Monday, May 07, 2007

Merrick's Fabulous Dancing Monkey

First day, officially, as driver for my platoon leader, Lt. Merrick.

First Lieutenant Merrick is the one officer all the soldiers in the company lust for. Young, pert, blonde, and definitely a girly-girl, she's the type who makes this uniform hot. Honestly, I was secretly pleased to have been made her driver, if only for the chance to enjoy a bit of eye candy.

But man, oh man.

After lunch today, I spend damned near an hour waiting for her in the company parking lot. That much, I don't mind--I'm just glad to be relaxing in my Humvee with the AC on. It's been murderously hot the last week or so, and the idea of roasting away in that forklift seemed less than appealing today.

A certain amount of guilt creeps on. I feel bad, not being out there with Oz and Ramos where I belonged. I feel like I'm getting off easy. I've been acting driver for about a week now, following Miklaszewski's return to Germany for shoulder surgery, and with all the errands that LT had to run, I'm not getting much chance to help out my buddies down in the motor pool. Seems lately like I'll barely be out there for half an hour before I gotta run her up to Mayor Cell or DFAC 2 or the Company, and honestly some part of it offends my work ethic.

Anyway, there's that. She doesn't get out to the Humvee until almost 1400. Not so bad, save for the guilt. Then a run up to Battalion S-6 (what the hell is S-6 again, anyway?), to pick up some desk-job Specialist (lucky bastard) for some deal down at the motor pool. Get stuck in traffic behind a civilian convoy, so I don't get back on-site until almost 1410.

But then, I no more than get out of my vehicle and light a smoke, when I hear THIS from pretty, flaky LT Merrick:

"Oh, and uh, Freeman? When you get a chance, I need you to run this thing down to the Maintenance Bay. They said you need to replace the tires."

I look up. "Tires, ma'am?"


"All of 'em?"

She shrugs. "I'm really not sure."

I pause to think about this. "Ma'am, if I may, when I was doing PMCS on 37 earlier today, Faulkner did my QA/QC and he told me the tires were good. I specifically asked him about the treads. I know I did."

"I dunno. All I know is, they called up here about an hour before lunch, and said you needed to do it."

She says this with that same stoned-out, upward-inflected pseudo-inquiry that I noticed from all my pothead friends back in college. This woman actually outranks me. She graduated from West Fucking Point. I remember putting away my matches and fondling the end of my filter between my teeth. I scratch my nose, sniff, and shrug.

"Okay, then. I'll get it done, ma'am. What time did you say you needed me back up here?"

"Well, okay,"--she says she's from Pennsylvania, but she sounds like she's from the fucking Valley--"I gotta be up at my meeting early today, so I'm gonna need you up here at--"

I nod. "-1545?"

"-1530." She squints behind her BCG sunglasses, like a cute, blond Ray Charles, and affects a sweet halfhearted smile I know she's perfected over the years to get her way. As if the bar on her chest weren't enough. I nod again.

"Can do, ma'am. See you then."

"Thanks." She grins again, and goes bouncing happily into the office. I shake my head and extinguish my cigarette.

"Fuck," I snarl under my breath.

That gives me less than an hour to possibly change out all four tires by hand--no impact wrenches in the bay--and on a Humvee, it's more of a feat than on your little 2003 Chevy Prizm. I place the barely-smoked cigarette back in the pack and grab my Kevlar off the roof. I slam the door as I get back in.

"Son of a bitch," I say. Say hello to Lt. Merrick's Fabulous Dancing Monkey. Wear the little hat. Grind the little organ. Dance, bitch, dance.

I swear to God, if I have to come back to the motor pool after this meeting of hers, I'm gonna scream.


Anonymous mamaworecombatboots said...

What if you didn't, but said you did?

I did some time in a motor writeups from cres on alert "right front tire flat on bottom."

Well then, rotate!

6:39 AM  
Anonymous mamaworecombatboots said...

Too quick to the "publish" button. crews. crews on alert. (with nukes)

6:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ugh. I worked with many, MANY officers...and Alert Crews (NAOC) I'm surprised my head is not permanently dented from banging it against my desk.

6:39 PM  
Blogger cinnabari said...

I've met many, many cadets. Some of them are brilliant. Some of them have the social skills of sweet potatoes. But the female cadets I've known, the handful who didn't quit in disgust after years of hazing and sexual abuse, were the ones who learned to work the system. Sounds like Merrick figured out what works. That's sad, both for what it says about the system and for what it says about her that she chose that path.

My mother was an officer, albeit it from OCS. Damn sure she didn't play the sex kitten card, and double damn sure she played dumb for no one. Go, mom.

8:36 PM  
Blogger Seven of Six said...

I take it the tires were already on rims and balanced for you?

5:37 PM  
Anonymous BobKincaid said...

That annoying, fauz-question-at-the-end-of-every-sentence verbal tic?

You being a literate guy, I figure you won't mind being told there's a word for it.

It's called "upspeak," and, yes, it had its genesis in the Valley Girl. It has? However? Become? Y'know? Ubiquitous?

We here in the states have had it prominetly heaped on us day-in and day-out by the pert blonde who filled in for White House Spokescreep Tony Snow while Snow was having some more of the cancer that seeps throughout the White House pulled out of his guts.

Her name is Dana Perino. To me, she's Dana Perineal. You can well imagine why. She upspoke to us about why the Democrats in Congress want to surrender, about why Americans who oppose the war are almost French, why Alberto "Fredo" Gonzales is, like? Y'know? the best attorney general? Ever?!

All that eye candy kinda gets diminished, y'know? by that annoying, phony, ditzy lilt.

5:52 PM  

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