Moving house with military precision

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I just moved house this week. (Had to. Lease unexpectedly terminated on the second day of classes in the new academic year. Gaaahh!) Colleagues and friends keep asking me how it went. I've decided that the right thing to say is: "It all went like a military operation."

The familiar simile (almost an idiom) always seems to be used with favorable connotations of tight organization and swift, flawless execution. But I'm assuming people who have been reading the newspapers over the past twenty years know what military operations are really like.

Chaos and mayhem, quite unlike anything the inept prior planning had envisaged; enormous expense and economic damage; vast deployments of equipment; stupid errors; a huge cost in wasted human life; and in the aftermath, a wrecked environment necessitating a massive cleanup and recovery operation.

That's roughly what moving house during a teaching semester felt like.

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