When I first came into the Army, one of the stupidest rules I was subjected to was that troops couldn’t walk on any patch of grass anywhere on post. If any part of our boot even touched any piece of grass, some eagle-eyed, high-ranking sergeant or officer with not enough work to do would spot us and embarrass us to no end. It never failed. These outdoor military watchdogs would call us out and yell at us before making us knock out an insane number push-ups until they got tired. Very humiliating to say the least! Thankfully, I never got caught due to me quickly adapting to the drill sergeants’ conditioning. These bull-dog trainers figuratively beat the Army regulations into our heads, so I vowed to avoid the sad fate of other unwary recruits who had to do extra push-up and be punished for committing this ‘grass’ faux pas.
When I retired after 22 years of service, the very first thing I did was to thumb my nose at that insane rule under which I lived and served for so many years.
Once I got my retirement papers, I couldn’t wait to step on some grass anywhere on any post. At times going a bit out of my way, I deliberately sought out the first patch of grass I saw. I walked on it over and over and over and over again like a crazy person. I guess people looking at me from the windows of their buildings must have thought I had lost my mind, but I didn’t care. I even went so far as to plan on laying down on the grass and rolling around on it as a playful puppy would do. But I thought that type of action would draw too much negative attention, so I didn’t do it.
Today, I was at Ramstein Air Base where I planned to visit the post exchange. After parking my car, did I use the fancy brick sidewalk that leads shoppers from the parking lot to the entrance of the post exchange? Oh, HELL NO! On my own special mission like a motherfucking ex-noncommissioned officer, I felt emboldened to thumb my nose at that old Army rule. I walked over to that big field of neatly trimmed grass and took in a deep breath before I defiled it. I felt so damn empowered to brazenly cut across that grassy area to get to the front door of the post exchange. Yesss…!
Of course, it has been years since I retired, but when the opportunity arises, I still feel the need to challenge authority in this way. Defiance is still within me. Fortunately, there are no idiots around to yell obscenities at me to tell me to get my ass off some patch of grass! Yeah, the Army had conditioned me long enough! Not sure if I will ever get this ‘grass turf thing’ out of my system. Maybe I will over time. But I have thought that I might need some type of therapy for this. Maybe I might even need to have a session with Dr. Phil.