Sorry, All I Could Find. Gimme Some More Time. If-You-Please–“Tuesday’s Tirade” or ”Curmudgeon’s Complaint” or “Just The Rants, Sir. Just The Rants” And The Romance & Reminiscence

Author’s Note:

*Taps Mic*

“Uh… Is this thing on?”

*Screeching Mic Feedback*

“Ouch! Guess it is.”

*Clears Throat*

“Uh… Hi Y’all.”

*Crowd Grumbles*–

“Speak UP!

“Uh… HOWDY Y’ALL!”

*Crowd in Unison*–

“You said that already! Git on wid it!”

“Okay! Okay! This is just me, being me. Allowing me, for today, to indulge the ‘Right Side of Me’. That’s All.

Please Enjoy.

Or not.”

*Crowd Collectively Moans*

***

“So… Worried much about Western Civilization?”

“Not particularly. Not tonight.”

“It’s collapsing. Or Hadn’t you noticed?”

“I live in a pretty good neighborhood.”

‘About Last Night’

Director: Edward Zwick

Studio Credit: TriStar Pictures

Film Based On The Play “Sexual Perversity in Chicago” by David Mamet

***

“Are YOU Ready for SOME FOOTBALL?!!!”

“Nope.”

“Butt. Butt… BUTT??!

“Precisely the Problem.”

“Oh.”

Credit: Salty Cracker

***

WHATEVER Happened to THESE people?

Where did THEY go?

Street Cred for Vid: Steven Shehori

***

“Why does the sun go on shining?

Why does the sea rush to shore?

Don’t they know it’s the end of the world?

It ended when you said ‘goodbye’”

–Skeeter Davis

Street Cred for Vid: TheOldrecordclub

***

It May be The-End-of-The-World

(As we know it)

But Lance Feels Fine!

He Feels Fine…

Performance Credit: R.E.M.

Street Cred for Vid: remhq

***

Cheers Y’all!

P.S.

Oh, and just to bundle up that thought about ‘Butts’

I found the perfect new vocation for any future Unemployed NFL Executives.

They’d be Naturals

Just like these two intrepid entrepreneurs:

Schmucks ‘R’ Us (Actually, Just Me) Never Y’all. NOT Casting Stones From MY Glass Mouse House. Oh Hell No! Not I, or… “Thank You Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin”

“Dance to the Music!”

“Schmuck”

The Movie

Or,

“Lance, this is your life.”

***

Sly Stone

The Coolest Man

EVER!

(And one of the Coolest Bands Ever!)

Boom laka-laka-laka, Boom laka-lak-goon-ka boom

Take me to that “Higher Plane of Existence”

Lance is a stellar wanna-be-over/under barrel achiever–kinda like a shotgun

Writer!

But in reality, just a

SCHMUCK

(But at least I am ‘schmuckable’—and sometimes even lovable—but not very often)

YEP!

I dream at night great posts.

Try to take mental notes.

Wake up.

They gone!

Great post is gone with the Wine and the Sunshine, and the Harsh Light of Day…

I have written some awesome shit in my sleep.

Lost it all.

***

“But Tomorrow is Just Another Day”

Ain’t it?

Les’ hope so.

Shit!

Added ‘Added Value’

I wanna grow up to be this guy

He ain’t no schmuck!

“So you wanna-be a fucking writer?

Good luck Schmuck!”

Vid Cred: Shea et al.

Uh… Did I Reee-Post This One Already? I Cannot Recall & My WP ‘Posted History’ Affords Me No Joy.

“Don’t Let It Bring You Down Lance;

This Too Shall Pass”

But Re-Runs Are Fun!

Just Ask Lucille Ball’s Bank Account-Ain’t-or Aunt-Or Ant.

Oh Screw it!

You Know What I’m A-Tryin’ To Say.

Okay?

Yes! Re-Runs Are Fun!

For ME NE-Way!

Be’Cuz I Have Never Had An Original Thought

***

“Letter From a South Park Jail” Letter The First: Part One (Apologies to MLK for Shamelessly Appropriating A Great Title)

Now Please Do NOT Get Me Wrong!

I LOVED The Years

(And All My Tears Shed In Hell-Man! Province, Af-Gan-Is-Sand)

***

“Here, hold this!” said the Texan to his credulous girlfriend as he handed her his half-empty half-pint of Jim Beam, stomped the shit out of the accelerator on his pickup truck and flew headlong into oblivion…

“Roads?”

