Swagger Sticks & Short Timing
Swagger sticks and short timer sticks were frowned on by the powers that be in the 504. Most officers and NCOs looked the other way when they saw a short timer carrying one. I had not bothered to make a short timer's stick since I didn't know when I was getting out. Once I got my orders I started looking around. Most of the outfit was in the boonies as I was clearing post. I spied a guy I vaguely knew from another company who was sporting a short timer stick. I found out he had 60 days to go and asked him to sell me his, which he did for $5.00. He had made it in the shop well in advance of his discharge. I display it on my mantle to this day. It is made of wood, has a 7.62mm round on the tip, mid way down the stick is a small set of parachute wings, and corporal stripes, (we both were speedy 4s but that insignia was not available, and on the bottom of the stick is a 50 pfenig coin. I brasso it up every now and again.
Short timers had many expressions to denote their status, here are a few.
I'm so short I could walk under a pregnant ant with a high hat on.
I'm a double digit midget.
I'm a single digit midget.
I'm so short you can't see me.
I'm so short I don't have time for a butt.
I'm so short I need a ladder to get into bed.
I'm so short I need a chute to jump out of bed.
I'm so short my helmet covers me from head to toe.
I'm so short color me gone.