Wednesday, August 27, 2008

D-162: Bowl Homage Deux - Return of the Throw-Up Ninja

All right, we’re talking football on the message boards! That is most welcome, even if it was instigated by my cousin’s embarrassing ignorance. That man gave me pants, when it was pants that I needed the most, so all is forgiven – I will have to share that story sometime, but for now let’s stick with football.

This will be my second football season “underway,” and I am pleased to say that AFN football coverage is actually very good. Sadly, I will not be getting the PSU game (I will likely get next week’s game against Oregon State) but AFN will show many other games, followed by replays of yet more games throughout the week, including abbreviated versions in which they just play from snap to down and cut out all the other shit. It is pretty great, and once NFL kicks off, you can more or less watch a football game at all times, day or night. Brett Favre is a Jet and I am very excited.

I have four fantasy football teams, one of which has already drafted and I the proud owner of PSU legend (and Pop Tart pal – another story for another time) Larry Johnson of Kansas City. I know many people argue that Fantasy Football is akin to Dungeons and Dragons for jocks; but those derogatory statements are usually made by nerds who play Dungeons and Dragons and mistakenly think they are finally going to receive the inclusion that they have so desperately sought throughout their lifetime. Sad news dork, fantasy football is still football related and therefore still awesome; you are still a social pariah.

Hey! Speaking of social pariahs, how about another Bowl story?

Recently, the Jewish Giants fan lucked into the Jets season tickets of which I am the rightful heir; they actually belong to my in-laws, but they are very generous with the distribution and my friends and I have long been very grateful, as we have sat in those amazing eighteenth row seats at the Meadowlands more times than I can count. One time stands out; vaguely.

There are gaps in this story, as they correlate to alcohol induced gaps in my memory, so try to stay with me. I want to say it was one of the last home games of the 2005 season, but according to the internet, that would make it a December 26th game against the Patriots or a January 1st game versus Buffalo. I don’t remember it being that close to a major holiday, but it is plausible that I spent the holiday in Philly, then picked up Bowl-Knockers in Manhattan and busted a U-Turn back to East Rutherford. I am leaning towards that Pats game, because I remember laughing my ass off at a bunch of rowdy Jets fans who were throwing hot dogs at clueless sorority girl wearing one of those pink on pink Tom Brady jerseys; hilarious. However, for some reason I want to say that I was with Bowl the day before the game watching Texas play Oklahoma at a bar and subsequently being kicked out of a cigar store… whatever, two things are certain; we drink too much and I went to a Jets game with Bowl.

Naturally, Bowl and I thought the time “TBD” on our tickets meant 1:00PM, because football starts at 1:00PM… right? Well, it made sense to both of us because we left early enough to get a good spot in the lot, and showed up at Giants Stadium around 11:00AM. We were the first people to show, and I mean the first, there were not even people at the gate to the lot to collect the outrageous $10 parking fee! The place was deserted!

If Bowl and I are anything, we are flexible – this was a minor setback; determined to make the best of it, we turned around and set off to find a New Jersey supermarket in which to purchase beer. East Rutherford is a barren shithole, so we were having a devil of a time finding one. We stopped for an egg sandwich, and then finally found an establishment that sold beer. Bowl rejoiced, “Commerce does exist here, we will have beer!” Knowing we had a lot of time to kill, and determined to not ever have to repeat this trip (confident we would never find our way back), we thought it prudent to buy a lot of beer.

Ask yourself this; what is bigger than a can of beer? If you answered “a pounder,” you are right! Now ask yourself; what delicious beer is most often found in this magnificent 16-ounce brother of the can? If you answered “Busch Lite,” you are either a redneck, or have been to college.

Well, just how many 16-ounce Busch Pounders does it take for two people to kill five hours? If you answered “24,” congratulations – you may be eligible to party with the champs!

By the time we returned to the parking lot, we were armed with a case of Busch Pounders, a Styrofoam cooler, and over four hours until kickoff. Things were looking good. I donned my ceremonial Curtis “My Favorite” Martin replica Jersey (still in use) and Ole’ Bowl chose his #88 Wayne Chrebet home jersey – an excellent choice. We went to work on the Busch.

