Wednesday, February 13, 2008

To Be King

Did you ever have the fantasy that you were King? I know as a kid I remember thinking it would be totally cool to be supreme ruler. I also remember fantasizing about being the king that would occasionally dress up in rags in order to walk among the masses. What better way to feel the pulse of your domain?

Well, I'll never be King. Being a Lieutenant Colonel is as close as I'll get, but it's a fairly good substitute. Let me explain.

It's been cold here during the winter months in Iraq. As such, I don my black fleece jacket and watch cap whenever I walk to chow. Because of this uniform, no one can see my rank. I think I have a young face and I'm certainly not an imposing figure. When soldiers see me like this, they aren't really seeing me, if you know what I mean. Walking along narrow corridors, if I come up against soldiers coming in the opposite direction, there is a very definite pecking order for who has the right of way – namely whoever is biggest. It's pretty funny actually. It sometimes even comes with the "inadvertent" shoulder bump, just to make sure I get the message. I would argue that this is a good thing. These are combat soldiers after all. If they aren't at least a little aggressive they wouldn't be good soldiers, would they?

Contrast this with the warmer weather when I just wear my regular uniform. You can see my rank on my hat and on my shirt. If I walk down a narrow corridor, soldiers not only stand aside, but actually grab other soldiers and pull them out of my way. If there is a larger group someone will yell, "Make a hole!" It's like parting the Red Sea.

I'm not sure which I enjoy more - being the king or being the serf. I guess I'd better get used to serf-dom because in just 4 months, I take off my uniform for good.


The Bracelet said...

Wow, so many of the things you write about here contain phrases taken right out of my life. For instance, just before going in for the kill against whichever lady I have in the bedroom I will often yell, "MAKE A HOLE!"

Take care, doc.

Anonymous said...

Its funny you posted this today because just last night dad and I were talking about this very thing. When my boss walks into a room, someone signals his presence (usually loudly) and an entire room of 200 people or more snaps up and goes silent until he gives the command "At Ease". Hard to tell it in words if you've never seen it happen, but man, that's power. Every time it happens, and it happens several times per week, I find myself thinking, "my boss is bigger than YOUR boss!" in my best 'neener neener' voice.

The NL Wife said...

"Who's the king, baby? Who's the king?"

The Wife

BamBam said...

And that is why I am as nice to as I can be now. Despite not being able to see you in that uniform, I respect the man in it.

Once four months or so roll by, you'll just be the guy holding a glass of Scotch in his hands, wondering how the hell we emptied another bottle between us.

And much "shoulder bumping" will ensue.
(if we plan to keep upright that is)

Be safe !

Unknown said...

All hail the King.

Doc, take the joys you are given, remember the fun you had as leader of your little hospital and the examinations of many mens ball sacks.

If you aren't ACHEING to get gone. I'm worried.

Alan aka RecessRampage said...

I've never met you but you're the king in my book.

Stay safe, take care.