Bayonet Etiquette

“You can get a lot done with a bayonet, but sitting on one is uncomfortable”– from Secondhand Time, Svetlana Alexievich

I. Things you can do with a bayonet

Kill people.

Persuade people to do things they don’t want to do
by threatening to kill them.

Control unruly crowds
by threatening to kill them.

Control peaceful crowds
by threatening to kill them.

Control your wife
by threatening to kill her.

Rob a bank or convenience store
by threatening to kill the clerk.

Wave it in the air on your front porch or in your backyard
to demonstrate your manliness.

Eat peas with it (this one’s challenging).

Kill snakes (which I did one morning in Vietnam in 1967
for no good reason I can think of).

Bash open your C-ration cans
if your John Wayne can opener is broken
or otherwise unavailable.

II. Things you should not do with a bayonet

Sit on it.

– W. D. Ehrhart is a life member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War and a founding member of Veterans for Peace.

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