Saturday, June 18, 2005

Short the Great Feels the Wrath

I have come to make peace.  I hereby retract every evil, mean, or snide comment I have made about the Air Force.  I will hereby render proper respect to our Nomex clad brethren and will no longer use the term “Crew Rest” in a disparaging manner.  I now see the true mastery of their evil genius and stand in awe of their diabolical ways.  I truly did not appreciate the breadth and depth of the vindictive power of his unholiness, the Evil Flight Planning Voo-Doo Witchdoctor until I saw Short the Great wither, reduced to near madness at the stroke of a button.

If you recall, Craig was in the trailing element of our unit as we made the move from Salerno to Metropolis, in fact he was the one charged to ensure that the Air Force safely evacuated all our people.  Now charging MAJ Short to work hand-in-hand with the Air Force is like asking the Attorney General to fetch some fruit from the street side vendor for John Gotti, but Craig swallowed his pride and saluted smartly.  Two weeks later, after being driven to the very edge of madness, Short the Great and the trailing elements of our task force finally closed on Metropolis, but not before Craig publicly criticized the professionalism of the Air Force.  Now some, not me mind you but some, may consider this to be similar to the WWF publicly acknowledging that there is a bit of acting involved in professional wrestling, but it was a slight not taken lightly by the dark one and time was on his side; he would have his revenge.

Finally, after months of hard work, the time for MAJ Short’s R&R leave was at hand.  He packed his bag, took his leave form and made his way to the terminal at the appointed time to manifest for his flight back to Germany.  It was not going to be that simple.  To begin with, he was not going to be allowed to fly straight back to Germany, he must go via Kuwait and secondly, the forms were not filled out properly.  Didn’t matter though, the plane wasn’t scheduled to depart now anyway.  This was just a pre-manifest call to determine if you had the right paperwork and understood the procedures, kind of like a pre-rejection, rejection, so feel free to come back later tonight and try again.

Undaunted, Craig returned to the headquarters, obtained the proper paperwork, and waited for the manifest call.  At 1700 Dublin Pub Time, I drove him back down to the terminal, shook his hand, told him to have fun and I’d see him in a few weeks, all the time wondering what type of vindictiveness would be released on him when he stepped through the doors of the terminal.

A couple hours later as I was laying on my bunk reading, the door to Stalag 17 opened and true to our concerns, Short the Great, shuffled back in muttering under in his breath.

“What are you doing here?” I asked, not really surprised, “You’re supposed to be half way to Kuwait.”

“Plane was diverted.” He replied in a resigned tone.

He stuck his head through my door and I couldn’t help but note the shell-shocked look on his face.  Now I was worried, He should have been hopping mad right now, spitting fire, and cussing a blue-streak.  We had been through this drill before, there should be anger and indignation.  There should be copious amounts of profanity laced with intermittent challenges to the professionalism and the hereditary linage of anyone in an Air Force uniform but instead all I got was the sad eyes of a whipped puppy.

“Where was the plane diverted to?” I asked hoping a destination of obvious critical importance would relieve some of the despondency but the stunned look that he gave me before answering made me feel as though I was living that interminable moment between the pressing of the detonator and the explosion.

“Ramstein,” came the flat answer, “It was diverted to Germany.”

“You were bumped off your R&R flight because the plane was diverted to your final destination?”

He slowly nodded his head, then turned and shuffled down the hall to area of Stalag 17.

Craig finally did make it out the next day and is now drinking his hefeweisen and getting to know his new daughter, but having witnessed the enormity of power that can stun Short the Great in his tracks with such a diabolical deed, I am determined to absolve myself of all complicity in any form of Air Force bashing lest I fall victim to the same sinister plot.


devildog6771 said...

Is this little battle anyhting like the Beef Jerky "war?" Great writing by the way. I fear I owe you an apology about the "knoose" picture. I later came to have a better ubderstanding of it's significance, lol. Take care and be safe. We are proud of you all and support you all the way.

Greg said...

I have really enjoyed your relationship with the Evil Flight Planning Voo-Doo Witchdoctor, especially this latest episode. It's interesting to see how it feels from the other side...

Your life will be much more pleasant once you learn the proper humility!

USAF, from a long time ago :)

In all seriousness, thanks for your blog, and your service.

chaoticsynapticactivity said...

That got a good laugh from me....humble pie, and when delivered after crew rest, has to taste really bad...

Thanks for sharing...

Sean from DocintheBox said...

Never talk too bad about the guy that holds your ticket home, specially when they can hear you. As usual, great post!

Cowboy Blob said...

So, he has felt the awesome power of the Force?

Thanks for your service.
USAF 79-02

Robin Amer said...

my name is Robin Amer and I'm a producer with Open Source, a new public
radio show hosted by Christopher Lydon, former host of NPR's the
Connection. You can check us out here:

I'm writing because we're doing a show this Monday June 27 on military
bloggers, and what we can learn about Iraq/Afghanistan from their
experiences there. I was hoping we could talk on the phone, with the
mindset of potentially having you as a guest on the show. If you're
interested, please give me a call at 617-497-8097, or email me with
your phone number and a good time to call.

thanks so much. I look forward to speaking with you.


Robin Amer
Open Source