Friday, June 1, 2007

Colorful Characters

For the past 16 years, I've had the distinct pleasure, and occasionally the displeasure, of working with some of the most colorful characters that I've ever met. The Marine Corps is made up of men and women from all over the country, and even the world. We certainly have our fair share of eccentric, charismatic, and downright odd people. Here's a brief description of a couple of those people.

The Bat Cave
Several years ago, I worked with a young man that was a bit eccentric. He was very fond of tattoos and body piercings. Of course, body piercings are not allowed for male Marines, and he toed the line. He would, however, routinely mention his desire to get his penis pierced. He thought that was a grand idea, and was very much looking forward to the day when he could. In the meantime, he decided to get a tattoo on his penis instead. For some reason, he felt that getting his member tattooed to look like a bat was a nifty idea. He got little eyes on the head of the organ, with wings and such along the rest of it. He would frequently show it off to anyone who was willing to view it. Being that Marines are pretty down to earth, and not shy, most of us took a look at the thing. It was impressive work, but everyone that I knew was struck by the sheer oddity of it. Marines are not very sensitive folk (usually), and are typically NOT politically correct. Hence, the young man's roommate, being a bit on the effeminate side, was soon given the nickname "Bat Cave." He wasn't fond of the moniker, but he was a good sport about it. The young man with the bat on his tool was infinitely amused by that.

The Reuben Sandwich
Another young man that I knew (we'll call him "Johnson") was, apparently, very good with his hands. By that, I mean that he was addicted to masturbation. He would do it just about anywhere, and he would do it many times per day. One day, while our platoon was in the field on a training operation, we made a "tactical road march" in our humvee's. We were making our way across the desert in a single column, and Johnson's vehicle was directly ahead of mine. The only two Marines in the vehicle were the gunner and the driver. Johnson was the driver. The gunner stands up through a hatch in the roof of the vehicle and mans the machine gun. In all reality, the gunner is not down in the vehicle much at all. While driving down the road, I saw what looked like a tissue being tossed out of the driver's side window of Johnson's vehicle. About 15 minutes later, he did the same thing. I knew then that he was taking advantage of being "mostly alone" in the truck. That's how often he would do it...whenever he could. About a week later, Johnson came to work in a very excited state. He was bubbling with glee. He quickly explained that he had discovered the joys of the Reuben Sandwich. When asked to explain, he cheerfully replied that he had discovered that a warm Reuben Sandwich "feels just like the real thing."

These are just a sampling, but you get an idea of the type of colorful characters that I've met over the years.

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