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Short shorts....not the story kind


By basilsands - Posted on 23 April 2011

Over on Joe Konrath's blog some folks were speaking of short stories and that made me remember a story about a different kind of shorts that used to make me both laugh and cringe.

Years ago I was the manager of the military dining hall for the National Security Agency. Yup I was Chef to the Spies, meal provider to International Men of Mystery and Black Ops types. There was a supervisor in the dining hall who was a retired Army Mess Sergeant and he was absolutely anal about dress code.

Granted it was a military dining hall and there were rules, and this was in the early 90's before "sexual harrassment training" became standard, but this dude had a thing about girls wearing short shorts. In the event a young lady came in wearing shorts that extended less than three inches from her private area he would send her back to the barracks to change before she was allowed to eat. If she argued that it was within regs ol' sarge, apparently having visually stared at enough women's private area to trust his visual measurements, whipped out a plastic ruler he kept in his pocket for just such an opportunity. The girls almost universally balked at the idea of him verifying anything and stormed out of the mess hall to find something to cover up...or head off base to McDonalds.

After a while, some of the older female employees kept a couple of wrap around skirts available to loan the young girls before sarge saw them.

Of course if guys came in wearing short shorts he didn't bother with the ruler, they just got a snot slinging nuclear shout fest explosion only a mess sergeant was capable of. And they never argued with him...nor did they repeat the mistake. Something about him saying "If those things fall out yer shorts I'll castrate you with a fifty pound potato peeler" or "this ain't that kind of freakin' joint sweetie cakes, if I so much as think yer hairy butt-cheeks are going to peek into view I'm gonna shave them off with this industrial cheese grater!"

Yeah...sarge ended up with a lot of counseling during the Clinton years....

anyway...shorts are difficult issue for me

Cover art done by Jerry Scullion of sculliondesign.com