Wednesday, February 8, 2012

My Life In The U.S. Army

If you've never lived a spell in military barracks, you've missed a real experience. I served in the U.S. Army and went to boot camp at Fort Polk, Louisiana. I'm not saying it was all bad, but if the world is ever given an enema, Fort Polk is where they'll insert the nozzle.

The barracks, or "living" quarters, were two story wooden buildings which I assume were built right after the fall of the Roman Empire. We slept on bunk beds that were quite similar to the feeling one might get if one slept on a picnic table. Our "furniture" consisted of a stand up locker and a foot locker, both of which were always subject to inspection by the psychos who trained us.

The main subject of today's thoughts was the latrine where one proverbially shit, showered and shaved. I never had any problems with showering as it was an every day thing in both junior high and high school. I did, however, have a major problem with sitting down on the toilet shoulder to shoulder with four or five people.

For me, the act of going to the bathroom is a solemn ritual and with people on either side of me, talking, smoking or reading the paper, it is virtually impossible. The end result is that I did not go to the bathroom for the first eight days that I was in the Army.

I finally had my chance to go alone the night I was assigned to guard duty. I was to be awoken at 3 am, but I was awake way before then waiting for the opportunity. Even then, as I finally sat down in peace to perform the solemn act, one of my buddies walked into the latrine, sat down next to me and complained of being unable to sleep. I told my friend of my plight and he graciously exited the latrine so I could complete the ritual.

Basic training was a gruelling experience, but other than the latrine experience, it was something I can look back on with pride and emotion. I went on to Fort Sam Houston, Texas and was trained to be a combat medic. Yeah, those were the days and believe it or not, there were some fond memories, none of which include the latrine.

On Friday, I'll continue this mini-saga of my boot camp experiences and some further adventures at Fort Sam Houston.

The News As I See It: Three people who were picking mushrooms in the Oregon forest were found after being missing for six days. They survived by eating their mushrooms. I'm guessing that's how they got lost in the first place.

Obama has been slammed for a health insurance rule that forces Catholic organizations to provide contraception. Even more controversial, the church would also have to provide dim lighting, wine coolers and an R. Kelly mix tape.

Everyone was overwhelmed with Super Bowl fever last Sunday. Iran announced that they enriched guacamole and Americans consumed $1 billion worth of snack foods. Who says America has lost its competitive edge? And what is more American than gathering the family for a full day of watching beer and Viagra commercials?

In Manhattan, the New York Giants had their own ticker tape parade. They don't use much ticker tape on Wall Street anymore. Stock brokers just toss government bailout money from the windows.

Joan Rivers said that she's had 739 surgical procedures. In fact, she started out as a man from Kenya.

This Date In History: 1587; Mary Queen of Scots was beheaded 1693; College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., received its charter, becoming the second institution of higher learning in the United States. 1870; The National Weather Service was established under the U.S. Army Signal Corps.

1904; The Russo-Japanese war began when the Japanese launched a surprise attack on the Russian fleet at Port Arthur in northeast China. 1915; D. W. Griffith's controversial epic, The Birth of a Nation premiered in Los Angeles.

1924; The gas chamber was used for the first time as a method of execution in the United States. Gangster Gee Jon was put to death at the Nevada State Prison in Carson City.

1960; The payola (pay for broadcast airplay) hearings opened in the U.S. House of Representatives. Dick Clark would testify in April. 1980; President Jimmy Carter revealed his plan to reinstate selective service draft registration.

Picture Of The Day: Yep, it's me back in the day while stationed at Fort Polk, Louisiana. The latrine picture at the top of the page was one of the "newer" ones. The one we had is below it.

Printable Things I Never Told You: 1) Alcohol does not solve any problems, but then again, neither does milk. 2) Kodak recently filed for bankruptcy after 130 years in business. More on the story as it develops. 3) Lead your life so you wouldn't be ashamed to sell the family parrot to the town gossip. 4) th

Today's Horoscope: Aquarius - February 8th: Carpe Diem (Seize the day) or if you prefer, Carpe Calypso (Seize the Day-O). You may have a heart of gold, but so does a hard-boiled egg. Your charming ways will beget opprtunities with the opposite sex providing you mind your manners. Chance of romance is 72.36 percent. It be lower if you forget to refrain from picking your nose in public.

Birthdays: William Tecumseh Sherman, American General 1820, Jules Verne, novelist 1828, Kate Chopin, author 1851, Martin Buber, philosopher 1878, Dame Edith Evans, actress 1888, Elizabeth Bishop, poet 1911, Lana Turner, actress 1920, Jack Lemmon, actor 1925, James Dean, actor 1931, John Williams, composer, conductor 1932, Nick Nolte, actor 1940, John Grisham, novelist 1955, Gary Coleman, actor 1968.

