“Not Just A Movie…”


(October 3, 2019)

Zero-Dark-Thirty”

is not a movie or book

first it was ‘wake-up!’*

*(A tale of two wakeups: one was standard, the other almost broke a Parris Island Drill Instructor’stone countenance. Zero Dark Thirty at U. S. Marine Corps boot camp was a real hour of the morning – long before the sun would threaten – and was promised roundly about the squadbay as the day’s delightful start. One enterprising recruit at the end of the rotating “firewatch” assignment was detailed to bang on the duty DI’s “hatch” (door frame) and announce the time in a bull-roar. Late in our training it came the turn of one of our particularly less-bright recruits: he announced loudly – and it was daylight savings time forgotten by all so it made matters even worse that Fall when the private announced in full timber: “Sir, The time On Deck is Circle Four Three Circle!” (Translation: 04:30, ante meridian). A frightening thing then happened. A drill instructor burst from the DI Hootch’s Hatch wearing his white boxer skivvie shorts and shirt and his bare feet stuck in a pair of glossy spit-shined combat boots and grabbed the offending recruit “by the stacking swivel” (also termed neck) and with spittle flying in all directions shouted in full roar: What Did You SAY, PRIVATE? You did not say SIR the second time, did you, PRIVATE?!! Well, that was it for private no-longer-necked as when released from the front facial chokehold scuttled as far away as possible and the DI hit all the squadbay lights. I was already in The Head, taking came ahead-of-time my morning toilette and saw the entire episode and froze myself to the wall by the sink at which I was shaving. The DI called revile and every swinging dick was off in a by-then well-oiled catastrophe of dressing, shaving, tooth-brushing and furious making the bunk beds’ sheets and blankets tight enough upon which to bounce a quarter high enough to give Soviet Olympic Pole Vault champion Valery Brummel hives of jealousy and then rushing down the ladder (stairs) to line up outside in formation before the DI arrived to march us all off to chow. But there was no one else outside: no other platoons along the entire battalion line of World War II wooden barracks abutting the treacherous tidal banks surrounding Parris Island. Not a soul or even a crow moved. The DI marched us about halfway to the messhall, some several hundred yards away. Then, in a frighteningly quiet stage whisper he said: Okay, herd, Y’all just stop, turn around and walk back to our barracks. Quiet. Without a sound. Do not march. Do not make any noise. Get back to the squadbay quietly. It was a time of terror and fear for the unknown. We all got back before our racks, at our best version of Attention. The DI went to the big clock and removed the case’s facing and adjusted the hour and minute hands by his own watch to 04:45. Fifteen minutes to go to our one-hour later on Sunday wakeup time. The DI turned off the lights and we just stood there at attention before he came back out quietly at first and then announced: Now, drop your cocks and grab your socks! Now, Revile, Now, Revile!.” This time everything went smooth as clockwork.)

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