his ugly melon.

Hearing footsteps, Geoff quickly closed his desk drawer, effectively hiding Sunday’s episode of Beetle Bailey.

72. sandy burger - August 1, 2008

Son, we live in a world that has reports and those reports need to be guarded by men with spreadsheets. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Lieutenant Weinberg? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Flying Toasters and curse IT; you have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that office standardization, while tragic, probably cut costs, and that my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, protects data.

You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that spreadsheet, you need me on that spreadsheet. We use words like Excel, clip art, Word macro. We use then as the backbone of a life trying to defend something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very documents I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said “thank you,” and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest that you open Powerpoint and create a presentation. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to.

73. Michael - August 1, 2008

You just never know when or how IB is going to drive off the cliff.

74. Lipstick - August 1, 2008

I’m just honored to be able to hang out with such genius.

75. Michael - August 1, 2008

You have come to make graphs as free men, and free men you are. What will you do with that freedom? Will you graph? Aye, plot graphs and you may die, run and you’ll live. At least a while. And dying in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day, for that one chance, just one chance to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take our spreadsheets!!!

76. Michael - August 1, 2008

Now I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. You won it by making better graphs than those other poor dumb bastards. Men, all this stuff you’ve heard about America not wanting to make graphs, wanting to stay out of the war, is a lot of horse dung. Americans traditionally love a fine graph. All real Americans love the the thrill of spreadsheets. When you were kids, you all admired the champion marble shooter, the fastest runner, the big league ball players, the power Excel users … Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser.

77. eddiebear - August 1, 2008

Did I miss the Pattonesque “I shoveled sh&t in Louisiana” speech?

78. BrewFan - August 1, 2008

Whiteboard to right of them,
Whiteboard to left of them,
Whiteboard behind them
Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Staff Meeting Death
Rode the six hundred.
“Forward the Christmas Party Committee!
Charge for the donuts!” he said.
Into the valley of Staff Meeting Death
Rode the six hundred.

Forward, the Christmas Party Committee!”
Was there a man dismay’d?
Not tho’ the accountant knew
Some one had blunder’d.
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die.
Into the valley of Staff Meeting Death
Rode the six hundred.

Whiteboard to right of them,
Whiteboard to left of them,
Whiteboard in front of them
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with pen and ink,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Staff Meeting Death,
Into the mouth of hell
Rode the six hundred.

Flash’d all their blueberrys bare,
Flash’d as they turn’d in air
Calling the help desk there,
Charging an HR assistant, while
All the world wonder’d.
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro’ the line they broke;
Executive Assistant and Clerk
Reel’d from the pen-stroke
Shatter’d and sunder’d.
Then they rode back, but not,
Not the six hundred.

Whiteboard to right of them,
Whiteboard to left of them,
Whiteboard behind them
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with pen and ink,
While ergo chair and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro’ the jaws of Staff Meeting Death,
Back from the mouth of hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wonder’d.
Honor the charge they made!
Honor the Christmas Party Committee,
Noble six hundred!

79. Michael - August 1, 2008

That was brilliant, Brew.

Eddie, the comment right above yours is from that Patton speech.

80. eddiebear - August 1, 2008

73: and for once, I can’t be held responsible. We need another masturbating walrus story.

In fact, one of my wife’s friends asks her what I do for a hobby. She said, “He hangs around blogs.” Friend: “Oh yeah? Sports? Politics?”
Wife: “No. He writes about masturbating walruses and naked guys getting tasered.”

I have never been prouder in my life.

81. eddiebear - August 1, 2008

Michael:

musta been a delay.

82. BrewFan - August 1, 2008

[nicedeb has just finished a psychiatric evaluation of Michaels's co-bloggers]
Michael: So what does that give you?
nicedeb: Doesn’t give me anything. But along with these other results, it gives YOU just about the most twisted, anti-social bunch of psychopathic deformities I have ever run into! And the worst, the most dangerous of the bunch, is Retired Geezer. You’ve got one religious maniac, one malignant dwarf, two near-idiots… and the rest I don’t even wanna think about!
Michael: Well, I can’t think of a better way to fight a war.
skinbad: These people don’t know their enemy is the Lutherans. They think the enemy is their own blog!
Michael: Maybe that’s because the Lutherans haven’t done anything to them yet.

83. Sobek - August 1, 2008

A stapler, a stapler! My kingdom for a stapler!

84. skinbad - August 1, 2008

Near-Death of the E4 Clerical Specialist

From my after-work nap, I fell into Juan Pepper’s Mexican Cantina,
And I ate smothered burritos and drank beer with my buddies ’til I nearly wet my pants.
Six miles from base, the bouncing Jeep lulled me to sleep and almost loosed my bowels.
I woke to gut cramps and the nightmare douche chills.
When I left the latrine they made me wash it out with a hose.

http://www.cs.rice.edu/~ssiyer/minstrels/poems/707.html

85. Retired Geezer - August 1, 2008

It’s like there is a camera inside my soul.

86. BrewFan - August 1, 2008

Apparently the war is over.

Where have all the morons gone
long time passing
Where have all the morons gone
long time passing
Where have all the morons gone
Gone to special ed every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

87. Michael - August 1, 2008

Apparently the war is over.

I’ve noticed this before. The morons exhaust themselves on a truly bizarre thread, and then they disappear.

It’s like they have to go act like normal people for awhile, or something.

BTW, I’m going out now, so don’t count on me tonight. I can be normal too.