The AREA 51 Retirement Home Bar And Grill: A rural couple from Louisiana had nine children so they went to the doctor to see about getting the husband "fixed". The doctor started the required paperwork to perform the operation. He asked them what, after having nine children, finally motivated them to have the procedure.

The husband replied, "I read in a newspaper article that one out of every children born in America was Mexican. I didn't want a Mexican because me and my wife don't speak Spanish."

A farmer purchases an old, run-down, abandoned farm with plans to turn it into a thriving enterprise. The fields are grown over with weeds, the farmhouse is falling apart and the fences are collapsing all around. During his first day of work, the town preacher stops by to bless the man's work, saying, "May you and God work together to make this the farm of your dreams!"

A few months later, the preacher stops by again to call on the farmer. Lo and behold, it's like a completely different place. The farm house is completely rebuilt and in excellent condition. There is plenty of cattle and other livestock happily munching on feed in well-fenced pens and the fields are filled with crops planted in neat rows.

The preacher says, "Amazing! Look what God and you have accomplished together!" The farmer replies, "Yes, Reverend, but remember what the farm was like when God was working it alone!"

The Hits Just Keep On Coming: My thanks to my pal Paula for her contribution to today's stories.

A young preacher was contacted by the local funeral director to hold a grave-side committal service at a small local cemetery for someone with no family or friends. The preacher started early but quickly got himself lost, making several wrong turns. He arrived a half-hour late, the hearse was nowhere in sight, and the workmen were eating lunch.

The pastor went to the open grave and found the vault lid already in place. Taking out his book, he read the service. As he was returning to his car, he overheard one of the workmen say, "You think we should tell him it's a septic tank?"

A blonde was shopping at Walmart and came across a shiny silver thermos. She was quite fascinated by it, so she picked it up and brought it over to the clerk to ask what it was. The clerk said, "Why, that's a thermos. It keeps hot things hot and cold things cold."The blonde said, "Wow, that's amazing. I'm going to buy it!" So she bought the thermos and took it to work the next day.

Her boss saw it on her desk and asked, "What's that?" The blonde replied, "Why, that's a thermos. It keeps hot things hot and cold things cold." Her boss said, "That's neat! What do you have in it?" The blonde said, "Two Popsicles and some coffee."

A busload of politicians were driving down a country road, when suddenly the bus ran off the road and crashed into an old farmer's barn. The old farmer got off his tractor and went to investigate. Soon he dug a hole and buried the politicians.

A few days later, the local sheriff came out, saw the crashed bus and asked the old farmer where all the politicians had gone. The old farmer told him he had buried them.

The sheriff asked the old farmer, "Lordy, were they all dead?" The old farmer said, "Well, some of them said they weren't, but you know how them crooked politicians lie."

That's it for today, my little bear cubs. Remember, political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a piece of shit by the clean end. It's hump day and I'm going to AREA 51 hot happy hour. More on Friday.

Stay Tuned !


jack69 said...

Loved the retirement Home Bar and Grill today. What a fine looking soldier, What did you do to him? LOL
Oh, the picture of you on the throne, you would have done better if you had had a shirt on, I think the naked top slowed down the process.

Thanks for the education and entertainment, especially the laughs, my Dr. said I needed more if I expected to live a long life.

Sherry said,"Hello! Doc he already has!"

Rose said...

I'm glad I never enlisted in the Army. I'd be constipated for years! That is disgusting to have to sit side by side. Do they still do that today?????

Linda's World said...

Another blonde joke...hmmmm

Paula said...

Can't wait to read of your experiences at Ft. Sam. I worked across from there at United Services Automobile Association in 1954/55.

salemslot9 said...

hi Jimmy
I can't imagine
sitting right next
to someone doing
my business
I'm going to
ask my step-daddy
about his experience

Heli gunner Tom said...

Hi Jimmy,
You can bet t hat I noticed that one soldier "sitting down" in the Latrine had the same 'battle patch' --The 1st Aviation Brigade, as I wore over in RVN--Vietnam!! That is: a bird with a sword up it's a$$.. lol. Sorry...
I very much enjoyed your short post today. Thank you.

Tom Schuckman
Moving to the U .P. soon, Iron Moutain, MI 49801-- the frozen Tundra.
Disabled Vietnam Veteran: 68-70... took my Basic at Fort Campbell, KY, and my AIT: Fort Rucker, Alabama-Aviation school.