Friday, August 03, 2012
Another Completely Arbitrary Test of My Manhood
Now such pseudo-military, pseudo-violent conflict stuff is obviously pretty patently silly; if you’re really interested in such shit, you should probably just go ahead and join the military instead of futzing around with plastic bb guns. Plenty of conflicts to take part in, world-wide.
Of course, I’m much too old for that.
Nonetheless, ya gots ta do sumfin, ain’t ya? And I’d already paid for the SERE, and I’m not sure where I’ll be when the next SERE rolls around, so I went ahead and took the Scout course.
Sound like fun? Okay, and then imagine crawling through that shit wearing heavy camo coats, long-sleeve shirts, and pants and boots. And being shot at with plastic BBs.
Even one of the instructors – a former military sniper -- dropped out after the first day for “personal reasons.” Several of the students, who’d been in Iraq, said the low humidity of desert heat made that kind of heat much more pleasant than sweaty Southern heat, and I’d definitely concur.
The second instructor, a guy about my age who’d been an Army Ranger for 20 years, impressed me a great deal with both his friendly, good-natured clear-eyed military bearing and his excellent communication and teaching skills; he clearly explained things, asked questions to make sure we understood, offered feedback on our physical practice, and then asked more questions about what we’d learned.
(Someone pointed out to me that military officers need good communication skills, especially concept checking, because a great number of the people they’re communicating with are not especially bright. That’s certainly a feeling I know.)
JUST PLAIN FOLKS
The students were a mixed bag – a couple of young would-be hipster mountain men; a couple of older bush hippie types; some shy ex-military farm boys; and a middle-aged female veterinarian who slept with a handgun in a chest holster.
I didn’t hear many particularly extremist, right-wing, or racist views expressed – mostly people talked about gear, like backpacks and knives and stuff, and a fair bit about deer hunting and primitive living stuff like building long bows. (However, the female vet made a rather crude anti-Obama comment at one point, which went unremarked upon and which I won't repeat.)
I did okay; at least I didn’t disgrace myself and I completed all the activities without collapsing from heat stroke. I’d say I learned a fair bit, too. If I’m going to be sneaking up on your command post any time soon, you best be wary.
The airsoft fighting, though, just showed me that in a case where a bunch of people are shooting at each other, usually a bunch of people get shot on both sides.
So, I’m one step closer to being ready for The End of the World. Hooray for me.
Then, leaving from my brother’s house the next day, I backed into a car parked into the street, which will cost me at the very least $500 for the insurance deductible.
Rest of my life is falling to gory pieces, too – more on that soon.
RE: Vodkaberg -- it's still cooking. All I can say is that the more time it takes me to get it finally ready, the better it will be.