Southern Swill: Dispatches from the Forgotten British Sector (Issue 5: Thanksgiving)

 

Resident Engineers Engage in Strategic 3-Week Lookahead for Strategic Engagement Plan

 A base in the south, Iraq  Resident Engineers LTC Corbin Corviday (Maysan), Dan Dan the Palace Man Driery (Palace), Mark ‘Wo-wo’ Wospecki (BAO), Wildman Rob Chillish (Oil), and Seren Seren (BS, default RE) spent the past two weeks attempting to strategically engage in the 3-week lookahead requirement of the Strategic Engagement Plan.

 “It is basically a cluster,” Seren stated yesterday, after spending the better part of two weeks fucking around with RMS trying to get it to do something it’s not designed to do in order to allow HQ to pull reports that RMS isn’t set up to produce. 

 “The Engagement Strategy an exercise that’s meant to make HQ feel engaged,” Corviday explained. “We’d love to have them engage,” he added. “The problem, however, is that they don’t have any business being engaged at this level.”

 “We don’t love having them engaged,” Seren snapped. Tom ‘Tommy Two-Tone’, Area Engineer, laughed nervously, but she ignored him. 

 “She’s a little upset,” Boss Tom explained in an aside. “She spent about 2 weeks trying to do what I told her to do in RMS, then today we were told we don’t have to do it in RMS – we can just make a spreadsheet in Excel showing project milestones for each project over the next three weeks.”

 Asked if that was easier, Seren snapped, “Fuck yes!” while everyone took one step back.

 A strategic meeting was called for the RE’s late on Tuesday to assign and discuss other ludicrously time consuming and ultimately useless work that is now required of them, although they remain dangerously short on personnel due to staff kidnappings by the Bestest Children’s Hospital (BCH) side of the office. Punch drunk already on overwork, poor attitudes were readily apparent by the disruptions caused by a new game called ‘Bullshit’ that Corviday and Seren tested out during the meeting. While Boss Tom added significant workloads to every Resident Office, Seren and Corviday refused to engage him. They fought over a grease pencil and giggled, trying to prompt the others to use specific overused words and phrases so they could check them off on what appeared to be cards set up like a Bingo game of words and phrases.

 Although Boss Tom appeared totally serious in his intent to engage the RE’s in the herculean task of finding and organizing and finishing paperwork for the past 3 years worth of closeouts, and entering the resultant information in RMS, and laughably training both themselves and contractors in the Q ‘shee’ S program in RMS, in the end none of the RE’s took Boss Tom seriously.

 “He has to tell us to engage in these things,” Corviday told reporters after the meeting. “He’s the boss. However, as Seren just proved, if we procrastinate long enough we won’t have to do these things.”

 Dan Dan the Palace Man smiled. “These things come and go,” he said. “Now they’re coming. In a month they’ll be going.”

 “Don’t sweat it,” Corviday told Seren. “Catch up on the two week backlog that you’ve accumulated trying to do what they said you had to do before they said that what they said you had to do couldn’t be done. Take your time. Then take a couple of weeks off for the holidays … this will all blow over.”

 Boss Tom sighed.

 “We’re engaging strategically,” Corviday told him in a comforting tone, patting his shoulder.

 __________________________________________________

LTC Corviday Covets Mayoral Slot

 Southern Iraq    LTC Corbin Corviday has announced his candidacy for mayor of the BA(aaaaaaaaaaaaa) Camp, formerly known as the BAT Camp.

 Corviday made his announcement following a particularly brutal night involving the incessant noise of jets, helos, snatches, buses, and tanks.

 “We have got to implement a noise ordinance,” Corviday stated at a press conference held recently. “And I’m the right man to spearhead that effort, and to ensure its enforcement it once it’s passed.”

 Asked if any other issues were high on his agenda, LTC Corviday admitted that he and Anna Lee (BAO Admin Asst) and Seren Seren (BS RO everything) were working hard on a new assignment roster for BAO. If elected, putting this roster into effect will be a very high priority.

 “We’ll present this to COL Jeep as soon as it’s ready,” Corviday stated. “I’m sure he’ll be receptive.”