Well, the next few hours are blurry. Once other people started to arrive, we met up with some friends and got some much need barbecue. Not only did we kill all of our Busch, but we had a few Miller Lites as well. It goes without saying, that by the time we navigated our way to our seats, we were good and hammered drunk. We ordered our first $8.00 plastic bottle of Miller Lite, and settled in for some football.

About four minutes into the first quarter, the Jets looked horrible and so did Bowl. His head was hanging low in the half passed out position, and there was clearly nobody home; I ignored him and went on watching the game. Finally, Bowl would not be ignored; his head snapped upright, and then bent back down quickly. I stared in absolute astonishment as Bowl projectile vomited a wide stream of disgusting liquid at an uncanny force. It hit the cement beneath his seat and splattered in every direction. The fans in the surrounding seats jumped and trampled over each other to escape the fragmentation area of Bowl’s regurgitated Busch. Fans from other sections and upper levels were pointing over the side and laughing, fans from our section were not laughing.

I just sat there and gawked; I was drunk and up to my knees in puke. What I thought was going to be an eternal geyser of barf finally ceased; Bowl recovered, stood up as if to take a bow, looked me directly in the eyes, turned and left the stadium. What he left behind, the English language is far too limited to describe. All eyes were now on me – these are aisle seats, so I couldn’t even try to blend in with a different group, everyone was pissed, and everyone wanted to know what “the puker’s friend,” as I was now known to 70,000 people, was going to do about this disaster. I took out my wallet, bought two $6.00 Aquafinas to wash away some of the more disgusting chunks, and 5 $8.00 beers, one for myself and one for the four people who were most adversely affected by the “incident.” This diffused the situation temporarily, although I did continue to buy beer for the two gentlemen sitting directly in front of me for the rest of the evening, but what really won their hearts was that I spent the next several hours telling everyone embarrassing stories about Bowl and assuring them that he did this kind of thing all the time, and that yes, he likely has a very small penis.

Major X addresses the Company XOs at a meeting, regarding their inability to accurately report their vehicles mileage:

“These are exactly the kinds of little ass hamsters that can morph into big problems later on!”

Monday, August 25, 2008

D-164: Playing a Little "Catch Up"

Well, it sure has been a while; sorry about that. The truth is I have been really busy.

First, I was making a totally awesome video for Bosk’s wedding. I planned it with his brother so that it would look like we were having a live conversation during the Best Man speech. I shot it through NVGs, and added a few effects for extra coolness. I bantered with the Best Man for a little, pretended like I could see the bride and groom, and made a little toast. Everyone said it was smash hit! I was so happy to have been able to steal some attention for myself even from way over here. I laid awake almost the whole night Saturday feeling sorry for myself – I wanted to be at that wedding so much, and even now it makes my stomach turn to know I missed a kick-ass party. I am happy for Bosk and Lady Bosk though; I guess.

Second, I have really buckled down and taken my role as Morale Officer very seriously. After an extremely successful series of twelve Olympic babes, I have shifted my focus to the upcoming football season and started a new Football Match-up series of morning e-mails. They are wildly popular – an example is below.

AAFES has begun wiring the FOB for high speed internet access. It is expensive, but it is fast, so I can’t wait until they reach my building. Once I am set up with some decent internet, I’ll post my daily morale pictures on another page with a link (Pride, I need another page with a link – sans the naked men if possible). The morale picture takes up a lot more time than ought to, but I like it and so does everyone else, so it’s worth it. The problem is, I can google “Cheerleaders,” and I will get a lot of decent images, but I don’t want to pigeon-hole the thing into just “cheerleaders of the day,” but more of a celebration of the entire female student body. If you google the word “coed,” you are directed to 3 million porn sites – which while entertaining, are unfit for official U.S. Government e-mail, and is actually a violation of General Order #1 along with no drinking. I would be worried that Army authorities would be kicking down my door any second now for all the “accidental” porn hits, but they’re busy trying to catch Hadjies. Anyway, it takes a lot of searching to put together a product of that quality.

