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I think the funniest thing about Saturday night was the role of Burberry in my altercations.

After a quick stop to pick up a ticket, I met my friend Tami in Adams Morgan since he was slated to relocate to New York City today and I surely was not going to miss a night on the town on the eve of his last day in D.C. I met him at about 1:15 at The Brass Monkey and the place was packed to the point of agony. It started getting more comfortable as people filtered out to attend their after-hours functions, and I started talking to a Russian-Polish-English girl named Kate. Kate noticed a scarf on some girl’s neck and said to me, “Is it just me or is that scarf advertising the fact that she has no personal sense of style?”

OF COURSE, I agreed and started commenting on how pervasive Burberry was; that added to the fact that it was probably a knock-off. As I was saying this, a marine that had talked to Kate at a different bar earlier walked up beside me and pointed at the scarf and said loudly “THAT girl? Is THAT the girl you’re talking about?” Almost immediately, the marine’s wife was there demanding that he stop his childishness.

“He listens to me,” she said, “Stop this and let’s go, NOW.”

“Go ahead, listen to her,” I said, “I don’t need to start with you. Besides, I’m just playin’ with ya.”

That was it. He pushed me against the bar and was grabbed and escorted away by bouncers, his marine friends trailing. It was a few minutes to closing time, and we were heading out when a member of the corps (the corps, and the corps) came back inside and accused me of calling his wife a whore, which I regretfully refuted as I pushed past to go outside.

As soon as Kate and I were out of the bar, we were separated, and I was the center of attention. Some people were telling me to go, marines were telling me that they’d avenge the whore wife comment, and people were trying to keep a some other bald, drunk marine away from me since he seemed to want to hit me, and succeeded in that endeavor twice. They were nice, soft, mommy punches, so I was fine with the fact that I didn’t get any good whacks in on him when he decided he’d finished his job and had away with himself.

As I was trying to sort things out with the marine with the whore of a wife, the guy who hit me came back and started pushing the other marines away and defending me! Tami made me apologize for something I never said in the interest of putting the whole thing to bed, and then tried to lure the bald guy along with us into a back alley by offering him a slice of pizza. We never got him to come with us.

That’s it. What did I learn? That you can’t gauge a whole division of the military by the performance of a select few of it’s most classless individuals after they’ve been drinking. But you have to admit, when you go to a bar and a bunch of hotheaded marines are out lying to their friends in order to rile them up and start something with a civilian, you can’t help but think that some of the lives our country puts out there in the name of freedom are expendable.

It’s a sad state of affairs when someone even thinks this, much less has the stugots to write it in a public forum. If this guy was a GE employee, would I have said something about how GE integrity and values only go so far? No, but the employees of General Electric aren’t the stewards of American values; values that I trust our armed services to uphold, and were not emulated by the few and the proud that I met last night.

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