By J.E. McCollough Entering the private sector after military service is rarely...
By Grin and Barrett
Is there anything better than listening to another story by “that guy.” You know the turd-wrangler I’m talking about, he’s the guy that’s been there, done that; bigger, better, and more often than anyone else. His self indulgent rants rank up there only with the ridiculous verbosity that frequently graces our hallowed political establishments. You’ve been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan; he’s been deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea, and Fort Polk….four times each. It’s not enough to trump the minions that surround him, they must be vanquished to verbal Valhalla.
You see, That Guy (Hitherto referred to as TG) is usually not the most confident of blokes, hence the over-compensatory story overload. This is the reason TG has been deployed so many times, to so many remote regions. This is the reason TG got a 760 on his last PT test – and that wasn’t even the extended scale! Same reason TG had it harder during basic training, only showered four times during his last 15 month deployment, and only ate three MREs every two weeks while at a remote outpost in Kazakhstan with no mail, no support, and a constant barrage of rotten tomatoes and leprosy outbreaks. This ever-flowing outpouring of woe-is-me-I’ve-had-it-so-hard-but-aren’t-I-a-badass-look-how-I’ve-persevered nonsensory (made up word, can’t help it) only reflects that character flaw even more, increases the rabid and deranged rants, and perpetuates the cycle even further.
There was a time, I must admit, that I met these rants head on, toe to toe, pointing out flaws of logic, gaping holes where reality clearly tapped out to fantasy. Really dude? You dated Angelina Jolie before she was famous? And YOU dumped HER? Arrrgghhh, truth infused rage building, must…get….the….truth….out….of….this….douchebag. Unfortunately, I learned the critical lesson late in life. Fantastical and clearly fabricated stories are NOT to be argued with! No, this only squelches the potential fun and humiliation you can have at TG’s expense. Instead, follow this format and you will have hours and hours of fun!
Humor the witless TG by encouraging him to expand on his story, using probing questions so that the truth is soon so far down a labyrinth of Scheisse that not even Marion Barry would buy it. This strategy has brought me such gems as:
“Yeah, if the MP thing doesn’t work out, I’ll just go Delta.”
Really? Delta? Kind of hard to get in, isn’t it?
“Yeah, for most people. But I met a Delta Colonel while I was deployed, and he pretty much guaranteed me I’d be accepted.”
“Dude, I’m so sick of the Army. I feel like all my good ideas are going to waste, nobody treats me with respect or listens to my ideas.”
Why don’t you just get out?
“I’m totally going to, I think.”
What are you going to do if you get out?
“Well, I’ve pretty much got a job already lined up. My Dad’s buddy owns an oil company and he’s already told me that I could work for him making a million a year…easily.”
But TG is at his best when he is trumping your story, one-upping you at every turn. Now, you can protest, waive the BS flag, and meet the challenge head on. Be the Angel of Integrity to the demonic Cliff Claven. Or…you can sit back, instigate, prod, and enjoy the show.
For anyone out there with a TG story, here’s the marketplace for sharing it. Let us know your best “That Guy” story!