Third, the thing that takes up the most of my time away from work is the gym. I have leave coming up, and I want to be shredded like mother-fucking Bruce Lee when I get home. I’ve been working out pretty hard for five months, and I am very studly; but not quite Bruce Lee territory. Someone sent me a box of delicious baked goods today, which set my progress back several days as I greedily consumed a massive amount of brownies and cookies.

To help me along, I ordered a cool $240 worth of supplements today, despite the advice of the Jewish friend, who is in fact a doctor although just being Jewish is good enough for me as far as medical advice is concerned. He is actually the only Doctor I ever consult (unless I need drugs); I routinely disregard his counsel in flagrant and fantastic ways. The $240 is mostly protein, which I ordered a three month supply of, but also includes a bunch of Hydroxy-Cut and the like, which will lead to the realization of my fitness goals, or kill me – only time will tell. I am really hoping not get kidney stones.

Well, I hope you found my excuses satisfactory. I apologize for neglecting you, and I will come through with another story this week.

Actual Conversations: Recent dinner conversation concerning dreams.

The Augmentee: I dream about being on an Aircraft Carrier.

Army 1LT: Is being on an Aircraft Carrier better than being home?

The Augmentee: (Pause, confused look) No Idiot, it’s just better than being here with you.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

D-170: An Homage to Bowl: Worst Party Guest

One football Saturday Senior year, we were throwing a party that we had billed as the biggest party ever for the previous two weeks. Two weeks was an eternity in terms of party promotion at our house, often giving notice any earlier than a day or two prior to the party date led to an unmanageable crowd showing up and kicking the kegs by midnight, so we intended for this one to be a blowout.

In preparation, we obtained seven kegs and three taps; the idea was to have a keg flowing on each floor of the house to minimize waiting time. The upstairs kitchen was set up for beer-pong, the living room had the kegerator and was cleared of all furniture save the stereo to facilitate dancing, with ambiance generated from the gaudiest colored light disco ball that Spencer Gifts had to offer. The full, unfurnished basement, our traditional party venue, held yet another beer-pong table and stereo, and some odd remnants of old couches and chairs. We were ready to jam.

Typically, the guests at these sorts of affairs began to pore in around 10:00PM, and the place was filled to a capacity that was a slap in the face to the Fire Marshall by 11:00. I was just finishing up my shower when big Golden Girls loving bowl arrived at 8:30. I have known Bowl many a year, and have seen him in every stage of drunkenness, but this particular evening he was in the rarest of form. He proudly informed us that unlike we pussies, he had not stopped drinking since the football game! And not only had he kept it going, but he singlehandedly put away an ungodly amount of some whiskey or something – I cannot recall exactly because his speech was already slurred beyond comprehension.

I went into my bedroom to get dressed, while Bowl informed me once again that I was a pussy, and pulled a beer from the kegerator. He sat down on one of the kitchen chairs that were scattered around the house. When I emerged from my room approximately eight minutes later, he was slumped in the chair, head hanging low over his nearly untouched beer. I laughed, and shouted “Bowl!” to wake him up. Upon waking, he calmly set down his beer, got up, and staggered into the bathroom, where he remained for quite some time.

I thought nothing of it, and continued helping my five roommates with the party preparations. I left the room briefly, and when I came back, I started to wonder about Bowl. I rapped a few times on the bathroom door, and heard no answer so assumed he had fallen asleep on the can. I opened the door – nothing in my life had prepared me for what I saw at that point.

Predictably, Bowl had puked. Not only did he puke, but he literally covered every surface in the room with his vomit. There was a trail of bright pink slime from the door to the toilet, it covered the outside of the toilet, it was in the tub, it was on the walls. There were footprints all over the floor, and handprints on the sink, and on the mirror. It appeared as if girl from the exorcist had visited our bathroom. Bowl was no longer present; he painted the room in barf and vanished like a throw-up ninja.

I was dumbfounded; the magnitude of the disaster left me in a state of catatonic shock. The stench alone took my breath away. I just stared, until Schwartz came over, took one look, and walked away laughing. But not haha laughing; laughing with despair.

The only solution I could manage was to close the door and walk away. I was content with just locking it, maybe putting some police caution tape across the door, and never using that room again. There was another bathroom upstairs, and we encouraged guests to pee in the large laundry sink in the basement; surely that would be sufficient for the five hundred party-goers who would be arriving in less than an hour. What else could I do?

