Now, as “addictive-personality” as that title sounds, allow me to expound upon that simple statement.
Everyone that reads this blog regularly knows that I love medieval times… not necessarily the (very entertaining) restaurant, but the time period. That said, there is definitely one thing that a trip to that particular past (if I were ever to acquire time-travelling equipment or abilities) would not be complete without… synthetic painkillers. They have all the pain-fighting powers of the “real deals”, and hardly any of the addictive side-effects. If I were to travel into the past, I’d definitely make sure I had a hefty supply of those bad boys before I left.
Allow me to set today’s stage for you: after having awoke from a particularly intermittent session of “sleep” (and that being necessitated by a couple of straight nights of on-my-feet security duties), I set off reluctantly to the head (After six years of military service, I’ve ever since referred to the bathroom in that manner. It makes sense, as I’m generally lazy, and “head” is one less syllable.) to drop a long-overdue deuce.
Now, gentlemen and ladies, I don’t know if you’ve ever had a train of Lincoln logs take up residence in your large intestine for so long that when you passed it it felt like its tent stakes were dragging out your lower back musculature with it somehow… but this was the case with this particular bathroom baby today. Before I bid it adieu, I stepped back to admire the sheer mass of it (as most awesome men are wont to do), but upon standing upright, my lower back seized with sharp pain. It was as if dropping that load had somehow freed up enough room in my torso for my kidneys to release a lifetime supply of stones (And I realize that this makes no medical sense whatsoever, so don’t respond with silly comments – I’m using hyperbole, goofballs.) – and they were the “instant hurt-y” kinds.
Needless to say, it immediately made me wonder just how necessary standing upright would be for the rest of my life, and whether I could immediately do without such a thing… forever. Now, granted, I don’t make a habit of standing when I don’t have to (now, if that doesn’t sound lazy…) – considering I do a helluva lot of it at work – but it’s not something I’m prepared to go without doing on a permanent basis. Also, as my off time finds me often relaxing in a reclining work chair in front of the computer, or lying down to watch DVDs (mostly Futurama, if I can help it), it naturally follows that the muscles which keep me upright may, in fact, be atrophied.
As with all things in life, before you can solve any bodily deficiency, you’re going to have to get over a certain measure of pain. This was no exception.
Considering I also occasionally suffer from migraines (which is yet another hindrance to working out, but I digress), I already had a ready supply of nifty painkillers on-hand. If necessity is the mother of invention, I really would’ve hated to have been the German guy that found it necessary to invent Tramadol… although I’d sincerely like to shake his hand. I don’t abuse the drug, although my out-of-shape, older body definitely has more call to use it these days than in my 20s.
And like most tools, though you may not use them all the time, it is really nice to know that they are there when you need them. As my back pain has waned to the point (after 1 and 1/2 Futurama episodes and the writing of this article) where it is only a small fraction of the excruciating ordeal it was merely an hour or so ago, I have to admit that I love painkillers. They are a very useful tool, and help to encourage me to get in better shape so that I won’t have to rely on them nearly as much.
Thank the God of the Universe for modern scientific advancements! *whew*
Did you think the military was legit?
Are you asking if I thought the United States military was legitimate? If so, what exactly would an illegitimate military be to you?
I need more context to answer this question.
I mean from your own perspective, like are you glad you did or a rush to get out?
I suppose it’s like anything else one considers to be difficult while doing it… seemed interminable at the time, but several years of GI Bill college money and a lifetime of medical care later, I’m glad I did it.
Plus, I wouldn’t have half the “sea stories”, cultural views of other countries (from foreign ports of call), or buddy experiences without the Navy, so…
I’ll put it this way. Military experience is like paying for a house: it seems to take forever while you’re doing it, but the longer it gets from the time that you’re actually done, the more you appreciate having done it (and the less arduous the process seems in retrospect).
I am curious mainly because we seem pretty similar in values and I have long considered going in, but am super worried about dealing with bullshit where I just cant walk.
Your concerns are legitimate. My advice is this: if you want the benefits, but fear getting into something difficult to extricate yourself from, do these three things…
A) Know your options. I had an ASVAB that was ridiculously good (genius). As a result, the recruiter did her best to talk me into a rate that I’d not even considered prior. I hadn’t done my homework, and she played on my pride. I was young, and I fell for it. Even though I could’ve had any rate (job) that I wanted, she talked me into a difficult one that made my time awful. It’s better to be the smartest guy in a group of JOs or PHs (both rates have since merged into the MC rate) than the slightly smartest guy in a group of Nukes. At least you’re more likely to enjoy the work.
B) Don’t take the upgrade. Oftentimes when you’re just starting out (most times, at the end of your “A” school), your superiors will try to talk you into taking a “chevron” (E-4) automatically. It’s a trick, and it adds two years to your contract. The pay raise and advancement in rank may seem important at the time, but trust me – the GI Bill money you get stays the same regardless, and the VA care is the same afterwards. Better to have two more years of your life to yourself just in case you don’t like the work.
C) If you can help it, wait to join until after you’ve graduated from a 4-year college. Anyone with a 4-year degree can start as an officer, and you definitely want to do that. They may have to put up with more PC crap and officious courtesies, but I’ve been in staterooms, and I’ve been in the common “racks”. Trust me – you’d rather be in the officer quarters on any ship.
That’s all I can think to tell you. If you find that you like the Navy while you’re in, you can always re-enlist, but it’s better to have the option to leave than not.
Hey thanks for the advice man, I guess I should explain that I am 27 and have a college degree, so I would try to go in as an officer if I went in at all.
In that case, remember (at the Captain’s table) that you are served from the right and have your used dishes removed from the left. 😀
Come on man, I need some real insight here. Are officers the real deal, or just a bunch of self-important chumps?
It really depends on what you mean by “the real deal”. I was enlisted, so my opinion is obviously going to be biased – you should take that into consideration.
Still, I’ve met just as many self-important Chiefs and Master Chiefs as I’ve met haughty Lieutenants and Commanders. My general take on it is: the larger the ship (or command), the more likely it is that the upper-ups are going to be full of themselves (and crap).
There are exceptions, of course, as the nicest Lieutenant I ever met was on a carrier, but as soon as he made Commander, he left my chain of command and got replaced with a pompous Warrant Officer.
The thing to remember is that there are assholes everywhere – just don’t become one yourself! That, and it’s always better to be in the “ruling class” of assholes than the “serving class” of assholes. Savvy?