Captain Grose's Boot Camp pages

 
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Games. In normal society, the concept of "games" take on a positive, happy, and njoyable connotation. Like many other things, the world of bootcamp redefines such concepts and actually reverses meanings. The last thing that you wanted to do in bootcamp was to play games because to a drill instructor, playing games resulted in his pleasure, not yours.

One night one of the recruits, Private Carpenter, received a package and after it was opened, it was discovered that there was entire batch of homemade fudge inside. Of course the slobbering recruits could never be allowed to have such a desirable and decadent treat. But it provided a perfect opportunity for game time.

SGT Robinson was feeling very charitable that evening. He asked the recruit if he would like to eat the fudge. Suddenly, a wave of confusion swept over the platoon. Is this the same SGT Robinson that ate a two-recruit omelet for breakfast every morning? Was this the same SGT Robinson that would deny recruits the basic necessities of life if it was not against the rules? Who was this strange creature who so exactly resembled SGT Robinson and what had he done with the real one? We soon found out.

Just before the Carpenter popped the first piece of fudge in his mouth, millimeters from sheer joy, SGT Robinson yelled "STOP!" in a voice so commanding that Chest Puller himself would have hesitated. He looked at the Carpenter and squinted his eyes like only SGT Robinson could and said, "You can have all that you want, but you have to wash EVERY bite down with a swig of this, Crazy." He handed the recruit a bottle of Listerine.

The funny thing was, it did not seem to shake the Carpenter. He popped the fudge in his throat and screwed the lid off of the Listerine bottle. He took a swig and the look on his face aptly reflected the combination of fudge and Listerine. He gagged. He swallowed. He gagged again. To everyone's amazement, he grabbed another piece. We were watching a vivid example of stupidity in front of our very eyes. SGT Robinson did not seem to receive either pleasure nor surprise from this turn of events. None of us had been through the fudge/Listerine taste but we were pretty sure that a round two was not in order. But not Carpenter. He took another piece and crammed it into his green face. Down went the second slug and the display of dry heaves, choking, and guttural noises is something that I wish I could erase from my memory. He had had enough and SGT Robinson called him an idiot and took the rest of the fudge in the duty hut. We collectively considered SGT Robinson's assessment of Carpenter's intellect as correct and never let him forget it.

But this story does not end there. A few weeks later another recruit got another batch of fudge. This time, Senior Drill Instructor SSGT Wertjes was on duty and the recruit, Private Vanegas, figured he did not know about the earlier fudge-fest. So when the senior asked if he wanted to eat it, Vanegas readily agreed. It was not totally out of the ordinary for the senior to treat us better so Vanegas thought he had it made.

Vanegas was wrong. After he popped in about a quarter of the batch, he turned around to go and sit down. It was understood that he had a one-time shot and that he could eat only what he could eat at one sitting. As he turned to sit down, the Vanegas heard the senior's sandpaper-like voice mutter "Freeze." Everyone knew that Vanegas was eyebrow-deep in sewer sludge. Vanegas knew it too.

SSGT Wertjes met Vanegas's puppy dog gaze with the look of solid steel. When he spoke, only his mouth moved. His eyes never even blinked. He said, "You are not done yet, Vanegas." Drill instructors have a way of saying a name that makes it sound like the most disgusting concept on God's green earth. Everyone but Vanegas knew what he meant. Like a child, Vanegas looked at him with questioning dumbfoundedness.

"YOU WANTED TO EAT IT! YOU ARE GOING TO EAT EVERY LAST MORSEL. YOU ARE GOING TO SHOVE THAT POGEYBAIT DOWN YOUR PIE HOLE RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW. NOW BEGIN, VANEGAS!!!"

As we all watched with restrained laughter, Vanegas ate the whole box. If it was not so funny, it would have been disgusting. It took him about a half hour and afterward, the senior bend the hell out of us. Vanegas had to make a dozen trips to the head and we were thrashed to the rhythm of a lurching Vanegas whose fudge-tune echoed throughout the entire squadbay. Bootcamp was definitely a rip in reality because that did not seem out of the ordinary at the time.

I wonder if Vanegas can eat fudge these days. My guess is no, not even close.


Email -- jdgrose115@polyglut.net
Web -- http://members.tripod.com/~jdgrose115/

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