Unsatisfied with this solution, Schwartz’s girlfriend took one for the team, gripped a mop, and cleaned the whole room. If she hadn’t, I assure you no one would have.

Thanks for coming to our party Bowl, and bringing with you a hurricane of disgusting destruction.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

D-173: On Tape

I woke up in the middle of the night because I had to pee; I had to pee real badly! My head was still a little groggy; it felt heavier than normal when I lifted it. It was at that moment that I realized that my head was in fact heavier; it was not just an illusion from a long night. It was heavier because it was firmly fastened to my pillow with Duct Tape.

I attempted to remove it, but immediately realized that my arms were fixed to the bed. I looked myself over as best as I could, by lifting my head and pillow, and peering downward to the point that my eyeballs hurt from the strain; what I saw was a lot of Duct Tape; a thousand feet of it to be exact.

I contorted my body so that I was slightly on my side, and worked the tape connected to my right wrist with my thumb and index finger. Patience was required, but I really had to take a leak. I managed a little tear in the side of the restraining strand, and with all my strength was able to pull that arm free. The violent motion made me acutely aware that I was also suffering from a severe hangover. I mentally categorized my misfortunes in order of precedence; taped to a bed, about to pee my pants, badly hung-over.

With my liberated right hand, I pulled my head free of the pillow – my stomach turned with sound of the tape ripping out my hair and the stinging pain that accompanied it. I started working the tape around my torso, and initially I’d made it somehow worse by twisting and knotting the tape, and getting it all stuck to itself. I was amazed at the sheer quantity of tape that I was pulling off; it seemed endless, it was alternately wrapped fully around my chest, sometimes including my arm, sometimes not, and then wrapped completely around the bed, box-spring and frame with no pattern that I was able to discover. My legs were completely immobile, limiting the amount of force I could apply to any one pull, and reducing my available means of escape to one; I had to meticulously remove each line of tape, and with it whole tufts of chest hair until I was free.

When I was finally finished, I had collected a ball of used silver Duct Tape the size of a large yoga ball, roughly weighing seven or eight pounds. I hurried out into the living room towards the bathroom to solve my second most urgent problem and saw the one we know as Stillborn asleep on the fold-out, and the Jewish one asleep in a chair, tenderly cuddling a maple Louisville Slugger. I lifted the ball of tape high over my head, and slammed it down into the face of Stillborn, and stomped my way toward the bathroom. He laughed heartily for a few minutes and went back to sleep.

On my way back to bed, I kicked the ottoman away from Jewish, and despite nearly falling to the floor, he neither woke up nor let go of the bat. Good hands.

I took a few Advil, chugged a glass of water, and went back to sleep for several hours.

D-173: ugh

It’s happened again; some idiot lost another pair of NVGs, so once again I find myself on “lockdown.” The only authorized reasons to leave the building are for showers and chow, and to conduct normal business. So basically, that leaves the PX and the gym off limits.

It’s not as if we are locked in here to furiously search for the NVGs; they weren’t even lost in the building. We are just being collectively punished. I don’t understand it one bit. This is just the Army way – I hate the Army way. Why they can’t just punish the people responsible and be done with it, I’ll never understand, but I’m told this “lockdown” may drag on for weeks, as it appears both the Major and the Colonel are extremely pissed off. Punishing the entire battalion by taking away gym privileges is the most arbitrary and ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard – first off, accounting for sensitive items and working out are not even remotely related; second, physical fitness is supposed to be important to the Army; and third, half of these people are fat pigs, who could care less about the gym being off limits and therefore are not being punished at all, except that now they can’t go buy Ding Dongs and Cheetos at the PX anymore.

I really don’t have enough to do here. Occasionally I get very busy, but for the most part, I complete all of my actual “work” in less than two hours a day, and read magazines and do crosswords with the remainder of my time. To most people that sounds like a good deal, but I hate it. It makes the days drag on forever and makes me depressed to be here. The Army could really handle this job if they were forced to.

