Susie said it's me or the Corps,
I canít take this life any more.
I looked at her with a great big grin,
I haven't seen Susie since I donít know when.
Oh Yeah!
Marine Corps!

The fecal order I gave to K Company officers on my second day of duty at Parris Island was not ignored.  It was practically unenforceable.  It seemed only the Dispensary doctors could prevent or relieve recruit chronic constipation.  It was only a few days after the embarrassing elephant walk episode outside the Training Building during the buildings and grounds inspection that I discovered an example of disobedience of my fecal order.

Top Henry and I were in my office going over the Series schedules when pounding of running boots on the wooden deck outside our second story office announced the urgent arrival of a messenger.  Bam!  Bam!  "Captain, we have a problem!"  a voice yelled from outside the hatch. 

Top Henry realized it was a drill instructor and shouted back, "Come on in!"

Corporal Allen rushed in and stopped at attention in front of my desk.  "Sir!  We have an emergency in our platoon head.  We need some direction on how to handle this!"  Allen was a Junior DI for the platoon at the far west wing of our building.  The head was at the end of the passageway outside our hatch.

"Just slow down Corporal and explain the problem.  Is this an emergency?" I asked.

"Well, I guess not.  But, it is serious!" Allen responded.

"Go on."  I said,  "Tell us what's happening."

"Sir, I had the platoon ready to go down to the drill field for close order drill.  I gave them 60 seconds to make a head call.  When time was up I ordered the privates to fall in out front for drill.  I followed them down and noticed one private was missing.  I came back topside and he was standing in the head bent over at the waist with his utility trousers and skivvies down around his knees.  I asked him what his problem was and he said it was stuck.  I looked and he had a huge turd protruding from his buttocks.  He said he couldn't get it in or out.  I left him and came right to your office for assistance."

I pointed to the phone.  "Top Henry call the Dispensary and request a meat wagon.  Tell them we need a stretcher and two corpsmen to carry a recruit patient down the ladder to the alley behind K Company and transport him to a medical doctor for urgent attention."

"Corporal Allen, take us to the recruit and then return to your platoon and carry on with your duties.  We will notify your Senior DI of the recruit's condition."    

Top Henry and I headed rapidly out the hatch and down the passageway toward the platoon squadbay.  Allen led us into the platoon head where a recruit was bent double a few feet in front of the port side row of toilet bowls.  The situation was still as described by Allen.  The recruit was obviously very embarrassed.  His face was red and he was sweating profusely.  Corporal Allen went back to his platoon.

A siren coming up the alley behind our building announced the meat wagon.  In moments the corpsmen could be heard pounding up the rear ladder and then down the squadbay toward the head.  They barged into the head carrying a stretcher and looking about for their patient.  They abruptly stopped before running into the impacted recruit.  The first corpsman said, "What do you expect us to do with this guy?  How are we going to carry him on this stretcher?" 

"You are going to leave him in the L position and lay him on his side on the stretcher."  I said.   "Keep him in the L position until the doctor tells you what to do.  Tell the doctor to return this recruit to his platoon as soon as possible."

The corpsmen put the stretcher down and maneuvered the recruit over beside the stretcher.  They admonished the private to stand as stiff as possible.  One man grabbed the upper torso and the other gripped the legs as they picked up the recruit and laid him down on his side on the stretcher.  The huge impacted bowel movement was still intact protruding about four inches out of the recruit's rectum.  Then off they went like Keystone Kops lugging their patient down the back stairs and into the ambulance.  The wailing siren faded rapidly to silence.

Henry started chuckling.  I said, "What the hell is so funny?" 

Henry said, "I was just thinking about what the doctor was going to say when that recruit is carried into his office."  He continued.  "By the way.  Allen probably gave the platoon 30 seconds to make that head call.  That aint hardly enough time for a constipated recruit to pass a turd the size of the one we just saw."

"Top, I was thinking the same thing.  I meant what I said about no more constipated recruits.  The DI's have to get serious about the hard turd problem.  I better draft up a written order.  Maybe the word is not filtering down to the Junior DI's."

Back in my office, we were reading the incident reports when a call came from the Dispensary.  It was the doctor who treated our impacted recruit.  "I estimate this delivery came into the world at eleven inches and nearly four pounds.  Some sort of a record here at our small hospital.  The patient held up well.  We sent him back to his platoon.  He wasn't interested in giving it a name or taking it with him.  And.....just send us whatever problems you find over there.  We can handle anything.  After today, I am sure of it!"

I held up a hand full of incidence reports for Top Henry to notice.  "I see several incidents of recruits being seen at the dispensary for fissure of the anus.  Fissure of the anus?  Does that suggest any connection to today's impacted turd incident?"

"Yes."  Henry replied.  "A while back I saw a cartoon drawn by Lt Dirck Praeger of "I" Company on the bulletin board at the Dispensary that depicted a Marine in a Smoky Bear hat kicking a recruit soundly in the buttocks.  The caption on the picture read, "Diagnosis: Fissure of the Anus."

Laughing out loud like two clowns, we lifted our covers off the coat tree and headed out the hatch.  It was the end of another day of supervising the making of Marines. 

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