I was telling Andrew Exum about a conversation I overheard the other day between two military contractors -- ex-Marines, both, and both still in their mid-to-late-20s -- about the competing virtues of Jagermeister and Jack Daniels, and why Afghanistan killed one of these guy's taste for Jager (don't ask me how), and so on, and Exum reminded me of this great Greg Jaffe story about the things soldiers talk about when there's nothing to do but talk:
It was just after 9 p.m., and streaks of lightning flashed against the black sky. Fifteen minutes passed. The copter was grounded. It was then that two of the soldiers from the 4th Brigade of the Army's 4th Infantry Division launched into a profanity-laced argument over a burning question:
Is Connecticut in New England?
The first soldier gamely insisted that Connecticut couldn't possibly be part of New England because everyone from Connecticut cheers for New York sports teams: the Giants, the Jets, the Mets, the Yankees, etc.
"Do you even [expletive] know where Connecticut is?" the other soldier demanded. "I mean, could you even find it on an [expletive] map?"
The first soldier didn't answer. It was pretty obvious to all that he couldn't find Connecticut on an [expletive] map. Instead he reeled off the states that he thought were in New England: Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and Rhode Island.