17. November 2004 · Comments Off on Memo: For Those of Delicate Sensibilities · Categories: General, Military

To: Those Inclined to write Letters to the Editor
From: Sgt Mom
Re: Certain Realities

1. It has come to my attention that a fair number of people have come unglued over the widely published photo of a young Marine in Fallujah, smoking a cigarette in a manner that would do Bill Mauldin’s Willy and Joe proud, and have written scandalized letters to the editors of their local papers expounding at length on how this is not a Nice Thing to Publish, not where the young and impressionable can see it.

2. My very dear, sensitive letter-to-the-editor writing people, I would address you all as “Noveau Victorians” except that the actual, historic Victorians— being hard-headed businessmen, and not nearly the sexual prudes they were reputed to be—had rather robust appetites for good food, lots of drink, and tobacco in several forms. While indulging in the pleasures of the table, tavern and pipe in public were generally restricted to the male of the species, the famous actress Mrs. Patrick Campbell summed up a certain attitude of toleration— and one that we might well take to heart in this modern age— when she remarked, “It does not matter what you do in the bedroom as long as you do not do it in the street and frighten the horses.”
Smoking a cigarette does not frighten the horses. Please trust me on this.

3. Allow me also to acquaint you with the following: members of the military— an organization dedicated primarily to killing our enemies and blowing stuff up— often indulge in;

Consumption of tobacco products
Consumption of alcohol products (occasionally to excess)
Excessive f**king profanity
Flamboyant tattoos
The romantic (or otherwise) pursuit of members of the opposite sex
A fondness for guns, bladed weapons and things that explode

4. Pictorial evidence of these qualities should not therefore be a cause for alarm, and half-witted twitterings to the editor of your paper. Should you feel moved to do so, please lie down on the fainting couch with a handkerchief dampened with eau-de-cologne over your forehead until the feeling passes.

Sgt. Mom

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