YOU ARE IN A "VERBAL SHRAPNEL" RICH DOMAIN
29 April 2008
The Butter-Cutter On The New USMC Running Suit
As I approached The Butter-Cutter, he was re-supplying the bowl in front of him with pats of butter. I asked, “How's your day?”
“Same ole shit: I slap two pats o' butter on each tray that comes down the chow line; when this bowl runs out, I dump in more; and then, I continue ta slap butter on trays,” he answered with little enthusiasm.
“On a different note, what do you think about the Commandant's new running suit for the Marine Corps?” (1)
“That's fine. I don't have ta pay fer it,” he answered quickly.
“But, this suit doesn't replace the green PT gear you already have. It's in addition to it,” I elaborated.
“That's fine. I don't have ta pay fer it,” he answered again.
“I read that: 'The running suit is made of lightweight, moisture-wicking, quick-drying, water-resistant materials. Features include underarm and back venting solutions, a fold-down collar, full-length zip-through jacket, and reflectivity. The lining is anti-microbial, which prevents odor and bacteria.'” (2)
The Butter-Cutter blinked at me and said, “Huh?” After a pause, he went on, “That's fine. I don't have ta pay fer it.”
“So, it doesn't bother you that you have to maintain two sets of gear for physical training: one for running and another for everything else?”
“That's fine. I don't have ta pay fer it,” the Butter-Cutter droned on for the fourth time.
“Where did you get that idea,” I leapt at him. “Only those in the Wounded Warriors Regiment and recruits going through Boot Camp are going to get it free of charge. All you other Marines have to pay $112.00!”
“WHAT!?! I GOTTA PAY FER IT? WHAT KIND O' SHIT IS THAT! I HAVE A PT SUIT THAT WORKS JUST FINE! AN', WHO THE F*** RUNS WEARIN' TROUSERS 'N' A LONG-SLEEVE JACKET? RUNNERS WEAR SHORTS 'N' A TEE SHIRT 'N' MANY SHIT-CAN THE TEE SHIRT--RUNNIN' MAKES YA SWEAT; THE MORE YA WEAR, THE MORE YA SWEAT; THE MORE YA SWEAT, THE MORE YA DEHYDRATE; 'N', DEHYDRATION CAN KILL YA! WHAT DOES THE CORPS INTEND TA ACCOMPLISH BY HAVIN' US RUN IN THIS THING--KILL US OFF?” he anguished.
I smiled to myself and said, “The Corps intends to make you look good while running.”
“Look good while I'm running? For who? Where do they think we do our running--down Rodeo Drive in a beauty parade? It's on the freakin' base in front of a bunch o' other freakin' sweaty Marines who are huffin', puffin', 'n' pukin' like we are. Serious runners seein' us runnin' in this thing are goin' ta think: 'Are you shittin' me!?!' ”
“Now. Now.” I tried to calm him down, “You're getting overly emotional. The Commandant has only good intentions here; he also wants this suit to enhance your esprit de corps.”
“Enhance my esprit de corps? How about enhancin' my WAR-FIGHTIN' by givin' me a weapon that shoots without jammin' whenever I pull the trigger 'in every clime 'n' place,' 'n' knocks down the son-of-a-bitch I hit with one round? Instead, four successive commandants have given us esprit de corps rather than war fightin': Krulak gave us a new rain coat; the next guy a green tee shirt; the next camouflaged utilities that look like a computer print-out; 'n' now, a RUNNIN' SUIT! There's a pattern here. Don't you see it?”
“Pattern?” I answered. “I don't know what you mean.”
“Looks like, the current requirement for becomin' the Commandant is that he be a 'Fashionista!' ”(3)
“A 'Fashionista?' ” I repeated. “Isn't that a little harsh. 'Fashionista' is not necessarily a flattering term.”
“Ya got it. 'FASHIONISTAS' are what we have fer Commandants. Chesty Puller must be turnin' over in his grave. An', I gotta pay $112.00 ta satisfy the latest Fashionista's passion.”
“OK! Hold it!” I told The Butter-Cutter. “I lied. You DON'T have to pay for the running suit. In fact, everyone now on active duty will get one free.”
“Why the f*** did ya tell me I had ta pay fer it?” he asked with fire in his eyes.”
“Because I got tired of hearing you say, 'That's fine. I don't have to pay for it;' and by intimidation, I intended on getting you to say what you REALLY thought.”
The Butter-Cutter glared at me while gritting his teeth. I smiled and quickly turned to leave. In walking away, I shouted silently to myself, “I finally punked that freakin' Butter-Cutter.” Then suddenly, “SPLAT!” I got hit on the back of the head by a pat of butter.
Semper . . . Sometimes good intentions come back to bite ya on the ass . . . or, to hit ya on the back of the head,
Anthony F. Milavic
Major USMC (Ret.)