Thursday, April 03, 2008

Sharpe Still My Hero

The beautiful and not at all temperamental Mrs Vache Folle bought me a Richard Sharpe novel that I had never read before, and I devoured it. I'm telling you, I can't get enough of Richard Sharpe, Rifleman. Which is a little odd, since I am a very pacific person. I hate violence and war, unless Richard Sharpe or Captains Aubrey and Hornblower are involved.

I identify with Sharpe in some ways. I'm not courageous or anything like that, and the idea of standing and delivering in the firing line or charging with a sword is not something I could be made to do, let alone relish as Sharpe does. It's just that, like Sharpe, I am highly competent at my profession, and, also like Sharpe, almost every immediate boss that I have ever had was an incompetent douchebag. My bosses, like Sharpe's superiors, have been guys who think they know what they are doing and don't realize what dunderheads they really are.

Often, I would find myself in the position of wrangling such bosses, working around them to get the job done, or cleaning up after them to prevent disaster. Eventually, you get tired of this and just let the bastard fall on his face. The incompetence of my bosses was never likely to get anyone killed, as Sharpe's crappy commanders did, but their bad decisions cost jobs and money and bonuses and made their people miserable.

Another similarity I have with Sharpe is humble origins. No, I'm not the bastard whelp of a London whore or anything nearly so romantic, but I have working class origins.

Who am I kidding? I'm not really anything like Sharpe. He's what I wish I was. Courageous, libidinous, adventurous. Of course, he's also fictional.

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