One day, Joe had an awkward conversation with the Lt. in charge of his unit. He annoyed Lt. Jergins by asking a perfectly legitimate question. Lt. Jergins was busy with paperwork and gruffly answered his question before adding irritably, “Go away and don’t come.”
“Sir, I don’t sleep around on Mindy, but don’t you think denying me happy time is kinda harsh?” Joe asked, blinking at him in disbelief. What kind of officer wanted to control his sex life anyway?
There was a beat of silence, and then Lt. Jergins’ head jerked up and he gave Joe a very confused look. “Private Schmoe, what are you talking about?” he demanded.
“Well, sir. You said ‘don’t come’ and y’know, I don’t need it like a lot, but a guy’s gotta have a little private happy time now and then if his girl isn’t around. It can be unhealthy not to, you kno-”
“Private, I don’t give a damn about your ‘happy time’. Now go away and don’t come!” Lt. Jergins snarled, flushing darkly.
“Back. Don’t come back.”
“Oh.” Light dawned on Joe, and he blushed in mortification. “Yes, sir. Sorry, sir.” He made a speedy strategic retreat from the office, feeling a little misused. ‘Back’ was only one word, after all. How hard could it be to just add it? It would have saved him from looking like a total moron. How was he to know that the Lt. sometimes said something other than he meant? He walked off muttering, vowing to keep the Lt.’s weird habit in mind for future avoidance of accidental humiliation.