“I don’t need no stinkin’ roads. I’m going to Afghanistan!”

HaHaHaHa!

*****

I need to be ‘institutionalized’ somewhere far far away.

In a place where life is tenuous at worst and exciting at best and the pay is good and booze is scarce and the women are… well, usually not to be found, except on the Internet.

That is how Lance stays out of trouble…

It works well-enough in theory anyway.

***

The following is Part One of a transcribed letter I wrote to a Significant Other while cooling my heels in Helmand Province and Kandahar, Afghanistan trying to get my CAC renewed (Common Access Card: An ID card for Civilians working with the U.S. Military).

‘South Park’ is, for lack of a better term, A Holding Facility ‘soullessly owned and operated’ by DynCorp International for transients, itinerants, illiterates, sycophants, miscreants, and other sad and lonely temporarily homeless people just trying to travel through, hoping to land somewhere else, anywhere else, and the sooner the better…  

South Park is understaffed, under-financed, under-achieving, under-esteeming, underwhelming, and sometimes underwater.

Airmen worked together to clean up after a flash flood that occurred on Kandahar Airfield Feb. 8. Airmen in South Park awoke in the middle of the night to flood waters reaching approximately knee-deep in height both inside and outside their tents. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Nancy Hooks)

***

It is also overpopulated, misconceiving, deceiving and just plain infuriating.

Southpark will depress you, repress you, digress you, digest you, and shit you out if you allow it.

Writing saved me from insanity there.

“I’ve gotta go to South Park?”

“You’re shitting me, right?”

“RIGHT??”

***

Saturday 28 July 2012, Camp Dwyer PAX Terminal, Afghanistan 1218hrs

Dear Lady,

I’m sitting in the PAX terminal. We boarded the plane, (Sixties-Era, prop job) a couple of hours ago, but they were just kidding.

After sitting on the tarmac for about forty five minutes they brought us back here. Seems someone forgot to feed the hamsters which are actually responsible for propelling the plane and hence, they died.

We were told not to worry; they are flying in some fresh, well-fed hamsters from KAF (Kandahar Air Field) and once they get those settled into the plane’s power plant, we will be good to go: wheels up around 1430hrs.

So here I sit, thinking of you, Dubai, and Hamster Avionics.

This PAX terminal isn’t too bad, as these places go. (I have seen worse—and better). Like every other facility on Dwyer, it is a tent, but it is a rather enormous tent and they have provided the weary travelers with bottled water and MRE’s. So I am sated, as far as it goes. You see, I really am low maintenance.

Not being inclined to ignore any opportunity to ‘talk’ to you, I am using the tools (pen and paper) I thoughtfully provided myself in the event such opportunity did manifest itself. So here I sit, happily communicating to you using Nineteenth Century Technology. I do hope you are properly impressed.

Page From Original Document

“And what lovely penmanship!” She exclaimed.

“Thank you,” he said.

Looking about the terminal, I have pronounced us a motley crew: About a dozen or so Indians & Sri Lankans, some Filipinos, a smattering of American Expats, couple of Brits, and a few bored Marines scattered about and some behind the counter, whose job it is to search the TCN’s.

The counter has a sign which reads:

“TCN Search Area.”

TCN: ‘Third Country National.’ in case you didn’t know.

“What did you do in The War, Daddy?”

“Son, I put my hands all over aromatic TCN’s.”

“What’s a TCN Daddy?’

“Uh…That’s a very sophisticated weapons system Son.”

“Wow! Cool!”

1310hrs: PAX Terminal, Dwyer

Ok, for amusement, I took an inventory of the MRE’s stacked on pallets here in the terminal:

15 pallets

56 cases of MRE’s per pallet

12 MRE’s per case

Total MRE’s: 10,080 (assuming my arithmetic is correct, a rather liberal assumption)

Posted on each pallet are four signs which read:

DO NOT EAT!

Pending Inspection

MRE stands for “Meal, Ready to Eat,” in case you didn’t know, or in this case, “Meal, Not Ready to Eat.”

(“We done been eatin’ ‘em anyways. Hope we don’t die of ptomaine before the hamsters do, causing our Turbo Prop to morph into a glider…”)

1441hrs:  Still in PAX terminal

Announcement: “Listen up! We couldn’t get the hamsters here, but we’ve drafted a couple of gerbils and they’re fit for duty.”