88. xbradtc - August 1, 2008

I can’t

89. geoff - August 1, 2008

Had to drop out early – we went to my son’s state gymnastics meet. He rocked, taking 1st in All-Round in his age group (out of only 6 guys, but hey, it’s better than taking 2nd out of 6 guys).

Thanks for bringing memories of my military career rushing back to me.

90. lauraw - August 1, 2008

Congrats to your boy.

And thanks for the laughs. Everybody.

Just love the living Hell out of you people.

91. Mrs Peel - August 1, 2008

I’m a little late to the game, but:

Yes, makin’ mock o’ uniforms that push your paperwork
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an’ they are worn by clerks;
An’ editin’ powerpoint slides when they’re goin’ large a bit
Is five times better business when it’s on your ass you sit.
Then it’s Geoffrey this, an’ Geoffrey that, an’ “Geoffrey, where’s the report?”
But it’s “Thin blue line of ‘eroes” when the mail is there to sort,
The mail is there to sort, my boys, the mail is there to sort,
O it’s “Thin blue line of ‘eroes” when the mail is there to sort.

We aren’t no thin blue ‘eroes, nor we aren’t no chubsters too,
But young men at computers, most remarkable like you;
An’ if sometimes our blogging isn’t all your fancy paints,
Why, young men at computers don’t grow into plaster saints;
While it’s Geoffrey this, an’ Geoffrey that, an’ “Geoffrey, fetch the tape”,
But it’s “Please to help me draw, sir”, when you’re using AutoShape,
You’re using AutoShape, my boys, you’re using AutoShape,
O it’s “Please to help me draw, sir”, when you’re using AutoShape.

92. Michael - August 1, 2008

OK, I’m back from trying to be normal. Boring evening, unlike the night that inspired this post. But not a total waste — the chicken fried steak sandwich I had was pretty good.

93. Dave in Texas - August 1, 2008

Scene: Geoff, from the back of a Schwann’s truck:

I’ve seen document filing…document filing that you’ve seen. But you have no right to call me a desk jock. You have a right to kill me. You have a right to do that…But you have no right to judge me. It’s impossible for words to describe what is necessary to those who do not know what document filing means. Document filing. Document filing has a face…And you must make a friend of Document filing. Document filing and moral terror are your friends. If they are not then they are enemies to be feared.

They are truly enemies. I remember when I was with Statistics and Charting…Seems a thousand centuries ago…We went into a restaurant to check out the soup du jour. We left the restaurant after we had snagged some sugar packets, and this old waitress came running after us and she was crying. She couldn’t see. We went back there and they had come and hacked up every lemon there was. There they were in a pile…A pile of little lemon slices. And I remember…I…I…I cried…I wept like some grandmother. I wanted to tear my socks off. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. And I want to remember it. I never want to forget it. I never want to forget. And then I realized…like I was shot…Like I was shot with a fluffy kitten…a fluffy kittenbullet right through my forehead…And I thought: My God…the genius of that. The genius. The will to do that. Perfect, genuine, complete, crystalline, pure. And then I realized they were stronger than we. Because they could stand that these were not monsters…These were busboys…trained cadres…these busboys who fought with their hearts, who had trays, who had dishrags, who were filled with love…but they had the strength…the strength…to do that. If I had ten divisions of those busboys our troubles here would be over very quickly. You have to have busboys who are moral…and at the same time who are able to utilize their primordal instincts to tidy up without feeling…without passion… without judgement…without judgement. Because it’s judgement that defeats us. Judgement, and crappy tippers.

Document filing has a face.

94. Michael - August 1, 2008

Mrs. Peel: the AutoShape references were pure gold.

95. geoff - August 2, 2008

Document filing has a face.

I knew that would be coming out sooner or later.

96. Dave in Texas - August 2, 2008

Predictable is part of my charm.

97. geoff - August 2, 2008

Actually, I was looking forward to it.

98. Phil Smith - August 3, 2008

Well, as far as peace-time service is concerned:
“The faces looking up at him were becoming sober and puzzled. “I’m coming to Old Yellowstain. Coming to him. See, while I was studying law ‘n old Keefer here was writing his play for the Theatre Guild, and Willie here was on the playing fields of Prinshton, all that time these birds we call regulars–these stuffy, stupid Prussians, in the Navy and the Army -were manning guns. Course they weren’t doing it to save my mom from Hitler, they’re doing it for dough, like everybody else does what they do. Question is, in the last analysis–last analysis–what do you do for dough? Old Yellowstain, for dough, was standing guard on this fat dumb and happy country of ours. Meantime me, I was advancing little free non-Prussian life for dough. Of course, we figured in those days, only fools go into armed service. Bad pay, no millionaire future, and You can’t call your mind or body your own. Not for sensitive intellectuals. So when all hell broke loose and the Germans started running out of soap and figured, well it’s time to come over and melt down old Mrs. Greenwald–who’s gonna stop them? Not her boy Barney. Can’t stop a Nazi with a lawbook. So I dropped the lawbooks and ran to learn how to fly. Stout fellow. Meantime, and it took a year and a half before I was any good, who was keeping Mama out of the soap dish? Captain Queeg.

“Yes, even Queeg, poor sad guy, yes, and most of them not sad at all, fellows, a lot of them sharper boys than any of us, don’t kid yourself, best men I’ve ever seen, you can’t be good in the Army or Navy unless you’re goddamn good. Though maybe not up on Proust ‘n’ Finnegan’s Wake and all.” ”

So thanks, Eddie.


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