Friday, August 01, 2008

Tactical Condoms, Anyone?

Tactical: –adjective
1.of or pertaining to tactics, esp. military or naval tactics.
2.characterized by skillful tactics or adroit maneuvering or procedure: tactical movements.
3.of or pertaining to a maneuver or plan of action designed as an expedient toward gaining a desired end or temporary advantage.
4.expedient; calculated.
5.prudent; politic.

Just the other day I was at Code 3 buying some new uniforms. I couldn't help but notice the dazzling array of items for sale labeled as "tactical." There were tactical uniforms, tactical boots, tactical flashlights, even tactical socks! Out of curiosity, I went to Gall's online catalogue and typed in "tactical" on its search bar. It came up with no fewer than 316 items, all with the appellation "tactical" in their description. Among them are tactical shirts, a tactical goggle pouch (free with purchase of tactical goggles!), tactical shorts, tactical key chains, tactical underwear and tactical water bottles. I believe that this proves my theory that if you insert the word "tactical" into the description of any item regardless of its nature, emergency responders will buy it.

I researched the definition of "tactical" as noted above. It is difficult to determine under which of the 5 definitions "tactical socks" would be categorized. I can certainly see how something like a nuclear warhead would be classified as "tactical." It would be difficult to foresee a use for nuclear weapons other than for tactics of some sort. (Cheney: "Hey, Dubya, we got any of those non-tactical nukes layin' around?" Bush: "Sure do. Wanna maybe lob a couple at, say New Guinea? They're not tactical or anything, they're just for fun.") Yet the tactical nature of key chains or underwear eludes me. I have a hard time imagining that before-action mission briefing: "Okay, guys this mission is top secret black ops. Make sure you have your tactical socks with you as they'll play a huge part in this invasion attempt. Also high priority is your tactical goggle pouch and tactical water bottle; lives may depend on them. The enemy may have tactical shirts on so be prepared for that contingency - you all know what to do with an enemy with tactical shirts..."
And so on.

Well, I must go to my kitchen to make a tactical sandwich for my shift tonight in my tactical ambulance with my tactical clipboard and tactical pen. I'll try not to forget my tactical stethoscope and tactical radio pouch. Lives may depend on them.


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