Even though it’s the beginning of the new year, we, the editors of the Daily Brass, have already run out of ideas. Therefore, we’ve decided to spend the next few weeks highlighting a few underappreciated pieces that we believe deserve a second glance.
First up: Al Butterman’s seminal essay on toughness. We feel it has a lot to teach us about what it means to be a man. Enjoy.
Frank McCrackin was the toughest S.O.B. I've ever known. He was the only person ever to serve in the Army Rangers, the Navy Seals, and the Marine Corp Show Choir all at the same time. He served two tours of duty in Korea, three tours in Vietnam, and four tours in Disney on Ice. He played Goofy, the toughest S.O.B. in the magic kingdom.
Whenever there was a tough job to do in any of the organizations in which he served, the standard order was to, “Get McCrackin.” That’s why, to this day, if you ever have a lot of work to do—like a bunch of homework or something—your mom will say “Well, you better get McCrackin.”
Yeah, he was tough all right. I once saw him chew the bumper off of a Mack truck. And it was still moving. He had scars running horizontally across his forehead, nose, and chin, and two scars ran vertically down his face and across his eyes. He also had little X’s and O’s everywhere from where he let us play tic-tac-toe on his face with an Exacto knife. He was that tough. He was also pretty funny looking on account of the tic tac toe scars.
But, you know, I learned a lot from that grizzled old Joe, including the twenty seven ways to kill a man. Here they are in list form:
The Twenty Seven Ways to Kill a Man:
1) Shoot him with a gun.
2) Stab him with something sharp.
3) Poison him.
4) Drop a bomb or missile on him.
5) Shoot him with a tank.
6) Run over him with a tank.
7) Run over him with a jeep.
8) Run over him with a boat.
9) Run over him with a bicycle. (You have to build up a lot of speed for this one to work.)
10) Land your helicopter on him.
11) Cover him in honey and feed him to a bear.
12) Cover him in honey and feed him to a honey possum.
13) Cover him in honey and feed him to some other kind of animal that likes honey.
14) Autoerotic asphyxiation.
15) Dare him to surf down the side of a tall building
16) Dare him to surf down an avalanche.
17) Dare him to surf into a shark’s mouth. …
It seems like there may have been a few other deadly places to dare a man to surf, but that's all I can think of right now. I’ll try and remember to ask old Frank about the rest of the list if I ever see him again. Something tells me I will. We both like to hang out at the same skating rink.
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