 Asked where COL Jeep might fit into this new plan, Corviday said bluntly, “Nowhere. He’ll be keeping Slasher company.” ◙

 __________________________________________________

Dan Dan the Palace Man and Jedediah Somebody-or-Other Move In

 Southern Iraq     ‘Dan Dan the Palace Man’ Driery (BPO RE) and Jedediah Somebody-or-Other (Con Rep or something) were recalled from the Palace to BIA about a week ago. The move was ostensibly initiated for security reasons, but every RE in the BAO office (except Dan Dan the Palace Man) knows the real reason Dan was ordered to pack his rugs, hop an armored vehicle, and set up shop here at BAO.

 “I’ll tell you why he’s here,” LTC Corbin Corviday told reporters. “That dude needs a babysitter. He spends all his time bullshitting with the Embassy people there at the Palace. He don’t do any work. The guy is so far in the weeds,” Corviday said, “he might as well just drink some Roundup and be done with it.”

 “This is the only way they have any control over what he does,” Wildman Rob Chillish tried to say quietly. “I thought I was behind, but boy, that guy’s got problems. Hey!” Wildman suddenly all but shouted, “You want to hear a story about Dan DAn the Palace Man?”

 “No!” five voices shouted over the office cubicle walls, effectively cutting Chillish off long enough for this reporter to escape to Boss Tom’s office.

 “Dan Dan the Palace Man’s got an organizational problem,” BAO Area Engineer Boss Tom stated. “He’s organizationally deficient. Well,” he quickly amended, “He is an organizational problem, and he’s causing deficiencies.” Tom stared at the wall. “He’s disorganized,” he finally concluded.

 Boss Tom paused for a long moment, staring at his blank computer screen. “Actually,” he finally said, “he’s so far in the weeds, he might as well just drink some Roundup and be done with it.”

 “But!” he added suddenly with a curiously triumphant tone, perking up and looking straight at a few RE’s that had gathered in his doorway, waiting to unload some unsolvable problems onto Boss Tom’s shoulders, “If Dan Dan the Palace Man drank some Roundup, then who would do the work that Dan hasn’t been doing for months?”

 “Who?” one RE asked nervously as they all edged away from the doorway.

 LTC Corbin Corviday (Maysan Resident Office RE) and Seren Seren (BS Resident Office RE/Project Engineer/Construction Rep/COR), at one delusional and misguided point in time last week, decided to catch up quickly on their own work and help Dan out, but they were unable to catch up on their own workload due to technical difficulties encountered while engaging in the strategic engagement of Colonel Jeep’s vision of the Strategic Engagement Plan.

 “We had intended to go to Dan Dan the Palace Man and just tell him: Give us all your invoices,” Seren explained. “But I got all tangled up with engaging in the completion of the engagement plan’s strategic 3-week lookahead and had technical difficulties in engaging RMS in the engagement strategy that calls for the 3-week lookahead to be engaged by inputting input into the Features Schedule in RMS.”

 Corviday had similar excuses.

 “It worked out ok,” Boss Tom told Seren two nights ago. “Jedediah processed over 60 invoices, so at least those are nearly caught up.”

 According to Boss Tom, all of the Palace Office contract payments were so long overdue, all the contractors of all the Palace Office projects had ceased work and walked off their jobs six months ago.

 “Huh,” Seren said with a thoughtful look on her face. “Then Dan and Jedediah must not have much to catch up on, really. No daily QA reports coming in, no daily QC reports coming in, no submittals, no mods, no cure letters, no levy exemption forms, …” Seren’s face took on  dreamy countenance.

 “Don’t get any funny ideas,” Boss Tom told her sternly, snapping her out of her reverie.

 Seren cleared her throat and tried to look innocent and alert. “Look,” she said. “This is easy. Dan Dan the Palace Man can just cut thirty or forty time mods and move forward.”

 “Hopefully that will keep him busy enough to shut the fuck up about the security situation at the Palace,” Corviday muttered. “The dude is obsessed with the Spot Report, man. I tell you, a funeral is more fun than that dude. Don’t sit by him in the DFAC, I’m telling you what.”

