Sunday, December 15, 2013
Agent 54 was proud to serve in the United States Marine Corps. I certainly got a lot out of my 4 years, like many stories about absolute assholes. I hesitate to say that only a month after celebrating the 238th USMC birthday but, there is no doubt that the Marine Corps has more than a few assholes in it. I don’t know if there is a correct time of the year to discuss assholes but, I’m pressed for time with Christmas coming soon and I have already written this so, with all due respect, here are the stories of three Giant Assholes. I hope you enjoy.
Was it Socrates or maybe Plato or Dennis Leary who said “being an Asshole isn’t all it’s cracked up to be? No matter, because when it comes to reviewing the thousands of Assholes you have crossed paths with in a lifetime, all former Marines know where to start. Marine Corps Boot Camp.
“Hecht, you’re so worthless you would need 2 promotions to be an Asshole” bellowed Drill Instructor Staff Sergeant Smyth as I performed push-ups in the sand pit with 9 of my closest fellow Marine recruits. “An Asshole has a purpose” he yelled and I thought “yes you do SSGT, yes you do”. Of course I said nothing as SSGT Smyth surely would have kicked mine for speaking up. He was the biggest Asshole in Boot Camp. The other DIs were mean but, SSGT Smyth enjoyed his job way too much. He was a big red-headed Irishman and I’m sure his hobbies included torturing kittens and booby trapping turtles. Years after Boot Camp, I ran into SSGT Smyth at the chow hall. I was a Corporal by then and so we were fellow NCOs. I respectfully said hello to him and he looked at me as if to say “if all these people weren’t around here now, I’d choke you”. I don’t know why but, he still hated me and he was still a Giant Asshole.
Staff Sergeant Dave Stein was a Giant Asshole from Ohio. He was a 350lb Champion “body builder” who lied, cheated, stole and didn’t feel his day was complete until he went off on a “roid rage” on somebody. His legendary outbursts made him the scourge of the Marine Corps Property unit that I was unfortunately assigned to. This guy would scare Jack Nicholson because he was strong enough to twist your head off with his bare hands faster than you can twist a cap off a beer. When he was on a “roid rage” episode he would turn bright red and with his pointy ears and flat-top haircut he looked like the Devil’s enforcer. One day I came back to the office from a short road trip to do my paperwork at my desk. As I walked down the hallway to the office, Stein burst through the door redder than I had ever seen him before and yelled at me “Don’t say a word, Hecht” “Don’t say a word”. I flattened against the wall as he passed, followed by everyone else from the office and I didn’t say anything to anyone the rest of that day. I still don’t know what that was all about but, to this day I still hold something against anyone or anything from Ohio.
Sergeant J. W. Slattery was a Lance-Corporal when I first met him. Two quick promotions later he became one of the biggest Assholes of all time. Slat was a pretty boy and the Captain’s pet. He was good-looking, smart, athletic and from a rich, prominent family in Michigan. He had three and half years of college behind him but, he got kicked out of school before graduation for sleeping with the Dean’s mother or something like that. The picture of his “fiancé” back home was beautiful but, that didn’t stop him from banging every cutie he possibly could and he didn’t care if they were married or not. Slat had it all and I think it was just boredom and meanness that made him mess with anyone who was a lesser rank and less than perfect. Slat had all the tools to be a fine Marine. He could have helped and guided the rest of us but, no, he purposefully chose to be a Giant Asshole.
There are many stories I could tell where Slat meritoriously earned the title of “Giant Asshole”. I’ll just tell the first one. My first fitness reports were to be done by Sergeant Sauls whom I worked directly for. Sgt Sauls gave me the equivalent of all As & Bs and eventually I earned a Meritorious Promotion to Lance-Corporal. Just to be a Giant Asshole Sgt. Slattery wrote a fitness report for me, giving me all Ds & Fs and he tried to submit it before Sgt. Sauls could submit the real one. If the Gunnery Sergeant had accepted the false report, it would have seriously hurt my career in the USMC. The Gunny rejected it and I did quite well in my 4 years. The only clue I have as to why Slattery tried to do this to me is that he was trying to become a permanent member of the biggest Asshole ever club. He succeeded.
In my 4 years in the USMC I met many fine Marines who got the job done without being Assholes most of the time. The three afore mentioned Marines chose to be supreme Assholes 24-7 and I could tell many more stories about each of them that would confirm that point. For those many reasons I would like to nominate them all for the first annual “Life-Time Giant Asshole Achievement” Award.