So, 'way back in what was naively referred to as The War To End Wars, Major Ian Hay*, obsereved that, no matter what they want us to believe, the military is actually divided into three sections, like Gaul. These sections consist of the Round Games Department (Major Hay being an officer in the British Army; we would say "Practical Jokes Department"), the Surprise Party Department, and the Fairy Godmother Department. Commodore Heinlein would later expand on this, observing in Glory Road that the Fairy Godmother Department is comprised entirely of one (1) elderly female GS5 clerk, who is usually at a doctor's appointment or the ladies' room, but who occasionally sits at her desk, (literally) puts down her knitting, and draws a name from a hat to do something nice for.
I have long known that the Salt Mines are primarily run by their own version of the Practical Joke and Surprise Party Departments; today I learned that the fairy Godmother Department had contrived to get my vacation request for September approved after all--possibly by pointing out to the Surprise Party Department how inconvenient it will be for my peers--so i will be able to attend Gun Blogger Rendezvous V after all.
Meanwhile, the Practical Joke Department denied Mrs. Drang time off, so if I go, it will be alone. Over her birthday. She insists this is Just Fine, and will only cost me a ruby necklace...
*Major John Hay Beith, CBE (17 April 1876 – 22 September 1952), second-lieutenant in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.