Thursday, May 21, 2009
In this Army culture dominated by rules, any casual conversation can turn suddenly to who is right, who is wrong and what does this or that rule really mean. Recently I was eating with several other sergeants at dinner. For a while the conversation was about promotions and the arcane rules that govern how National Guard soldiers get promoted.
With that topic exhausted, one of the sergeants said she was going to get some food for a soldier who was in bed because he just had an ingrown toenail removed. The soldier in question is a genial guy in his early 40s who shops at the XXL rack. So a dispute began about what to get him to eat. "Get a salad and that kind of stuff," said one. Another said, "He needs more than that." After more speculation about his dietary needs, someone said the operation was on the soldier's Ring Toe. "You know, like the ring finger, fourth one, you count from the thumb." Another sergeant said there were no rules with toes. Someone called him an idiot. Then they started figuring out which "Piggie" had the hangnail removed. Which led the same group of sergeants to begin arguing about which Piggie was which. I was laughing so hard I thought I would lose my dinner.
Then one of the femail sergeants noted that the third piggie, corresponding to the middle finger and toe got the roast beef and could say F-you to all the rest of the piggies. Then she smacked the table and said, "Who comes up with this shit anyway. Who makes up a rhyme about Piggies."
I don't remember what we talked about after that, nor do I remember what the soldier with the sore Piggie got for dinner. But they weren't serving roast beef that night.