Can we have more stories about the Howlies, please?
this is the story of dumdum dougans bowler hat.
there are a lot of crazy stories from when we howlies were settling in together. ( uh. there are also a lot of crazy stories from after we got settled, and a lot of crazy stories in general.) most of us had the kind of overblown personalities that would dominate most other units, which was part of why the higher ups agreed to make us a unit in the first place–nobody else would have us. that being the case, there were a lot of spats between us while we got used to each other.
what we all rapidly learned was that the best way to deal with those arguments quickly was usually a field test to see who was right. this method of conflict resolution led to such memorable things as the Great Bean-Off, the Red Socks Incident,and the List of Twenty Reasons Peggy Carter Is in Charge.
It should be noted that peggy carter was never formally a howlie. informally, she was the boss of the howlies. ask steve, he’ll agree.
anyway, if the option was available, arguments would be resolved by trying whatever was being debated and letting reality figure out who was right.
since this was 1. the army and 2. before cell phone app games were invented, there was almost always an audience for these things, and with that audience came bets about who was right.
war can sometimes be really boring guys, you gotta get your laughs where you can. and laughing at the baddest of asses making regular asses of themselves rapidly became a noble 107th tradition. we made good entertainment, i guess.
this story begins with the fact that the howlies were picked more for personality than skill–which actually worked well, since we had enough diversity of skill anyway–but that meant we had a bit of specialization overlap. namely, dumdum and i were both marksmen.
naturally, dumdum insisted he had better aim. i disagreed. things escalated.
escalation eventually wound up with dumdum yelling “if you’re a better marksman than me, i’ll eat my hat!!”
which. was a terrible choice of words.
word rapidly spread of the disagreement, and soon enough somebody had set up a firing range for us to resolve the issue. the targets were a couple of thoroughly defaced nazi propaganda posters, and the prize was apparently dumdum dougans hat for dinner. the crowd was some sixty-odd soldiers, and pretty much all of them had placed bets on the outcome.
i could stretch that part of this story out longer, but. its me. we all knew i was gonna win. not to say that dumdum was bad; im just better.
but the thing about guys like us? we take things literally. so people immediately began insisting that the hat be eaten–some being so helpful as to provide salt and spam as toppings.
i, being a gentlemanly sort, and also being extremely unwilling to discover what smells dumdum’s digestive system would produce if filled with spam and felt–we all shared a barracks, it would be terrible–instead offered to simply take the hat as payment.
im nice like that.
but bowler hats are not a look that works for me–i dont have enough of a handlebar mustache, i think. so the hat would up back on dumdum’s head pretty promptly. but technically it belongs to me.
it’s in the smithsonian now, with a little plaque thanking dumdum’s estate for the donation, but rightfully, its mine.
maybe if i ever grow a handlebar mustache ill go claim it.