He was a full-bird infantry colonel and just being around him made me ill. It wasn’t just his attitude of pride and lack of concern for his men, but it was his mouth. However; I treated him like I would any officer–with respect, but this guy was an (as my father would say) “a toilet tongue”. My dad, Emmett Linebarger had some unique words for people who spewed out their vulgarities; such as toilet tongue, latrine lips, garbage gums, potty palate and manure mouth.
I remember the day my unit ( 2nd of the 47 Infantry-9th Infantry Division,) was field training. The colonel with the nasty mouth had not liked the way things had gone, due to the fact that our unit had won in every category of mock warfare against his unit. Colonel Toilet Tongue was hostile.
It was during lunch that my Company Commander was preparing to pray over his food as he always did, when Colonel Toilet Tongue make his way over to Captain Williams. Captain Williams had just bowed his head to pray when Colonel Toilet Tongue started talking to him loudly and using his usual vulgarities. The Captain looked up, held his hand up, like a police officer stopping a car and said, “Just a minute, sir.”
He then bowed his head in quiet prayer for what seemed a long time while Colonel Toilet Tongue turned the brightest red as he waited. You could tell that the Colonel’s pride had just been treaded upon. That day over five hundred men watched this event and with the exception of a few–Captain Williams gained the greatest respect of those men for his stand–his actions and his words.
Actions speak louder than words. I told my dad about the incident. The story made him laugh and said,“Looks like Colonel Toilet Tongue got flushed.” I wonder how many of us say things we shouldn’t say when we are away from those who know us to be, believers.
- Colossians 3:8-11
- 8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.