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Know Jack #215 Can’t Do

Many years ago, I was part of the 407 MASS (Military Airlift Support Squadron) stationed at Clark AB in the Philippines. The squadron motto was “Can Do”. I’m sure the squadron must be disbanded because Google doesn’t know about it. Clark AB certainly is no more.

One other causality of the times is the squadron motto. I recall pumping jet fuel on a C-141, while servicing it with liquid oxygen, using the auxiliary power unit ( a small turbine engine) for power, all by myself because we were evacuating Saigon and were turning planes around as quickly as possible…that’s possible, not safely possible, not technically possible, or by the book possible. The mission had to be done---Can Do.

Can Do is long since dead. We now live in the day of Can’t Do. Can’t do it---the computer’s down. Can’t do it, my phones almost dead. Can’t do it because it’s not protocol. Can’t do it because the government says not to. Most major corporations do not even allow discussion of what they can’t do, except on community forums. No one in the company is going to take on problem solving.

“In these trying times” improvisation is limited to night clubs…and even there is rarely done well. Adaptation is reserved for the media when they need to jam the truth into a tight agenda. Overcoming is feeling smug after telling someone why you can’t help them.

America is turning into a nation of masked sheep too lazy to think for themselves and God help us if we should actually have to accomplish anything without detailed government instructions or a warning label. We even need to be told coffee is hot…though of course, these days even that is iffy.

I still operate on Can Do, and I don’t even measure up to “real” manhood, got no six-pack, got no zing, got no skills. Yet somehow, I manage to get stuff done when others quit or feel the need to ask me to take over.

I’m not special old men are just that way. Sometimes we have to resort to reading the directions, but we get ‘er done. You want something done that requires ingenuity---get an old man to do it—he can. Can Do is dead now you know why old men are grumpy.


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