This week’s words and phrases: monkey wrench dust bunny jejune [naive, simplistic, and superficial|(of ideas or writings) dry and uninteresting] Rowboat goose-neck lamp Dementia Angst vexatious [causing or tending to cause annoyance, frustration, or worry|denoting an action or the bringer of an action that is brought without sufficient grounds for winning, purely to cause annoyance to the defendant] pernicious [having a harmful effect, especially in a gradual or subtle way] Mollycoddle milk bottle vermilion lipstick [vermilion:a brilliant red pigment made from mercury sulfide (cinnabar)]
The instructor strode to the front of the group of new recruits and knew from the word go that his vermillion lipstick could be a factor in determining the group’s attitude to him, but he knew they would soon learn that he was not there to mollycoddle any of them.
He had a pernicious attitude to them and was determined that every vexatious action would cement intent to mould them into soldiers of the highest quality.
As expected his directives, his attitude and his stubborn insistence that they obey his every order resulted in the group displaying their responses in the most angst-ridden teenage way imaginable. Whinging was not tolerated, and he dismissed claims that Majors, aged 94, was a demented soldier pausing only to call the man out for what he was, a shirker of the highest quality. Times were tough, and every man no matter his age or physical condition was required to do his bit for the cause and noble cause it was at that.
The first task for the group was to take a rowboat each and make their way to the island across from them and there to find the goose-neck lamp, read three pages of the recruitment manual and row back carrying the goose-neck lamp with them.
From the very start, there was trouble as Majors now more confused than ever and suffering jejune moments by the second, capsized the row boat and plunged everyone into the icy water.
In the following confusion Jenkins, who hated the water, called Majors a dust bunny to which Majors now wet as well as confused struck out at Jenkins with a monkey wrench he happened to have in his kit seriously injuring the pernicious Jenkins.
It was all going to plan as the instructor watching the action from the shore line touched up his vermillion lipstick as he took a deep and satisfying drink from the milk bottle in his left hand.
“Monkey wrench,” he thought, “what a good idea to slip it into Majors kit and tell him it was a flag he had to wave should anything bad happen. Shame that Jenkins got in his way.”