Author's Note: I know the font is fucked. Tried all the obvious shit to fix it but couldn't.
The first time I saw Freddie Chosen was outside the recruiting station in Phoenix. We were standing around waiting for the shuttle to the airport. As I broke away from the main pack of Devil Pups, I peeked around the corner and got my first good look at Chosen. He was standing in the alley with three Marlboro Red filters at his feet, a mostly smoked cigarette dangling off of his lower lip, and a fresh smoke being lit off the cherry of his current Marlboro. Freddie looked over at me and said, “Can’t smoke for three months! Gotta get as much now as I can!”
I understood the impulse to overindulge at that point, but there was something about this chap that was very unsettling. Chosen was a man of average height, and an average-to-frail build. There was nothing substantial to the physical nature of this man. His cherubic visage, however, is one that sticks in the brain like peanut butter in pubic hair.
I find the best way to describe Chosen’s distinct cranial configuration is to compare him to Alfred, the face of Mad Magazine. The primary differences between Chosen’s actual appearance and Alfred are that Chosen has a more appropriately developed lower jaw and slightly darker hair. Despite the variations, the general notion of a pale, freckled, disturbing-looking entity is preserved.
Figure 6.1 The Legend
On the right, we see The Legend forcing fellatio
on a wooden lion.
"Fuck yeah. Make that lion suck your dick!"
While we were at Recruit Training in San Diego, I would often hear Drill Instructors (DIs) tell Recruits that they hated them. Rarely would I actually believe it. I found it to be a convenient way for even the most dimwitted of DIs to easily insult a recruit. When SSgt Blenis told Recruit Chosen he hated him, Blenis meant it. Blenis meant it from the bottom of his little Grinch heart. Blenis had a particularly unpleasant disposition, even when compared to other Drill Instructors. This disposition, and the particular arrangement of his dentition, led recruits to refer to him as “The Angry Beaver”.
Fig 6.2 SSgt Blenis: mean as a beaver and half as smart
Now that I have provided the requisite background information for these two arch rivals, I can tell you about "The Sting".
The culminating training event of Marine training is referred to as "The Crucible". As "The Crucible" drew near, recruits needed to be issued the appropriate amount of Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) to pack for the exercise. As with all things during training, every precaution was taken to see that we as miserable as the Drill Instructors could make us without rousing suspicion. Therefore, anything that could be considered delicious was removed from each of the MREs. All of the Skittles, M&Ms, and sweets were removed before we even had a chance to get at them. Opening several hundred MREs and removing the mouth-watering treats is a labor intensive project. The DIs were not going to do this, so it required the assembly of a working party. Against all odds, Chosen was selected to participate in this activity.
The addition of Chosen to this group raised suspicion in my mind that what followed was the consequence of a sting operation. SSgt Blenis was responsible for the selection of the recruits for this working party. I reason Blenis culled Chosen from our herd on the assumption he would do something stupid if left unsupervised. Chosen, always in full-form, did not disappoint.
I was not part of the working party, but those recruits were left unsupervised for a period of time. When they were left alone, they stole. Every single one of them stole delicious candies and packed them away. The difference between Chosen and these other fellows is that he got caught. Plus, he got caught in a way only Chosen could.
Most of the other candy thieves were smart about how they both hid, and consumed their stash. The others hid their candy deep in their seabag, and then covertly feast on their bounty under the cover of darkness. I would be laying in my rack at night, and a few rows down I could hear the faint noise of a cookie being very carefully eaten under someone’s covers. That was how a thief of even average intelligence managed his loot.
Fig 6.3 Scrooge McDuck: Knew how to manage his loot.
Chosen’s rack was approximately 20 feet from the front hatch that was used for over 90% of the traffic in and out of the squad-bay. There was a clear line of sight from the back of his rack to the opening of the door. For most people, this would not be the ideal place to consume stolen confections in the middle of the fucking day. Most people are not Freddie Chosen.
In a very predictable manner, while Chosen was oafishly ingesting his treats, one of our Drill Instructors walked in and caught him. Sgt. Villagomez, our junior ‘Kill Hat’ drill instructor, busted Chosen in the act. In normal circumstances, most Kill Hats would have taken advantage of this situation and hazed Chosen on the quarterdeck until he couldn’t move. Sgt. Villagomez did something even worse. He did nothing. He simply said, “Good, bitch. We want to steal, huh?”. Then Villagomez disappeared into the drill instructor’s duty hut, leaving Chosen’s fate in question. Soon after, SSgt Blenis emerged from the duty hut with the intention of rocking Chism's faith in humanity.
