Commando

February 17, 2017 ☞ Word of the day

In South Africa, a military body or command. Sometimes, an expedition or raid.

Today’s word of the day conjures two kinds of “special forces.” One is armed, the other is between the legs. One undeniably militaristic, the other, arguably unhygienic. Do you hear the drums, Commando?

No discussion of commando can exclude mention of the 1985 cinematic masterpiece starring Arnold Schwartzenegger. You might remember that:

History of Rae Dawn Chong in filmHistory of Rae Dawn Chong in film

You might also remember that much of Arnold’s flexing happens in the fictional South American country of Val Verde. The bogus nation was conceived by Commando’s screenwriter Stephen E. de Souza, becoming his go-to Spanish-speaking Democracy-hating state whenever a script demanded it. Val Verde has been referenced in other works of art like:

And the ersatz nation even has a wiki page and flag.


Commando also means to “go without underwear.” I was college-aged the first time I heard the usage. While “pre-gaming” with the gals at 243 Huron street, I remember one friend telling another:

When you go commando in a skirt, you’re going to have a good night. C.K.

This pronouncement, uttered with calm certitude of a Zen koan, floored me. She meant it not in a “because it facilitates date-rape” way, but a “because this is an empowering and feminine thing to do” way. I think. We were all pretty buzzed. I think Sharpie56 said it best through malapropism:

Feels maturalFeels matural

A former manager of mine used to go commando exclusively. More appalling than this fact is my knowledge of it. Unlike the gun-toting commandos of the jungle, the drawer-free commandos who sign your paycheck don’t seem to care about stealth.

I suspect it’s some kind of a power move. Knowing that I’m a few thousand microns closer to someone’s genitalia definitely invokes in me a non-zero amount of unease. Perhaps there’s a Medium post in there: “Why Successful People Never Wear Underwear and You Shouldn’t Either.”

I would skip such a post. I always wear underwear, because obviously. Then again, I’ve never tried it in a skirt.