The Basra Bugman Revisited.

I am re-posting this because I am still working on the Continuation of the ‘Sinai Field Mission Chronicles‘.

(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:


Basrah Bug Man

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).

“Here I come to savvve the day!!!”

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It’s Thursday O’clock Somewhere

As I continue to struggle through a temporary writer’s block (Kind of like running in soft sand) figured I’d just throw this blast-from-the-past against the wall and see if it sticks.

Apologies to those who have already seen and read this one (both of you 😉 )

Happy Thursday to you, wherever and whatever time-zone you may find yourself in.

–Your Humble Servant: Merde Le Roi


Three A.M. and I was in the middle of a dream about ‘Shit River’ in Ologapo City, Philippines. (Freud would’ve loved me)

Then I woke up.

Woke up to a very un-dreamy-like smell of real shit. Real potent shit. Horrible smelling shit. Knock a buzzard off a shit wagon smelling shit. Bring out yer dead, Shit.

“Who’s that?”

“Must be a king”


“He hasn’t got shit all over ‘im”

I was living in an old two-story house in Commerce. Just outside my bedroom was the walk-in closet where I kept all the clothes I owned. I have never owned much in the way of clothes, by the way.

I heard something dripping like rain behind the door, but it wasn’t raining outside. I opened the door and sure as shit, shit was raining down from the ceiling. All over my clothes. Spattering on the floor. My Chow Mix doggie, Tizzy, was obviously responsible.


I went around the corner, and there he was in that dog-taking-a-shit posture at the top of the stairway: Obviously with a really bad case of the doggie drizzling shits. Made me miss my ant farm.

Or my spiders.

Obviously, I was “not a king” (see above video)

Took me until seven a.m. to clean up the shit and wash all my clothes.

I called in sick to work telling my boss,

“I feel like shit.”

Then I did the only prudent thing that came to mind and would give me peace.

Spiders, Itsy Bitsy and Big an’ Hairy


When I was ‘growing’ up in California on good, red-letter days, I would capture a jumping spider. Having caught same, I would place her into a mason jar with wood chips. You see, jumping spiders do not build webs (this makes them ideal pets, by the way); they like to live in caves made by little boys using wood chips. Well, that is what I always heard. And my experience bore that out.

Anyway, once I moved to Texas, I missed my spiders. Not that Texas has a spider shortage, mind you. I just did not know where to look. “Looking for Spiders in all the wrong places.”

One day, lo’ and behold, I found a jumping spider which looked so much familiar to me,

“Natasha! (I have always named my spiders), Natasha! did you walk all the way here from California?”

“Of course,” she said, “Yes.”

I gathered her up and placed her into my mason jar. I did not ask if she wanted to be my pet. I just assumed.

Months later, I announced to my Grandparents:

“My spider is gonna have babies.”

“Lance, Son” my Grandmother informed me, “There is no daddy spider in there. Your spider cannot possibly have baby spiders.”

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Emails From Afghanistan: Stop The War!

Excerpts from a couple of emails I sent from Camp Dwyer in 2012:

The boys are still moving cots and I think we just had a heat casualty. At least that’s what I heard on the hand-held radio. At first I thought it was here in LSA 2. (LSA—‘Life Support Area’—euphemism for ‘Small Tent City’)



I went to the tent where Kushal was supervising but the casualty wasn’t there; apparently he was in LSA 6. The radios aren’t good enough to transmit from here to LSA 6 so details are sketchy. We don’t need any safety issues. Management gets all stupid over the slightest incident. Personally, I would just put the dude in the shade, give him a cold beer (NA of course) and continue on with the mission. But in Corporate America these days, a “Safety Stand Down” is required. All work stops while they “train” us once again to “drink plenty of water.” One would think that since humans have been drinking water for some years now, it would not be necessary to conduct this training, but hey! Guess that’s why I’m not in Upper Management. “Keep on spendin’ Boys! It’s only money!”

Speaking of management and such, I suppose I should get my butt back to work…

–Lance, just another worker-bee schmuck.

My Office

My Office

  ***Breaking News***

The “heat casualty” turned out to be a bug bite on the neck. Yes, you read that right: a fucking bug bite! Kushal told me this just now and my reaction?

“Are you shitting me?!”

Pandemonium on the radio. People freakin’ out.

Stop the work! Stop the War! A bug bite?

I need to find another job.

And they call me crazy for walking around wearing ankle weights.



We have a crisis of sorts here in my LSA at this very moment: All work has stopped. It seems someone spotted a spider in the passenger van used by the Labor Guys. Eye witnesses reported the spider to be about the size of a cantaloupe. I heard this on the hand-held radio and burst out laughing. I grabbed a fly-swatter and headed over to the van. I forced my way through the crowd of Indians and Filipinos who were all staring into the windows of the vehicle and trembling visibly. I immediately started moving shit around inside the van, looking for this monster, and laughing at all of them for their antics and panic. Not finding the spider, I stood up and announced to the assembled crowd:


(No one really appreciates my sense of humor over here.)