51 – Operation: Fifteen Minutes (a chapter from my NaNo 2007 novel)

This is not a drill, repeat, this is not a drill! You have fifteen minutes to shower, dress, eat breakfast, and get out that door! Listen up, maggots, so you don’t end up like Ol’ Charlie there!

We start by waking up late! That’s right, a full half an hour of your prep time will be wasted snoozing like you don’t have a care in this world! Believe me, maggots, you will have a care or two when you wake up! HQ tells me you can skip the shower if you want, but don’t be surprised when you fail to attract the ladies, men. You do have to get dressed, though, maggots! Besides being illegal in this man’s army to run around naked as the day you were born, it is a really bad idea with this weather!

So you WILL get yourself to the dresser that we will provide for you, and you will pull open that underwear drawer! If you find it empty, you will NOT be allowed to continue! You must find a pair of underwear and you must put them on in order to complete your first objective! You WILL search the floor, you WILL get down on your hands and knees, and you WILL search every piece of furniture in this room for a clean pair of undergarments! Do not forget the desk, ladies!

After you have successfully completed objective number one, you will move on to objective number two: finding a pair of pants! There is a special pants drawer, which you may or may not find completely full. Use whatever means necessary to choose and wear a pair of pants. It does not matter as much as you think it does which pair you wear! This is not an army of metrosexuals, maggots, this is an army of MEN! If you have to shove all those pants into a pile and pull one out at random, you must don a pair of dress slacks before you will be allowed to move to the next objective!

What’s the next objective, sir? What are you, boy, and little girl! When you ask a question, you will ASK that question. I do not want any pansies who pipe up with inquiries, I want serious men who ask their damn questions and expect answers! Objective number three: a bra! I don’t want to see any of those faces. This is the army. If you don’t like it, I can always dig into this here drawer and pull out a stack of insanity discharges! You find a bra, and you put that bra on. Then you pull a shirt out of this closet and you put it on. Then you grab some shoes from the floor of this closet and you head for the kitchen as fast as your girly little legs will take you! Is that understood!? Alright!

Next: breakfast! I don’t care which army you’re in, a man needs his breakfast. I hope you maggots are ready for granola bars, because that is what you will be attempting to obtain in objective number four! You will not be allowed out of this kitchen until you have something in your hand to eat for breakfast! I don’t give the slightest damn if you pass out of here with a plastic bag full of Cheerios, as long as you have something you can eat! When you have obtained breakfast, you may move on to objective five.

Objective five is as follows! You will need car keys and you will need to exit the house via the front door! Optionally, you may obtain bus change! I don’t want to encourage you one way or the other, ladies, but let me just say that your vehicle this morning will be a ten year old POS Toyota. It’s up to you if you feel like taking the extra five seconds to pick up some bus change, but those of you late to the meeting WILL fail.

Don’t be going any place, girls, there’s one more note here! Let’s see, oh yeah, break the white bowl on the front table and you’ll be sweeping up white powdery shards of clay for the rest of your life! You think shaving potatoes is bad news, wait till you get ahold of this broom for the fifth hour! Now go go go! Make your mama proud!


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