FORT BRAGG, N.C. — Several shammers have been spotted in their natural environment around post, sources have confirmed.
According to witnesses, junior enlisted soldiers living in the barracks have vanished from unaccompanied housing, only to reappear in smoke-pits, empty parking lots, and behind unused pieces of furniture in vacant rooms scattered throughout the large installation.
“Whenever the words ‘police call’ or 'GI party' are heard floating around, several soldiers disappear stray from the herd without anyone noticing,” says amateur wildlife photographer and Army Cpl. Vince McNally, scratching his head and sweating nervously. “They never taught us this kind of stuff in basic survival."
"I just hope first sergeant doesn't realize they've vanished, or I'm fucked."
In addition to the small number of soldiers who initially vacated the premises in time to dodge some menial work details, a few others have joined them with the implied blessing of their supervisors. Tiny smoke clouds rise above the horizon and disappear as small groups of shammers congregate away from the barracks and burn through their cigarettes, waiting for police call to end. Muffled snoring is heard in the cubicles of back offices as work-dodgers nap away the time they would have spent picking up litter.
"Soldiers like us are meant for better things than these mind-numbing tasks," says Spc. Phillip Wiggins as he exhales hookah smoke through the window of his parked car about a quarter-mile from his living quarters. "And this certificate proves it. See?"
Wiggins holds up a handsomely-printed certificate from the E-4 Mafia conferring upon him the title of Master of Shamming Arts and adds, "Your move, First Sergeant."
Not everyone is so amused by the soldiers' disappearances, however.
"Where the fuck is that dumb-shit, Wiggins?" yells 1st Sgt. Terence Marks as he holds up a blow-up doll dressed in a set of Wiggins' uniform — boots, cover, and all. "Did he really think he could fool me? Somebody had better speak up now, or you'll all spend the next three days dusting off the trees with a Swiffer."
"I'm right here, Top," Wiggins chimes in from behind the angry first sergeant. Marks spins around to see Wiggins holding a trash bag half-full of cigarette butts and other debris.
Marks, briefly dumbstruck, walks away and doesn't return.
"I don't think I've seen him look so defeated in my life," chuckles Wiggins.