I usually go to the gym at 1600 every day. I like it because it cuts the day up into two manageable parts. Not being able to go is frustrating.

We have been warned not to ask when we will be allowed to use the gym again. In fact, there was a whole oration on the subject at the morning meeting during which MAJ X threatened to “take our souls.” Something in his tone convinced me that he has the ability to carry out that threat, and I have prudently decided not to poke that bear.

I am in the worst mood imaginable, I’m 28 years old, I am stuck in Iraq for another 6 months, and I am essentially “grounded.” It is just so fucking stupid. If this tour serves one purpose, it is this: My appreciation for all things Navy is at an all time high, excluding, of course, the individual augmentee program.

As if things weren’t bad enough, the DVD drive on my brand new laptop is now broken; it last five months. Now I don’t even have a way to watch movies.

Quote of the Day:

MAJ X: “I will take your souls.”

Friday, August 15, 2008

D-174 - The Morale Officer

I have nothing interesting to write about. There is a pilgrimage to some holy shrine or another that has got the Hajjis all excited; it is causing a lot of traffic, making it hard to get around, and impossible to get anything done.

In fact, I did nothing today. Seriously, not one stitch of meaningful work – sometimes, when I’m screwing off during the day, I’ll at least turn to my computer and click the mouse a few times when Major X rolls through; today I even quit doing that. I did the crossword, opened a package from my wife, read most of this month’s GQ, and went to the gym. At one point, Major X said “I don’t know about you EWO.” In response, I momentarily looked up from my magazine, decided I had no idea what he was talking about, and looked back down. He is a confusing person.

A few days ago, he told me I was supposed to be the morale officer; I replied “really, I had no idea.” I don’t know why he thought I was supposed to know that; in fact, I have been under the impression that the Army is completely opposed to morale. Regardless, I have embraced my role, and as my first order of business, have instituted a daily mass, morale-spewing e-mail: in honor of the 2008 Olympic Games, I have chosen to make the theme “Olympian of the Day,” and have been sending out pictures of Olympians, past and present, which happen to be extremely hot. Tomorrows Olympian is Ana Paula Connelly, a magnificent beach volleyball player from Brazil. Picture included.

The Olympian shtick has been very well received by the Battalion; I take pride in my work.

This bickering on the message boards amuses me; especially since I know the true identities of all the participants, though they are anonymous to one another. I feel so God-like and powerful.

I did get my leave chit in today; I had been trying hard not to think too much about leave, but now that I put in the request, it is the only thing I think about. I ache for it, I can’t wait to go home – wife, dogs, beer, regular clothes, comfortable bed, real food; in that order. Some of the guys have gone on their leave already, and as they come back, refreshed yet more depressed than ever, full of stories of drunkenness and fornication, I want to punch them. How dare they enjoy themselves whilst the rest of us are stuck here with the sandstorms and the stinky Muj?

Quote of the Day:

“Yep, thar goes ole hand-job Pete… best darn hand-jobs this side the YU-FRATE-EES!”

Thursday, August 14, 2008

D-175: Reader Appreciation - I'll Give You A Topic

Wow! It is pandemonium on the message boards! Sorry for the media blackout, but I have been working on another project, and it is sapping all of my creative energy.

I am drafting another full length “feature” story, but I haven’t had the time to write it properly, so I refuse to rush it out. Besides, it is clear that you all enjoy posting nonsensical garbage on the message boards more than you really enjoy my writing, so I am going to give you some fodder to post about for the next 24 hours, until I can have something properly prepared.

The following is a list of places I have peed since my introduction to irresponsible drinking:

1. On the back deck of an abandoned house to put out a fire that I may have been partly responsible for (1997)

2. In Ivan the Lumberjack’s closet (1998)

3. In my own closet (1999)

4. Out the door of a moving “short” bus (2000)

5. In a bush on the front lawn of a frat house – ticketed by State College Police. When I asked my Dad for the money to pay the $100 fine, he replied: “well I’ve done it enough times, I suppose we were due.” (2000)

6. Almost in the oven of a stranger’s house – redirected to the bathroom by Jewish friend (2001)

7. In my bed (1980-1988), In "our" bed (2002)

8. Off the side of the bridge to the beach in Pensacola; in front bumper-to-bumper traffic (2003)

9. On a puppy (2007)

10. In bottles in my room (2008, on-going)


P.S. Seriously Pride - fix this issue with the text. It is aggravating the shit out of me. I don't care how many shirtless dudes you put in the banner - just make the god damn thing readable.

