A Z-Gram Too Far...

By Colonel John G. Miller, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired)

The message hooked the commander early on, or else he would have recognized it as a hoary practical joke dating back to World War II or earlier, played at the expense of long-suffering Women Marines (before they became just "Marines") and others. But his grip on the paper tightened and his head snapped back as each new offensive phrase ("prenatal battalions;" "Naval Orphans' Farm") came into view. His face became a bright red and his breathing grew labored—while just around the corner, the practical jokers grew red in the face trying not to breathe, lest they laugh out loud too soon.

Finally, the distraught commander reached the end, and looked wildly around the room with mounting fury, pounding his fist on his desk and screaming to no one in particular as his fellow workers bent to their tasks:

"By god—this time, he's gone too far!"

 

 
 

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