(‘Now there’s some happy news,’ I mused.)

He continued, “For all those going to KAF, this means now you’re flying non-stop…”

(Guess gerbils aren’t certified for multi-destination air duty.)

“…and your luggage is already back on the plane. As soon as we warm up the gerbils, you fly. Those of you who are going to FOB Shindan, you will follow me now.”

Someone pipes up, “Are we walking?”

There’s one in every crowd…

Having a few minutes to kill while the gerbils are doing their warm up exercises, I return to the MRE pile and rat-fuck a couple of the boxes.

Then I saw another sign which had previously gone unnoticed by me:

‘Rat-Fuck’ is a technical term which simply means, “To open several bags of MRE’s and take only the premium items, leaving the not premium items for the next schmuck attempting to do same.”

An example of this would be taking all the Reece’s Pieces and chocolate chip cookies, leaving only the cardboard crackers and synthetic peanut butter.

***

1600hrs: Airborne

Wheels up and airborne and the gerbils gerbilling their little asses off. Time to destination: thirty minutes.

1613hrs: Flying High (I wish)

I am seated in a window seat. Normally I would take the aisle, but I wanted to describe the spectacular view and with all the beautiful details of this rarified vista below:

BROWN

Perusing the in-flight movie list (from the one inside my head), I select Lawrence of Arabia (with subtitles in Pashtun). I estimate getting about half-way through the opening credits before we touch down. I listen to the wonderful Academy Award winning musical score.

The scenes of the burning desert are so real inside my head that I actually break a sweat. This Special Effect is helped along quite nicely by the fact that the air-conditioning on this aircraft in non-functional. I suppose one of the collateral duties of the deceased hamsters was operating the A/C unit.

1638hrs: Wheels Down

***

“Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Beautiful Kandahar.”

(I do not doubt his sincerity, but I did detect a bit of sarcasm in his voice.)

“For safety, you are required”, he continued, “to wear your full body armor with your helmet when exiting the aircraft. There really is no danger, but we want you to sweat just that much more. Thank you for flying Gryphon Airlines today and once again, we apologize for the teeny tiny delay we had in leaving Camp Dwyer and we do hope you will… uh, be flying with us again soon.”

(As if we will have a choice)

***

Please look for Part Two tomorrow.

******

I Really Don’t Like to Use Euphemisms, Clichés, Vapid Expressions, ‘Nice-Polite-Speech,’ Trite Sayings, YUCK Oh Bull-Shite! I Hate That! With All My Might! So Guess What? Fuck Off! J/K!

It’s Like Wearing Chain Leggings After A Ship Wreck and Yer Just Hoping To Reach The Beach. But To Be Completely Honest With My Readers, (Which I Have Always Promised to Be)… Trying to Mend My Speech Runs So Contrary Against My Sanity. I’m Just Sayin’. Still Waters Run Deep. Please Try To Remember That.

“Soft Language”

Cred: George

****

“You Don’t Find Roses Growin’ On Stalks Of Clover”

Martina McBride

“I Beg Your Pardon”

This

(Below)

is a ‘Fricken’…

No!

‘Fucking’

Awesome

Sexy Video!

WoW!

Just Fuckin’ Wow!

Oh!

My!

God!

Paula Abdul!

Eat Your Heart Out!

J/K Paula!

But

Day’um!

***************

This One Below!

I fu*ked up the Sequence!

So typical of Me!

******

Creds For The Two Above: Martina McBride

Cred: Lynn Anderson

*****

But I Do respect The Fact That Some of My Prose Is Found To Be Offensive. I am trying To Do Better—Please Don’t Hate Me.

I am a Sailor—Old Habits Die Hard. I am Really Trying To Do Better. It has Never been My Intention to Offend (Well There Have Been A FEW Exceptions)

Theist Named “Kent”

But My Intend Is To Leave this World As A Better Man

Than I Have Been

Clint Black was born in Long Branch, New Jersey, one of four children born to G.A. and Ann Black. The family moved back to Texas, where G.A. Black had been raised, before Clint was one year old. He was raised in Katy, Texas. Music was always present in the house.

(I cannot rem from where I stole this. Screw it!)

*******

Cred For Vid: Gaming with Shao

******

I yam what I yam!

I use A LOT of Profanity

I’m a fucking sailor!

What else would you expect?