Quote of the Day:

MAJ X: “I’m telling you; you have sex with a Brazilian, you’ll be pulling the bed sheets out of your ass the next day!”

Everyone Else: (silence)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

D-179: Little Pills

My inactivity has led to all varieties of nonsense in the comments sections; I certainly have some dumb friends. The reason I have been dormant, is because for the past three days I have been suffering from god awful back pain. I was sitting in the back of an MRAP, and bent down to move a bag, but the bag was stuck and didn’t budge, and my back had been jacked up since.

I went to the doctor, which is something I rarely do, and he gave me Aleve and some blue Ben-Gay like bullshit; reinforcing my belief that going to the doctor is a waste of time (sorry Jewish friend). Instead, I found a different doctor who was able to give me some low grade muscle relaxer called Robaxen, which is doing the trick. I’m sure I’ll be fine in a few days, but in the mean time this is making me fucking miserable.

Outside, we are enjoying an average temperature of 113⁰F; while inside, we are flipping back and forth between the Olympic Games and Russia’s merciless pummeling of Georgia.

The Olympics are sometimes interesting, that is, until the horse dancing event comes on. For reason beyond my understanding, a large chunk of the afternoon programming is dedicated to this ridiculous equestrian event. I don’t know what actual title of it is, but it is an event wherein a rider, dressed up as Mr. Peanut, rides around on a horse. The horse does not run nor does it jump; it just walks around. At some point people clap, and the announcer remark at how the rider should be very pleased with that performance.

Perhaps, if they were riding a rhinoceros, I would be impressed, but horses are well known for their ability to be ridden around, I rode one around upstate one time when I was twelve – I was unaware that the addition of a silly coat with shiny buttons would have made me an Olympian.

As for the Russian invasion of Georgia; that is uncomfortably close to here. I am not a history major, but I do recall some instances where a bunch of little wars and grudges turned into very big wars. Couple that with the fact that a large number of Georgian troops have been giving us a hand here in Iraq, likely buttering us up for just such an occasion. It looks as if the rest of the world is content on sitting this one out – and I really don’t care what happens as long as I am safe and sound and on my way home in February. Anyway, I used to really kick the Russian’s asses when I was playing guns with my cousin, and I’ve seen Spies Like Us like thirty times, so I am prepared for anything that comes my way.

I received a very nice care package from A.G. + C.G., which was billed as care package competition between them and Schwartz + Underpants. Although the latter has failed to deliver, these sorts of competitions are encouraged. I am going to refrain from commenting on the contents of the G’s package, but it was very good and will be tough to compete with. Should S + U ever get off their asses and mail me something, the grading will be done by panel. The panel will include one female, because we only have one female, and her inclusion will help balance the inflated scores that any pornographic content is likely to receive from the gentlemen. Also, it is rumored that AAFES will finally be offering a high speed wireless internet here for only $25 per month; could this be an initial response to C.G.’s harassment of elected officials (I assume NH elects its officials, although it could just be whoever lives closest to the highway)? Who knows, but it sure beats paying $50 to Hadj for slow, shitty internet – plus, I have no doubt that all or part of that $50 helps fund the insurgency.

As pointed out by Golden Girls fan, I now have less than six months to go. While one might think this would make me happy, I am reminded that Navy deployments are only six months, so it's as if I have just started. So right now in Navy world, I am off the coast of Norfolk completing that final CQ. I am hoping that my aircraft breaks, so I have cause to go back to the beach for one night ashore. Tomorrow begins eight days of no-fly as we complete a Trans-Lant, where we will just sleep and attend boring intel briefs until it is time for another CQ around the Azores.

Before I retire with my little muscle pills, I would like to commend Pride for finally defending himself, the beating he has been taking with respect to the shirtless sailor banner has been brutal. Good for you Pride. I apologize if this entry is disjointed or poorly written, I took 3 pills before I started and I’m beginning to get sleepy.

