(Originally written Saturday, May 06, 2006)
For those who don't know, (and in case I've forgotten to put it in previous columns) I'm in Iraq. Surprise!
Anyway, while I'm out here, (in Iraq) I write for a little magazine that my office puts out, with a circulation of 10,000 called Band of Brothers. It's not a very imaginative name for a magazine. I would have picked something like Read This Damn You! Or maybe Zonk! (it's an army thing). I don't do much writing actually, mostly just a little goofy top ten list. This list wasn't my idea, I'd like to point out. I'm used to doing a humor column, (Eighty-Four Glyde anyone?) but for some reason my boss thought I'd be good at doing a Dave Letterman-style, (I guess, I don't actually watch the show its on past my bed-time) top ten list.
Well, there's a small problem with that. I have a slight, (slight I tell you!) problem with authority. I also am not a big fan of the military, or being in the army. And sadly, I tend to bite the hand that feeds me.
I found out today that my top ten list for next month has been deemed offensive, insulting and demeaning to my fellow soldiers. I didn't see any of that, I thought it was both funny and extremely true. For those previously mentioned reasons it has been pulled from the issue, and I had to write a new top ten list, (Top Ten Places to Go on Vacation) which wasn't funny in anyway.
Well, since I can't put this banned top ten list in the magazine, I decided to use this damn blog for what it's actually intended for and put it here. So that's what I'm going to do!
Most of you aren't in the army, (I have few army friends) so you might not get everything in the list. To this end I will put explanations to anything I think people wont understand here.
CYA = Cover Your Ass
Gee, I guess that's it. Oh, the key chains I refer to are these ugly little things that say "Stay on the Team." People also get thermal coffee mugs, coins, license plate holders, stickers and I don't know what the hell else, because there's no chance I'm going to re-enlist.
Alright, without further ado, here is my:
Top Ten Reasons to Re-enlist
10. Because if G.I. Joe taught us anything, it's that evil never stops trying to turn everybody into snakes, or robots, or something.
9. Because you know you love having a job where you can randomly order around anybody you outrank.
8. Face it, you've been in the Army so long you wouldn't know what the current fashion is if somebody in a Sean John outfit came up and punched you in the head.
7. Where else would it be possible for a person with 15 years of experience in a job to be bossed around by somebody fresh out of college?
6. Being awarded for doing your job correctly: Worth a lot.
Not getting in trouble because of fine military tradition of CYA: Priceless.
5. The Army will clothe you, house you, feed you, pay you, give you free vacations to distant lands and a weapon to shoot. What more could you ask for?
4. What else would you do, join the Coast Guard?
3. Because there are just so many neat country music songs written about Soldiers.
2. Its the best way to get one of those nifty little key chains.
1. Gotta pay those bills!
See? That wasnt so bad. I don't know what the problem is. Maybe I'm just insensitive and cruel for no good reason. Maybe I'm too observant and cynical for my own good. I dunno. Whatever the problem is, it leads to hilariously wacky results. Now I just need to come up with another top ten idea...