Sunday, January 6, 2008

"Laughter is an instant vacation." -Milton Berle

Theres many things that we have experienced here, some of them good, some of them bad and some of them, well, just there. But theres one thing about being with a group of guys that have become like brothers to you, and thats the ability to just have a good time despite the situation that you find yourself in. That is one of the greatest things I've noticed durring this deployment, is that we can be in a horrible situation (combat related or not) and just make the best of it. The last 2 days, I can honestly say I have had some of the best times here in Iraq, not by anything that we have done mission wise, but just having a good laugh at the expense of myself and others in our platoon.

It all started on the last patrol that I went on. We had our First Sergeant that headed out with us, and his driver, a mortar guy, used to go out with our platoon alot back in the day. He's a great guy and a part of me misses the good times when he was along! *tear* Hahah. Anyways, he's a smoker and normally smokes Marlboro #27 cigarettes. I smoke Marlboro Lights and while we were smoking he gave me a pack saying he didn't like smoking lights. I thought it was an awesome gesture, and of course I took the free pack! I lit up a cigarette from the pack and immediatly there was a semi-loud snap as the end of my cigarette exploded. I'm not going to lie, it scared the piss out of me for a second, and for some stupid reason the first thought in my head was sniper. I know, its dumb, but thats what I thought, but that passed quickly. After everyone got their laugh, he proceeded to tell me that every single cigarette in there has been rigged to explode. Alright, well now IM going to have some fun with this.

My grenadiers exploded cigarette!It became my personal mission to get as many people with one of the exploding cigarettes as I could. I managed to get a few people while we were still at the outpost but eventually everyone knew that I had them, so I couldn't give them away. Thats when I decided to give one to one of the Iraqi Army guys. It was pretty funny and he refused to smoke the rest of it! It was in good fun, so dont worry. We both were having a good laugh from it. Later while out on a dismounted patrol, when we finished up we were waiting around for the trucks to come back and pick us up when one of the guys in my squad wanted a smoke, but left his in the truck. Here ya go, I've got one for ya! He totally forgot I had those, and when he lit it up, he was startled by the pop like everyone else. The best part was there were about 15 Iraqi kids that were around us. All of us start laughing and pointing and ALL the kids start doing the same. He must of felt like an ass! Always great to see others suffer! I can't recall how many people I got, but it was pretty close to every one that was in the pack. And just now as I'm writing this, my grenadier finally smoked the one I snuck in to his pack on a cigarette break we just took. GOOD TIMES!!

Once we finally came back in, I was viewing a video in a bulletin sent to me on MySpace and it was one of those that out of nowhere this Exorcist looking chic pops out and theres a loud screeching and it scares the piss out of you. I showed it to my good buddy, but before doing so I hooked up my sound system and cranked it up. Lets just say it scared the piss out of him. He yelled and jumped up punching in front of him. Another guy introduced me to this maze, that as you go through it, it gets hard and you really have to concentrate and then out of nowhere that Exorcist creature scares you. Well, we then began tricking everyone telling them that we'd give them $20 if they could beat this certin level and talk it up and it was just hilarious. We ended up getting 4 or 5 people good and the last one was my grenadier in my team and there was probably about 15 people around him watching him. Again, another great laugh at someone elses expense! I can honestly say I haven't laughed that hard in a long while.

The last bit of fun has come from something that we have come up with now refered to as the "Cornbread Challenge." It started off as a punishment from my grenadier to my automatic rifleman because he had secretly ashed a whole cigarette on his head. To make up for it, he had to eat 5 pieces of cornbread from the chowhall. Well I figured that he couldn't do it and so he bet me he could. We gave him 20 mins to do so, and he couldn't throw up until it was all down. He could drink or do whatever he wanted to the pieces tho. On the day of, he ended up making another $20 bet with another guy so we started the challenge. He almost made it, 4 1/2 pieces but he finally ended up running out of the chowhall puking as he barely made it out of the door!! After that, people began saying they could do it and the Cornbread Challenge was born. For the next contestant we changed the rules a little and if he could do it in 10 minutes my grenadier would give him $60. This was a big guy and I actually thought he'd do it, but at 4 1/4 the cornbread got the best of him and he went to the trash can and began regurgatating the cornbread through his mouth and nose! He had done this on a non-empty stomach so we amended a final change to the challenge. 6 pieces in 11 minutes, $60. We wrote the challenge up on our platoon board, and listed the failures so far and put up a signup list. We had our first taker that night.