From a fuckin’ sailor

And saying “I’m sorry” for what I am ain’t in my repertoire, or bag of tricks.

Some shit that needs to be removed from the writing/speaking vernacular:

“At the end of the day…”

(I heard some asshole use this one three times on CNN during a ninety second interview. I wish I were making this up. I ain’t.)

“Think outside the box”

“As we speak”

“All that said”

I could go on, but pretty sure you caught my drift (another trite Cliché–sometimes, I will admit, they are ‘useful’

Anyway…

I have high hopes for us as writers.

To be more original.

I know we can do it!

BECAUSE I HAVE HIGH HOPES!

NO! Don’t Do That! Please Don’t Shit in my Showers

Dispatches From Afghanistan: Mouses, Goats, and Snakes, Oh My!

***

The Jordanians are coming!

The Jordanians are coming!

Specifically the JAF. (Jordanian Armed Forces)

They will be living here in my LSA 2.

Wonderful.

Each of my tents have a capacity of 120 U.S. Marines. They ain’t ‘comphy’, but they cozy and U.S. Marines do not complain. They are Marines.

The JAF contingent will top off at one hundred. They have been promised three of my tents. The math doesn’t work for me. I need every tent I have (twenty-four) to serve the Marines who transit through Dwyer on their way to the war.

After some lobbying (and dire predictions of pissed off Marines who won’t have a tent to sleep in), I got the JAF allocation down to two tents.

Why after all these years the Jordanian government had decided to send troops to southern Afghanistan, I am not sure. But I have a theory:  “U.S. Department of State.” 

Yep.

Not military necessity. Not a request from the coalition of governments already represented here. Not the U.S. Military.

Nope.

Politics.

I have nothing against Jordan or the Jordanian people. In fact, I love them. I lived and worked in Amman Jordan for six months back in ‘07 while working to close-out the paperwork on the USAID Rural Water Project we had completed in Iraq. (Bechtel, the prime contractor, had decided there was no point to continually put our lives at risk in Iraq doing paperwork we could just as easily finish in their Amman offices).

I had a meeting with the Mayor’s Cell here on Dwyer. (The ‘Mayor’s Cell’ is the term used for the administrative branch of the Marines who actually own Camp Dwyer.) All decisions of the Mayor are final. Except, I found out, when it comes to the JAF and their accommodations.

Apprehensive over the impending arrival of the Jordanians, I asked the Mayor, “Does the Mayor’s Cell have any special directive for treatment of the JAF?”

“Not at all Son. Treat ‘em like Marines.”

“Yessir!” (This was the response I had been hoping for)

With the help of the Labor Department and a few of my staff, I readied the two tents for the Jordanians.

We were told to expect roughly one hundred men, so we set up fifty-five military cots in each tent. These tents in LSA 2 are best described as ‘Spartan.’

There are four ‘doors’ which are simply canvas flaps about four feet wide. When the wind is up the flaps flap open allowing Afghanistan to blow inside.

You Can Run From The Sand, But You Cannot Hide

The occupants are not allowed to tie the flaps shut, as this creates a safety hazard in the event of a fire—no quick egress.

Each of the tents has two HVAC units. They are inadequate for the weather extremes here. The tents are in disrepair. They leak, they sag, they have mold. I cannot get approval from the Mayor’s Cell through DynCorp to provide anything more than patchy maintenance.

“A lick and a promise.” That’s all. They tell me, “No more funding is available for LSA 2. Deal with it.”

I made a prediction to Shannon (my immediate supervisor and good friend): “Duck, I said, “There ain’t no way those Jordanians are gonna sleep on cots.”

Why not?” he says, “They Soldiers, ain’t they?”

“Hide and watch what happens when they get here and have a look inside their tents,” was all I said.

Two days later they arrived. I got them checked in, inspected the tents with their liaison officer, and had him sign for the cots. (Over his protestations)

Next day I observed about a dozen Marines off-loading brand new bed frames and brand new, thick mattresses (still wrapped in clear plastic!) from two flatbed trucks.

And I have trouble getting replacement cots for the ones rendered unserviceable due to fair wear and tear.

Again, “Deal with it.”

I got on the phone and called Shannon over at LSA 3, “Hey Duck, get over here to LSA 2. You ain’t gonna believe the shit I’m lookin’ at.”

I couldn’t wait to hear his comments once he saw the Marines struggling to assemble the bed racks and unwrapping the new mattresses.

