I am not gonna bore y’all with Lenny and Sarah, and bullshit anymore.
I am gonna bore you with reality.
For those of Y’all ‘Fraid of the NSA, well, bow out now gracefully. I have no fear, but I am old and have nothing to lose. And to quote Bette Davis: “Fasten Your Seatbelts; it’s going to be a bumpy night.”
And, Yes! I am not stupid. I do recognize the dichotomy of the diametrically opposed points of the two songs I present below for your perusal. You must sort out your own feelings.
Now, some would argue, “Lance is just living in his past; he is craving for the days when Revolution was a real possibility”
Some might say that.
I say, “There is no better time than the present, to take it up; because things now, are really fucked up.”
When I was working in Basra, my gig allowed two weeks R&R every two months or so. Sounds like a deal, eh? Well, yes it was. Be aware however, we worked seven days a week, ten hours a day. NO days off. So do the math; we earned it. And of course we were getting shelled and rocketed and mortared regularly.
Anyhow, I had a stateside girlfriend back then. Actually more friend than girl. Rather platonic relationship, but we were ‘Buds’ and I loved her dearly. (Still do) And we went way back.
It was agreed by us both, that once I went to Iraq, we would spend our (my) R&R’s together. I flew her to Barcelona, Athens, Italy, and finally London. (She made all the arrangements. All I had to do was show up) Too easy for me.
Mid 2006 we met in London. I was ‘cacked out’ (Lenny Bruce vernacular). Worn out. Plumb tuckered. Tired. Damn tired. Spent.
She was, of course not. Now mind you, this woman had been all over Europe already. London, Paris, Madrid, Rome, Berlin, Athens… well, she was rich. Catch my drift? I had seen quite a lot of Europe my own damn self. Did not hold much magic for me.
All I really wanted was some ‘down time.’
Bless her heart (and this speaks volumes of our great friendship), she let me do what I wanted; which basically meant I could sit in the flat she had arranged for us in downtown London and drink Beefeater while watching movies and smoking Marlboro’s and ranting at the current state of affairs in Iraq.
After a few days, she did manage to get me out of the flat for a walk-about. We went to Buckingham Palace (one day shot there)
We went to the British Museum; saw the Rosetta stone. Another day gone.
“Lance that’s the Rosetta Stone.”
“Yep, that’s cool. What’s it say?”
“It says, ‘Shut up Lance’”
Had some fish ‘n’ chips (I preferred Long John Silvers, but that is just what an asshole I am)
Rode the Tube. (I prefer Le Metro in Paris, but what the hell)
And various other exhausting exhilarating excursions.
“About three days before we were to part: me back to The Sandbox; she back to Texas, she asked me, “Lance, isn’t there any place in London you would like to see?”
“Yeah, as a matter of fact, there is. I wanna go down to Marble Arch Station.”
“Whaaat?” she said.
“Yeah. Marble Arch Station.”
“That is a Tube Station.”
“Yeah, I know.”
“Why on Earth…”
“Because it belongs to Gary P. Nunn and Jerry Jeff Walker. And Texas.”
(Great Excuse, eh?) Anyway, some of you ‘newbies’ may not have had the wonderful ‘opportunity’ to have swerved into it. Therefore it is with great humility that I present it once again for your perusal.
Bugs were a huge problem for us in Basra.
There were big bugs, small bugs, flying bugs, crawling bugs, creeping bugs, creepy bugs, sleepy bugs, scary bugs, poisonous bugs, biting bugs, fighting bugs, suicide bomber bugs, and worst of all: No-See’um bugs. (Please don’t get me wrong: I love bugs: Queendom and Spiders)
But every day at precisely 1600hrs:
The BUGMAN Commeth: Bugs, watch yer ass.
We all worked in trailers, which passed for ‘Offices’ in Basra and we had A/C Window Units which would suck in the Bugman’s Offerings with vengeance. So everyday, at around 1600hrs, we kept collective ears tuned for the sound of Bugman and his Blower, lest we fail to turn off the A/C’s and become victim to BUGMAN.
The parlance always went like this: The one with the best hearing would announce in a low nonchalant voice:
‘The Bugman.” (almost a whisper, but we were all tuned in to those two words–we certainly did not want to be premature, because of the oppressive heat)
Then scramble to shut down all the A/C units ahead of relentless Bugman (no less than twelve window units), and life would go on, while we sat sweating (Yes, the heat was brutal, but so were the bugs).
(Insha’Allah.. Joke: probably get killed for that one–Y’all know who I am here and on which side I fall upon–Atheist) I am not for lack of a term: ‘an Evangelical Atheist’. I do not care what you believe or don’t believe. My only further statement is atheists can be moral and good people, just like theists. We can also be immoral and bad people, just like theists. And we can be some kind of combination of the two; just like theists.
Hopefully, that above statement loses me not any of my followers (save one: my mother), But if so this is Karma (and no! I am not Buddhist nor Hindi either), then I will adopt the philosophy of a great ‘blogger-man’ I admire, respect, follow, and really despise:
http://aopinionatedman.com/ (ed note: May, 31st: I am no longer a fan of the Lemmings. i.e., I do not follow OM no mas, mainly because even I, cannot be that charitable) And that is all I am gonna say ’bout that. If you want some more piercing eloquence of the subject, I happily direct you to ‘The shitstorm that is my life: (she is brilliance in a bottle:
We differ, but we are kindred in our discourse of difference. Opinionated Man says this, and I quote:
“My goal with this blog is to offend everyone in the world at least once with my words… so no one has a reason to have a heightened sense of themselves. We are all ignorant, we are all found wanting, we are all bad people sometimes.”
