Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Cold vs. Pride

In preparation for going to the field for a training exercise, there are a few things that almost always happen, gear-wise. Lists are made, weather channels are consulted to determine future weather (best bet is to go with just about a complete 180 of whatever the weather-schmuck predicts), orders are given, and inspections are conducted. This is to ensure uniformity of the platoon, welfare of the subordinate Marines, and that everyone knows what the plan is... supposed to look like.

During one pre-training brief somewhere Southern Cali, we got word that as we were only going to be scheduled to train for a quick two or three day field training evolution, and being the weather was so nice (it's late Summer in California, for Pete's sake), cold weather gear was going to be at the minimum. No packs were deemed necessary. Field-stripping of MREs (where you open the MRE, take only the items that you plan to eat, and distribute them to the various pockets, pouches, nooks, and crannies that are on the uniform, flaks, and load bearing vests) was advised, and that was about all the word we got as far as gear goes. Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work we go...


Naturally, when the weather gods got word of our platoon going light, they rose to the challenge...


'Round about 2200 hours was when it started to get miserable. The temperature had dropped, the winds were staring to gust up, and we were getting desperate. In a moment of levity, a small group of PFCs were volun-told to dance the 'weather gods pacification dance'. The gods were not pacified, and sent a cool drizzling rain as a sign of their displeasure. The PFCs started to get nervous looks on their faces as they danced their little hearts out.

The platoon took inventory of the scarce quantity of cold weather items that we had on hand. Most Marines had with them the standard leather glove shells... and that was about it. A few guys who had learned some hard lessons in regards to some guy named Murphy were a little more prepared. They had a few ponchos and poncho liners. One guy had a scarf. I had my zippo and fuel (trees, foliage, and a couple of PFCs), but that idea got shot down. Not enough marshmallows to go around, I think.

Picture, if you will, my fire-team (4 Marines) standing around in the cold drizzle, starting to shiver, wondering what it would have been like to go into the Air Force recruiter's door way back when... all the while looking down in the darkness at the one poncho and liner between the four of us. We were all thinking the same thing, but nobody wanted to be the one to bring it up. Eye contact was at a minimum, due to the inevitable plan of action.


Cold and Wet eventually kicked Pride's freezing ass and I am here to tell you that you can fit four to five smelly, macho, burly, legend to the ladies (if only in their own eyes), Marines underneath one poncho and liner, all snuggley and cuddly-like. Erotic dreams were strongly discouraged and deadly force was authorized for anybody who happened by with a camera. It wasn't pretty, by any means, but it got the job done.





4 comments:

Johnny Law said...

LOL Sounds like one of my previous camping trips. My buddy and I miscalculated the weather and had to spend the night spooning. Vows were made to never speak of this again.

Murphy said...

Heh, for some reason my rendition of 'Love me Tender' didn't go over so well with the rest of the guys...

Ambulance Driver said...

I'd have had to spoon close and then whisper, "You know, I really thought Brokeback Mountain was a touching love story."

See, that way you get the whole poncho liner to yourself. ;)

Murphy said...

...either that or chow down on the burrito MRE right before hitting the rack.