REDEMPTION FOR A BULLY

you-give-us-the-fire-wwii-posterI ran into bullying twice in the Army. And, once, I was a bully myself.

Army bully number one walked behind me on a march that was the graduation exercise for Infantry basic training. If you made it through 20 miles of Georgia heat carrying a rifle and back pack, you were ready to ship out for combat in Europe, replacing soldiers who had been killed.

After we marched 15 miles, the soldier behind me began to tread on my heels and he

kept doing it till my temper lit up. Though my tormenter was a lot taller and outweighed me by 30 pounds, I yelled: “Get off my heels, you _____, or when we get back to the barracks I will break your _______head.”

The two expletives were words combining the letters c and k, which make a strong anger snarl.

He stopped and when we were back at our barracks, his eyes avoiding mine, we went our separate ways. Continue reading

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Taste Test in a World War II Blackout

Mad Men, the TV show about advertising in the 1960s, takes place just at the dawn age of television commercials. It was then that the taste test became prominent.

Blindfold an actor and feed him/her two competing products. The sponsor’s product is chosen as best.

But that blindfold test idea must have been created long before TV. I saw it used during World War II in a blacked-out German farmhouse where our squad of combat engineers was preparing for a night spent clearing mines from a road. Continue reading