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» Advice from Old People

Chelsea Royal Army Hospital
I was buzzing around London looking for some prints of a Victorian artist who did loads of British military paintings. So I am walking around and I see this old codget shuffling along and I ask him if he can point me in the direction of the nearest ATM. (ATM = Cash Machine)

He was not only kind enough to tell me, he shuffled me all the way there. Delightful fellow, he shared with me that he was a WWII veteran and that he was retired and lived in the Chelsea Royal Army Hospital. So, he was a Chelsea Pensioner.

He regaled me with tales of Dunkirk and Operation Market Garden and I thoroughly enjoyed the walk. I think he enjoyed sharing those stories and he invited me to go back to the hospital with him to meet some other pensioners...

So back we go. I spent an hour and a half, just meeting all these old fellas and hearing their stories. Absolutely brilliant!

As he was walking me to the door, he shook my hand and thanked me for stopping by as it always cheers the lads up to talk with someone interested in their experiences. I said it was MY pleasure.

He invited me back and said "Those old bastards are dying off! So you better come back quick!"

It's true you know. Our WWII vets are dying off too fast. And I lost both my Grandfathers who served, so if you've got one in your family, ask them about the war and remember their stories so your subsequent generations will know of their heroic days.

(Thu 19th Jun 2008, 20:36, More)

» Food sabotage

Military College
Sorry for, once again, drawing on my years of suffering at a Southern *(US) Military College, but frankly, this is a PERFECT QOTW!

So, as a Freshman/Underclassman at a University which PRIDES itself on the "Fourth Class System" (beating up Freshman/Knobs in order to create the 'Whole Man' that the college claimed to create), there comes a point where a young man reaches his breaking point.

I reached mine just shortly after returning from Christmas Break. South Carolina is relatively 'cool' in the winter. Not frigid like Alaska or Boston, but cold enough that we tended to wear our corduroy robes to the bathroom when we had already shed the uniform of the day. We also typically wore 'shower shoes' or 'flip flops' as the civilians call them.

So, after having endured 4 months of Upperclassmen overseeing us opening our 'care packages' from home and helping themselves, I and several of my classmates had had enough. We devised a plan, which not entirely 'unique' was, sadly, unique enough for the Upperclassmen in our company to fall for:

We baked Brownies with a CONSIDERABLE amount of laxative in them. (in case you lot know the brand, it was Ex-Lax)

For those of you 'well read' you may well have read the book "The Lords of Discipline." This was a novel written about MY college...in fact, it was 'suggested reading' for ANY cadet planning on metriculating at this fine institution. So, the story I am about to relate, is, sadly, not 'unique' but IS unique to MY experience.

Upperclassmen, despite their 'advanced years' are NOT particularly bright. And having baked the brownies with enough laxative to make an elephant on a diet of cheese and rice run to the gentleman's room, and THEN, sending them through the MAIL, from the very same city in which the college in question was located made ZERO difference.

We shipped them to a classmate. And he made a big 'to do' about bringing them into the Battalion, where we all lived. Upperclassmen came out of the woodwork to inspect said package and pilfer more than one brownie. Fortunately, we had the foresight to bake enough for about 50 cadets. We even saw to it to include a hand written note saying "We baked enough for your classmates, so make sure you share."

The upperclassmen enjoyed the brownies. It was almost too laughable to report. They gobbled them down as if we were in a combat zone and those were the LAST brownies they would ever eat.

About an hour and a half later, we heard the doors in the Battalion opening and slamming shut as SEVERAL of the supposedly 'more intelligent' Upperclassmen made the mad dash to the bathroom.

However, they didn't realize, us Freshman had taken Herculean steps to make sure their evening was particularly memorable:

In the bathrooms (it was an all-male college) we had taken 'Heel and Sole dye' (a black liquid we used to dye the heels and soles of our shoes to make them VERY black and 'extra' shiney) and colored the toilet seats. We had also added a healthy coating of Saran Wrap or "Cling Film" over the toilets themselves. Then, we un-wound the light bulbs so they wouldn't light up the area in question. (we were devious AND well-read little bastards)

The resulting insanity left several supposedly 'more intelligent' upperclassmen with PITCH BLack arses AND brown stains along their thighs/robes.

I paid for that...as did SEVERAL of my classmates (all of them in fact) but you know what? I would GLADLY do it again with the threat of the resulting beatings as a warning. Those bastards DESERVED trying to take a shit, having the liquid result splattering ALL over their 'kit' and leaving the restroom with a LARGE black circle on their arses.

I do NOT apologize!

Sic Semper Tyrranis!

(Fri 19th Sep 2008, 8:58, More)

» In the Army Now - The joy of the Armed Forces

As a newly minted Second Lieutenant in The USMC (Uncle Sam's Mis-guided Children) I had the honor of taking part in simulated combat training. This training took place over 8 days and involved leading a Platoon of Marines through a simulation involving calling in artillery, air strikes and all the other aspects of warfare one might expect in the modern conventional warfare theater.

