standard ration of shit

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hhtt

Senior Member
Turkish
"Standard ration of shit from some clerk at the Division Command Post.Christ. Fucking dude with seven months in the bush has got a right to go on R&R, doesn't he."

Would you please explain what does "standard ration of shit" means?

Context: The people are Vietnam, Da Nang, thus this is from scene in Vietnam war.

Source: Citadel by Dale A. Dye

Thank you.
 
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  • kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    It means, in cleaner language, he's getting the standard bureaucratic run-around from the people who work at headquarters. Those people don't understand what life is like for those actually fighting the war with guns. They care about rules and paperwork and other administrative things.
     

    hhtt

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    I think we need some context. Who says this? What happened immediately before he says this?
    Unfortunately there is no link (even though book seems to be famous), and book's level is very difficult. I added all I can. That is said probably by a soldier fighting in the Vietnam war. I think when he says this, he is at the dinner or lunch.
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    It means, in cleaner language, he's getting the standard bureaucratic run-around from the people who work at headquarters. Those people don't understand what life is like for those actually fighting the war with guns. They care about rules and paperwork and other administrative things.
    :thumbsup::thumbsup:
    The author is (as am I) a former U.S. Marine (not a "soldier," which is U.S. Army).

    "...ration of shit" has been common, colorful, albeit vulgar, Marine Corps jargon for generations, meaning some stupid, aggravating or otherwise unpleasant communication from somebody else . :)
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    It seems that a clerk has told him he can't take R&R (a day off work). He considers this to be "shit" (as in bureaucratic bullshit). As a solder, he expects to receive a certain amount of this sort of "shit" on a regular basis (just as he receives a certain amount of food every day) - his standard ration of it.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Fucking dude with seven months in the bush has got a right ot go on R&R, doesn't he."
    He's complaining about having difficulty arranging leave. R&R = rest and relaxation

    R&R, military slang for rest and recuperation (or rest and relaxation or rest and recreation)

    R&R (military) - Wikipedia


    He's not complaining about food because a clerk at the division command post is not feeding him from from dozens or hundreds of miles away. The clerk is doing clerk things, like processing requests for leave.
     

    bibliolept

    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    The "standard ration of shit" statement could merely mean that he's getting "shit" from bureaucracy, meaning that he's getting nothing, making no progress, having no luck. It may be not that he's getting the runaround but that his request has been denied.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    "Shit" could be anything you don't like.
    My girlfriend is always complaining about what I do. She is always giving me shit about what I do.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Is this a fixed phrase.
    No, it's not. He's just being sarcastic.

    A ration is unit or portion of food (in the military context). You have a daily amount of rations allotted to you.

    So this use is figurative. He is saying that he is being issued a "ration" of bureaucratic shit as an analogy to being issued a ration of food. But just like you wouldn't want to eat food that was shit, you also don't want to have to deal with the bureaucratic version. It's a lot of aggravation - because bureaucracies all over the world are frequently slow and demanding, and nitpicky.

    Cross-posted
     
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    bibliolept

    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    Again, I would suggest that "shit" could describe either being made to wait or could describe a quick or immediate but still undesirable outcome or answer. How much or how little of a literally bureaucratic runaround may be being described is uncertain.
     
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