Magazine article Insight on the News

Soldiers Hit the Mark with Pointed Wit

Magazine article Insight on the News

Soldiers Hit the Mark with Pointed Wit

Article excerpt

Byline: Stephen Goode, INSIGHT

Soldiers Hit the Mark With Pointed Wit

Apparently GI humor is as old as whenever it was that the first men left home to serve far away under commanders who sometimes didn't elicit their unreserved respect. And that was a very long time ago indeed. GI wit pokes barbed fun at pretension, but it also is self-deprecating. It's both gentle humor and biting, reflecting the need of the average Joe to make his own often uncomfortable and uncertain situation more bearable, even fun.

In Iraq, American soldiers have caricatured the elusive Saddam Hussein in Elvis disguises and, inevitably, in drag as Rita Hayworth and a downright mean-looking Zsa Zsa Gabor. This is the kind of humor for the people is talking about and the kind of humor displayed in the following stories, collected on the Internet and sent by a friend. Consider:

* During training exercises, a lieutenant driving down a muddy road encountered another car stuck in the mud with a red-faced colonel at the wheel.

"Your jeep stuck, sir?" asked the lieutenant as he pulled alongside.

"Nope," replied the colonel, coming over and handing him the keys. "Yours is."

* Having just moved into his office, a pompous new colonel was sitting at his desk when an airman knocked on the door. Conscious of his new rank, the colonel quickly picked up the phone, told the airman to enter, then said into the telephone, "Why, yes, general, I'll be seeing him this afternoon and I'll pass along your message. In the meantime, thank you for your good wishes, sir!"

Feeling he sufficiently had impressed the young enlisted man, the colonel sternly demanded, "What do you want?"

"Nothing important, sir," the airman replied. "I'm just here to hook up your telephone. …

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