The recruits of Platoon 2034 were instructed to retrieve our rifles and clean them. Freddie Chosen was called to the quarterdeck. Blenis wasn’t even angry when he called Chosen up there. Blenis conducted himself with the type of sadistic delight that accompanies an evil plan coming to fruition.
Chosen stood at full attention whilst Blenis blasted him with a few verbal jabs about what a piece of shit Freddie was. Blenis even threatened to fight Chosen’s parents when they came to Family Day for raising such a worthless kid. After satisfying this desire, Blenis retreated to the duty hut to retrieve his torture implements.
The Angry Beaver reemerged with a foot locker and a 5-gallon gas can. The gas can was filled with water. Throughout the USMC, this is a preferred container for water transport. The foot locker was the very same foot locker in which the working party Marines had deposited the treats they had not stolen.
Fig 6.4 When full of water, a fuel can weighs approximately 40lbs. When holding all of a recruit's belongings, the foot locker is also quite heavy. It is, however, not too heavy to hold over your head and run around the squad-bay.
Blenis slammed down the foot locker in front of Chosen. “Eat!!!”
Blenis’ plan was now obvious; he was going to try and kill Chosen with vacuum sealed confections and Skittles. Blenis was giving a simpleton that had not eaten processed sugars in two months an unlimited amount of sweets. Sounds like attempted murder to me. For his part, Chosen actually seemed excited about the challenge. Perhaps visions of Joey Chestnut danced in his head. Freddie appeared to be the only one in the room unable to discern how terribly things were going to end for him.
Chosen started eating with great enthusiasm. I honestly think there was a point in time when he might have actually believed he could eat all of the candy in the box. I saw pure delight in his eyes as that high fructose corn syrup bathed his tongue in sweet ecstasy. Freddie went Kobayashi on the first few brownies. After three or four sweets, Blenis barked at Chosen, “You’re thirsty. Drink!” Chosen, now sitting Indian Style on the quarterdeck, raised the hulking gas can over his head and the water flowed forcefully down his gullet. Water spilled on his face and clothes.
This eating/drinking action continued for several cycles. Slowly, Chosen’s initial joy and giddiness turned to discomfort and angst. I could see the transformation on his face. The once smiling face that blasted through packages of M&Ms with reckless abandon was now the sad face of a man desperately trying to eat just one more bite of brownie. Upon reaching this point, Chosen began to shed his customary tears.
Chosen hopped up, and sprinted for the bathroom. Blenis pounced and rushed after Chosen into the bathroom. Everything in the squad-bay stopped. It was like a Zach Morris "Time out!". Chosen began violently dry-heaving into the toilet. He was doing everything he could to throw up and relieve his pain. The sound of Blenis screaming at him bounced off the metal stall dividers, snaked out the bathroom and soaked the interested ears of every recruit. After a short dry-heaving episode, Chosen was led by the shirt collar back out onto the quarterdeck. The objective was not accomplished.
Fig 6.6 Not Chosen puking; but it is a guy wearing
snorkeling gear hugging a toilet.
Chosen popped up a few moments later, and the process repeated itself. Blenis yelled and Chosen dry-heaved. Nope. Not this time. Blenis issued an ultimatum. “If you dry-fire on me again Chosen, I’m going to fucking kill you”.
Empty threats aside, the next time Chosen bolted to the bathroom, he puked his guts out. Chosen unloaded violently as Blenis screamed in delight. A thick fog of subdued laughter and anxiety filled the squad-bay. Even if something is absolutely hilarious, nobody wants to get dragged into the middle of a shitstorm by getting caught laughing. The screaming and vomiting continued for quite some time, since Chosen had consumed an astounding amount of food in a short period. When the din of Chosen’s evacuation subsided , Blenis emerged from the bathroom with his sadistic smile stretching from ear-to-ear. “Now that’s fucking training!”.
Chosen came out shortly after. It was unpleasant, but it was over. Chosen was insulted a few more times, and then told to grab his rifle and join the rest of the platoon.
Blenis got the best of Chosen on this occasion, but Chosen would have his revenge.