 “He’s really got plenty to do,” Boss Tom stated, ignoring Corviday. “The thirty or forty time mods are necessary, true, but he’s also got the backlog of QA reports, QC reports, submittals, and design reviews from the six months prior to the past six months that the contractors haven’t been working.” Boss Tom rubbed his forehead. “He’s not very organized. He’s got an organizational deficiency.”

 Seren rolled her eyes.

 “I saw that,” Boss Tom told her.

 Seren put her sunglasses on.

 Dan Dan the Palace Man had little to say for himself. When asked how he felt about his situation, he said, “You mean being here at BAOt? Well, it’s fine,” he said. “There are some good folks here. Did you hear the Palace got hit twice today – they’re using RPGs now, besides the rockets. A rocket hit the …”

 The other RE’s walked away, shaking their heads.

 Dan Dan the Palace Man is going on leave in December and January, and has applied to extend his tour in Iraq for another year. Dan has worked in Iraq since the initial invasion. The Palace Office is expected to remain a total cluster until he redeploys – in other words, forever. Although noises have been made about subsuming the Palace projects into BAO, eliminating a Palace Office altogether, the Palace Resident Office is expected to exist in some form pretty much forever, a perpetual organizational deficiency. Dan Dan the Palace Man is expected to remain RE, doing nothing more substantial than straightening his rugs and chatting with folks about various violent episodes in the city. ◙

 __________________________________________________

Mayson Resident Engineer Left Off Guest List for Maysan Meeting

 A base in the south, Iraq     LTC Corbin Corviday, Maysan Resident Engineer, was totally dissed by LTC ‘Slasher’ Baldrick last week when he was boldly ignored during strategic planning and engagement of the Maysan PRDC.

 PRDC members were invited to a meeting at the Airport during a visit by Big Boss COL Jeep. LTC Corviday was not informed of the upcoming meeting, consulted about the upcoming meeting, or invited to the meeting until the last minute, when they were all climbing into vehicles to drive to the meeting.

 “Where’s Corviday?” COL Jeep asked Slasher.

 With his typical deer-in-the-headlights-but-ready-to-be-gung-ho look, Slasher stared wide-eyed at the Colonel as if he’d misplaced his brain, then turned to MAJ Zebaroo Brighton and said, as if as surprised as the Colonel, “Where’s Corviday?”

 MAJ Brighton quickly ran off to fetch Corviday from his office. As Corviday climbed into the vehicle, he slapped COL Jeep on the back and thanked him for the invite. Jeep is said to have looked puzzled. Slasher’s reaction was not noted.

 Area Engineer Tom Boss Tom was also curiously left off the guest list, although he didn’t give a shit.

 “If you’ve been to one, you’ve been to them all,” he said cheerfully. “It’s just a meeting!” ◙

 _____________________________________________________

Alamo Road Remains An Ass Burn

 A base in the south, Iraq      BAO Resident Engineer Mark ‘Wo-wo’ Wospecki continues to ignore RE duties in order to act as Project manager for Alamo Road. When asked for an update on the road’s progress, Wo-wo said wryly, “Listen. I’ll be honest with you. There continues to be problems with the bittimmum [sic]convoys, the bittimmum delivery schedules, the bittimmum off-loading, the bittimmum –“

 The rest of his answer was drowned out by LTC Corviday (MRO) and Seren Seren (BS RO) scrambling and squabbling loudly over who had the grease pencil first. ◙

 __________________________________________________

Big Bad Rob Chillish Bothers the ABOT

 The Gulf, Iraq      Wildman Rob Chillish has spent the past two weeks bothering the hell out of Iraqis at the ABOT, an oil project located on a platform isolated in the middle of the Gulf.

 SGT Wavey Davey Odbard (Oil Office Con Rep) said he’d received a couple of emails from Wildman Rob describing his tenure on the ABOT.

 “He says they’re all having a great time,” Odbard said with a grin on his face. “I think Rob is having a great time. I think the rest of them are praying five times a day to Allah to get this big motherfucker off the platform before they resort to calling in the Mahdi militia.”

