Saturday, February 11, 2012

Brats and comeuppance

One of the things I have seen a few times over the years is a spoiled brat getting his comeuppance. I think my favorite time was in the army during basic when we had a little brat that kept insistine that we didn't have to do thiings.

Even back then the drill sergeants were not really allowed to get too physical but in extreme cases they sort of forgot that chapter of the book. This little whiney brat wandered into the laundry room and when I saw him stumble out I knew exactly what had happened to him. Someone had given him a pretty good shot in the solar plexus.

I was mopping the floor outside the laundry room at the time and saw the drill sergeant come out shortly thereafter. I simply looked at the mop and concentrated on what I was doing but I must have been smirking. The drill sergeant tried looking like nothing had happened but didn't do the best job I had ever seen of it.

A few hours later I guess the indignant little brat mouthed off to his squad leader what he was going to do in retaliation to having been brutally assaulted by the drill sergeant and got yet another sock in the gut from him. This one was in front of the rest of his squad. When he wimpered to his squad mates that he wanted justice it was funny listening to them all tell him they hadn't seen anything happen. The outrage on his face was precious.

I would like to say this guy became the best soldier in the platoon but I can't. He didn't. However, I can say he figured out that the smartest thing he could do was to keep his mouth shut, stop being selfish and pull his own weight. That wasn't a whole lot to ask for under the circumstances.

I was considered a pretty self-reliant independent trainee and when I was not contributing to the team efforts of the squad I was generally scouting around looking for ways to learn a little more and improve myself. At first it was sort of a hard row to hoe until people figured out that I wasn't shunning the team, just taking what little time I had to myself and using it to stay on top of things. After that I was left alone when I took my time to myself.

I have to say that at least the kid in basic training learned and amended his ways and shaped up enough to become a part of his squad.

Over the years the people that I have seen out in the worlld that leave me in constant consternation are the ones that never seem to learn. I had a neighbor like that once. He would get indignant and raise all sorts of hell over nothing. If a couple kids were wandering up the street tossing a Frisbee across the road as they walked up to the store, you could bet on seeing a cruiser pass by.

I would imaging that he would report that the kids had taken over the street and were using it to play the World Series or something when in fact it was nothing more than a couple of kids with a Frisbee wandering up the street.

Of course, from time to time he would have his place vandalized or be wakened up at 3 am with a cherry bomb tossed on his porch or some other thing. I should have invested in paint remover stock back then and I would have been able to retire in my twenties.

Still, I do not think this guy ever learned.

I recall walking down the street carrying a shotgun and a couple of squirrels and having a cruiser pull up to me and look at me. The officer simply glanced at my hunting license and commented on the squirrels,, asked me where I bagged them and drove off. I saw him pull into the neighbors driveway and get out. Right then I knew what that was all about.

He had most likely reported that I had been walking down the street shooting squirrels out of the stately elms that lined the street. I started to plan a retaliation for that one but thought better of it. I knew the policeman and he was one of the good guys. I knew the cop had probably told him to stuff it. Cops back then generally knew that a kid that spent a lot of time hunting and fishing seldom wound up getting into any real trouble even though they might have a mischievious streak.

For one thing they valued their hunting and fishing privliges and would not do anything to endanger them.

Now this started when I was in grade school and from what I heard it kept up until I was in the the army and he decided to put in an in-ground pool. Someone tossed a home made cherry bomb into it and cracked it.

From what I heard he smartened up shortly thereafter after about two decades. At least to a certain extent. I heard later he was still stupid but not quite as stupid as he had been. He had either grown tired of repairing things or had gotten too old.

These days I tend to see a lot more brats and crybabies running around than I used to. I attribute it to a society that has lost its common sense and takes a lot of stupid stuff more seriously. We seem to as a society miss the entire point and have seemed to have lost our independence.

I'd bet that police departments and the courts now spend an awful lot more time on stupid things they never used to be forced to bother with. I know of one younger guy that has run afoul to the new and improved system. Someone picked a fight with him and I do not mean this was over an insult. This was a
case where the starter upperer of the incident laid hands on this guy. The original layer of hands got a busted nose for his troubles and it should have ended then and there.

Someone went looking for trouble and got it. It should have been end of story then and there.

Enter lawyers and a lawsuit. The defender of himself got wahcked for the cost of repairing the assailant's nose.

This creates an atmosphere where being a barnacle on the ass of society is profitable when Judge Piccolo would have simply tossed the entire case out of court.

From time to time I occasionally see someone get their comeuppance but it ain't like it used to be and I think we are becoming a nation of whiners.

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