Hurry Up and Wait

I spent 18 ½ years of my life in the United States Military and one of the most fucking ridiculous things that I ever experienced while there was this phenomenon called Hurry Up and Wait.  Fortunately for me, my father was a United States Marine so even as a young child, I was completely familiar with the experience and had no problems adapting to my environment. However, for those who had never experienced this phenomenon before, training was provided and indoctrination was immediate.

On day one at about 4:30ish in the morning, we were all awakened with the assistance of a bunch of larger than fucking life guys wearing larger than life campaign hats who all yelled really loud.  For a reason that I would only figure out years later, some of them really liked trash cans and baseball bats.  It reminded me of a feeding frenzy and it ended up with 58 disheveled people out of bed, fully dressed and standing in formation outside the barracks; all in less than three minutes. Then after all that bullshit, we got to stand there for the next fifteen to twenty minutes (or longer) waiting to get into the chow hall for breakfast.

That’s just where it starts.

Later, I even became a Military Training Instructor.  It was then that I did my part in making sure the recruits were indoctrinated into this path.  Throughout my military career, the one constant was always that I would bust my ass to make sure I got somewhere on time only to have to sit and wait.

And wait…….

And wait some more……

Ironically, I absolutely hate waiting. I will literally walk back and forth along the cashiers at Walmart looking for the shortest line when it would have been faster to just get in one.    As far as I’m concerned the best thing ever created was the self checkout.  It’s for certain that I will likely never find an “up front” parking space. Unless of course, I decide that 3 in the morning is a good time to shop.

Patience is a virtue; it just doesn’t happen to be one of mine.

So why is it that I am perpetually early for everything?  I am regularly at least 15 to 20 minutes early for an appointment.  Sometimes it pays off but that’s the exception rather than the rule.  Like when I show up to my accountant at 4:10 for a 4:30 meeting and then finally get to sit down with him at 4:50.

Do I really need to bring up the doctor’s office?

Notwithstanding everything I have said about my lack of patience, I have decided that there were several things in this life that have totally been worth waiting for.  In no particular order of importance, they are:

  • Seeing Star Wars on May 25, 1977 (4 Hours)
  • Riding the Tidal Wave at Marriot’s Great America (Now Called California’s Great America) the day it opened. (4 1/2 hours for what was to be a 30 second ride)
  • Getting into Day on the Green #3 in July of 1979.   (Ted Nugent, Aerosmith and AC/DC)

There are also a few things that I would still stand in line for even now

For your viewing pleasure, here is a You Tube video of the Tidal Wave.  It is definitely a 70’s video.

Wait for it………


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