“Well, I’ll be damned. You called this one Bro. Hey! Those are brand new fuckin’ mattresses. The red ones. The best ones! Mayor’s Cell been telling me they got no replacement mattresses for my LSA Three. Shit-Mother-Fuck!”

(LSA 3 was for permanent residents: CHUs—Containerized Housing Units–instead of tents and beds instead of cots, but money for that LSA’s maintenance was also drying up.)

LSA 3 CHUs

***

Over the next week there was a flurry of construction inside the two JAF tents. The Jordanian officers wanted separate rooms inside the tents.

No problem. Approved. Then built.

These flaps won’t do; we need doors.

No problem. Approved. Then built.

We want our own smoking area with table and benches.

No problem. Approved. Then built.

(They continued to smoke inside their tents anyway—serious safety violation)

Another safety and health violation concerned food. We forbid any and all food in the tents. The only consumable allowed in the tents was water.

The Jordanian officers had their junior enlisted personnel deliver plates of food to them from the DFAC. (Dining Facility)

I observed some Jordanians washing pots and pans in one of the Ablution Units Yes, ‘ablution’

(For some strange reason this is what the U.S. Military called the trailers which had the showers and shitters. Smacked of religious ritual to me.)

So I knew they were also cooking inside their tents. Of course I confronted their officers over this MAJOR safety hazard, only to be lied to:

LSA2_tents

LSA 2 Tents

“No. No cooking. Just making coffee and tea.”

“Doesn’t matter. It must stop immediately. You are putting the entire LSA at risk from fire.”

Few days later I was visited in my little office by the JAF liaison officer, (a man I had actually become good friends with)

“Salaam,” I said.

“Howdy” he said back. He had been trying to teach me Arabic and I was trying to teach him Texican.

“What can I do for you my friend?”

“We have mouses.”

I had to laugh. “Mouses, eh? You know why you have ‘mouses’, don’t you?”

“No,” he replied softly, studying his boots.

“You have mouses because your folks are bringing food into the tents.”

“Oh no, No food. Just cookies and things like that.”

“Uh huh,” was all I could muster.

“We need traps and poison.”

“I can get you those, but until your men stop eating in the tents, you’re gonna have mice. And guess what comes next?”

Looking up he said, “Don’t know. What?”

Snakes” I said.

“I don’t like snakes,” he said, now looking horrified.

“Well, the food brings the mice and the mice bring the snakes: simple Darwin progression.”

“Who is this ‘Darwin’? He the one with the traps and poison?”

“Never mind. Look, you have to try to stop your men from keeping food in the tents. That’s the only way to get rid of the mice. Or if you don’t want to do that, you may soon discover a snake in your bed.”

“I don’t like snakes,” he said again.

“Listen my friend,” I said as sincerely as I could. “Personally I don’t care if your guys eat in their tent and I am sorry you have mice and soon you will have snakes. This doesn’t bother me at all.”

“But, what if,” I continued, “one of the snakes gets bad info from another snake as to where the mice can be found? Perhaps that snake gets lost and wanders into the wrong tent, a tent with hot and dusty and tired and hacked-off U.S. Marines.”

“Now suppose one of these Marines don’t like snakes any more than you do. Suppose this Marine freaks the fuck out and empties a clip in the general direction of the snake. You see where I’m goin’ with this? Then the Marine finds out the snake was just trying to find your tents. Now you have bigger issues than ‘mouses’, me, and snakes. You have one severely pissed off Marine.”

“I am beginning to understand,” He said.

“Good. I will get you the traps and I’ll have the Vector Control lady put out more poison. Anything else I can do for you?”

“No. Thanks,” he said as he turned toward the door, then looked back and said, “Adyoose.”

I laughed and said, “Mas Salaami.”

Some days later I had a visit from Labor One. (See the Wheeless Wheelbarrow post)  The Labor guys were responsible for the twice-daily cleaning of the Ablution Units, Among myriad other responsibilities.

“Labor One! What brings you to my humble LSA Office?” I greeted him.

“I have problem,” he announced. (His Romanian accent is music)

“Well, I am here to help. If I can. What is the nature of your problem?”

“The Jordanians are making a shit in showers again,” he said.

“What do you mean ‘Again’? This is the first I’ve heard of this,” I said, somewhat pissed that this had not been brought to my attention before now.

