Sunday, October 11, 2009


One recent afternoon I had to brief the "Chaplain" slide to the Commanding General during the daily Commander's Update Brief, since the Brigade Chaplain was doing some training.

I had never done so before with my present unit.

After I finished presenting the information on the slide, as I was leaving the podium, an older guy in civilian attire stood up and raised his hand.

Surprised, I said into the microphone, "I guess there's a question." The man said, "How much education do you have?" This was a bit off-putting, and I replied, "Is this a trick question, Sir?" He countered with, "Seriously, how many degrees do you have?"

I paused a moment, performing a quick mental calculus.

Throwing caution to the wind, I replied, "To be perfectly frank, Sir, I have more degrees than a rectal thermometer."

The room went completely silent.

Then there was an audible gasp.

It turns out that the guy asking the question was a retired Lieutenant General (three stars).

Then everyone burst out laughing, and he stood up, turned around, and raised his hand to his head in a trigger-pulling gesture.

And I hadn't even been drinking at the time!

Or since.

Blessings and peace to one and all,

Fr. Tim, SJ

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lorraine said...

cCte answer. Been following for awhile - don't think I've commented before. I am pleased you are out there watching over the spititual well being of our guys. You probably need all those degrees to keep the "highers" in line. The precious discoveries you make - butterflies, flowers etc. are a delightful interjection into the rather bleak world of warfare. My son is in Germany - AF pilot - he gets up to Kosovo on occasion. Send a prayer his way if you think of it - he needs it. Peace be with you. Lorraine

lorraine said...

Correction: Cute answer.

Luis Montalvan said...

:) Keep 'em guessing, Fr. Tim!

Unknown said...

Hello there Fr. Tim. That answer almost always gets you a laugh, I've seen you use it several times. May I respectfully suggest that you meditate on what goes on in you that you will not name a number, or the degrees, but simply allude to having more than 2 or 3. You've been given the gift of intelligence and perseverance. Surely you're not ashamed of those gifts or of the scholastic honors you have earned. May peace be with you, dear Tim.

Bill Cleveland said...

It is always good to have a heretic around to balance the scales! You are one of the best I know Tim. I've read every one of your blogs which makes me feel very close to you and your adventures!
Keep the faith!

Lally said...

Wish I'd been there.

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