 Everyone in the BAO office professed to great affection for Wildman Rob, but admitted that it was a relief not to have to dive around catching things shaken off desks and shelves every time Rob walked through the office with his monstrously heavy tread, and a relief not to have to be on the alert to cut Rob off quickly when he starts with his stories.

 “We generally have to assign someone to Rob duty,” Odbard admitted. “If you don’t cut him off right at ‘Let me tell you a story about  –‘ then it’s hopeless.”

 “Right,” Seren Seren (BS everything) added. “If you don’t catch him early, his story will just pound across the whole office at high volume. He’s hard of hearing, and very loud. Never mind his tread – his voice alone will knock things off the desktops. If he’s talking and walking at the same time, the situation can get pretty dangerous.”

 BAO generally calls in the maintenance workers after episodes of Wildman Rob walking and talking at the same time. They’re generally able to pound nails back in, and tighten screws so that the office building doesn’t come crashing down, crushing the staff at an inconvenient time.

 Wildman Rob is reportedly on his way back from the ABOT now, possibly stuck in Camp Freddy for Thanksgiving. Someone expressed worry that it could have been him taken in the convoy kidnapping last week, but BAO staff found that thought hilarious.

 “If they’d kidnapped him,” someone said while the rest of the staff were falling all over laughing, “those kidnapped men would all be back by now – the kidnappers would have begged him to leave! They would have tossed him back out of the truck with a sack of money in return for a promise they’d never see him again!”

 Wildman Rob is expected back in camp any day now. Camp manager Spike Abbott has been busy reinforcing the office floors, and assured BAO staff that they should be ready by the time Chillish returns. ◙

 ________________________________________

George George Missing From HQ

 BA(aaaaaaaaaaaaa) Camp, Iraq     George of the Jungle, Logistics, moved himself to BAO for one week on the authority of no one.

 “I couldn’t stand the stupidity of HQ for even one more hour,” George admitted. “When I saw a PSD team loading up, I just put on my gear, grabbed a pair of clean underwear, and walked out to the trucks. I told them I was on their move – didn’t they get my name? Of course they didn’t get my name!” George laughed a bit hysterically. “Hell, that happens all the time up there! I told them they were supposed to be taking me to BAO and I said it with authority, so they took me to BAO!”

 Apparently three days passed before any of the HQ brass realized George was gone, and in the end it was brought to their attention only because Big Boss COL Jeep showed up at BAO.

“George –“ he said, stopping dead in his tracks as he rounded a corner and nearly ran right into George. “What are you doing here?”

“Working, sir,” George snapped before striding purposefully off between conexes. COL Jeep nodded, stared quizzically after George for a moment, shook his head, then turned away and went on about his own business.

 There’s no telling how long George might have lounged at the BA(aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa) Camp, but he gave himself away by answering email traffic. After telling Edith (pseudo-Logistics) more than once that she was incompetent and stupid, George followed up with an undisclosed number of email orders and instructions in a futile attempt to teach her the proper way to manage Logistics.

 This blunt honesty effectively cut short George’s BAO stay, as it caused Edith to up and quit, which caught the attention of the brass.

 George was ordered back to HQ via a phone call early one morning from LTC Dullzano. Dullzano accused George of harassing Edith, acting and speaking in ways that bordered on insubordination. When he informed George that Edith had quit entirely because of him, George said, “So?”

 When he realized where George was, Dullzano ordered George back to HQ on the first available mission.

 Although George’s name was put on a movement that same day, he told the PSD crew that they were mistaken – his name was not supposed to be on that mission. Being that George said it with complete authority and conviction, the PSD team believed him and left without him.

 George did leave BAO the following day, at his leisure, choosing the team he felt like traveling with and departing at a reasonable hour of the morning. He was shown off with the typical BAO fanfare, Spike Abbott (Camp Manager) and Seren Seren (BS Resident Office everything) throwing rocks at him, Anna teasing him about his oversized uniform, and Rhudra sobbing and begging him to stay.