Friday, August 8, 2008

D-181: Useless Filler

I have been up at the Victory Base Complex for the last week attending a very boring class. That is why there has been no post in 6 days.

The VBC sucks; it is too big, and the majority of the people there are not “war-fighters,” they are logisticians and bureaucrats; they work nine to five, they write speeding tickets and cry about eye protection and reflective belts. They worry about having Sundays off, and making it to their kick-boxing class on time. Not to mention, you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting an O-6 or above.

There were two things about VBC I was looking forward to; first, they have water, so I thought I might see some colorful birds, I did not. I saw a lot of bats though. Second, they have a Cinnabon, which is delicious; but Cinnabon was closed.

I did get to see a bunch of my Navy and Air Force friends from my original class, and that was a blast. I had people to console me about the Cinnabon being closed and it was really fun to bitch about my job and bitch about the Army to people who really understand. So it was not a total loss.

I am not feeling terrible funny right now, my back hurts. I try to avoid posting when I am not funny. The end.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

D-187: Untitled

You know, one of my best friends is Jewish. Everyone needs at least one close Jewish friend, because then you will always have someone to get drunk with on major holidays.

My Jewish friend’s first Irish Catholic holiday (by no means his last) was an Easter dinner; it was 1999. He sat next to me at my parents’ dining room table, prompting my Grandma, who was around 90 at the time, to ask bluntly, “who is that?” Gesturing over toward my friend with her fork, in case there was any doubt as to whom exactly she did not recognize.

“That’s the Augmentee’s friend Grandma,” my Mother gently replied.

“Oh yeah, why isn’t he with his own family?” She asked flatly. It was a valid question.

“He’s Jewish Grandma; his family doesn’t have a big dinner on Easter.” Again the answer came from my Mother, who was seated closest to Grandma, thereby giving her the best chance to hear.

We all considered the matter settled, and went back to our delicious meals; Grandma, however, was still taking the issue into consideration. She took a moment, shrugged, and concluded;

“Well, Jews gotta eat too.” And that settled it.

Later that same year, my Jewish friend and I are roommates in Porter Hall; our room is the very definition of dorm room hip; a lofted bed housed a futon couch, which faced a 27” TV, complete with a Sony Playstation. We had a George Foreman grill on which we made grilled cheese sandwiches, and five foot wide Scarface poster. It was by far the coolest room on our floor, and we had many visitors.

Aside from our undeniably sweet dormitory, something else very special was happening on campus that year. The mighty Nittany Lions, behind the strength of the most incredible defensive front seven ever assembled, were one of the best teams in the country, with pre-season number one rankings from both Sports Illustrated and the Sporting News. When Lee Corso and the college game day crowd showed up to Happy Valley for the opener against Arizona, PSU was #3 in the USAToday, and Arizona was #4. The Lions trounced the Wildcats 41-7, kicking off the most electrifying nine weeks of football I had ever witnessed (we will never speak of what happened in week 10; seriously, never).

After a laugher over Akron, the campus was charged up for a showdown with unranked Pittsburgh, which many viewed as a warm-up for the following week’s road opener at Miami; The Nittany Lions second out of conference top ten match-up of the season.

State College is always a party town, but on a home football weekend, it is absolute hysteria. We went out Friday night, like we did every Friday night (along with Saturday and Thursday, and sometime every other day) for our entire four year career. I don’t remember what we did, but if I had to guess, I would say we went to a frat party, followed by another frat party, likely followed by an apartment party, followed by throwing up, followed by another party, followed by going home around three or four in the morning.

I distinctly remember waking up at 7:30AM. One of the more gruesome of punishments one had to endure as a member of NROTC at Penn State, was selling three dollar Pepsi’s at the football home games in order to raise money for the unit. I was a sophomore at the time, so I only had to work two games; Pitt was one of those two. Misery ensued for the next several hours, as we sat in an empty Beaver stadium with our blinding hang-overs, participating in whatever hazing exercise the Seniors had cooked up for us that morning. A popular one was a race up to the top of the stadium, back down, over the fence and across the 50 yard line, 50 push-ups at the “S,” up the stadium stairs on the opposite side, and back. Typing that, just now, I suffered a heat stroke and vomited.

