Tuesday, June 01, 2010

The Ma Deuce Quieting Effect

Stolen from Arms/Law.

A friend told me of having been at a Thanksgiving dinner, where the diners were mostly older ladies, but included one retired Army colonel who'd served in Korea. The former were making lengthy conversation on topics that males regard as torture, and they eventually got around to "What is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen?" One described a sunset in detail, several named their grandchildren, etc., etc. Finally, one of them asked the colonel what was the most beautiful sight he had ever seen.

He replied that at one point in Korea his unit was holding a ridge when the Chinese came on, shouting, in a human wave attack meant to overrun their position by sheer human mass. But his unit had a .50 Browning M-2, and the gunner slowly swept the onrushing attack from side to side. It was just like mowing down grain, the colonel said, except that grain doesn't go flying backward when you cut it. He smiled at the memory, even seemed a bit misty-eyed, as he finished "and that was the most beautiful sight I have ever seen."

The conversation went into a lengthy pause at that point...

Eye of the beholder, and all that.

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