Dear Jack: I've Picked Up Bad Habits in the Military

April 28, 2023Jack Mandaville
dear jack

Face of Success: Marine Corps veteran and amateur life coach Jack Mandaville has all the right answers to life's toughest questions.

Dear Jack,

I feel like I’ve developed some pretty bad habits since I’ve joined the military. I’m surrounded by tobacco and alcohol all the time. I want to find a healthy outlet. Any suggestions?


Corporal Nigel Kidd

Hi Nigel!

First off, what kind of fucking name is Nigel? Do you plan on becoming a butler when you get out of the military? Second, yes, I have plenty of suggestions. I’m a childless, never-married 39-year-old with lots of disposable income and a lot of time to try new things. 

The first thing you need to do is get lots of disposable income like me. But since you made the decision to enlist in the military, we’re going to need to find some cheaper options.

Have you ever tried poetry? Poetry is a great way to exercise both your mind and your emotions. While all of your friends are out drinking; smoking big, fat, juicy Nicaraguan cigars; and doing the occasional four-day weekend bump, you could be alone in your barracks room writing poetry while blasting Adele. 

Here, I wrote you a sample piece that might give you inspiration:

Alone, alone, while the boys are out to play.

No fun. No joy. But a new hobby in my day.

Someday, my poetry will make waves. 

Making waves while my friends get laid. 

Pen to paper. Ink to tree. 

All of my friends are having so much fun without me. 

I dunno, something like that. 

Maybe poetry isn’t your speed. Oh, what about meditation? Yes, that’s it! Meditation is a great way to ground yourself and consume your time. 

Just darken the room, close your eyes, throw on some soft music, and light some incense. Then, right as you’re about to get into your spiritual groove, you hear the guy in the room next to you going to town on the girl who works at the Wendy’s on base. Oh boy, they are really going at it like animals. Is that a whip I hear? Kinky!

No on the meditation? Yeah, the barracks can be a pretty distracting place. Wait a minute, how about you get out of the barracks? Yeah, you should be doing a physical activity. There’s a marina not too far from base. Oh boy, you have the perfect name to be doing some recreational sailing. Oh, wait. You make enlisted money. Shit, that one’s off the table, too. 

Hey, did I just hear that Craig, Raul, and Aidan are going to catch some Dollarita Margarita specials at Applebee’s? Dude, tag along with them for just this one night. What could happen?

Have a fun time! Make sure you download the Uber app.

I love you,

Jack Manford Mandaville I

Read Next: Dear Jack: I'm Stationed In Korea

Jack Mandaville
Jack Mandaville

Jack Mandaville is a contributor at Coffee or Die. He liked being a Marine but loves being a civilian that does commentary on military culture because there’s no real sacrifice involved. He’s a satirical writer, entertainer, and amateur provocateur. His only real love outside his work opportunities is falling asleep to Netflix.

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