Surely you've seen those army commercials that have been airing for about six months now? Are you as sickened as I am? Well, I don't know about you, but they represent yet another shining example of some things that really BURN MY ASS!!
Despite searching the internet and the army website, I could not seem to find clips from the current TV ad campaign, so here is my biased, inaccurate, impressionistic rendition of three of them:
COMMERCIAL NUMBER ONE
Young guy, prime army age, in some jukejoint with his dad, playing pool. The dad is a tough, gruff sort. Obviously, the kid is eager to please this crusty authority figure, whom I gather has pooh-poohed his son's cockamamie career and life schemes many times before. The kid tentatively tries to chip away at dear old dad's skepticism, gingerly approaching the subject at hand.
Here's where the dialogue becomes hazy, but this is the gist I got.
Kid: Trying to be casual: "I think I've decided what my next step is."
Dad (No eye contact, of course, thanks to being absorbed in setting up his next shot, etc. "What's that?"
Kid: "The army will give me money to go to college. I can study any field I want."
Dad: "But it's the army."
Kid: "It's the reserves, so I can stay at home until they need me."
Dad: "It's the army."
Kid: "They'll train me; really cool stuff."
Dad: (suddenly looks up; close up to his craggy face with a glint of hope in his jaundiced eyes) "Good training?"
Kid: (a tad smugly) "It's the army."
The presumed aftermath:
Ol' Grizzle Pop is convinced at last that his directionless, spoiled brat of a son will finally be in good hands, safely and swiftly on the road to clean-cut normality. Because it's the reserves, he'll be at home til they need him (like, yesterday). Doubtless the rigors of army life — the strict discipline, the humiliation of basic, the unyielding hierarchy — will make a man out of him yet. Plus, the kid is obviously starving for atttention from a stern but emotionally distant father figure, and his homicidal drill sergeant ("Get after it, you maggots!") should fill that role quite quite nicely indeed.
COMMERCIAL NUMBER TWO:
Kid sits down at the kitchen table with his moms for a little heart to heart.
Kid: "Mom, I know what I want to do with my life."
Mom: (with a world weary "I've heard it all before. What now?" expression) "Go on."
Kid: "I'm going to join the army, mom. I'll get money to go to college. Now, wait a minute, mom..."