Thursday, June 18, 2009

Let Me See Your War Face

The other day I was at work and Sergeant and I were talking.

Sergeant is a talkative fellow, which he freely admits and says he gets it from his mother, who never ever shuts up. Thankfully, she lives 50 miles away, because if she visited him at work and the two of them started talking, we might as well just tear down our library and build a new one around them.

Even though Sergeant has been out of the army for two years, he was in for eight, and those eight years make up most of his adult life, so when he talks, he talks about the army. A lot. I’m not complaining because he’s taught me so much about my own military and the lifestyle those soldiers live to fight for this country, or whatever it is they’re fighting for (I forget sometimes), that I encourage him to talk about it with me if solely for my own educational benefit. Also, I think he doesn’t have an outlet for his stories since he doesn’t keep in touch with his military friends and he’s from a huge family where he might not be the center of attention. Or he just likes to tell war stories.

So, the other day, when we were talking, he was telling me about a particularly mean guy in the army who trained him.

Sergeant: Maybe you’ve seen this in movies, but he would always come up to you and scream, “Let me see your war face!” Then you were supposed to make a funny face and scream as loud as you could, like this.

And he did it, only minus the actual scream.

I started cracking up. I couldn’t help it.

Me: What good is that? I mean, what does that do for your training? I’d think being quiet would be a better method for soldiers during war than attacking with their war face.

Sergeant: Yeah, I don’t know, it’s just a thing they made you do. And we all had to do it.

Me: See, that’s why they need recruits who are 18 or 19, who will just do whatever stupid thing they say, like make a war face, because that’s not a skill they’re trying to develop. Only folks that young would blindly agree to doing some of these things without really thinking about its use, or lack thereof. We don’t use a war face in the real world, although…that would be hilarious.

Sergeant (laughing): That would!

Me: Yeah, if our director started walking around the library telling the staff he wanted to see our war face, I’d have to quit. It would be funny, but there’s no way I’d do it.

Sergeant: “Nikki, let me see your library war face!”

Me (laughing): My library war face? That would probably be me crying. So do you use your war face at all?

Sergeant: No, just when I’m telling someone about the war face.

Me: You need to use it more. That would be awesome. You’d scare the crap out of people.

We both were laughing and he walked away to do his rounds. I’d forgotten about the conversation until yesterday when he had an altercation with a woman in our parking lot.

Military training demanded they park vehicles with the rear of the vehicle pointing into the parking space, so when they needed to go the next time, they could just start up the vehicle and zip on out. He still parks like this all the time, finds it efficient, so I teased him about stud parking at the library.

As it turns out, he backed into his parking spot that day, as usual, and a woman in the lot started yelling at him for that, saying that’s not how you’re supposed to park and the rule of thumb dictates you drive into a space, not back in.

He didn’t argue too much with her, but said that there was no rule against backing in, that’s how the military trained him and that’s how he does it now, but the nagging woman continued to berate him for parking that way, telling him he was the worst driver she’d ever seen. Being a peacekeeper, he just stood there and let her have her say, shrugged, and they both walked away. As she was leaving the parking lot, a guy in a big, loud truck cut her off and she was forced to slam on her brakes to avoid hitting him. Sergeant said she was visibly shaken and she looked at him with big, wide eyes.

When he got to this part of the story, I was cheering for the idiot in the truck, saying it was her own karma and that’s what she gets for calling Sergeant the worst driver she’d ever seen because he stud parks.

Sergeant: Eh, I felt bad for her. She’s not having a good day today. Everywhere she goes, people are pissing her off the way they drive. Hopefully she doesn’t have kids or someone she’s going to take it out on when she gets home.

Me: Oh, quit being all civilized and evolved! She deserved it! You should have yelled back at her anyway, or said, “Hold on while I go inside and get my badge,” and then come back out ask her what her problem is.

Sergeant (laughing): No, as soon as she started yelling at me, I should have given her my war face.

And then he showed me his war face.

And I almost fell out of my chair from laughing. After wiping tears away for a while, I could see that the war face was going to come in handy after all. It was going to entertain the two of us for a very long time, applying it to situations in our lives.

I need to work on my own war face. The next time that creepy guy comes in and tells me a dirty joke, I’m going to give him my war face.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You need to post photos of the war we can all learn!!!