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The reality of the headlights
It was like a dream, really.
Gordon was walking at night and all of a sudden, headlights.
Lots of headlights.
More headlights came after that.
What was happening?
Why was he being flooded with headlights?
They were bright and obnoxious and shining right in his face.
Was it his fault? Was he in the wrong?
He tried to focus his attention on why the lights were there and then a booming voice entered his dream. The voice was getting louder as it spoke.
Smokey the Bear, Smokey the Bear, Howling and a growling and a sniff in the air.
The song from his childhood touched his memory bank.
The man’s booming voice. The headlights.
Gordon blinked a dozen times trying to understand what was happening. He looked from side to side and saw men in green lined up along a row of bunk beds, and a man – the man with the booming voice – was six inches from his face. He wore a chocolate brown wide-brimmed “Smokey the Bear” hat and he was barking commands at Gordon. The brim of his hat was a mere half inch from Gordon’s face. At first, they were pleasant words as one being coddled, but now it was a growl, similar to that of a rabid dog.
“Airman Johnson. Get out of this rack now! The entire Flight is dressed and ready to go and you’re holding them up. You’ve got exactly 30 seconds to get out of bed and get your clothes on. Now!”
Gordon Johnson, new United States Air Force recruit, set a land speed record for dressing, making his bed, and falling into ranks, and he had a full ten seconds to spare.
The lights above, however, were still bothering him. With his heart pumping at its maximum and his eyes squinting, now was probably the wrong time to ask the Smokey-the-Bear hat guy to turn down the intensity of the overhead lighting in the barracks.
In fact, anytime during the next six weeks would probably be the wrong time.
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