 Although it might be difficult to tell by the farewell, George is sorely missed. He is expected to return to BAO sometime within the next thirty days, after he’s caused sufficient mayhem at HQ that his absence will again go unnoticed for a reasonable amount of time.◙

 __________________________________________________

 Battle Rattle Required

 A base in the south, Iraq     Battle rattle was required apparel last week for three full days after 4 Americans and 1 Austrian PSD crew members were kidnapped from a convoy near Safwan. As British and American forces conducted operations across Basrah searching for the missing men, a shower of random mortars were tossed at the base.

 BAO residents were required to wear their armor every time they went outdoors. Patience and tolerance for this uncomfortable state of affairs was noticeably lacking.

 Although some BAO residents continued to go on PT walks wearing the approximately 187 pounds of metal, many more weren’t able to tolerate the weight during PT. In fact, many residents simply laid down on the floor one time too many, and couldn’t get back up. Tempers grew short and alternatives were considered.

 “My shoulder is killing me,” Anna Lee (BAO Admin Asst) complained. “I’m going to take the plates out of this fucking thing.”

 Seren Seren (BS RO, pseudo RE) offered Lee paper to stuff in the armor pockets, having a backload of approximately 8 reams of contract-related paperwork that needs shredding. Lee accepted and the women spent a furtive half hour crumpling up paper then making sure they got just the right amount of it stuffed into the vest for it to look like steel plates.  “If you get hit,” Seren told Lee, “I’ll think this was a stupid idea.”

“If I get hit,” Lee replied reasonably, “this stupid contract paperwork will finally have gotten shredded!”

 After the armor requirement was lifted, it was fortuitously discovered that BAO staff had shrunk an average of three inches due to the weight of the battle rattle.

 “This is really an interesting development,” Bestest Children’s Hospital (BCH) lead CMD Skip said. “If it turns out that these people actually shrunk, we may save wear and tear on the copy machine.”

 Seren, however, posited that the mass was simply rearranged, so that BAO staff were – though shorter – considerably wider. “It was a single dimension compression,” she stated. “It might have been better to stretch taller and be thinner, considering the available office space.”

 MAJ Zebaroo Brighton has initiated a strategic plan to assess the question of mass displacement and how it might affect office space.◙

 _____________________________________________

Ill-Fated Mail Run

 A base in the south, Iraq    Jody Bisniss (BO Admin Asst) was unable to pick up mail at Camp Freddy last week due to security shenanigans and other foolishness.

 The (Censored) team was unable to get off the base for the Saturday run, as the main Brit Base gate was closed all morning to make the security situation seem more dire and exciting. When (Censored), Project Manager for (Censored), was asked why they didn’t use the B gate, he replied, “What gate, the one by the contractor camp?” Reporters explained that the B gate is off at the end of the runway. “What? Where?” (Censored) said, obviously confused and alarmingly ignorant, then he hurried through a nearby doorway, avoiding further questions.

 The weekly mail run was promptly rescheduled for Sunday, much to the chagrin of most of the (Censored) team, who have said that they’re sick to death of the weekly mail run, which is a route that gets more dangerous and boring every week, and that they’re sick to death of Camp Freddy, which is nothing more than a god-forsaken beige dump with a miniature PX and real ice cream.

 On Sunday the team made it off the base and all the way to Camp Freddy without incident or onset of insanity, even though their two passengers were Joan Bisness (Admin Asst) and MSG Robnoxious (MRO). This mission, however, was also ill-fated. It was reported that Robnoxious, upon arrival at Camp Freddy, immediately disappeared into the bowels of the camp. Joan and the (censored) team arrived at the Post Office moments after Robnoxious disappeared, only to find the Post Office closed for the day. As MSG Robnoxious was nowhere to be found, the group couldn’t just get the hell out of Camp Freddy.

 The (censored) team spent about 15 minutes shopping, then whiled away the next two hours slumped at the picnic tables staring at the empty basketball court while Joan talked incessantly.

“Is it over?” PSD Matt asked as he stumbled out of the truck when the team had finally returned. He sagged against a Hesco barrier and buried his face in his hands.

