Southern Swill: Dispatches from the Forgotten British Sector (Issue 6)

Everybody Brings Someone to Dinner

 BA(aaa) Camp, Iraq      Everyone brought at least one someone to dinner Friday night, creating havoc in the DFAC. Contractors from Alamo Road had to sit next to BCH staff; PSD men had to share a table with PRT members; Brit Mil had to sit on the floor.

 “It was rowdy when I walked in,” new BCH RE Willy Beal said. “It was real rowdy. I was lucky to get a seat with the women.” Willy grinned. “I always try to sit with the women,” he added, his grin growing brighter.

 Cooks served steaks, lobster and bratwurst off the outdoor grill. For the first time in weeks, the steak was tender and edible.

 The Friday night crowd has been growing weekly. MAJ Zeb Brighton started the trend before Christmas, inviting Brit Mil, kissing the asses of soldiers he wanted to shmooze in order to obtain useful items and services for the BAO residents.

 “He’s a big shmoozer,” LTC Corviday observed. “Zeb’s on it.

 Some of the crankier permanent residents of the BA(aaaa) camp expressed irritation for the crowd and for having to sit on the floor under a table to eat their meal, but LTC ‘Slasher’ McDonald was upbeat.

 “It was great,” ‘Slasher’ exclaimed excitedly. “It’s always fun to entertain.”

 “Entertain this,” someone muttered behind his back.◙


 New BCH RE Voted Second Sexiest Eyes in Camp

 A base in the south, Iraq  The (relatively) new Bestest Children’s Hospital RE, LT Willy Beal, has been voted Second Sexiest Eyes On Base, right after Camp Manager Spike Abbott.

 “They’re really nice eyes,” BAO Admin Asst Anna Lee said with a dreamy look on her face. “They’re not the drop dead sexy eyes of Spike – they’re a different kind of sexy.”

 “Yes,” BS Resident Office PM/RE/PE/CR/COR Seren  Seren agreed, smiling absently. “They’re cuddly sexy eyes. They’re trustworthy.”

 Asked if that meant Spike’s eyes didn’t inspire trust, Seren and Lee looked at each other and laughed, though they wouldn’t explain why. ◙


 Colonel Jeep Further Fucks Up Alamo Road Contract

 A base in the south, Iraq Big Boss Colonel  Jeep, GRS CMD, apparently profoundly ignorant of contractual roles, responsibilities, and limitations, recently pretended to Alamo Road contractor’s Project Manager Joe Dregg that he, the Jeep, is ACO of Alamo Road.

 During a visit to the road on 31 January, the Jeep ran roughshod over the contract, telling Dregg that an atrocious stretch of road and adjacent shoulder work was “good enough.” Being a colonel, Dregg pretended to be completely taken in by the deception of authority on the project.  

 “Excuse me,” Dregg spluttered excitedly, pulling his camera out of a pocket.  “This is good enough? Would you repeat that?”

 “This is good enough,” the Jeep repeated.

 “Let me snap a picture of you and this stretch of road,” Dregg suggested, backing up to get a good shot, visibly shaking in his excitement.

 “Ho, boy,” MSG Bestwell (Alamo Road ConRep) whispered incredulously, rolling his eyes behind the Jeep’s back. “Wait ‘til Tom and Seren  hear ‘bout this one!”

 Craig Straight, security for Dregg, grimaced in sympathy before both men burst out laughing. ◙ 


George of the Jungle, Logistics, Loses His Mind

 HQ, Iraq       George George George of the Jungle, Logistics, has extended his tour for another year, prompting friends to admit that they believe he’s lost his mind.

 George went through a particularly miserable time late last year, when everyone accused him of everything and he had to work too closely with a dispiriting number of ignorant fools. There were some who wondered whether he would last the first six months. No one at all thought he would extend.

 “I have a lot of work to do here,” George told reporters. “I just hate to leave things half finished and in the hands of incompetent ignoramuses. The Mahdi militia property receipts, in particular, are still unfinished. The Bahdi hasn’t even been addressed. That job would be ignored if I left the country. No one else has the balls to carry this job to the end. Someone has to take the bull by the horns, and it looks like that someone will be me.”

