Monday, October 09, 2006
Majoring in Combating Terrorism, Minoring in Cosmetic Mule-Ass Shaving
Last weekend, I drove the 150 miles to West Point to meet up with my brother's family for a football game. The drive was gorgeous on a crisp fall morning, and the West Point campus is ridiculously beautiful. As we got a guided campus tour from Eric's buddy, we noticed a few indicators that this was not your normal college campus. My favorite was the sign for the building that offered classes both in English and in Combating Terrorism, both of which, I'm sure, are majors offered there.
The whole campus seems very student-run: one assumes, for example, that the public restrooms are cleaned with toothbrushes by "plebes" working off their demerits, for example. So later in the day, when we were at the game, I couldn't help but laugh when I saw that the school mascot, the "Fighting Mule," had a lovely "A" embossed in its hindquarters quite artfully and expertly: a big patch of hair was shaved almost to the skin, then hair in the shape of an "A" was allowed to grow back extra-long, then the "A" was carefully died blonde, for added contrast.
It left me to assume that a student had performed this feat of equine coiffing, and I wondered, does someone from West Point "minor" in something like Cosmetic Mule-Ass Shaving? It's certainly an important job, since everyone looks at it and it's a source of school pride, so whoever performs the task certainly has it on their resume somewhere.
But how is it worded? The military has such funny ways of describing stuff, is it called something important-sounding, like Veterinary Honor Guard Command Operations? I'm not feeling creative this morning, but I bet there's no end of fancy ways to describe the job of shaving and highlighting the hair on a mule's ass, and no matter how you describe it, it's probably not what the guy was envisioning when he signed up to be an army vet.