Saturday, June 1, 2013

This is my foot. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

Dear friends,

The Hard Taco song for June is called, "Tiny Hearted." This song has a favorable bit resolution and a very pleasing ratio of zeros to ones. It's a digital dream, much like a good piece of MARPAT.

What is MARPAT? You would certainly recognize MARPAT if you weren't a tree-humping bedwetting limousine liberal. MARPAT is the large pixel-based camouflage pattern on the modern Marine uniforms. Compared to the Army's unsightly camo splotches, the lo-res graphics and rough boundaries of the MARPAT (MARine PATtern) uniforms provide more effective concealment, whether you're in a modern combat arena or the original Nintendo Legend of Zelda game.

Specialized MARPAT uniform swatches for  A) woodland areas, B) desert areas, and C) Hyrule overworld areas.
 Other than excitement of receiving three patented MARPAT utility uniforms, Marine boot camp must be rather tedious. You have to learn multitasking (jogging AND wearing a backpack). You have to memorize the regulations about whether to shout "Sir" at the beginning or the end of a given sentence. You must walk endlessly up and down airport concourses. Or so I assume, because that's the only place I ever encounter men in military fatigues.

Can you spot the U.S. Marine in this  low resolution digital airport? Probably not, thanks to MARPAT.

A few months ago, my family was boarding a plane, and there was a gentleman in a desert-themed MARPAT utility uniform in a first class aisle seat. He was just sitting there, thumbing through Hemispheres Magazine like a real person. As we passed, Lauren smiled at him and said, "Thank you for your service."
This is one of the more astonishing things I have heard my wife say in the (***find out before publishing final draft***) years we've been together. It seemed entirely unprecedented. I can think of dozens of situations where the phrase, "Thank you for your service," would be more appropriate. For instance:
  • My opponent gave the shuttlecock a swift underhand smack and it's coming directly to me. Thank you for your service!
  • The rabbi just finished the closing prayers and wants to talk to me. Is he fishing for compliments? Thank you for your service!
  • We didn't register for enough plates to accommodate all the guests at this function. But wait, you brought over a 16 piece dinnerware set? Thank you for your service (for four)!
So why was Lauren thanking this barely visible stranger? Maybe she assumed he was a high ranking officer because he was sitting in first class. If that was the case, would that make him any more trustworthy? Last time I checked, highly decorated Marine officers were best known for trying to take over Alcatraz and attack San Francisco and order subordinates to beat each other to death.

And what service do Marines actually provide, anyway? Everyone knows that all they do is line up on rocky promontories and twirl rifles. It's a very impressive skill, but one with dubious military value. If the rifle had a bayonet and the enemy was throwing cucumbers, sure, that would be something, but how often does that happen in a combat situation? If I'm ever in a war and have to choose a platoon for the vanguard, I'd forgo the Marines in favor of a line of Rockettes. At least they can kick people in the face.

Well done, Girls! Now get your left feet ready... here comes the second wave.
With warmest regards,