Cartoonists and tough guys


I had this video sent to me, and it reminded me of a similar story. Mine was in Iraq, where I was traveling with nine other cartoonists (see “Cartoonists and their callsigns“). We were a rugged group. We got to wear kevlar. We were bad.

But smell isn’t everything and aside from a few calloused fingers from drawing too much, we were pretty soft. The fellows protecting us, however, were not. The security detail was all business. The Soldiers carried weapons and not only knew how to use them, they knew enough to keep the guns out of our hands.

For the most part.

Still, the security guards were tough guys, and at one of the stops I heard our escort – a soft-spoken Army Staff Sergeant – suddenly release a stream of expletives at some poor Soldier who wasn’t where he should have been. It made my blood run cold.

So I thought I would try him out on the cartoonists. I asked and he agreed.

At the next stop, as we were shuffling out of the bus, he suddenly whirled around and started screaming and yelling. “GET OFF MY BUS, YOU (bleepin’ bleeps)! MOVE! MOVE!”

In time of stress, a person’s true character emerges. If that is true, cartoonists’ character involves bed-wetting, crying uncontrollably, and wanting Mommy. I was expecting the surprise, but even I jumped to my feet without thinking.

Then he laughed.

And we laughed.

And then we changed clothes.


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