“Ya. They make a shit in shower. Sometimes they make a shit in the back of toilet.”

“The ‘back’ of the toilet?”

“Ya. You know, the part that has the water.”

Still somewhat confused, I asked, “You mean the reservoir with the flushing mechanics in it?”

“Ya, They take lid off, stand on toilet seat and make a shit in dere.”

“Unbelievable!”

“Oh ya. Believe it.”

“OK. OK. I’ll look into this,” I said with a heavy sigh.

His crew was a mite squeamish, so I really needed to fix this little problem.

The problem of course is that all the ablution units had western style toilets. Middle East folks do not like to sit on a toilet. They prefer to squat.  They also do NOT like to discuss anything relating to shit and toilets, squatting or sitting. I would have to approach this one with tact and diplomacy:

“You Shit Here:

NOT HERE:

I had fielded complaints from a few Marines about Jordanians washing their feet in the sinks as well. No ‘small feat’ (pun maybe intended), my aging body could even attempt, the limberness and elasticity having long since gone.

At this point I should explain why the Jordanians were billeted in LSA 2 in the first place. Dwyer had an Afghani LSA which seemed to me more appropriate.

After some enquiry I found out the JAF didn’t terribly much care for Afghans. Why then, since they are not transients, but actually doing Six-Month tours of duty here, are they not billeted in one of the LSA’s for long term residents?

The reason: They wanted to live close to the Mosque. LSA 2 has the only Mosque on Dwyer. It is a tent just like the other tents, but it had somehow been ‘Mosque-a-fied’.  

I confess ignorance of the ways of Islam, so I cannot tell you what that means precisely. But apparently it means a lot. At any rate, I had the care and feeding of the Jordanians for the foreseeable future.

When Ramadan came around, all five DFACs on Dwyer changed their operating hours to accommodate the one hundred or so Jordanians of the JAF.

Basically this meant the evening meal hour was pushed back until after sundown, seriously pissing off any Marine you cared to ask.

This had not been done for past Ramadans even though Camp Dwyer must have had hundreds of Muslims already living and working onboard.

My morning commute took me past the Mosque and the JAF tents on my way to my office on the opposite end of LSA 2.

The day before the end of Ramadan and the beginning of Eid al-Fitr or Feast of Breaking the Fast, I was greeted by the bleats of two very shaggy goats which were tied up to a stack of wooden pallets.

Between bleats they were munching on a pile of orange peels, apples, and some other items I didn’t recognize.

As far as I knew, the only animals authorized on board Dwyer were the military dogs owned and operated by the Marines.

“Mike’s gonna go ‘bullshit’ when he sees this” I thought as I walked past the goats toward my office. “And I’m gonna love it.” (Note: Mike was the Billeting Manager, and not one of my favorite people. For more on his story please refer to my recent post:

 Emails From Afghanistan: My Boss, aka: ‘That Guy I Wouldn’t Want Running An Elevator For Me’

Every morning at 0700hrs we conducted a meeting of the Military Billeting side of the Big Billeting Department House. This meeting was always held in my office. As folks were filing in that day all had some commentary about the goats.

Persad probably had the most to say, as Persad was always full of opinion (Note: Please refer to Below) 

A Conversation Over a Plywood Wall In a Tent in Afghanistan

“Hey Mar-cone,” he began. “Did ya see dem goats over to the Jordanians?”

“Yeah Persad. Kinda hard to miss ‘em.”

“What dem Jordanian need wid dem goat?”

“Buddy, I really don’t wanna think on that before I get some coffee in me.”

“Well…I tink they don’t need dem goat here.”

“Persad, guess what I ‘tink’? I think I don’t give a shit. We’ll kick it up to Mayor’s Cell. The Mayor must have authorized the goats. I mean, how do you suppose they got past security at the main gate?”

“Mistah Mike, he gonna be pee oh’d ‘bout dem goat. Ya know, he doan like nuthin’ outta ordinary.”

“You let me worry ‘bout Mike.”

“Okay Boss, but dem goat…”

Mike showed up a few hours later and upon entering my office said, “Marcom, do you realize there are goats in your LSA? In front of the JAF tents?”

“Goats? Mike, you know pets aren’t authorized. I ain’t seen no goats. You sure ‘bout this?”

Mike opened my office door and said, “Look down there. Goats!”

I got up from my desk and slowly walked to the door. Looking out, I said. “Mike. There are goats in the LSA.”

