Monday, January 23, 2006

Move over, Einstein.

I'm sure there is a scientific name for the natural law I will herein describe. Maybe it's a corollary to the law of diminishing returns. Or maybe, just maybe, I will hereafter join the ranks of Gallileo, Newton, Einstein, and company, as the scientific world collectively slaps foreheads and exclaims, "Eureka", or whatever secret phrase is uttered when the Mensa crowd inducts a new member.

When I was a brand new second lieutenant leading a rifle platoon in an infantry battalion, I slept on the ground with my men. I had no other expectation. In fact, the leadership training that we new lieutenants had received prior to being entrusted with our own Marines had stressed the leadership practice of sharing the privations of your men. They slept on the ground, so I slept on the ground. But it did not escape my notice, and deep contemplation, that my company commander slept on a cot when we were in the field. "Aha!", I said to myself. "Rank has its privileges, and when I become a captain and a company commander someday, I'll get to sleep on a cot, too."

When I became a company commander, there was no cot. I slept on the ground with my men. But..., the battalion commander had a cot. So I said to myself, "My old company commander must have jumped the gun on the cot thing--probably didn't rate one and was claiming cot privileges not commensurate with his rank."

When I became a battalion commander, there was no cot. I slept on the ground with my men. But..., the regimental commander had a cot. Now, I didn't go to a real college (I went to Ole Miss), so my education is not exactly what you would call a personal strength, but it was at this point that I concluded that some irrefutable natural law was at work. My conviction that this law existed concreted itself in my pea-sized brain when upon being placed in command of a regiment I discovered that there was no cot.

I now live in the smartest state in the union (Floriduh) and my association with these brilliant folks has had the benefit of increasing my scientific knowledge considerably. I can now hereby claim, without fear of contradiction, that a heretofore undiscovered natural law exists, and do, by right of discovery, hereby name that law. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Gregory's Corollary to the Law of Diminishing Returns--The Cot Condition. I will leave it to my new Mensa brethren to describe this law in scientific detail--I'm too busy trying to figure out the natural law regarding the inverse relationship between number of casts and fish caught.
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