I had two messages on the answering machine yesterday. One, thankfully, was from the guy who I hope can fix the gallons of water that seem to be sweating through the walls of my basement by the shop-vac-ful. (By the way, to whoever built my home: I can live with not having a single straight wall length or right angle in the corners, but why was the drain in the basement floor put in at the highest point? I'd like to see the blueprints that specify that water runs away from the drain and into my computer.)
The second call was from a Marine recruiter. He was polite and kindly asked me to ring him back to discuss the opportunities available to today's modern non-robotic soldier. Examples being money for college (Natty Light, X) and money for a home (one without a surprise! basement pool). Although the message was pleasant, it caused a panicky flashback to the last time I was recruited in HS. But back then it was a combination of veiled attacks at my masculinity (fortunately, no worse than from what I received from the soccer team) and his claim that I was a pathetic, greedy consumer of freedom with little else to contribute to society. (He had me better pegged than my guidance counselor.) If he had used the language "suckling at the teat of Lady Liberty," he would have had me at, well . . . "teat."
(Secret Shame: That civic responsibility bit stuck with me through college and when approached about ROTC, I quickly joined. Luckily, they had a trial program where you could get a single credit with no obligation. We were basically grunts for the people doing officer training for real. Class involved uniforms, marching through campus with rubber M-16 and the occasional Code Red. On one march we all wore light blue arm bands and when a local asked what was going on, I said we were the United Nations. This caused a panic in our insanely conservative college town when the redneck called the Limbaugh/Liddy/Hannity radio station and claimed the UN was prepping for invasion. I wasn't in ROTC much longer after that. Who says the all-volunteer fake-college-army doesn't work?)
Anyway, this was all a coincidence because happenstance found me today talking to an Army officer about the difficulties of reaching their recruitment goals. But he used the term Millenials when describing the kids younger than Generation X. Has anyone else heard this term? It got some 10,000 google hits but is this the official name for kids born after 1978? This Army fellow said they were prized for their ability to multitask electronically. I guess this is true, though I don't know what the Army could do with kids with the skill set of "talk on cell phone/crash parent's car," "play PSP/receive oral sex," or "Instant Message/date Wilmer Valderrama."
I really wish you didn't have to pay for that "sex" link as it's a Washington Post classic. I guess it was the first in Laura Sessions Stepp's years-long series on the lives of rich, North Arlington teenagers.