Shit Burnin’ Detail

By Aaron Kiser

The secret to burning shit is to have the right formula of fuel: enough for combustion and slowburn endurance – one part Mogas and three parts diesel.

Sergeant Fossil looks us in the eye when he says that he’s been burnin’ shit in the army since the police action in the Dominican Republic in ’65.

First thing you have to do is bring the bucket of shit from the shithouse to burn.

We flip up plywood doors as metallic green flies hover like helicopters amid their fecal buffet. The smell from the metal drum steals the air.

We pour our liquid mixture and make our bizarre brew of piss, shit, and fuel, throw a match and watch it combust.

While the shit burns in the fuel, you must stir it as it burns. This assures that all the shit in the drum can burn and carbonize into ash. Don’t worry about the smell because you get used to it.

Orange, blue, and white flames dance inside and out of the shit tub. PFCs stand about and peer into its depths as black smoke rises, and they cackle like Macbeth’s witches on the heath.

With a gapped-tooth grin, Sergeant Fossil stares as the PFCs burn shit and pull out newly filled fecal tubs: Tonight the God of Shit will be praised!

Once the fire has burned out, and the shit is all carbon, take the tub over to the garbage pit and dump it. Then resume the detail.

Young PFCs soon tire of their foul detail. Playing, they reverse the Shit King’s formula – three parts Mogas and one part diesel. Light a match and throw it in the tub. Tub explodes.

Thunderous, hollow boom as shit tub turns cart-wheels, now free of its carbonized burden. Shit paints poly-brown abstract art on PFCs, privy, and proud Sergeant Fossil.

Defending his glorious art of fecal obliteration, Sergeant Fossil sends apprentice shit-burners back to tent: You’ll never burn shit in this man’s Army again!