21 October 2008


We've got this guy.  He's a staff sergeant in his mid-to-late 40s.  He's been in the Army since Christ was a corporal.  He seems to get out from time to time, so he's held a bunch of different jobs.
He's a wiry dude, white, with thinning hair, leathery face and a nifty little mustache.  There's a little bit of the surfer or stoner in his speech and posture.  He chain-smokes and consumes somewhere north of 30 cans of Dr, Pepper a day. We will, when feeling cheery, refer to him as "The 'Stache."
I was sitting at chow last night with a sergeant, a corporal and a specialist, and the talk to turned to The 'Stache.
He's like the smartest guy in the world, said the specialist.  He knows everything.
I don't think he sleeps, I pointed out.  Does he?
The dudes shook their heads.  The 'Stache, apparently, has been witnessed sitting down and leaning against something, and once even pulling his hat down over his eyes, but never actually sleeping.
This one time, remembered the specialist, when Ace left that SAW (Squad Automatic Weapon) in that class?  I saw him get mad, and it was like, whoa...he barely even raised his voice and I felt bad.  I didn't even do anything wrong!
Discussions went on until we'd established that nobody has ever seen him trim his mustache, get a haircut, or engage in PT.  Of course, he's entirely within regs at all times and has never failed a PT test.  He's always got extra cigarettes to hand out, and we'd trust him to perform neurosurgery with a lighter and a pocketknife.
One of those guys that, with just a slightly different personality, you could hate.  But because The 'Stache is The 'Stache, you love him.  You see a lanky figure strolling up in the dark with a can of Dr. Pepper and a pack of smokes, and you hear that west Texas accent starting out with, "well, isn't that some bullshit..."