Ben H. Swett
Reflex Alert Barracks, Upper Heyford RAFB, UK
13 April 1964

It had been a bad day. Everyone I met dumped on me in one way or another, and several seemed to go out of their way for that very purpose. Even my aircraft commander was somewhat short with me, although he was usually the personification of patience.

As I lay on my bunk and reviewed one distasteful episode after another, I honestly could not see how I brought it on myself. And, trying to be as objective as possible, I did not feel that I was just wallowing in self-pity. They had in fact dumped on me. All I could make of it was that everyone just happened to pick the same day to be nasty, and I happened to be there to catch it. So I sighed and let the tension go.

While I was lying there, relaxed, I toyed with the rather impish idea that maybe tomorrow it might be my turn ... to dump a little something on them.

At that moment, the private motion-picture screen that seems to be pasted on the inside of my forehead lit up, and I leaned back to watch the show.

The only thing I saw was a commode ... a plain old common white toilet, the kind that has a water tank at the back. Just that ... on a black background ... but it was obviously a different sort of commode, because its lid and its seat were more than halfway up--and they were flapping up and down all by themselves, but not together.

As I stared at it, I thought: "That stupid thing is laughing."

Immediately, a voice in the back of my private auditorium said: Behold the noble commode. When crapped upon, he does not retaliate, but merely washes himself out with fresh water. Behold the noble commode.

I woke up laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes and my sides hurt. That was absolutely the lowest-class vision I ever saw or heard of, but it was precisely the lesson I needed at the moment.

Needless to say, I could not take revenge on those who had dumped on me, or even contemplate retaliation, because if I did, I kept remembering that low-class vision and could not bring myself to be less noble than a stupid commode.

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