The pain subsided as the stadium began to fill up, and watching the teams warm up erased it completely. As always, Beaver Stadium was filled to capacity; I raced around to sell as many sodas as possible before the game, allowing me to slack off later and watch as much of the game as possible.

I don’t know how the Pepsi sales went; I do know that I dropped a full one squarely on a lady’s head. Those cups hold about a liter of cola, and it was hot. To make matters worse, I did not have a single napkin to offer her, and I imagine she curses me to this very day when she remembers sitting out in that sun, covered in sticky fountain soda (or pop as the retards from Pittsburgh call it).

The Pitt Panthers showed up to play ball, and the atmosphere was very tense. In the fourth quarter, with the score tied at 17-17; PSU managed a field goal with under 2:00 on the clock. We were on the edge of our seats as the Panthers drove up the field. They marched to the Lions’ 35 yard line, and with four seconds left lined up for a 52 yard game tying field goal. You could have heard a pin drop as Pitt snapped the ball; we held our breath as the kicker got his leg into the ball. Then Penn State’s #11, Lavar Arrington flew into the sky – I swear he was 10 feet off the ground if he was a foot – and firmly blocked the kick! PSU wins 20-17.

It was without a doubt, the most exciting thing that had ever happened. The place erupted, it was so loud! I could not stop screaming, I could not stop jumping up and down, and I needed to hug everyone. In fact, everyone needed to hug everyone – like the part of church where everyone shakes hands, and you anxiously look around for someone who’s hand you haven’t shook yet, desperate to shake one more before time is up and the boring part starts again – it was like that except the fun part was never going to stop, and instead of shaking hands it was high fives and chest bumps! It was the happiest environment imaginable!

I have no idea how long the euphoria lasted, but I hustled back to my dorm room to get showered and head back out into the town, where the party was certain to continue indefinitely. I bounded up the stairs, and charged into my room, only to see the saddest moping Jewish face; staring at the highlights of the game on the TV. Lavar’s dramatic blocked kick playing over and over again. It was very clear that he had just woken up to find that he had slept through one of the greatest of great times – he was wearing just his boxers; with the brains of the operation peeking out of the leg.

Stunned and filled with pity, I said only the first thing that came to mind;

“Dude, your balls are showing.”

“I don’t even care,” he said without bothering to put away his nuts.

Quote of the Day: On picking on a 1LT about his hot sisters:

MAJ X: Come on, have you guys even seen his sisters?

CPT: Almost sir, but I didn’t want to put in my credit card number.

Friday, August 1, 2008

D-188: Major X

I learned a new trick today; anytime someone from Brigade tries to tell you your business or deliver a bullshit tasker, just write back "I need to run that by Major X," and throw Major X in the cc line, and the issue goes completely vanishes.

You see, everyone at Brigade fears Major X; everyone everywhere does. He is a terrifying man, he is the Chuck Norris of the U.S. Army.

When he sees the bullshit that Brigade is giving his JOs, he will immediately blast a "Go Fuck Yourself" right back to them, and they will cower. In the business, we call that top cover - Major X does not want you to destroy his JOs, Major X destroys his own JOs, the way Ike Turner would kick another man's ass if he just walked up and slapped Tina.

Major X makes Army Lieutenants wet their pants with a single hard look. Their are a handful of Captains that make up his inner circle; but he doesn't take any shit from them, he will just sometimes spare them the savage face-shots; sometimes.

On top of his ferocity, this guy is on it; always on it. He knows ops, targeting, intel, maintenance, supply; sometimes it seems like he could run this thing by himself. He has a photographic memory - I am half convinced that he is a robot.

He never bothers me, I am just the Navy guy, I do my job and in return he does not breath down my neck or verbally assault me. Also, he's pretty funny when he's not pissed off - besides, as I learned from the world's worst hinge I would much rather have an abrasive boss than an incompetent one.

Quote of the Day: Battalion Terp

“It is the ‘whorehouse effect,’ the better you are at your job, the more they want to fuck you!”