Now. This is not in my manifesto, but I do find me subscribing to it more and more, day by day. Not sure why, but I do think OM has a valid point here: He writes for HIM.
This, I understand. And this is my new path. (Now all I need do is find some more followers… to hit the trail with me 😉 )
Therefore in the spirit of cleaning up hard disk drive space, I have nominated this post (the one on the next page–The ‘Hitch-Slap’ will remain as long as I have electricity and an internet connection) for permanent removal. (though I Love it daily..er…dearly..especially the video clip”
My mechanic (Of Parsons Mechanic fame) came by to have some ‘chat’ with me:
The most Interesting Mechanic in the World
“Way’ll… I have a natch’ral disaster on my hands.”
“Ok Bob,” I said, “I’m ‘bout to bust with anticipation.”
“Yep. A natch’ral disaster.”
“You mentioned that already.”
“A real-life natch’ral calamity.”
“Do I have time to go to chow while you go through your preamble?”
Ignoring me, he continued, “That Six Kay (‘6K’ as in six thousand pound lifting capacity) forklift is all a-pieces. hamorr’agin’ parts all over th’ place. The Boys (Filipino mechanics times two) tol’ me it was the fuel injector pump. So, I kin’ly smiled and said ‘Okaaay…,’ and let ‘em go at it. They need ta learn how ta fix thangs without me onct in ah’while. Well, they dun got tha’ forklift tore all ta pieces. Now, I dun give ‘em all mornin’ to dick ‘round with it, an’ I’m gonna give ‘em all this aftr’noon to dick ‘round with it some more. Then first thing tomorra, I’m gonna ask ‘em, ‘Boys, how come that forklift ain’t a-workin’ this fine morning?’”
“I’m hip Let’s keep it real.”
“Your ‘personnel management style’ is showing Bob,” I said.
“Yeah, whatever… An’ tomorra’s Thursday. An’ day after that’s Friday. An’ I ain’t doin’ nothin’ on Friday. Tomorra, we gonna start our dee-cent inta th’ day off.”
“Kinda start slowin’ ‘er down ‘round mid-noon time, eh?” I said. (I can do ‘Southern’ just as slick as you please when I want to.)
“X-actly. We start double-clutchin’ and dee-celeratin’ an’ bring her in nice and slow like.”
“And what about my forklift?” I asked, even though I already knew the answer.
“She’s all ‘In’shalah’d’ out Boss.”
“Dead in the water?”
“Send her saddle home.”
“I need to call Baghdad?”
“She ain’t lookin’ none too fav’erble.”
“Call HQ an’ tell ‘em we need another forklift?”
“Now, jes hol’ on. Doan git ’em all wadded jes yet.”
“Ok. I got it. Thanks.”
“We’re Parsons’ Mechanics an’ jes watch how we roll,” he said on his way out the door.
I love my job.
I have a “Ten Kay” forklift that still works. So I should be alright for now. Besides, Bob just loves the drama and we do this little dance everytime there is a crisis in the motor pool. If I were a betting man (And actually I am) I’d wager two of my pay checks that come Friday if that 6K forklift is still down, he’ll be out there bright and early with his boys working on it until it is repaired even if it means giving up his day off. I’ve seen him do that already too many times over the past year and a half he has worked for me. There is no man made of better stuff. An’ he sure do entertain. Yessir, he certainly does. And I’d never have been able to keep the operation afloat without him.
I love all my crew and wouldn’t trade a single one of them for a pile of cash money or a case of Johnny Walker Black with the authorization to drink it.
Feetnote to this story:
After I had been in Mosul for a month, running that camp, they sent me Bob.
Upon seeing him get off the chopper, I ran over and kissed him (not on-the-lips–he is a disgusting individual) But I needed him! To help me run the Goddamn Camp And I had sorely missed him in my life.
This song is dedicated to Bob, wherever he may be:
OK: Ed. Note:
Y’all gotta love how ‘Texan’ this vid is—look at the ‘ensign‘-Texan Flags-behind the sage, er…stage.
(and if you look really close–for you guitar players out there–you will notice the hole in the guitar. Willie tells some stories ’bout the gee-tar. He tells one about a drunken party with Leon Russell in a hotel room, when Leon almost broke it. Willie, in classic form, invited Leon to stop touching that guitar.)
The news of late from CNN foretells the fall of Anbar Province and of Baghdad. I spent one year working in Anbar Province. This was the happiest (on record) year of my life.
I am attaching a video and yes it is corny, and yes, the music is somewhat ‘gay’, and no, this was not a video that I made, or would have made.
It is a video made by the Filipinos who worked for/with me during this time. They made this vid as a ‘going away’ present for me when I decided to leave Anbar (Camp Wolfe) to work for an Iraqi company in Baghdad. Filipinos lean toward sentimental, hence their choice of music. To them it was fittin’. I loved them all.
I cherish this video and the sentiment behind it.
I do hope you will watch.
P.S. Hint: I am the guy in the black gimme cap and the black jacket. Bob The Mechanic is the guy with the beard, wearing the overalls.
As a “thinking” person, I do not believe in ‘Creation Science’. Nor do I believe in “God.”2