Scrabble Interrupted

Well it’s been an interesting week. First off my friend Tom received the package I sent him, it contained a T-shirt, the front has a South Park character I think its Kyle, the kid that wears the winter hat with the ear flaps, and it says, “You sent me to Iraq, You Bastards!” Then below OP-Telic which is the name of the British operation. On the back it says:

“We are the unwilling, Led by the unqualified, Helping the ungrateful, In pursuit of the dream.”

Tom also has a mid-life crisis lounge, with a bar, a life-size cut out of Buffy, all his marathon medals etc. And when I was staying there the mid-life crisis lounge was invaded by the ironing board. Here on the base, you can buy a lot of posters of scantily clad women, cups where the women is wearing a bikini and becomes naked when you add hot water, posters with sex positions on them, cards with photos of breasts and all sorts of dirty magazines. So I bought Tom and ironing board cover with a bikini clad woman on it who loses her bikini when it gets hot. I sent it with the t-shirt. I sent him an e-mail to ensure he received the package his response:

“The t-shirt is great. I’m not sure what to say about the other thing. I am thinking of reporting you to some Mullah or other in order to punish you for your decadent Western ways. Please forward the name and address of an appropriate religious fanatic.”

In addition this week my colleague Roland who was a city manager for years and is here to help train local government got an e-mail from home. He has three kids, a son in college and a daughter and son in high school. The e-mail was from his youngest son and was short and to the point: “Come home Dad. Mom lies.” I guess it was some sort of high school drama, but we had a good laugh over his son’s e-mail.

I had a very exciting Thursday night, my friend Jasper , a New Zealander, who works PSD (personal security detail) and I decided to play Scrabble. At first he was kicking my butt, but I made a slow comeback. I had just placed a word on the board, when he yelled at me, “Get down on the ground!” I thought wow, he’s a bit of a competitive Scrabble player, my word wasn’t that bad. But it wasn’t that is was incoming. Four hits, reports say near the Helo Pad, no injuries or fatalities. Jasper told me that if you are near a bunker you should duck into it, but if your not it’s just better to stay on the ground. Once the alarm goes off you’ve got 4 seconds according to Will. They are expecting an increase in attacks, because the Americans are taking over the base the end of March.

With the recent increase in attacks we’ve been talking about it more and one night standing outside the mess hall with my mates, Will, Russ, Jasper and Kate, right near a bunker, Russ remarked that if we had an IDF right now, I would really find out who my friends are. He made like he was dashing towards the bunker and said, “Don’t worry I’ll save you a seat.” He later assured me that he wouldn’t leave me behind.

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