Request Permission to Use
by Paul Bacon
Cadet: SIR! REQUEST PERMISSION TO USE THE WORD “VERITABLE” IN A SENTENCE, SIR!
Drill Instructor: Make it quick.
SIR! THIS CADET BELIEVES HIS MISSING CAR KEYS CAN BE TRACED A VERITABLE PLETHORA OF SUSPECTS, SIR!
What?!? Drop and give me fifty!
SIR! DID I SAY THAT WRONGLY, SIR?
Cadet falls into pushup position and begins counting
...SIR, NINETY-NINE, SIR! SIR, ONE HUNDRED, SIR!
Cadet snaps back to standing attention
Veritable plethora? Do you think I dragged you out here in the middle of the night just to hear you spout hackneyed cliches? I could be givin' the high hard one to my beautiful-thin-young wife this very second!
SIR! NO SIR!
Don’t you know it’s the most overused phrase in the English language?!?
SIR! I MUST CONFESS IT IS NOT VERY ORIGINAL, SIR!
There is no place for banality in the heart of a warrior!
SIR! THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR BEING BORING, SIR!
Congratulations, boy. You have finally learned something after two years of being kicked out and re-enlisting in my boot camp. I’ll make a note of it when we consider your next application for basic training.
SIR! THANK YOU SIR! IT IS NICE TO KNOW THAT FAILURE IS ALWAYS AN OPTION, SIR!
What? No, no! God-give-us-six-seasons-of-drought, boy, you’re supposed to rebel against me! Prove me wrong! What part of hazing do you not understand after all this time? Failure is not an option. How can you live with yourself?
SIR! I ENJOY THE EXERCISE, AND, FRANKLY, THE WARMTH AND CAMARADERIE THAT OUR RELATIONSHIP CONTINUES TO ENGENDER, SIR!
Whoa! I told you to back off of those nickel words until you know how to spend ‘em. Fancified language makes a man’s speech seem forced and dishonest.
SIR! REQUEST PERMISSION TO BECOME YOUR LEGALLY ADOPTED SON, SIR!
For the hundredth time, no. It’s not gonna work out between us, no matter how cunning a weave we web, I mean a web we weave. (Drill Instructor sighs.) My beautiful-thin-young wife just wouldn’t see to it, and neither would my military.
SIR! BUT THERE ARE NEW LAWS, SIR!
Drop and give me a hundred and fifty for being the blindest hog in creation!
Cadet falls back into pushup position and begins counting again.
SIR, ONE HUNDRED AND FOUR, SIR! SIR, ONE HUNDRED AND FIVE, SIR! . . .
Alright. Quit countin' but keep pushin'. I can now tell you everything, and if it comes out in court, your testimony about this conversation will be worthless because you are delirious with exhaustion. (Drill Instructor squats) So, the story is that your car keys have been found under my bed--by my wife, you idiot. She put the pieces together real quick, since your keychain has a ’67 Cougar emblem on it, and you own in the only shitass ’67 Cougar in this shitass town.
SIR, OH NO, SIR.
SIR, REQUEST PERMISSION TO DROP THE D.I.-CADET STUFF AND TALK LIKE SOULMATES, SIR.
Denied, boy. There's nothing to do now except get you out of here, maybe some kind of honorary graduation. God knows you've earned it. Damn, I should have known better. My mama told me to never love a fool.
SIR? SO SHE KNEW, SIR?
Who knew what!?!
SIR, YOUR MOTHER KNEW THAT YOU WERE, WELL, YOU KNOW, SIR.
Are you implying that my mama raised a homo-sexual?
SIR! I WOULD NEVER, SIR!
Then what are you saying?
SIR, I DON’T KNOW MUCH, BUT MOST PARENTS WOULDN’T TELL THEIR SON TO NEVER LOVE A FOOL. IT SOUNDS MORE LIKE SOMETHING YOU SAY TO A DAUGHTER. BUT IT’S NOTHING I WOULD JOKE ABOUT, SIR!
What? Do you even know what the word “imply” means?
SIR, DOESN’T IT MEAN “TO LAUGH”, SIR?
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