James Van Cleave of Fort Bragg North Carolina got himself a brand-new gloss black GMC Jimmy truck with tinted windows. How cool was it? Tipping the scales at almost 100% gangsta, it just gosh darned-near gave James an erection. Jimmy’s Jimmy made his jimmy snap to the position of attention.
Since it was the weekend, James decided to head out for an off-road baptism of his new Jimmy truck. Blazing down the hardball road in search of a suitable subject, he made a choice on a firebreak road that just seemed to have that kind of pumpkin patch sincerity conducive to the great pumpkin.
Off-road he turned.
On he blazed. He zigged and zagged, ascended and descended, tacked, crabbed, drifted, brake modulated, fish-tailed, four-wheeled, forgot his worldly woes… and got stuck! Yes-um, he was good and stuck, like a stuck pig his stuck truck was outta luck –yuck!
He could’ve-would’ve-could’ve dug himself out in short order but he had no shovel in his new jimmy. He had no tools to speak of, in fact he really had nothing but his big stupid face that he was looking at in his rear-view mirror. Realizing just how nicely he had set himself up he could see that big capital letter “S” raise up in his mind’s eye — yes capital “S” and that rhymes with mess and that stands for stupid stupid Jimmy!
James moped his way down the firebreak trail back onto the hardball road where he flagged down a Military Policeman (MP) driving by. Explaining his predicament to the MP he was met with furled brow: in fact, the MP appeared to be all but knitting a pair of brown socks with his furled brow:
“I think you’ll need to coordinate with Bragg Range Control before you go back in there after your Jimmy, James. You should have checked with Range Control before you went in there in the first place — we can go to Range Control right now and you can call for a ride there.”
Once inside the Range Control building, Jimmy studied the large wall-mounted topographical range map at the request of the duty officer. After a thoughtful scan Jimmy stuck his finger to the map and stated to the duty officer in all due certainly:
“Here, Sir; right here is where my Jimmy is stuck — there’s no mistake about it!”
The only expression which the duty office offered Jimmy with his pointing finger stuck on the wall-mounted range map was dire, grim, sour, forlorn, fallen, and crestfallen yet sincere:
“Mister, that location is absolutely off-limits; it is inside the Range-44 impact area.”
“Good Christ… how are we going to get my truck out of there??” James whined.
“Oh, ‘we’ are not going to get it out at all — ‘you’ are strictly forbidden from setting a single foot back out in that impact area, Mister!”
The incredulous Jimmy pined silently at the Range Control duty officer, alternating his gawk equally between the wall-mounted range map and the officer and:
“Good Christ… how are we going to get my truck out of there?? He whined.
And so it went.
Both James and the duty officer were momentarily interrupted by a noise, a disturbance near the front door… it appeared that a soldier who had been there coordinating some range fire had tripped over and knocked down a waste receptacle on the floor near the exit. He had done so in his obvious haste to leave the building. Something there in the Range Control building made him suddenly want to leave very quickly.
“Is there something I can help you with, soldier?” asked the duty officer.
“No, no… it’s just that I… I have to get back to my unit very quickly and… I just have to go!”
With that the soldier was gone in a flash, leaving the duty officer and James to their quandary:
“But my truck…”
“Shut up, Mister… JUST SHUT UP!!”
Back in the Delta Force compound a formidable armada of Blackhawk and Little Bird helicopters was settling onto the broad Falcon Landing Zone. The armada had just completed its last live-fire combat assault rehearsal of the day in preparation for an impending deployment to Mogadishu, Somalia. The day had been kind.
A vehicle sped up and hockey-stopped at the flank of a Blackhawk where the pipe-hitters were deplaning. An amped-out soldier sprang from the vehicle and choked up to the pipe-hitters:
“Who’s got ammo? Ammo… who’s still got live ammo??”
“Why, we ALL do, of course!” was the immediate response.
“Listen, I just came from Range Control. Some fool drove his brand-new Jimmy truck out onto the Range-44 impact area and got it stuck. He walked out but his truck is going to stay there for frickin’ EVER! Let’s roll on it ASAP before it gets dark!”
The pipe-hitters beat their chests and cross-loaded ammunition. There was a Mag-58 medium machine gun, two M-249 SAW light machine guns, one 40mm M-79 grenade launcher tube and CAR-15s among the boys. The soldier-just-from-Range-Control was leaning into the cockpit of the Blackhawk briefing the crew on the new fire mission and route as the pipe-hitters climbed back onboard the helo — the day was about to get kinder.
The helo lifted and lumbered off to the range with its nose low to make for speed, the pilot jetting a skunk-eye to the sun that winked just above the horizon. The bird dropped low in altitude as they crossed the limit of the impact area of Range-44. The boys craned their necks and strained their keenest eagle-eyes at the ground below in the hope of catching a glint of Jimmy’s Jimmy.
The co-pilot suddenly gestured wildly but specifically at what his gaze had fixed below. The pilot adjusted his course slightly and made a low-slow pass over the James truck, stuck there like a stuck pig named Jimmy. Once the pilot completed his pass to identify the target he wheeled his helo about and headed back to the James.
“GUN RUN, GUN RUN!” announced the helo driver over the intercom. The pipe-hitters all echoed: “GUN RUN!”
The track of the bird was offset to give the pipe hitters on the port flank of the bird the first go at lighting up the James. The Mag-58 was the first to squirt a length of 200 rounds toward the good James. Dots of white spattered the truck as bullets pierced the gloss black skin chipping away the paint. As the good Lord above would solemnly attest, I swear to you that a pipe hitter behind the Mag-gunner did indeed lean over and sharply shove him causing his aim to drop off.
“SAVE SOME FOR US, DICK-WEED!” Shouted the Goddamned Pusher Man.
The smaller caliber SAWs ripped off their belts as CAR-15s opened up and the grenadier pumped round after round the way of the James. The starboard gunners drooled in the right-side door in acute anticipation of their turn.
The Blackhawk came about again as the rest of the pipe-hitters slapped and tapped and leaned their aim as far out of the door as possible. Cuz, who was pumping the grenades on the port side, shifted his bad self over to starboard to double-dip in the carnage as he had only three rounds remaining.
The starboard flank of the bird belched fire as the venerable James became reduced to a model of a truck more so Swiss than GMC. Cuz launched his first then his second grenade James-ward. It was the second grenade that passed through the driver’s side window, long since shattered away by machine-gun fire. It exploded sharply inside the James relieving it of any remaining glass… and the James began to soundly burn.
A “ceasefire” was called and the gats went hush. One last dry pass was made over the flaming James for the boys to salute a farewell obeisance as the Hawk lifted and lumbered a track for home. The last rays of the sun drooped a final nighty-night sigh and turned charge over to the moon for the night. The boys grinned in the breeze and cradled their arms. The day had been truly kind!
(Melody to the tune of “Poor Howard’s Dead and Gone”)
Poor Jimmy’s dead and gone
He left me here to sing this song
Poor Jimmy’s dead and gone
He left me here to sing this song
Poor Jimmy was a truck
Went out one day and he got stuck
He’s sure as hell down on his luck
Like I said he WAS a truck
Poor Jimmy had a goal
He set his sights on Range Control
They tried with James at Range Control
But his strife would not console
The pipe-hitters jammed their gats
Brass knuckles and baseball bats
At port and starboard asses sat
Flew one last pass to tip their hats
Yeah, poor Jimmy’s dead and gone
He was a truck but not for long
Thought he couldn’t do no wrong
And left me here to sing this song
By Almighty God and with honor,