“Marcom, you had to have known this. Stop fucking with me. I want you to go over to the Mayor’s Cell and tell the Mayor about these goats.”

“Michael, this is above my pay grade. You know I never bother the Mayor with my little issues,” I lied. (The Mayor and I were on a ‘first-name basis’ and we were friends).

“Why don’t you, as Billeting Manager, manage on over there and talk to him? Your words will carry more weight. But I figure the Mayor knows already. I mean, he must have authorized the goats. I’d even venture that they have Dwyer ID badges. Did you check to see if they had badges?”

Why he didn’t fire me, I can only speculate. I played a major role in his getting shit-canned months later, but I probably should not detail that here, as I am using his real name and this story is all truth, and I don’t wanna get sued or something and… and… and.

Suffice to say, Mike was not well-liked by anyone I have ever met. I will leave it at that.

Mike kept on fuming, “This LSA is your responsibility. You better get to the bottom of this goat business before close of business today.”

“Okay Mike. Relax. I will sort this out, but that one goat, the one with the baby-shit-brown eyes, she kinda cute.”

He turned on his heel and left my office, slamming the door.

Lashonda remarked, “Lance, one day you gonna push that man too far.”

“Naw. We friends an’ shit Lashonda. It’s all good.”

Lashonda rolled her eyes, then said, “Lance, I love you, you crazy white-boy sonuvabitch.”

(She had been treated badly by Mike in the past and did not favor him at all)

LaShonda

I walked down to the JAF tents looking for my Jordanian friend (the liaison one). Found him and asked about the goats.

“They are for our Eid al-Fitr,’ he informed me.

“Friend, you cannot have goats here. How did you get them past security?”

“They said it was okay.”

“Really? Did the Mayor sign off on this?”

“Not exactly. I told the security men that this was OK with the Marines.”

“So, the Mayor’s Cell knows nothing of this?”

“No My Friend, they don’t,” he said, once again, studying his boots as he did so.

“You do realize I must tell the Mayor, don’t you?”

“Yes,” he sighed, looking up at me. “But if you will give me a few hours, I will make them disappear. Eid is very important to us and we need to have our feast.”

“Okay My Friend, but if you slaughter these goats and cook them in my LSA, I am not gonna be happy. Not even one drop of goat blood better hit the ground of my LSA. Understood?”

Don’t worry. I will take them out of Camp with tonight’s patrol and we will cook them there and bring them back in the morning.”

“Good enough. But I want a plate of roasted goat delivered to me for lunch tomorrow.”

“Hahaha! Yes Boss. You will have it!”

“Shukran,” I said and left him to it.

****

Closing Arguments:

Poo Poo Song:  

“Let’s Poo in the Potty”

PAIN IN THE NECK

“What A Drag It Is Getting Old.”

Video Credit: ABKCOVEVO

*******

So I woke up few days ago with excruciating pain in my neck.

I immediately attributed this to the dream I had been having about THE MOST FLAGRANT Pain-in-my-neck I had ever experienced:

MY LAST WIFE

She was ALWAYS A PAIN IN MY NECK

I left her.

She was also a PAIN IN THE ASS

I FINALLY left her.

Happily I did not wake up with a Pain in My Ass:

Thank God for Tender Mercies:

(Probably could not have dealt with the “Double-Whammy.”)

No, the excruciating pain in my neck t’would serve well enough.

And it was horrible: debilitating.

I did not know whether to shit or go blind, or commit suicide.

That is HOW PAINFUL it was.

Tried to knock it back with booze

BC Powder

Advil

No Dice.

I suffered for three days.

Now, those of you  who are faithful readers of this Blog-Oh-Mine know that I am no pussy: I went to

Navy SEAL Training:

Twice.

But this PAIN was kicking my ass.

Then my platonic  Girl Friend of thirty some-odd years FedExed me a heating pad.

This helped and the pain began to subside.

I still cannot move my neck properly, but most of the PAIN has left the building.

“What a drag it is getting old.”

Sometimes you just bend over or pour a beer or pick up an errant sock and something breaks in your body. For no logical, discernable  reason.

I suppose it is called “Old Age.”

Sucks.

Really sucks.

Is this how it is to end for me?

Coming unraveled and dying, just by picking up a sock off the floor?

******

Some Added Value Below

Because My Aim is to Entertain

And not waste your valuable finite time.

“No More Old People”