 When told later that he was expected to help with the mail when he went on the Freddy run, and that if he’d done that he wouldn’t have held everyone up for two hours, Robnoxious replied, “Fuck that! I had things to do. Get off my case.” He then strode briskly off through a nearby doorway, avoiding further questions.

Seren Seren, BS Resident Office (everything) stops at Camp Freddy at least once a week on site visit missions. Although it would make sense to get her certified to pick up mail, she’s not allowed to pick up the mail, on orders of LTC ‘Slasher’ Baldrick. Because LTC Slasher suffers from a worsening case of Officerensis foolishii, nobody even asks.

 A third mail run attempt was made on Monday. From all accounts, and much to the disgusted relief of everyone, it was successful. ◙

 _____________________________________________

Too Many Tallilians

 South end of Iraq   Too many Tallilians traveled to BAO in the past two weeks, irritating office staff and bringing productive work to a virtual standstill.

 Project Managers Mary Peters and Jennifer Larks kicked off the run of visitors, showing up with less than six days notice, expecting to meet with DG’s as well as visit project sites. They timed their invasion just days after the Resident Engineers Engagement Strategy Conference, guaranteeing that any time they would demand or could eek out of RE’s in the office would be guaranteed to cause the RE’s to fall even further behind with their workload.

 Although RE’s were relatively polite about the PM’s presence while they were present, even going so far as to supply Peters with an unholy amount of chocolate, LTC Corviday summed up the RE’s collective annoyance while waving goodbye to the women, when he was heard to mutter, “Tallians … I feel like I just got rid of the in-laws, and they stayed too frickin’ long.”

 Either just before or just after – or probably both – Big Boss COL Jeep showed up to waste Bestest Children’s Hospital (BCH) staff time with repeated tours of the Hospital, and the rest of the staff’s time with kissing his ass. Concerned with the fidelity of the BCH piece, the Jeep can’t seem to get enough strategic engagement with it to satisfy his strategic management oversight. After being appallingly rude to everyone at least once, the Jeep finally left the camp (probably twice).

 Again, LTC Corviday summed up the office staff’s sentiments as they waved goodbye. “Frickin’ Tallilans,” he muttered.

 No sooner had COL Jeep left (probably the second time), than Inhui somebody-or-other showed up in the office. Allegedly here to help CMD Skip set up the Bestest Children’s Hospital for Q Shee S, Inhui almost immediately began talking too much to people who don’t care about Q Shee S. Although many of the men in the office initially took turns listening in order to ogle and drool over Inhui’s oriental beauty, they quickly discovered that her obsession with Q Shee S marred her physical attractiveness, rather like severe mental illness can make even the most attractive person revolting.

Area Engineer Tom Boss Tom was the only one to stick it out with Inhui, presumably because he, too, is a fanatical adherent to the belief in the miracles of Q Shee S, in addition to his being a sucker for a good bod.

Inhui stayed a whole week, finally leaving last Saturday.

During one of COL Jeep’s inconvenient visits, George of the Jungle, Logistics, showed up unannounced. His was the only visitor welcomed by everyone on base. George almost immediately disappeared into the medic trailer, emerging only to eat, smoke cigarettes with Seren Seren (BS RO everything) and occasionally shout obscenities at the Brits in the control tower.

No Tallilians are currently on base, and Camp Manager Spike Abbott is reportedly making good use of the lull, implementing new force protection measures designed to be effective against Tallilites without interfering with daily operations of the camp. ◙

 _________________________________________________

 Bestest Children’s Hospital Dominates Everything

 A base in the south, Iraq      The Bestest Children’s Hospital (BCH) project, awarded last month for about $90B (USD), has come to effectively dominate everything. BCH staffers have commandeered the conference room, the plotters, and the PSD teams.

 “Well,” CMD ‘Skippy’ Skip said rather smugly, “it’s only right. Laura [Bush] is very interested in this project, and we can’t let her down, can we? We are the most important project in Iraq at the moment.” Skippy smiled winningly. “It’s only right that we dominate everything.”

