I saw this variant cover to G.I. Joe #5 on Twitter. It shows a morbidly obese woman on a snowy mountaintop pointing to something in the far off distance.
As someone who has had his fair share of problems with their weight, this cover speaks to me. When I was in the Air Force, my weight had to be no more than 238 pounds. My weight was almost never 238 pounds. I was usually tipping the scales at 245.
That meant anytime there was going to be a scheduled weigh-in for the squadron I had to get over to the gym and sit in the sauna. That hot wooden box of cedar would be packed with other people in a similar situation. Men who had to make their weight. I wasn’t out of shape. Far from it. I was in excellent physical condition. I was a runner and ran five miles a day back then.
I always made my weight except for one time. I was stationed on Guam and had just come back from a 30 day leave in the states. As I was signing in, my asshole of a First Sergeant told me to get on the scale. Sure enough, I weighed something close to 250.
I hadn’t done a lot of running while on leave and had been eating a lot of restaurant food. Plus, my mother was always fixing food for me to eat. My mother makes the best apple pie in the world.
My First Sergeant finally got me. I think I was his white whale. I was a big white guy and he was a tiny black guy. Neither of us was named Moby, but one of us was often referred to as Dick.
I had to attend a 30-day fitness class held that the base gym. It was conducted by an airman who would benefit greatly from the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that would be enacted in a few short years. With her man-like haircut and the overly masculine way she conducted herself, I’m sure she was called into Air Force Office of Special Investigations (OSI) all the time.
When I was a kid, the OSI was cool. Major Steve Austin, the Bionic Man, was part of OSI. In real life, the OSI spent all its time trying to figure out if the females on base were gay. Not only would they call the women in question into their offices for questioning, they would call in their friends and coworkers.
Air Force remedial exercise class
The class was a joke. I was running five miles every evening on my own time. The exercises we had to do in the class were both embarrassing and ineffective. They were the type of exercises you’d expect to see a group of mentally challenged children do at a mainstream high school. I think the purpose of the class was to embarrass you so much that you would do what you had to do to make your weight.
And it worked. After 30-days, I weighed in and I was under my weight limit. My asshole of a First Sergeant still wrote up a letter of counseling or something for my record. He said because I was a sergeant, I was presenting a poor example to the people beneath me. Hey, as long as I don’t step on any of them, I think we’re okay. I never failed a fitness test. I was in trouble because at six foot six, the Air Force said I should never weigh over 238 pounds.
I used to think that First Sergeant just hated white people, but he treated my black squadron mates even worse. He hated everyone. He was just a tiny hateful man.
When it was announced the 43rd Bomb Wing was being shut down, people were being sent new assignments. I was already scheduled to rotate out, so the shutdown didn’t really affect me. I’ll never forget what happened to that asshole, First Sergeant. He was assigned to a dinky missile testing base in New Mexico. The base was so small and so far from any town or city, it was considered a remote overseas assignment. He had obviously pissed off someone who now was in a position of power over him, or at least, could make sure he was assigned to a base nobody would want to go to.
I sometimes wonder what happened to that First Sergeant. I hope he’s dead. I hope they found his dead body dressed in a leather gimp suit.
Here’s the full variant cover of G.I. Joe #5. Her cold winter jacket looks so small, I doubt it will even fully zipper up. That shiny belt buckle cutting into her gut has got to hurt. I’ll have to get a copy of this comic. Since it’s a variant, I might have to order it.