In the immediately proceeding post, I highlighted the Navy’s newest commercial. This afternoon, I saw a member of one of our other seafaring forces: a Marine. I don’t often see Marines here in Marin. This young man, however, is the local Marine recruiter, and I happened to be at a Peet’s Coffee near a high school. The recruiter was sitting at a table talking with two young men.
After the young men left, the Marine got up, gathered his papers, and left the table. I didn’t see where he went. I did notice, though, that he’d left his cap behind, so I assumed he’d gone to the restroom or out to his car.
A woman at another table, however, thought that the Marine had forgotten his cap. She therefore picked it up, quite carefully, and handed it to the barristas, saying that they should keep it safely.
All three barristas were suddenly riveted by the cap. Indeed, they seemed to attribute to it some totemic significance. One young man made as if to put it on, but immediately halted the action before the cap got higher than his nose. Another young man said, “If you do that, you’ll start doing push ups.” To which the third young man added, “If he comes back and sees you do that, he’ll make you do push-ups.”
This same “Marines are kind of scary cool” joshing continued for a minute or so. Suddenly, a customer who had been there when I walked in (and was still there when I left), yelled out “You shouldn’t joke about those murderers. There’s nothing funny about them because they kill women and children.” The store instantly fell silent. No one chimed in, but no one challenged him either. My only thought was “It’s interesting that you didn’t say that while the Marine was here.”
And no, I didn’t say anything either. It was clear looking at the speaker that there was something wrong with him. His face and body were a bit dysmorphic, in a way that my San Francisco-tuned radar says often goes with unstable people. My firm rule is “never argue with the crazy lady (or man).” I figured that, if the guy kept it up, the Marine, when he returned for his cap (which he did, within 5 minutes), could handle it. As it happened, the guy had nothing to say when the Marine came around.
When I told my kids this story, they instantly recognized the Marine I was speaking about, since he’s a regular at campuses all over Marin. Their verdict: He’s a very nice guy.
I’ll end this with my a compilation of Marines commercials, since I started it with a reference to the Navy:
What do you call an update to an addendum? Whatever it is, this is it: Marines run to the rescue of an elderly woman being robbed . . . outside a Marine recruiting station. Talk about a story with everything: brave Marines and dumb crooks. (Hat tip: Stately McDaniel Manor, who has some awfully nice things to say about yours truly, bless his heart.)
And here’s another update — I finally found my favorite Marines commercial: