Dumbass Chronicles – Tommy Batboy

Updated: July 14, 2009


The Dumb Ass Chronicles: Tempting the Mighty Gods of War

“Hey Doc,” I said uncoiling the string on the pyro I’d just pulled from its stock cardboard packaging.  “I’m about to do something dumb and you won’t be able to stop me, so don’t even try.”

“Yeah, like I could fucking stop you even if you hadn’t said that,” Doc T growled wearily at me as I finished putting on my gloves.

I looked up at him with a wicked, knowing little smile on my face as I finished getting the simulator ready to go.

* * *

In hindsight there is part of me that is amazed I can still type what happened next while looking at my computer screen with both of my eyes.  Never mind hear the gloriousness that is Lizzy Hale’s voice coming through my headphones.  Usually, when one taunts the Gods of War in such a brazen and callous way he ends up in the hospital or worse, as opposed to simply a weeklong shaving profile.

It’s like pissing on a rain turtle in March at Ft. Lewis, WA while calling the Rain God a pussy on the only partly sunny day you’d seen in the two weeks you’d been out in the field.  You know that it’s going to pour rain as soon as that last drop of piss hits the ground, because your insolence demands it.  There are some things you just don’t do.

As I was uncoiling the method of my own destruction, I wasn’t thinking that way.  I was too busy reveling in another field problem being done.  Enjoying the tired haggard looks on my students’ faces from my latest operations plan.  Too proud, too confident I’d been there, done that.  Too tired myself to notice I was holding a mine simulator booby trap and not a detection “whistler” noise-making device.

I had done this dozens of times before with whistlers. At the end of our field problem all pyro must be expended and rather than take the five minutes to rig all the leftovers up to something, spool out the wire and detonate, we just grabbed the fuckers and threw them as we pulled the string.  It takes a whistler about a second and a half to activate, more than enough time for it to hit the ground a safe distance away from you.  Whistlers are all white.  The pyro tube I was holding in my hand was yellow with a white top.  What had I been telling my students for the past two weeks? Oh yeah “attention to detail,” that’s right.

“You sure about this?” JJ, a fellow instructor, asked me. I just smiled the same “I’m invincible” smile that Bellerophon must have had on his face as he mounted Pegasus and tried to ride to Mt. Olympus.  I grabbed the end of the string firmly, lowered the end of the pyro tube towards the ground, and pulled the string.


I heard the click and two things happened as fast as my synapses could make them so.  I turned my head the other way and thought:



The booby trap went off about six inches from my hand and two feet from my face.  I stumbled back as my ears rang and eyes watered.  My nose felt I’d just gotten done sparring with my old Muay Thai coach when I wouldn’t listen to him about covering up after throwing a hook to the body.  The whole experience reminded me of the time I was a private and my Spc-4, Goldsworthy, had thrown a flash bang at my feet without telling me about it.  I hadn’t liked eating that banger, and I certainly wasn’t a fan of what I’d just done to myself.

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA!  You jackass!”  JJ said from on top of the wall, laughing so hard that he almost fell off.  “You should see yourself right now!”  He choked out, trying to keep his balance.  “You, (smirk) should, AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!”  He gasped before finally giving up and just continued laughing.

“God damn it,” I said wiping my fingers across my upper lip, confirming the blood trickling out of my nose.  “Doc you got any ice?”

“HOLY SHIT Sargent!  You’re bleedin pretty good!”  One of my students told me as he rushed over, staring incredulously.  The look begging to know why the hell I thought that had been a good idea.

“I’m fucking fine, go away.  I just need some ice,” I snarled, ignoring the pleading eyes of my PFC.

“No, first you need to get that cleaned out, and all I have is alcohol swabs,” Doc T told me with a smug, satisfied, smirk.

“Come here.”

“That sting?”  Doc asked as I winced as he ran the first swab across the gash on my cheek.

“I’m fine,” I growled, determined to not let the sting show anymore, but failing miserably.

“Good,” Doc T told me smirking as some of my students started to crowd around.  “I’m going to have to do this at least twice to each.”

There’s a lesson to be learned here, I think…something about safety maybe?  I vow to never do that again…to be an example.  Hold on, one of my instructors is on the phone…there’s some extra C4!

Be right back!



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