Marine Security Guard Detachment, American Embassy Madrid, 1996.
Ten of us lived in the Marine House which had a swimming pool, gym, beer on tap, pool table, and cable television. The television room blared action moves nearly twenty four hours a day. Unfortunately, the house wasn’t really made to accommodate ten aggressive, meat eating, fire breathing jar heads. There was something going on around the clock and occasionally work schedules clashed with liberty plans.
My room was directly adjacent to the TV room. Most of the time this wasn’t a big deal. One particular night I had to prepare for the day shift at the embassy the following morning. Day shift began at 0500 and hitting the rack early was essential in order to withstand the forces of evil throughout the morning.
I am generously described as a light sleeper on the best of days. This particular night a few of my fellow Marines were loudly watching movies featuring gratuitous amounts of violence. Repeated attempts to ask the volume be lowered fell on deaf ears. This may be the result of degenerative hearing loss or more likely Marines generally don’t respond to being asked anything. Car crashes, gun fire, and death cries continued to reverberate through the bedroom wall and penetrate my calm.
Average people become merely cranky or annoyed at the rudeness of noisy housemates. I seethed with fury until I became so volcanically enraged I burst through the door of the TV room with a Maasai war club, illustrating the gravitas of the situation. In between bursts of expletives too vile to record I directed the movie marathon end forthwith or the night would conclude with a club buried in the television screen and hurled out the nearest window. Apparently they believed me as I was eventually able to get some sleep.
Obviously, the television was the only thing in the room in any danger from rough treatment with a Maasai war club. It was merely a training aid used to explain the lengths to which I was willing to go in order to achieve blessed rest. At no time did I insinuate if I could not achieve blissful unconsciousness then others would.
Alright, there may have been a war club shaped hole left in the door of the TV room. But that’s it I promise.