Tuesday, February 5, 2008

A Jerk

(Posting a day ahead of schedule as I'm about to head out to a friend's. We're supposed to get 6 to 12 inches of snow, so I'm pretty sure I'll be crashing there and won't be here to post in the morning.)

As with some other posts in this blog, there is no main point to make, no tag line, no careful leading up to some culmination. It just happens that a jerk from my past has popped into my mind. We'll call him Crew.

Crew was an E-4 (a low ranking enlisted man for those of you who don't have this information) and the son of a Captain, who, as chance would have it, was also assigned to our outfit. Crew seemed to think this gave him some special status among the troops. From time to time he was reminded by various NCO's that there was nothing special about him, and from time to time he was reminded forcefully by a peer that this was the case, but the attitude never went away. He just walked around with a totally unjustified air of superiority. If it ever got him up to E-5 I don't know about it.

Two anecdotes, tangentially related to softball, come to mind:
  1. Our post softball team went to N├╝rnberg (Nuremburg) for a playoff game and a few of us were exploring the city. We spotted a sidewalk vendor of hot foods a half block away, and decided that we all wanted chicken. The question arose as to who was going to deal with the vendor, as none of us spoke German very well. Crew said, "I'll handle it."

    Crew to Vendor: "Gimme zwei shick-EN."

    Vendor to Crew: "Would you like two chickens or two half-chickens?"

    Smiles broke out among the rest of the group, but . . .

    Crew to Vendor: "All I want is zwei shick-EN."

    Sheesh.

  2. Crew got married and moved out of the barracks and into government quarters or downtown ("on the economy") with his wife, which for some reason made him even more insufferable.

    The softball team was boarding a bus to somewhere. We had just learned that a friend and former teammate, Mike Dwyer (real name) had been killed in an automobile accident at Fort Hood, Texas. It happened nine days before he was to marry his high school sweetheart. Now I was a close friend of Mike's, as was Johnny, who was also on the bus. The three of us had run together for perhaps a year before Mike returned to the States. Crew, it happened, had disliked Mike because Mike had dated Crew's wife before Crew met her.

    Johnny and I sat down and began talking about how difficult it was to believe that Mike was dead. Crew was walking by, overheard us, stopped and faced us, grabbed his crotch, and said, "Yeah, it gets you right here."

    I was sitting in the aisle seat, between Crew and Johnny, and immediately turned toward Johnny to see if I was about to become a Mike sandwich, but Johnny, with all the quiet confidence acquired during his reign as 7th Army welterweight boxing champion, just sat there, looked up at Crew, and said, "You ask your wife who got her cherry."

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