Commando team rooms are sanctuaries, refugee rallies, areas of amnesty… they are no-kidding full-caliber FORTS—no girls allowed! Girls would not be permitted to enter, as they would wreck our fort! That being said, commandos have no aversion to spending a great deal of time in their team room havens.

In my own five-man Delta team room, we had one specific challenge; one Reverend Chill-D W. Now, it is understood that we all have an occasional onset of personal Gaseous Over-Pressure Affliction (GOPA). Be it consequent to a previous evening’s Mexican fiesta feast-Olé! or bout with broccoli, or just because the moon was blue last night… we all experience it occasionally.

A generous off-gas solution typically may take place outside, or in a out-of-the-way location largely devoid of incidental humans, or as with my own heroes, forcefully held within the confines of the body, to the extent that the body will systemically absorb its own gas.

Henry’s rule of solubility states: “at a constant temperature, the amount of a gas that dissolves in a liquid is directly proportional to the partial pressure of that gas in equilibrium with that liquid.”

Trouble yourselves not over the details, just be aware that Henry’s law supports the fact that the human body will absorb its own gas into its interstitial fluid volume; the more the pressure, the more the gas will be absorbed in fluids. As a combat diver, this becomes a critical for the consideration of dive injuries such as decompression sickness (the bends), and Air Gas Embolism (AGE).

Enter his holiness, the Reverend Chill-D W. Chill-D’s body was a nation-state factory of astronomical tidal volume of gaseous byproducts, largely without peer in modern civilization, or for that matter not since Cro-Magnon carved a cow in his cave. It really didn’t matter WHAT Chill-D ate, it produced gas at a rate that was exponential to the mass consume. Chill-D could sip feeble chicken broth, and drink warm water with a brown crayon dipped into it… and the wind would blow.

And it was carcinogenic, that wind. Now, at the human rate, sometimes the gas is adverse, but other times it leans toward the side of the innocuous. Never with Chill-D; it was 24/7/365 full-bore, paint-peeling, nostril-cauterizing stank. It only ever smelled like eggs buried under a chicken coop for over seven days–BROWN EGGS…brown eggs!

I digress: my team leader Chris W. used to bring back a couple of hard-boiled eggs from the chow hall at breakfast and hide them as a pre-lunch snack. Bart W, who was perpetually late every morning, missing breakfast, would come into our team room and borrow Guy Cutino’s electric razor:

“(buzz of shaver) Hey Chris, do you have a couple of hard-boiled eggs I can have?”

“No Bart, No… every morning you come in here asking me for a couple of hard-boiled eggs!”

“Yeah, and every morning I come in here and you don’t have any!” I’m not at all positive why I think that is funny, but I do.

“Goddamnit (BKSE) Chill-D; did you just GOPA again? DAMN!” and everyone grabs a glove or a drive-on rag to push up to their noses. The early warning alarm of a Chill-D anal release became know as: “SPLASH, over!” (‘Splash’ is used by Forward Observer (FO) to report that he has just seen an artillery round impact downrange.) The alarm was acknowledged by the return of: “SPLASH, out!”

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“My God, you’d think he could capture that gas somehow and compress it into K-cylinders; we could use it to weld, or as flame throwers to root out Taliban from caves in the Stan!”

Eventually a B-Team member, substantially weakened by the attrition of the ass lamented: “I can’t take it anymore. Something has got to be done about Chill-D’s cheese cutting…” and we all fervently agreed, for we were all afraid, but what to do?

“I have it; new rule: every time anyone beefs in the team room, they have to buy a coke for everyone on the team,” came the remark from a man specifically looking at the Reverend. “What are you looking at me for?” he grinned coyly.

“Well… now wait a minute; it can’t automatically be everyone on the team. What if a guy or guys are not in the team room at the time of the infraction? They haven’t suffered from the smell, so they don’t deserve compensation.”

“Ok, he has to buy a coke for everyone who is in the team room at the time of transgression.”

“Yes but… and I am not saying this is very likely, but what if someone who is in the team room does not actually smell the GOPA? Again, he has not suffered, so he does not warrant compensatory measures.”

“(sigh) Then every man who is in the team room, who smells the fart, and who suffers, will deserve a palliative beverage.” We all glanced around the room at each other’s nodding approving faces. It was official; the anti-fart legislation was ratified and in place. Chill-D would comply, or absorb a crippling blow to his personal finances; the fat gavel had fallen!

We were men, civilized men; we took matters into our own hands and rendered a logical and rational solution… like men! Lesser men would have simply crumbled under the dire circumstances bestowed by Chill-D’s ass shifting into third gear, following a macaroni and cheese sandwich. We men of the Delta Force would have none of that.

The soft drink-awarding bylaw brought on some less-than-normal behavior theretofore unpredicted: “Uh-oh… someone farted. I’m suffering over here; I’m suffering!!” And other men in the team room would swiftly dart over to that area breathing deeply: “Yep I’m suffering, we’re suffering too over here. You owe us all sodas, Chill-D!” And we headed for the squadron bar to grab a pop.

Other teams began to craft their own versions of the B-Team fart bylaws, with one team going so far as to take their document over to the unit ‘Judge’ to have it officially reviewed for syntax and verbiage. Our own team extended the law to include the team range van, as Chill-D had taken to holding his deadly volume until such time as we loaded our van to head downrange.

Inside the tight confines of the low-volume, hermetically-sealed range van, an uninvited GOPA could prove fatal. It should be noted that a van that seals exhaust fumes from the outside, also seals in ‘exhaust fumes’ on the inside–a double edged sword of smell.

Our range van has been known to storm up to the flat range and throw open its doors like a Higgins boat on Omaha Beach, only to have nobody exit… the driver woefully returning to ship.

To his credit, our Reverend Chill-D brazenly walked into our team room one day and slapped a five-dollar bill down loudly on the desk. There he stood with his hands on his hips, a defiant look one his face, eyeing each of us as the room filled with a progeny decay byproduct of Sarin gas. “Enjoy your sody-pops, gentlemen.” he smirked, as we piled out of the room headed for the bar.

The culmination came on a day when the Delta Commander and Sergeant Major brought an unannounced entourage of White House VIPs on an excursion from the main corridor of a building tour, into our squadron bay, into which all the squadrons team rooms opened.

As it happened, the door to the B-Team room suddenly flew open, where Guy Cutino emerged announcing loudly and matter-of-factly: “Attention everyone… Chill-D just farted; hurry up and get in here and suffer before it fades away!!” This followed by men from other teams dashing and flocking into the B-Team room: “YEP… WE’RE SUFFERING IN HERE… WE ARE TRULY SUFFERING!” Try and explain that to visitors from Washington, about the world-class warriors of the vaunted Delta Force.

And so it went.

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(Featured image painting by John Singer Sergeant ‘Gassed’ courtesy of Pinterest)