HowHighCanChiggersJumpAs a U.S. Army combat instructor, I was teaching a course called ITC (Instructor Training Course) to a class of soldiers in the field at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas. I was the instructor who taught the instructors. Raids and ambushes, patrolling, offensive and defensive tactics, map reading, movements. . . Days in the field under primitive conditions.

This was the early era of women being assigned to field units. It took some adjusting for most of us old soldiers who had been around for a while. After all, it had always been the Army’s position that it would have issued women to us if it wanted us to have a girls in our foxholes.

They were finally being issued.

One of my students was a tiny girl from somewhere back east, a big city like New York or Boston. She was, well, as cute as a bug. During a break from “movement to contact,” she stood looking around with a perplexed expression on her face. She approached me.

“Sergeant Sasser, I need to go to the bathroom.”

I threw my arms wide to indicate the surrounding bushes and trees.

“Pick one,” I suggested.

Somewhat later, she approached me again. She stood in front of me scuffing a boot toe in the dirt and looking embarrassed.

“Uh. . . Sergeant Sasser?”

I waited.

“Uh. . . Sergeant, how high can chiggers jump?”

I spread my hands about a foot apart with my bottom hand representing the ground.

“About this high,” I replied.

Via some remarkable combination of hypersensitivity, tolerance, concern for self-esteem, “inclusiveness,” and biases against being “judgmental,” the nation has thrown itself on the mercy of severely disturbed people. . .

From Going Bonkers: The Wacky World of Cultural Madness, by Charles W. Sasser. Available in paperback at and and for FREE on the Kindle (if you are signed up for Kindle Unlimited).