“What’d You Say?” Tanka 851


I say it’s ‘rifle,’

you say ‘gun.’ One’s for fighting:

the ‘gun’ is for fun!

 

Mythic Parris Island chant

with a bucket for the head!*

 

  • (While it never happened to me or to any Platoon 1047 ‘mates I know many Marines who swore it happened – almost to a man ‘to someone else and not them’ – that when a recruit mistakenly called his rifle, hie “piece,” a ‘Gun,’ all hell would break loose in a long-standing tradition stretching back probably past Leon Uris’ Battle Cry and beyond.  The offender had to shoulder arms, unbutton his fly – only in the latter half of the 1960s did olive-drab “utilities” trousers come with zippers – sometimes – pull out his pecker and holding the rifle overhead with one hand have a bucket placed over his head and then double-time trot around the drill field shouting: This is my Rifle – hoist “piece” high overhead on that beat – and this is my Gun – flap the now much-smaller other article with the other hand – One is for Fighting and One Is For Fun!  One correspondent swears this happened to him and it did not stop until he ran into a concrete light pole and just about knocked his silly ass out.)

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