It was a hoot...except for staying up for 8 days. Sure, there were catnaps, but in that state, you are terrified (especially as a Second Lieutenant wanting to make a good impression) of screwing up. So you stay awake...right up until the serious hallucinations start kicking in.

I was, apparently, trying to put a quarter that I had bummed off one of my NCO's into a tree that I was convinced was a Coke machine. My Sergeant said I told him I "needed the caffein."

My marks for the exercise? I aced it. :D

I have more of these, and honestly, just once I would like to make the first page...so I hope some of you will be able to put aside the knowledge that 1) I am a Yank and 2) that I served in the US imperialist war machine (and enjoyed it), and vote for my post. :)

Its not much to ask really...is it? I will even refrain from making the obligatory remarks about my size and prowess.

Semper Fi!
(Sun 26th Mar 2006, 6:08, More)

» Customers from Hell

D'agostino's NYC Thanksgiving 1999
Well, it was the night BEFORE Thanksgiving and I was picking up something to chow on at my local D'agostino's grocery store and then getting a good nights sleep prior to jumping in the car bright and early for the drive home for the holiday.

[as it turns out, living on the Upper East Side of NYC and planning on driving ANYWHERE 'westbound' was, because of the Thanksgiving Day Parade, a HUGE mistake!]

But the night before, I was planning on an early evening, staying in and then heading home. So I was standing in the '10 items or less' lane and there is a guy, two people in front of me that has at least 30 items. The guy in front of me had a package of meat. (should have been a warning to the guy with 30+ items).

The guy with the meat package says "Hey, buddy, what are you doing? You're in the WRONG lane. You've got FAR too many items for THIS lane." (may not be his exact words)

The guy with 30 items? A relatively squirrely guy, turns 'round to the meat package guy and says "Oh yeah? You can COUNT. What the fuck do YOU care?!" (Those however, WERE his EXACT words!)

Meat package guy didn't even hesitate. He casually tossed his package of meat (two steaks I think, and I fear he intended on eating them raw) and proceeds to hit the 30+ items guy STRAIGHT in the mouth.

30+ items guy goes down IMMEDIATELY and the cashier, not skipping a BEAT slides the remainder of his items to the end of the register, reaches over to the meat package and says "Is this it then?"

As I paid for my items, the cashier gave me a look that simply said "THAT WAS FUCKING AWESOME WASN'T IT?!" Then as I was leaving 30+ items guy was just starting to get up. I seriously contemplated giving him a kick, but figured: he has learned his lesson.
(Tue 9th Sep 2008, 3:53, More)

» I Quit!

Sorry for the length in advance
So alot of you know I used to work in the Wall Street Salt Mines. My first big firm was headquartered in Hackensack, NJ (should have been a tip-off).

They originally had me working the 5th Avenue Office and it was great, then they moved me to the Long Island office which was in Huntington, NY. The commute out was fine, but the commute BACk to the city was a nightmare. Anyway, I was toiling away, making ALOT of money. So I was relatively happy/complacent/whatever.

UNTIL one day I realized that the branch I was working in (and had been promoted to managing a team in) was financed, overseen and secured by the Bonanno Crime Family. (no bull$hit)

For those of you unfamiliar, think: "Boiler Room" meets "Wall Street" meets "Goodfellas". They even had a 'security guy' who looked JUSt like Ray Liotta after about 5 years of steroids! HUGE guy...name was Defalco.

I had been a Marine, where honor and duty were the catch words...and ended up squarley in with the nastiest, vilest creatures on the planet.

So I decided to leave. I was on my way into the office to get my paycheck (we got paid once a month) and then resign and obsessing over what the hell I was going to do. I mean, one broker who left ended up in a mysterious car accident and another ended up getting beaten up at his new firm...literally RIGHT in front of the whole office.

So a commercial came over the radio for $199 flights to London. I booked it before I even parked my car at the office...to leave the next day...from Baltimore, Maryland.

SO I go in, get my check, go to the bank and CASH it, then head back to resign. I waited until all but one of the big bosses were gone and went up to him and resigned.

I rush back to the city, collect my dog and other necessary items to head to Maryland to leave for the UK to let it all blow over a bit before coming back to start with the new firm I had accepted a position with...

I get home to Maryland, drop the dog at the folks and have my Dad drop me off at the airport for my flight. I am waiting in line and my cell phone rings...I pick up the call and I hear Defalco SCREAMING: "I am going to find you, rip your fucking head off and shit down your mother fucking neck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

I dont think in my entire life that I had ever 'blanched'...turned white with fear...my knees were as weak as a sapling in a hurricane...I could literally feel the blood rushing away from my face. I just KNEW he already knew where I was and where I was going...

Then, I heard the strangest sound: laughter. He was taking the piss! He was calling me because he wanted to make sure wherever I ended up, that we could still be FRIENDS! I have NEVER been so terrified in all my life...and the bastard was just messing with me.

To THIS day, I am STILL friends with that guy...partly because I am afraid if I ever tell him I dont want to be his friend...well, that he might revisit his threat that day on the phone.
(Thu 22nd May 2008, 17:36, More)
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