Some of you may have awakened this morning to check out the Ladies… Hot Blogger Brackets. You may have seen me matched up with Monday Morning Punter from Kissing Suzy Kolber and thought “Wow, that sucks for him!” You don’t know the half of it. When I see MMP gazing out at me, turning all pruny from the bath with suds in his chest hair, I don’t fear for my chances of advancement. I fear for my very soul.
It was 1971, and we were in the Cambodian jungle. I was a buck private, straight out of Fort Riley, but my natural talents at subterfuge, backstabbing, and not taking a shower for weeks had been recognized during training, and I had been assigned to an elite Black Ops unit. Our job was to penetrate the Cambodian border and destroy illegal NVA staging areas. This was my first such mission.
We were illegals in Cambodia as well, and if captured, we would be left to almost certain torture and imprisonment. To guard against this possibility, none of us were allowed to use our real names. My Sergeant was a terrifying, soulless man I knew only as Monday Morning Punter. My callsign? Extrapolater. Because they let us pick our own names and.. well… I’m kind of a dork.
We moved at night and slept holed up in the foliage during the day. I was awakened one sultry morning by an unaccustomed chill running down my spine. It was Sgt. Punter, pissing on my back.
“Wake up, Rookie. It’s rainin’!” He threw his head back and laughed. The long, descending laugh of a bald-headed loon.
We shouldered our packs and began to walk. Time was of the essence, but we couldn’t afford true speed. Every broken branch was like a shout to our North Vietnamese adversaries, like A-Rod shouting “Mine! Mine! MINE!” at a sinewy ecdysiast. Usually we skirted around the villages, but today MMP had a different plan.
“I smell varmint poontang” he said, gritting his teeth as he peered at a collection of hovels. “Let’s go drown some kittens.”
You see, animal death is nothing new to the boys at Kissing Suzy Kolber. Today they’ve worked their way up to alligator vs. Dik Dik, but back then the balance was not always in the animal’s favor. Back then it was man vs. beast in the jungle, and Sgt. Punter hated kittens. Just hated them.
“Goddamn, I hate Kittens” he grunted.
We moved into the village hard and fast. As the locals cowered on the ground, we spared only a few poorly-aimed kicks in their direction. MMP wasn’t hunting humans that day.
We burst into a hovel that housed a few motley chickens. From the corner came a piteous mewing. Sarge looked straight at me.
“Time to prove yourself, kid. Sack ‘em up”.
Time stood still. I wish I could say that I had displayed the kind of plucky courage shown by Michael J. Fox as he stood up to the brutal Sean Penn in the 1989 classic Casualties of War. But I didn’t. I was weak, and I did not yet understand that the chain of command is subordinate to the steady drumbeat of morality.
I sacked ‘em up, but I couldn’t drown them.
Sarge spat on me, kicked me bloody, and then gave me one of Big Daddy Drew’s poopy towels to clean myself up with. When we returned from the mission, he declared me “unfit for duty” and transferred me to China Beach medical station. There was a hot nurse there from Kansas, so I didn’t mind so much.
I had forgotten about my harrowing experience. Shoved that hateful memory so deep down in my subconscious that I thought it would never see the light of day. But then I pull up my browsing window this morning and there he is, staring back at me with mockery in his eyes, and bubbles on his chin. We are adversaries once again.
Well, I’m not a sack of kittens, MMP. This isn’t Cambodia. Prepare yourself for a fight.
If you’re out there, getting ready to cast your vote, and you’re thinking. “Yeah, I’m going to vote for the younger, hotter, more popular writer from the bigger blog”, just think about what I’ve told you today. I gave it to you at great cost, and I would not sell myself so dearly and have nothing come of it.
This is Roger Goodell’s America, and behavior counts.
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