At Moe’s on 21st Street in Norfolk:
Burrito: Whew. Thanks man. That foil wrapper was stifling.
Me: No worries.
Burrito: So. What brings you to town?
Me: Och. Day-and-a-half meeting with one or another of these cross functional team thingies of which the Navy has recently grown so fond. Complete with contractor-types left, right and center. Not to mention civilians.
Burrito: You, ah… You don’t like contractor-types? And civilians?
Me: No, that’s not it. The contractors bring a lot of specialized experience to the fight, and help us stay on track. They’re bottom-line type guys, and know that they have to deliver product. Otherwise some of us in the khaki-clad set would maybe be content to spend lifetimes arguing over how many aircraft carriers might fit on the head of a pin. Or something.
Burrito: And civilians?
Me: Likewise, for the most part. Although I did see something I found sort of amusing over the last two days.
Burrito: Really? Do tell.
Me: Well, outside the headquarters was this parking spot, right up front, labelled “Civilian of the Quarter.” And over the two days I was there, the spot remained perpetually empty. Heh.
Burrito: And that’s funny… how?
Me: Well, it could be ironic-like, couldn’t it? I mean: Was the spot empty because there was no civilian of the quarter? Or did the fact that the guy wasn’t ever around make him the civilian of the quarter, you know: By comparison?
Me: To the other civilians.
Burrito: Maybe it’s a uniform thing.
Burrito: What? What are you looking at? What is that? Salsa? Ouch – that stings!
Burrito: No. Wait. Stop. OUCH! Quit it!
Burrito: Look, stop, man. Can’t we talk about this? OK, OK, so it was funny. STOP IT!
Me: Mmmm. Burrito.
Foil Wrapper: Cruel, dude. I mean: That was like, sick!
Me: Don’t even start. It’s embarrassing.
Foil Wrapper: Wha…?!? What do you mean?
Me: You were supposed to protect him, man. You had to know how this was going to end.