'N BOOTS ON THE GROUND
According to transcripts from Pepper's trial before a military tribunal, the Sergeant relayed orders from his platoon commander to the assembled soldiers in his unit. The order apparently called for a difficult flanking maneuver against insurgents, and was viewed by his men as "dangerous, but not reckless." After one soldier, known publicly only as Corporal Punishment, expressed his concern that the mission was "too scary," Sgt. Pepper is said to have "lost his temper at the corporal's apprehension and near-insubordination," and admonished him to stop being a "five letter term beginning with the letter P," often used by men to question the courage of other men.
That's when the trouble ensued. To his credit -- noted in the tribunal's transcript -- Sgt. Pepper acted swiftly, appointing another corporal to lead the attack, and the short mission was a "smashing success, with four insurgents killed, and only one civilian maimed to a degree worth noting." Unfortunately for Pepper, Corporal Punishment and two other platoon members, Private Tabby and Corporal Labia, filed immediate reports about Pepper's "offensive, insensitive, shocking language."
Private Tabby, who requested and received a full discharge in the wake of the event to "recover from the deep psychological scars Sgt. Pepper inflicted on me," claims to be descended from "twelve generations of pure-bred Tabby cats," and insisted that "such insensitive use of that derogatory word is unacceptable in today's military."
The tribunal agreed: "We accept and concur with Private Tabby's insistance that in 2006, after so many years of struggle, no cat, nor anyone descended from cats, should be subjected to the offense tones of the well-noted 'P-word.'"
Corporal Labia's case was even more emotional, and possibly more shocking to the military judges. Labia, a full-blooded member of the Vulvists, an ethnic group once omnipresent in the Western world, but now diminished to a few thousand, made an impassioned plea to the court martial: "My people have bristled under the harsh sounds of that word for centuries. When the Falluscists murdered my uncle during WWII, they chanted that word as he died. And for me to hear it in the army of the greatest, most freedom-loving nation on earth, well that's an irony I can't take."
Labia then broke down, sobbing and weeping before the tribunal, before leaving on a stretcher, crying for justice. As expected, the tribunal agreed with him as well: "We accept and concur with Corporal Labia's insistance that in 2006, after so many years of struggle, no vulva, vagina, or anyone descended from a vulva or a vagina, should be subjected to the offensive tones of the well-noted 'P-word.'"
"I apologize to anyone I've hurt," Pepper said through a written statement delivered to the press by his attorney. "I've always loved cats and vaginas, so you can understand my shame. In the heat of battle I hurt people that I respect, and I hurt anyone who shares their proud past. Cats and Vulvists have fought hard to achieve freedom and liberty, and there's no excuse for me to offend them so deeply, even if my life and the lives of my company hung in the balance. I make no excuses. It's one thing to shoot people and risk our lives in a war zone, but I'll regret forever that I called this brave man a p**sy."