My first natural reaction to encountering a Poser is to apply “Four-Wall Counselling” principles to the situation. I’ve been known to step outside the boundaries of civility, making an ass out of myself when it comes to tattered U.S. flags, honor, integrity, Posers and other such issues. I try to take my common sense out of park before I put my mouth into overdrive, but it doesn’t always work. Even at almost 60 years old, it’s been less than a year since my last public fist fight.
Such was an event in a Safeway parking lot in the middle of the day. Two skinheads expressed a vehement dislike for my tattoo. Could I have walked away? Yes. Instead I gave them no choice but to follow through with their promise to “Whoop the old Heeb’s ass for shits –n– grins”. I didn’t have the heart to disappoint them by pointing out I am a Lutheran, not a Jew.
I do the same thing with Posers, I bait them into conflict. Quit shaking your head — don’t try to pull the poncho over my eyes — you do it too. You might not be as obnoxious as I am, but down deep we all want to slap the piss out of a Poser.
You know the drill. A suspected Poser enters the picture and we begin the gentle inquisition. We give him a chance to hang himself with his own words before we pounce. We ask about “pace count” or a high wind “PLF”. Maybe even slip in an obscure acronym to check the back story.
Once he stomps on his pecker by calling his weapon a gun or the latrine the “little boy’s room”; we step in and we embarrass him in front of God and everybody no matter who everybody might be. Am I right so far?
Not long ago, I almost stepped on my own pecker. I was at a funeral for a guy I didn’t know and I came across a little man in dress uniform. When I say ‘little man’, I mean 5’6” and 150 lbs little. I’m sure there are rides at the carnival they won’t let him ride on.
I immediately noticed the Jump Wings and the Purple Heart along with Silver Star and Bronze Star ribbons on his left breast. What really set me off? An ARCOM with a V-device. He’d obviously been to the surplus store and spent his allowance on “Mr. Carters Starter Kit”. The closer I looked, the louder the Poser alarm went off. The red SOCOM spearhead hanging from his right breast pocket and SOAR beret flash secured him as the object of my wrath. This one was gonna be easy.
In my own defense I’d never even heard of an ARCOM with a V-device. I didn’t even know ARCOMs were now given in combat for valor. After the chest lettuce lit my fuse, I realized the guy sported Chaplain’s brass and the rank of Major. In my sights now — he was dead meat.
I was setting up to suck him into a discussion but before I could pursue the issue; a huge, massive, enormous, giant man with a cane limped up to us and handed me his cane. Then, for lack of a better description, he assaulted the little Poser-man. He picked him up and bellowed like a moose while waiving him around like a tiny man-shaped piñata. I expected to hear ribs break.
He set the Chaplain down and took his cane back from me, looked at the Chaplain and said: “Son of a bitch it is good to see you . . . Do you remember what you were doing the last time I saw you?” The SOAR Chaplain had a sheepish, almost embarrassed shy, expression on his face as he nodded affirmatively.
The big guy turned to me and said “he was hold’n, my balls – outa’ the way so Doc could stop the bleedin’ — he got his ass shot in the process too . . . didn’t you, Sir?” Then stepped back and saluted the Chaplain.
“My granny used to accuse me of having a hollow leg . . . ” He smacked his cane against his right leg making a noise that could only come from a prosthetic. “Now I do.” He ended with a big grin followed by “C’mon sir . . . lemmee see yer scar . . . ” It was not a pretty scar and I felt like a mullet.
I’d almost questioned this man’s integrity. I almost questioned his serviced to his flag and I would have been way out of line. The Major was anything but a Poser. I’m glad I met him; I’m glad I didn’t question his integrity to his face and I’m damn glad I can call him brother.
My wife says I have a special propensity for dumbassery. The situation where a real hero like the Chaplain is misidentified as a Poser is rare, but there are still limits to how we should deal with even the most blatant Poser.
Pages: 1 2