Silly Grins

Thursday, October 11, 2012

All the Little Stuff

“Is that picture over there from when you finished basic?”


“I’ve got respect for people who serve. Not saying that growing up near a base didn’t have its bad days.” 

“Oh yeah?”

“I’ve never felt quite comfortable about calling anyone a squid, despite my experiences, and I’m not stupid enough to say anything bad about the Marines. Never used the ‘J’ word, but I heard sailors use it a bit.”

“You mean ‘jarhead’, don’t you? Everybody does stupid stuff, from time to time. ”

“Can’t ever recall any bad incidents with any of the guys from the Corps. Somehow, I imagine that if there were any bad incidents with them, I wouldn’t be around to remember.”

“Actually, after my first time back, I almost got into it with a bunch of them. Thought I was going to die.”

“Really? What happened?” 

“Well, we’d just come back and a buddy of mine…we were headed to a convenience store with our girlfriends. We were dressed normal, didn’t have a car or anything. We were about to go in when a Jeep pulled up and a bunch of guys started piling out.”

“A Jeep?”

“Yeah, but with the top off, roll bar, headlights. They guys didn’t even bother parking. They just pulled up sideways, jumped out. Big guys mostly. Must have been their first night out after training or something. Those dudes had some arms. You could tell they’d been drinking. First guy out pointed at my friend and I and said, ‘I’m gonna kick your asses and fuck your women.’”

“Shit! Did you have to fight the guy?”

“No way. There were too many of them. They would have messed us up anyway. But I was carrying. I wasn’t technically supposed to be, but I’d just gotten back. Out of habit.”

“What did you do?”

“I drew my pistol while keeping my eyes on the big guy, their leader. They all froze. I guess they weren’t expecting it. Then the guy at the front called out, ‘He’s only got six rounds.’ That’s when I leveled the gun at him and said, ‘I don't miss.You’ll be first. Who wants to be second?’”

“Wow. That’s sounds pretty badass.”

“No, it wasn’t. It was fucked up.”

“Well, what happened? Those guys didn’t just fold up and leave, did they?”

“They were in a different branch, but all the jargon is close enough…I told them that I was going to report it in to their CO on base, that the crew better get back in their vehicle, unless the rest of them wanted to be reported for disorderly conduct too. One of the guys said something like, ‘Dude, this isn’t good, let’s go.’” 

“So, did you call it in?”

“Of course I did.”

“What happened to big guy?”

“I don’t know. I imagine he caught hell.”

“That’s heroic, the way you handled it.”

“Not at all. Look… the whole thing was messed up; it happened so quick. Someone could have gotten killed. I felt bad. They're our boys.”  


  1. I don't know why people act like the big guy. I work with several people who are like that. In fact just yesterday the guy I work for wrote me a check that I couldn't cash if I walked into any bank in the US. I mean, how much worse can you do to a guy than pretend to pay him for his hard work?

    The bad part is, I want to speak up, but I'm one of those people to afraid to lose my job than to stand up and say something. Bah!

    1. In this story, there was alcohol and testosterone involved, so it's not such a surprise.

      Your predicament... reminds me of a speech I was given about playing by the rules. 'Once a person crosses that line, it's a whole 'nother ballgame and consequences are very real.'

      Sounds like you are getting screwed.

      I don't know if what you have constitutes what is called a 'bad check' due to insufficient funds. The bank the check was written from... I wonder what their policy is with regard to cashing checks.

      "As long as it has the account owner's name, the date, the words "Pay to the order of" followed by the payee's name, the dollar amount in numerical and in written form, the name of the bank where the account is held (along with the bank's city and state) and the signature of the account owner, it's valid." -so says something somewhere no the Net.

      As for bad checks...

      "State of California - Office of the Attorney General, Kamala D. Harris
      Bad Checks

      Writing a check without sufficient funds may be a crime. If you believe you were a victim of criminal conduct, you should bring the matter to the attention of the police department, sheriff's office or the district attorney in the county where the alleged conduct took place.

      California Civil Code section 1719 allows the receiver of a bad check to recover three times the amount of the check, up to $1500, in civil court if sufficient notice is mailed or delivered to the person who wrote the check. The damages are in addition to collecting the value of the check and they could include court and mailing costs. A cause of action under this law may be brought in small claims court, if the claim does not exceed $5,000, or in any other court of jurisdiction depending on the amount of the transaction.

      If you have further questions regarding available civil remedies, we suggest that you consult a private attorney."

      Not like this helps. If you want options, sounds like a bit of homework (and training) could pay off.

      Otherwise, it is what it is.

  2. I remember reading about this a while back. It's a bit scarier sounding this go around. :<

    I have cousins that are Marines... all in all they are great guys. One of them is full of bravado and I think he would be a cocky SOB, Marine or not. But it just seems to add to it now that he is one.

    1. If you read it from here, that means my mind is going. That or this kind of stuff happens a little too often. From what I understand, the story is from an era when interrogators were given two days to work with instead of two gallons.

      High-and-tight... not like a haircut was needed to tell the difference between most sailors and Marines, 'cause, for the most part, they seem like completely different animals. When people go away and then are lucky enough to make it back, it usually changes them in a big way.

  3. "I felt bad. They're our boys"

    You ended with what I was thinking from mid way through.
    I ended up being frinds with folks I had fought in School days because there is a certain respect that comes with standing your ground and knowing that someone else will too. If your together and need someone to "have your back" you kinda know they will like you would. It's a primal comfort that I always liked. Talking with someone about how they got the better of you or you them is about as close to a man as you can get without fucking him but I'm not Gay and the trust is deeper than a sex act anyway I imagine.

    1. That sense that someone will do the right thing, I haven't found it in many people here... lot of shiftiness, thievery, and flat-out lies. That goes for everybody, foreign-born and native.

      Though I might not necessarily agree with them, there are people here who are solid. I think that's what makes being here stressful for some people in terms of finding ways to deal with their environment. Maybe I'm naive in a way, but I'd rather hang on to my integrity than simply fit in. Whatever that means.