Things have been a little too serious here on the blog for the last couple of posts. I’ve been literally obsessing about the questions that PBS has raised in my brain and am starting to annoy myself.

All work and no play make Jess way too serious a girl.

So on that note, I’m going to share some of the oddball things that I’ve done or heard or experienced that cracked me up over the years. It’s the off crap that you really can’t see anyone doing, let alone find funny, unless you’ve been in the Army and been around a bunch of bored 18 year olds trying to keep themselves amused.

If you’ve never read the Skippy List, it’s a good primer. I first saw it in the late 90s in Germany and more recently, in BOLC II, met a guy who said he wrote it, which of course made it all the funnier.

But I digress.

So y’all know there’s a no porn rule in the Army right? Well, there wasn’t always such a clear cut message and whenever we went to the field the guys had their TMs (titty mags). (Seriously, try not to be offended. I could care less what these guys were whacking it to so long as it wasn’t me). Anyway, back in the 90s we had signal shelters called SENs (small extention nodes). It was a phone company on wheels and I was part of quite possibly the funniest SEN team in Germany. So my old team chief, who is probably reading this and who shall not be named, was really excited about going onto main base and getting the new Playboy. I mean, little kid at Christmas excited.
It was embarrassing. And I loved nothing more than screwing with this guy. Man we used to laugh. I’m pretty sure I drove him nuts.

But he was really excited. So I caught the bus from Vilseck Airfield onto main base and bought a Playgirl, which is kind of shocking if you’ve never seen one. Anyway, it’s three am and I’m on shift, taping the cover of his Playboy to the Playgirl. I’ve got the edges lined up perfectly and I’m snorting I’m laughing so hard. I wasn’t going to be there to see his face, but man, I could picture it.

Apparently, when he did open the mag, his scream could be heard across the base. I mean, I spent hours making those covers line up. It was the ultimate coup. I can’t remember what he did to get back at me but for some reason pushups and lots of them come to mind.

Its stories like these that stick with you over the years and its something intangible that people who haven’t been here just don’t understand. There are probably people reading right now going huh? That’s not funny, its offensive. Soldiers have porn?

But it is funny. It was then and the memory is even better now. Its what people do to each other when you’re around them non stop for days, weeks or even months on end.

Finding the flux capacitor in Iraq is one of those memories, but that’s for another time. There is a certain rawness about being in the Army that I enjoy. I can relax and laugh with the gang and it’s fun. It’s about the only time I really feel like myself.

I guess my overall point is that if I spend all my time thinking about the serious stuff, I’ll miss the funny stuff that makes the Army so great.