Given the popularity of the challenge now, people were beginging to want to watch in hopes of seeing someone fail and puke their guts out. Our in house video guru was around for the next challenger, along with 8 of us that were not on patrol. We were now going to video record each attempt in hopes of catching more and more desctructive failures! The next participant was someone that was going to give this challenge a run for its money (literally... $60) and we were a little worried he might do it. He went to town, but again just like the rest, just after finishing the 5th piece and with 1 minute left on the clock he couldn't handle it anymore and the cornbread came back up! The best part was another guy made a $10 bet with me that he would do it and of course he lost. So this is now $30 I've made off side bets due to the Cornbread Challenge. As it stands, 3 men have entered, and none have come out a victor. The challenge still stands, and we may have contestant #4 tomorrow. Hopefully loser number 4!!!

The last bit of hilarity came while we were eating at the chowhall. Just before we were about to finish up, the warning sirens came on for incoming mortar rounds/rockets. Well, we have this new unit that is here in large numbers and I don't know if its what they've been told or trained on, but when that siren went off 1/2 the chowhall dove for the ground and were laying on the ground and hiding under tables. The rest of us just kind of sat there. This was my cue to get up and casually walk over to where the togo boxes were and grab one to put the rest of my food up so I could take it back with me. As Im walking there, people are diving in the front door hitting the ground as I'm trying to step over and around those huddled on the floor. I got a good kick out of it. Afterwords we headed out and back to our rooms laughing most of the way at what we had just experienced.

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Anonymous said...

Those cigarette loaders made the rounds in our shop once. After everyone had been had two or three times, the joke kinda petered out.

A month of so later, I had a staff meeting and was all out of smokes. I finally found a pack in the back of my desk--dry and old but better than nothing.

Sitting there with all the NCOs in the shop and the commander in attendance, I lit up a smoke. Two drags...three... KABAM!

I had no idea what had happened. We all sat there frozen with shock. All I saw was little flakes of tobacco drifting gently down all over everyone like so much tobacco snow. I stared down where my cigarette had been and nothing was left but tattered strips of paper dangling from the filter.

Once we got over the surprise we all died laughing, even the commander, and especially the instigator.

Anonymous said...

Just how big are these pieces of cornbread?
Reading this post has started my day out with a good laugh. Glad to hear moments of fun and creativity in the desert!
Take care,
Cathy B

Anonymous said...

I don't know ya, i just found you on MySpace by clicking my friend's page. But this blog is hilarious, i must say! totally made me laugh and made me feel better! :p my friends are in the US army as well, reading your blogs makes me know a bit more about ya guys! :) But anyways, stay safe and have all the fun you can!

David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 01/07/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the check back often.

Anonymous said... no matter what YOU still win..
lose-win cool

have you tried it?

also tell them that if you take 2 teaspoons of vinegar it will loosen up your throat and make it easier to swallow..:)

LauriesAsylum said...

I'm so glad I found your blog! I loved your story, I think it's wonderful that you can have such good spirits in such a hard situation. Keep up the good work and I look forward to reading more. ~smile~

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Brian H said...

All the humour is others making fools of themselves, you notice. Reminds me of the claim that the basic visual joke is a creaky old man walking along with a cane, which he sets down on a banana peel, and promptly does a back 360ยบ flip. We're kinda nasty critters, it seems!

Reminds me of a recent finding about why people blush: it's suppressed rage at being "centered out".

Anonymous said...

how do you make them?

Anonymous said...

You guys sure know how to lighten the mood.

Keep your spirits up and keep the blog updates coming.

Wolf Lover Girl said...

Just funny as hell. Makes me want to find a few cigarette loaders and get a few people at work...

Glad you're having a few good days.

~ Wolf Lover Girl

membrain said...

Hey Ed. I've been away from internet access for awhile, so I've just caught up wtih all your posts since mid-December. That picture of you freezing in the guard house reminds me what I hated the most about being in the Army.

And all of the BS rules from the REMF too. (It's no coincidence that when the action was very hot in Iraq, re-enlistments were high. Now that the tempo is slowing and all the fobbit BS officers have to do is spoil your day; re-enlistment is down - that's the Army for ya)

Your last post reminded me of all the things I LIKED about being in the Army.

Take care ED. I hope your final 6 months is safe with a minimunm of BS.

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Times Eye said...

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