Item: Spit-shined boots are being eliminated by the military because soldiers wearing them are too easily spotted by enemies using infrared lenses, the Defense Department says. -- Associated Press
"Okay, recruit Rodriguez. What happened to those boots?"
"Well, sergeant, sir, I was on KP, and they sort of fell into the grease trap. I tried as best I could to rub it all off, sir, but I guess I didn't get it all."
"Stand at attention when you talk to me, dogface, and stop lying. You spit-shined them boots, now didn't you?"
"Well, yes, sir, but it's only because I wanted to be a good soldier. You see, one of the reasons I joined the Army is because I like the sharp uniforms, the spit-shined boots, the shiny brass buttons. . ."
"You been polishing buttons, too? Hand me that Brasso. I've a good mind to make you drink the whole blessed can. Don't you know shiny buttons pick up light? You want to give our location away to the enemy? What are you, anyway, some kind of com-symp pinko nut? Get your butt to the orderly room, on the double. I'll deal with you later.
"Now St. Clair, what's with you? You can't read or something?"
"I mean, what, Sir."
"Look at that bunk, is what. That top sheet is so smooth and taut you could bounce a quarter off of it."
"Thank you, sir."
"Thanks my Aunt Mimmie! Don't you know that smooth surfaces reflect radar? Sometimes I think the Pentagon has a special order to send me the dumbest recruits it can find. You get behind over here and mess up that bunk right now. now, you hear!
"I bust my tail trying to get you goof-ups ready for inspection, and you don't listen to a word I say. I'm surprised one of you jerks hasn't been trying to sneak in here and buff the damn floor.
"You, Rankin; who cut your hair?"
"I did it myself, sir. I heard that training officers like for recruits to wear what I believe you call the white sidewall look, and I just thought I'd get a jump. . ."
"I ought to jump your dumb backsides. Your stupid head is so smooth and white an enemy recon plane could pick it up in the damn dark.
"Washington, the platoon sergeant tells me you and Presnell and Sczymcoviak were observed policing up the company grounds. You want to tell me what the hell is going on?"
"Well, sir, my mother always told me that cleanliness is next. . ."
"Listen, Scum. From the day you walked into this here boot camp, I'm your mother, your father and your cotton-pickin' brother, too. Now just tell me, dumbhead, what would you think if you came across a field that was all picked up, without trash or anthing on it?"
"To tell the truth, sir, I'd think I might be at the headquarters of a crack military unit."
"Your blasted A. And don't you think the enemy is smart enough to figure out the same thing? You get this place looking like a crack military outfit and you might as well write the enemy a letter telling them where to find us.
"Incidentally, I hear some of you creeps have been getting up before daybreak, turning on the lights and stuff. And if I ever find out which one of you jokers sneaked a bugle in here. . .
"Let me tell you something: I'm going to turn you losers into modern-day soldiers if I have to brain every last one of you, and I'm talking about starting right now.
"I'm coming back in here at 1100 hours, and when I do I want to see all these T-shirts nice and dingy. I want a nice cover of dust on all those rifles, and you better figure some way to take the shine off the latrine.
"Now who's the troop over there with the smooth shiny face?"
"You mean me, sir?"
"Yes you, Pringle. You've got 10 minutes to grow a beard."