“UpsideDown Tanka” Tanka 826

You can’t cook a steak

in a new-fangled helmet

but it soaks tootsies!


The chair-warmers want always

to ditch what works for flowers!*

  • (Given enough time I am sure 03-dum-dums – aka O311 Infantry Marines or 4-11-Bravos – same-same Army – could turn poseys into punjii pits with a bayonet mount and an auto-select switch.  The old Bloop Gun – the M-79 40 millimeter grenade launcher is a classic case in point.  At one time every Marine rifle squad had an assistant squad leader totin’ one of those mini-moarters or grenade launchers which might double as a big bad-assed shotgun or a tear-gas or white phosphorus – willie peter – close-in delivery system.  The new boys ditched the Blooper and later tried to sling the “gun” as a breech-fed underslung M-16 rifle attachment that made reloading a bitch.  Instead of the old BAR 30-06 rifle cartridge that could chew bricks or trees at half a mile as a fire team-employed automatic rifle, the M-14 replacement – with at auto-select addition called the M-14E2 lasted less than half-a-war before those newfangled M-16’s without chromed receiver groups, detarded rates of fire and no cleaning kits came out to replace the whole M-14 .308 caliber heavy round that kept SEALS happy for decades following and one or two could be found in ‘most every Marine rifle platoon in Th’Nam long after the ’16’ got un-loved and turned into a non-Marine-killing weapon.  Some of my boot camp platoon assigned to infantry training at Infantry Training Regiment – don’t ask, it’s a military oxy-moron, which means a particularly dumb cow in charge – went to Panama to try the new cleaning kits, the new chromed chambers, AND the new purpose built cleaning rods, brushes and patch-holders whose lack killed many a soldier or Marine during the early stages of the 1968 Tet Offensive…oops, not so many soldiers as they got priority on the new 16s.  Marines were using AK-47s, same .308 round but with a shortened length-of-bullet 39mm vice 54(or is it 51)mm which means more oomph at the terminal end.  Then, there’s the kelvar German-style helmet to replace the venerable steel pot, also a German throwback, some say, that could cook a C-Ration stew, a purloined enemy chicken caught spying in the wire, or soak some sorely troubled tootsies which spent too much time inside old, cold all-leather boots.  The new jungle boots, though, were A Good Thing.  An alloy full plate to retard enemy punjii stakes, hardcore nylon sides and drainage holes that helped the new boots not rot like the old all-leathers.  Only problem: the new boots just had too little leather to spit-shine so the lifers unliked them a lot, especially back in The World.  ‘Scse the rant.  I feel better now.)

“No Insomnia”

No insomnia,

I heard the house creak wrong!

Ka-Bar* awakened!


  • (U.S. Marine Corps fighting knife first issued at the onset of World War II.  Still in production.  I have several.  the newest version sleeps near me and does not dream.  It, however, clears paths in brambles and thorny vines, dispatches small pine trees at a single whack, scrapes sandspurs or baby cactii off my snakeboots with charming alacrity and never seems to get uninvited during workday restaurant visits…and it does untoward my sister-in-law some…until I rescued for her some extremely long-spined cactii those snakeboots caught up in Jacksonville the other day.  We both have some and I am trying to start some up in a combo potting-soil and sand mixture.  One of the spines almost made it all the way through the stiched leather laceings-point of the boots.  None troubled the anti-snake portions, however.  Might be just the thing for pesky buzzer-fingers on Saturday mornings.)



“Justify Ex Post, Facto!”

ex post justify

the next new way to put pains

over an old sore*


  • (Originally, a throw-away two-liner I barely could decipher. Gobbledy-gook at best. Then I spied a few open lines at the bottom of the facing page and asked my pen to help a brother out.  Still not sure if “put pains” better than “put paint” but the third line pure magic to me.)