As a disclaimer for this and all future blogs, I think the Marine Corps is a great institution. Part of my respect comes from seeing it in its current phase of transition. While still maintaining core values (and war fighting ability) there is a strong and growing emphasis on modernizing troop welfare which focuses on suicide prevention, sexual assault prevention, elimination of hazing, and other forward-thinking policies. However, there’s still a lot of bullshit around that takes the attitude that “because you’re a Private/PFC/Lance Corporal you deserve to suffer, just like I did back then.” This bullshit is overtly shown here at Fort Lee and since I believe this attitude is unproductive and not in congruence with our core values, I feel justified in cracking on it without discrediting the Marine Corps as a whole.
Now with all that out of the way, I bring you Turd Nuggets.
I’ve seen so many Staff Sergeants in the past few days that I can only remember half of their names, which shouldn’t matter for the blog since I don’t think they’ll read this (aka I really really hope they don’t read this). I’m still not going to use real names out of decency, which helps since I don’t even know this SSgt’s.
It was a dismally humid Sunday afternoon. On our day off I was flexing my LAT-move liberty privileges (basically I don’t have to be at 7am weekend formations because they consider me more of a functioning adult from prior service) by sleeping in until around 11. By sleeping in, I mean waking up at 6 and then closing my eyes over and over again hoping to imagine myself somewhere else. Each time this worked for a few minutes until I realized that my pillow IS JUST A SHAPELESS PLASTIC THING FULL OF BIG COTTONBALLS and then rolled over and tried it again. Hours later I felt like the vilest and disgustingly depressed piece of shit in the world, to the point where I pictured myself in one of those commercials for anti-depressants, filmed without color, sitting on a beach and starring forlornly into the distance, the voice over saying:
“Do activities that you used to enjoy now feel empty? Do you feel worn out by every day routines? Did the Marines fuck up your MOS orders and send you to Fort Hell for way longer than you anticipated?”
After a brief conversation with myself that involved one half of me choking down tears while the other yelled “do something productive you lazy <insert gender normative slur>” I resolved to make myself feel better by organizing my wall locker. To my astonishment, it kind of worked.
While I was cleaning my locker, organizing all my utilities and pressed uniforms by hanger color (you know, for the most homophobic branch of the military…) and so forth, my roommates were getting ready to leave for the base store. One was caught waiting on his “battle-buddy” (Don’t go out by yourself, if you’re a 6th grade camper or a Marine). When said battle-buddy showed up they left but shortly after my roommate returned. “Staff Sergeant caught us in the stairwell, my buddy hadn’t shaved.” This being the one of the ultimate sins you can commit in the Marines, the SSgt followed “buddy” back to his barracks room and proceeded to ensure all of his trash (everything he owns) was painstakingly squared away before he could leave the building. However, the SSgt was not satisfied and came to visit my roommate and therefore me by proximity. He found an unmade bed (I had finished mine shortly before he walked in) along with other slight offenses. He then had us open our lockers, and I was blessed with the highest of compliments: “You’re the one I don’t need to worry about.” Then he moved on to oversee my roommate reorganize everything in his cluttered locker. He reprimanded us for letting our absent roommate go without fixing his crap and began to leave; ending with a Parthian shot of “you’re all fucking Turd Nuggets.”
I let that sink in, like a Turd Nugget drifting slowly to the bottom of the bowl (1st Urban Dict. definition). I think that was almost a victory. Perhaps, though still a Turd Nugget, I have been graced with being the least offensive of three Turd Nuggets, or the Turd Nugget whose behavior requires less scrutiny than the average Turd Nugget. Or perhaps all 250 Marines in this barracks are all Turd Nuggets, and to be the least Turdy and least Nuggety is a place of honor. I’m kidding, we’re at Fort Lee, and there is no honor. The lesson here is that when you feel the need to clean something because your life has devolved to resemble an over-sentimental commercial for antidepressants, you better go clean because somebody who will yell at you for not cleaning is right around the corner on a Sunday afternoon that you’re supposed to have off. I have to say, I prefer to be titled the lesser of Turd Nuggets than other nicknames, such as “idiot who locked himself in the laundry room,” but that’s another story.