October 29, 2004

What the Hell Does "Canked" Mean?

The King called last night. Yay! He's fine, but very busy and frustrated about the disorganization of the work he has to do. He also has a cold, which is standard for when he first goes on a trip, and sounds exactly like Daffy Duck. He got a scary call from his boss, who we'll call Master Chief (because that's his rank, and because it's so cool to be called Master), about our orders to move to Hawaii next year.

King: Hey, Master Chief, how're you doing?
Master Chief: Not good, King, not fuckin' good. Shit sucks. But anyway, I called because I got a call about your orders from Ops [Operations, the folks who give out the orders. We have a small temple to them in our closet. They are v v important.]. That usually means your orders have been canked.* Hold on, lemme find that message I wrote down.
King: [heart pounding, sweating, gasping like a dying fish] Orders? Canked? You mean, cancelled? Hawaii? Wha? WHAT? Oh God!
MC: [endless, buzzing emptiness of a line on hold, as King imagines horrible scenarios of trying to tell his lovely wife that not only is her long-dreamed-of move to Hawaii cancelled, that she instead has to move to Oagadougou.** Oh fuck. Fuck fuck fuck.]
MC: King? KING?
King: Yes, sir, sorry, I'm trying not to have a minor brain aneyurism. Don't worry, I'll be fine.
MC: I've got the message from Ops. They called to say they want you to move two days early. 'Kay? Gotta go, got shit to shovel.
King: [clinging to phone, wiping cold sweat from his forehead and shuddering, trying to comprehend that his orders have not been cancelled and that his boss is just an FUCKING IMBECILE for scaring the crap out of him that way. Phone begins to emit dial tone.] "Sir, yes sir," King whispers to it, weakly, before hanging up and collapsing to the ground.

* I have no idea why they say "canked" instead of "cancelled" in the military. If anyone has any idea of the entymology of canked, please do share it.

** Oagadougou is a real city. It's in Burkina Faso, and yes, you can be transferred there. I knew a couple in the State Department who were sent there for two years. Among their other belongings, they had to take two years' worth of toilet paper.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Queenie, I’m new to your blog (as of this week) but wanted to let you know if you need to/want to pick someone’s brain about Hawai’i well I’m a real live island girl (haole but a kama’aina none the less – hey you may as well get use to the lingo around here) and I’d be willing to answer your questions or to feed your excitement (or maybe dampen your enthusiasm – hey the weather is great here but we do have our own set of problems).

-Anne acampbel@hawaii.edu