Some people in the middle class had a positive idea about having one of their children join the military. (In my town, which leaned liberal, the vast majority of parents at my church wouldn’t dream of having one of their kids join up). There was always some “valiant” slant to the idea of being a man in the military.
We were fed this idea that the bravest and boldest joined the military. We saw commercials that made the military out to be these brilliant people behind the best technology. There were these radar consoles, launchers, and warrior looking dudes “tear-assing” around with some of the coolest shit. They looked like the best. But this is where things went awry…
I had originally went to electronics school. Yes, I got kicked out for low grades. (It was boring and I fell asleep. Intellectual wasteland of sorts). I had met a decent amount of folks that did well in high school or even a few that had went to tech school with some success. Most of these people had a good grasp on common sense or had understood common decency in dealing with other people.
I had thought that the navy was generally in good hands after I met folks from my school and other nearby schools. Most people seemed to have a good head on their shoulders. I learned other wise.
There were a handful of delusional child like types when I had transferred to another school. It was off putting but not the worst set of people I had ever met. This changed when I finally made it to the ship.
I would like to say that not one MOS or military specialty was responsible for the biggest idiots that I worked with but there were two that lent the largest amounts of “tards” that I had run ins with. These people weren’t the brightest and helped dispel the rumor that everyone in the military is our “nation’s best”.
One of these least brightest was “The Wet Paint Kid”. I seemed to run into this guy quite often. He worked in the ship’s kitchen (galley). He always had this slow eyed/googly look to him. He often had some weird thing to say about racecars, something he had no background with. The Wet Paint Kid ended up a part of a low rent race team, which he used to hype like his favorite movie; 8 Mile.
His blatant inability to observe a sign and inability to use simple mental processing took the cake. A trusted coworker and I were tasked with painting a highly trafficked hallway on the ship. We naturally wanted it to look good, so we put a sign on both sides of the door where we worked. We also hung a sign in between the doors to remind people that there was “Wet Paint” behind the door. It also listed the alternate path to take. Most people understood this, they walked around or even asked me the best way to get around. But not the “Wet Paint Kid”, he plowed through the sign right in front of me. I stopped him and asked him “why did you run past the sign? Can you not read””. He turned to me with the most lost look on his face and googly eyes; then told me: “I need to get through”. I tried to ask him if he had seen the sign but my coworker told me to give up and that it didn’t register with him.
I had a low opinion of that guy afterwards. He seemed to not understand certain social standards and was slow when faced with certain professional situations. But I owe him a debt of gratitude, he reminded me of other “tards” that my buddy supervised. There were multitudes that reminded me why the military wasn’t the bastion of geniuses like the commercials said and it helped me create the “light switch test” for simple intelligence.
Here is to The Wet Paint Kid and other “tards”. Hey! Did someone turn out the lights?