A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that noble gentleman of long mustachios, always on hand to help the enlisted man, the infamous Emperor Mong. If you’re a writer Mil SF, and the Emperor has not regularly visited your pages… you’re doing it wrong. To assist those of you without the experience (alas, what bliss you have missed), I thought I would get an expert to explain his marvelous workings
Bring it in boys and girls, Gunny Mormon is here to share a story with you. Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em, dip it if you want. No, I’m not sharing my Jim Bean barbecue sunflower seeds. Trying to find Jim Bean seeds in Utah is harder than finding a fifth of Jim Bean for sale on a Sunday.
Now, everybody knows about that Irish bastard Murphy. Murphy knows exactly how to make a mess of everything when you really don’t want it to. That time we had to go clean the battalion motor pool and a tropical storm came through right after? That’s Murphy, because the luck of the Irish does not apply when that prick is present. Murphy has a Chinese cousin named among. Emperor Mong to be precise. And what does Mong do? Heheh, that’s easy. Mong is that guy who whispers suggestions into your ear. His. suggestions will sound brilliant. Albert Einstein-worthy brilliant. Mong has practice at it too. His blue dress coat is heavy with medals from campaigns all the way back to when primitive man figured out he could kill his fellow man with a rock. Mong knows exactly how to talk to the man in uniform and convince him something is great. The common victims are you junior enlisted. Consider Private Shmuckatelli who wants to get a pet for himself. Mong sidles up beside him and whispers in Shmuckatelli’s ear : “Great idea old boy! It will make your barracks feel more home-like and pleasant.”
“But Emperor, what if Gunny Mormon finds out? Animals aren’t allowed in the barracks!”
“Pah, this is a matter of health! Having a pet increases your longevity! And besides, I have given this my blessing. Go forth and do not disobey me!”
“Yes Sir Emperor, to hear is to obey!”
Right now Shmuckatelli is watching Mittens get deep fried like a chicken at KFC. He also has a new hat to wear. Because my name is Gunny Mormon and I don’t take orders from the likes of Mong. But I will water my chili pepper garden with Shmuckatelli’s tears tonight after he finishes consuming Mittens done up extra crispy.
Now, quite often, people like to try and write the military as myrmidons — that we immediately obey all orders to perfection. The truth is that we’re still mortal, we still make choices, and sometimes we follow the Emperor’s advice even when we know better. Often, advice of the emperor comes as something normal civilians would make the mistake of doing. The rub lies in that our consequences are more draconic, immediate and painful. Hence why Shmuckatelli is enjoying extra crispy Mittens.
We conduct business on a level where people can get busy with everything from knives and garrotes to nuclear weapons. When there are monumental cock ups, it is the duty and responsibility of higher authority to deal with it. In some cases though, it’s a learning process that solves itself. If you need to, ask a military friend how sergeants handle discipline problems and bad choices.
When one of your mouth-breathers get the bright idea to siphon anti-freeze, and try to rush it, DON’T! That’s Mong talking! Ignore him. That crap burns when you swallow it, and the Medical Officer will not be amused when you go to sickbay. Nor will your sergeant when finally you are released. Nor will I when I explain to battalion sergeant major what happened. When you get the idea to marry a stripper right before we go on deployment, don’t! She will take your money, she will max out your credit cards, total your car, shamelessly cheat on you and burn your house down. Thereafter you’ll have no money, lots of creditors clamoring for your blood, no car, no house and a raging case of syphilis. And no, Mong will not return your phone calls, nor will he help you attempt to get your money back. Don’t even bother asking about the VD. It’s going to burn when you pee. You will be SOL.
When I was a young Corporal, a field op was called for in the battalion. A short event, 3 days at Bellows in Hawaii where I was stationed. It’s a great base, located right on the beach. During holiday weekend one can expect to see bikinis everywhere and the water is pleasant. Somehow, the boots in the Service platoon got it into their heads that such would remain the case while we were there.
Much discussion was had about lightening packs of unnecessary gear. It’s only three days- who needs spare batteries, a rubber sleeping mat, poncho and poncho liner? Or an e-tool, gortex, 550 cord? Besides, we’re supply, we can just slip on over to the PX and get what we need from there!
Just when I started to question this wisdom, whom should come dashing over the horizon in all His Imperial Majesty but Mong himself! “Forsooth my brave and excellent sons, fear neither the weather nor the dark! I have already consulted with the oracles- there shall be neither rain nor darkness for I have caused a full moon to occur during the time you are out and about in the field.”
“Many thanks oh Mighty Emperor!” The boots did cheer.
“You guys really sure you want to listen to him?” I asked.
“Silence thou fiend of hell! You doubt my power?”
In that case, some lessons are meant to be learned the hard way, so back I went to packing my kit while the boots let the emperor regale them with promises of wine and song and lovely women all a-flutter at their non-existent campaign ribbons.
When first we arrived, there was nothing to do. Indeed, Service Platoon wasn’t even needed to stand the guard posts right then. So grabbing a tent from the truck, I went off and emplaced. The abandoned runaway was too hard to dig through, so I went into the nearby tree line. One tent, overhead cover via my poncho, secured to the bushes nearby, drip lines, a trench dug to standard all around my tent with dog legs, and my gear laid out for easy access. Glow sticks (hastily acquired when the supply sergeant wasn’t looking) a flashlight with batteries in my dump pouch, gortex top and bottoms, dry socks. Everything is laid out just so.
Meanwhile the rest of the platoon is shooting the breeze not paying attention. They are entirely ignorant of the clouds forming on yonder horizon. 4 hours later, those same clouds opened up hell, at which point a great truth became very apparent- if thou fails to plan for the weather, thou wilt most assuredly get pulled over a barrel and roughly taken advantage of, by a donkey, without any lube. As they set up tents on the hard-packed runway, sobbing and crying to the emperor for relief, yours truly was chilling in his tent with the door flaps down enjoying the pleasant breeze and eating pogey bait. Mong of course, could not hear their pleas, face down as he was in the ample bosom of a blonde beach bunny over in Kapolei, sipping a piña colada. Because he’s a dick like that.
Remember always that the Emperor proffers his advice without charge, but if it can be charged for under the UCMJ, then strongly consider whether it’s worth doing. And check the damn weather report.
Of course the Emperor will tell you there is no need…