Our leaders are dismayed by deeds of man and maid

THE BALTIMORE SUN

HAVRE DE GRACE -- Congress thinks adultery is very, very bad

And our president thinks likewise, which should make the nation glad.

It's good to know our government is deeply into morals

-- a pleasant change from tax-and-spend and bloody Third World quarrels.

4 The Kennedys especially are speaking out on sin.

They're very much against it now, and say they've always been.

They're the nation's favorite family, and spiritually they're led

By that model of propriety, ascetic Uncle Ted.

In the name of abstinence, they're standing to be counted,

Beside a bronze of JFK (it does not show him mounted).

The Army and the Navy are declaring war on sex,

Which has turned some senior generals into quivering nervous wrecks,

And given certain admirals dreams that aren't exactly nice.

L (Admirals, for some reason, are called either Rear or Vice.)

All this tumult's due to hormones, it is fairly plain to see.

They angry up the blood and cause severe disharmony.

This seems to happen frequently when men and women mix.

L But it's just a little problem, one our government will fix.

New laws, we can be confident, will make it go away.

And if that doesn't work, well, there's still the FDA.

Our president is sensitive; he often sheds a tear.

And he's guided by his spouse, the lovely social engineer.

They favor giving condoms out in kindergarten classes,

And feel an obligation to uplift the unwashed masses.

Sex, they say, of every sort, is fine for college dorms,

But perhaps it should be banned where folks wear uniforms.

The polls tell politicians that the public's out of sorts.

It doesn't like the kind of thing it hears in news reports.

The prospects for the country don't appear to be too bright

If its highly-trained defenders all would rather kiss than fight.

So the politicians promise that they'll soon clean up the mess.

In fact they'll get right to it -- after meeting with the press.

The sergeants up at Aberdeen were drilling their recruits

In ways that awed the officers and brought on civil suits.

The noncoms hit on troopers, 'specially those with pretty faces,

And interviewed them, sort of, in the most unlikely places.

Sometimes "sentry duty," though to say so may seem crass,

Turned out to mean not standing guard but rolling in the grass.

This sounded even bawdier than the famous Tailhook caper,

Which put the Navy's party rites in every major paper.

(Navy pilots, winding down, raised hell and chugged some beers.

Net result: harassment claims, and many smashed careers.)

On the Hill, some senators, solonic faces grave,

Took the floor to wonder why the Navy won't behave.

The Navy admirals still insist we have a strong defense,

And putting boys and girls on ships is only common sense.

L If boys can do it, says the brass, then girls can do it too,

And if they can't, we'll say they can, and that will make it true.

The admirals don't seem bothered that the fo'c'sle life is wild,

L And beam with patriarchal pride when sailors get with child.

(One warship, called the Love Boat, went a-cruising far from shore,

And won itself a footnote in the books of Navy lore.

It took 400 women, uniformed in Navy blue,

And added them, with fanfare, to the vessel's standard crew.

When the ship came home again, a record was achieved.

Of those salty female sailors, nearly 40 had conceived.)

The Air Force cashiered randy bomber pilot Kelly Flinn,

Who said the brass was wrong to ask her whose beds she'd been in.

She shed some tears to find exposed her erstwhile private life,

Which had involved a married man who had an Air Force wife.

(This lady, said the papers, did not find it very cute

When Flinn the marriage-breaker insisted she salute.)

But still the question lingers, and it makes officials nervous.

How to train Americans for military service?

If you train them jointly, in the way Pat Shroeder wishes,

You risk fiascoes when the troops' behavior is lubricious.

And if you keep them separate, as they do in the Marines,

You may be spared the spectacle of future Aberdeens.

But would it be a cop-out to go back the way we were?

L If our leaders seem to think so, then to them we must defer.

Although we may have soldiers who cannot lift a gun,

What matters isn't strength but if they're really having fun.

Egalite, egalite! C'est la cause du jour.

As long as we're all equal, then who cares if we're impure?

Peter A. Jay is a writer and farmer.

Pub Date: 6/12/97

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