 The BCH staff continues to be augmented daily while the other BAO offices remain overworked and understaffed, handling an average of 103 projects per person. The new individuals on the BCH staff are, however, curiously undersized for the job they’re undertaking.

 “They ran out of really tall and pretty fat people,” Skippy told reporters with an apologetic tone. “We waited too long, I guess, and now we can’t be picky – we’ve got 5 submittals a day rolling in, and we’ve just got to use the bodies we were sent. We expected a little more time to be able to be really picky, but time ran out. This may only be one project, but we’re very busy.”

 “We thought what we’d do,” Skip explained, “is consider all the new people as one person. We’ll smush them together, making one really tall and pretty fat person. That way we’ll all feel a little more comfortable.”

 “To be honest,” Skippy admitted in an aside, “we’re not expecting the new people to stay relatively thin. We’re going to use the extra mass left over from shrinkage of the BAO staff to beef them up. That in addition to the excellent food at our DFAC, we should be able to split them off into separate people again within a couple of weeks.”

 The BAO staff, recently crowded by the addition of the Palacetinians (Palace Office personnel) Dan Dan the Palace Man and Jumpy Jedediah, were ordered by LTC ‘Slasher’ Baldrick to shrink themselves further to make room for everyone at the Saturday afternoon meetings.

 “I know that the BAO folks don’t really want to be shrunk and stay shrunk all the time,” Slasher said, “but, that being said, they don’t understand the operational side of things. It takes too much time to shrink them just for meetings – it’s much more efficient to just shrink them once and leave them that way all the time.”

 “That being said,” he added redundantly if predictably, “it will also become more and more necessary for them to be smaller all the time. We don’t want visiting VIP’s to mistake any of them for BCH staff. We don’t want them being treated as well as the BCH staff is treated, because they’re just not as important in any way.” Slasher then turned to CMD Skippy, and bowed in deference to him.

 “Thank you,” Skip said dismissively, waving a hand at Slasher to send him on his way. “That’s essentially correct,” he said. “It’s imperative that everyone remember just how important we are.” He then excused himself, explaining that he needed to return a call from Laura, as he’d already put that off for a couple of days. ◙

__________________________________________________

 Zeb Helps Anna

 Southern Iraq  After worrying for months about getting an extension approved to stay in Iraq, with less than a month to go before her redeployment date, Anna Lee (BAO Admin Asst) finally just asked if she could extend her tour.

 LTC ‘Slasher’ Baldrick at first appeared hesitant when approached with the idea, and Area Engineer Boss ‘Tommy Two-Tone’ wouldn’t look Lee in the eye when she spoke to him about the idea. MAJ Zebaroo Brighton took care of those luke-warm responses by hypnotizing both men, changing their minds in just moments.

 The ease with which Brighton accomplished this surprising turnaround in both Slasher and Tommy Two-tone suggests that he’s hypnotized them before, programming them for quick response in the event that time is of the essence. Previous uses of this potential diamond mine of a skill were not revealed.

 “I’m not at liberty to reveal that information,” MAJ Zeb stated firmly.

 The top brass are now fully supportive of and reportedly pleased with Lee’s extension of service in Iraq. ◙

 ____________________________________

Camp Manager Rock Throwing Menace

 A camp in the South, Iraq      Camp Manager Spike Abbott has become a rock throwing menace to select residents.

 “It used to be you just had to watch it when you were within sight of Ryan,” Seren Seren (BS RO everything) told reporters, “but now he’s got all the distances and angles down. Now he throws rocks over the t-walls, timing them to hit you.”

 Asked why she thought Spike would be throwing rocks at residents, Seren said she had no idea, really. “He’s been under a lot of pressure lately, having to shepherd Baghdaddies around. That’s put him behind on his paperwork, and then he stays up all night trying to catch up,” Seren explained. “Maybe he’s just cranky from lack of sleep. That’s probably why.”

 Asked if Ryan’s throwing rocks at her could be because she throws rocks at him, Seren expressed surprise. “I am always and only a defensive rock thrower,” Seren said sweetly. “I would never initiate such pointlessly aggressive behavior.” ◙

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