Marine Genes

In my family my father is a mysterious figure of legend. Known to most of my kin as “Uncle Bob”, he was bigger than life and a particularly lethal individual. He was the dangerous, mysterious uncle who came and went intermittently, pausing long enough to regale everyone with harrowing tales of valor or tragedy. Uncle Bob stories are often told around the dinner table and usually good for a laugh.

One of my Aunt’s favorite tales is Uncle Bob vs the Soda Can. Imagining my Jarhead father assaulting the stubborn can of soda which refused to yield its nectar to him never fails to entertain.

The story goes my parents were visiting her sister and had the run of the house while my aunt and uncle were at work. Spying a can of Coke in the fridge my dad asked my mother if she wanted any. The impudent can immediately defied him by not opening in the traditional manner. My father, refusing to be rebuffed by an inanimate object went to work with a can opener. It was merely a can of soda after all; it would open for him.

My aunt returned home from work and dad remarked he couldn’t figure out how to open the stupid can of Coke. My aunt replied they didn’t have any coke. Dad said she sure did and it was on the counter in the kitchen. So she entered the kitchen to find a mangled and abused can of Coke sitting on the counter.

“Bob, that’s not a soda, it’s a can safe.”

It is regrettable no picture exists of the surviving soda can safe itself.

I’m not sure when exactly it was I became my father. My aunt says whenever I am particularly stern or angry I look just like him (of course, when I roll my eyes at her she notes I look just like my mother). Once I was crossing a street and looked up into a pane glass window. For a split second it looked like my dad in the reflection. That’s when I knew the transformation was complete.

It follows I have inherited my father’s complete and utter hatred of inanimate objects which refuse to obey me. My old company XO lamented time and again he never had a notebook handy whenever I would denigrate my office computer for the loathsome paperweight it was. This was generally any time I pressed the “ON” button. My computer ninjas have had to advise me time and again that waving tomahawks in front of printers will not actually make the print anything. I disagree.

This would so make you print in your pants.

 They might make phones smarter than I am but never as violent.

Semper Fidelis!
America’s SgtMaj

*UPDATE* As soon as I posted this my battalion Gunner had a catastrophic incident with the coffee pot resulting in shattered slivers of glass in and around the coffee mess. Fortunately, none of the precious nectar was lost in the incident. The inanimate objects are rebelling!

/ / / /


  1. So…. that whole “transforming in to your Dad thing”… need any “emergency trousers” left at your front door?

    [resisting all urges to cheer on the Electronic Minions of the World… no..! really!]

  2. Ahh Pet – not to go all Lib-Techy over your (thankfully covered) butt…

    The Important thing is that people READ. The Medium isn’t the important factor (be it book, pdf, magazine, wanted posters) it’s that people read, absorb ideas, knowledge, wonder, more ideas.

    A Nation of Readers becomes a Nation of Thinkers… and those that THINK can change the world


  3. *I reserve the right not to admit that the particularly good ebooks end up being double purchased in printed format*

    [currently only a handful of real books away from staring in an episode of Hoarders 🙂 ]

  4. So, are you announcing the official beginning of the Rise of the Zombie Machine Menace?

    Kill ’em by shooting them in the processors!

    On the other hand, there is the official USMC maintenance manual Emergency SOP:

    Step 1: Hit it with a hammer.
    Step 2: If Step 1 fails, hit it with a bigger hammer.
    Step 3: If problem persists, send it up to Depot.


  5. Don’t worry, SgtMaj, these computer things are just a passing fad. We’ll be back to oxcarts and carving glyphs on slate before you know it.

    But just in case, you might consider employing your reading skills to peruse the manual, perhaps?

  6. I like machines. Machines work for me. It’s people I feel the need to cuss at. “God, keep your arm around my shoulders and your hand over my mouth.” Amen.

  7. Pax, if it weren’t for folks like you I would think I was strange. 🙂

    CI Roller, see? And here I thought I was the only one.

    Levant, one has to indoctrinate the clones when they are young!

    Grimmy, when asked what it is I do at work I usually reply I spend my days standing on my desk hitting things with a sledge hammer until someone fixes the problem.

    Magoo, manual? Seriously?

    Saker, people OBEY. If they don’t you can always make them wish they did.

  8. My dad thought that inheritance was crap you got from your children. When the machine doesn’t work right adjust your grip and squeeze the hammer until it squeeks. – Zail

  9. Ok, I have to say I think our ASM has been turned. I think he is flying low on the radar because he is been Zombiefied. Lets us not despair and stand ready to dispatch them with the ferocity that he would want.

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