 Asked whether he knew that some of his friends thought that he’d lost his mind, George glared at the reporter. “It’s on the hand receipt,” he snapped. “Everything is copacetic.”  ◙


Alamo Road Too Shiny To Resist

 Southern Iraq  The Alamo Road project has finally become too shiny for any officer to resist. Colonels and generals of all shapes and sizes are emailing and calling each other, BAO AE Tommy ‘Two-tone’, and BS Resident Office (everything) Seren  Seren to ask inane questions and order foolish actions, hungry for a piece of the star that holds everyone’s gaze.

 Alamo Road has always been considered a high profile project, but since the new year it has gained an even more significant status. Some think that its shininess is due to CFLCC pushing for an early completion date so they can use the road for their spring convoy movements. Others believe it’s a function of astrological alignments creating an irresistible magnetism to the road.

 “It’s true the stars are lined up in a way that highlights military projects,” an anonymous source stated. “But that’s only a potential. The manifestation may have to do with hitting a tipping point. Interest was gaining at the end of 2006, and I think that as one colonel told another colonel told a general who told another general, the exponential equation finally exploded. The out-picturing of the astrological alignment wouldn’t have been quite so severe had there not been this growing momentum over many months prior to the alignment. Likewise, it could well be that the tipping point never would have arrived without the push from the stars.”

 Asked what exactly any colonel or general thought they would gain by involving themselves in Alamo Road, locally known as a seriously fucked up project, BS Resident Office PM/RE/PE/ConRep/COR Seren Seren shrugged. “Maybe some medal? That’s always attractive. Anything shiny is just irresistible to them,” she stated. “No one is thinking it through to what could be an ugly end, where everyone is called to a Congressional hearing concerning the waste of millions of taxpayer dollars.”  Seren laughed, then ducked sharply, avoiding BA Area Engineer Boss Tom’s hands, which were scrabbling to encircle her neck.

 “Behave yourself,” Boss Tom whispered urgently.

 “Ironically,” Seren added, moving farther away from Boss Tom, “no one seems to mind that the quality of the road is quite poor. They just want something finished that looks like a road.”

 Boss Tom winced and crouched, obviously poised for another attempt to silence Seren.

 Asked if his actions implied that Boss Tom didn’t agree with Seren’s assessment, Tom quickly straightened up, stared at this reporter blankly for a moment, then grinned. “What was the question?” he asked innocently.

 “Ho, boy,” MSG Bestwell (Aspen Road Con Rep) muttered, trying not to laugh out loud. “Everyone on this project lies,” he said shaking his head. “They all do sure lie.”

 Asked for his assessment of the involvement of every colonel and general in theatre, MSG Bestwell rolled his eyes. “They like ravens,” he said smiling. “They see somethin’ shiny, they gone grab for it. They can have at it,” he concluded, “me and Seren , we give it to ‘em, they wan’ it.”

 Bestwell, Seren and finally even Boss Tom admitted they’d be happy to hand the project off to any colonel or general with the balls to actually try to administer the contract as written.

 “As written!” Seren said, giggling.

 MSG Bestwell laughed.

 Boss Tomn sighed heavily then tried not to smile.

 “These colonels and generals,” Seren concluded, “are now more than half the problem of Alamo Road. If they’d stay out of it, we’d have better luck finishing this project.”

 “That’s true,” Boss Tom reluctantly admitted. “It used to be the bitumen that was a big problem. Bittimmum!” he corrected himself, grinning briefly. “Bitumen is not a big problem now,” he said. “Or anyway, who cares about that problem. Now there’s bigger problems.”

 “And they all wear spiffy uniforms,” Seren concluded.

 “Behave,” Tom admonished, trying not to smile. ◙


 MAJ Brighton Recounts Childhood Memories

 BA(aaaaa) Camp, Iraq  MAJ Zeb Brighton recounted stories from his idyllic childhood growing up with kerosene lanterns and minimal adult supervision one  time too many, causing four BA(aaa) Camp residents to tip over and fall to the floor in the DFAC.

 “I just couldn’t stay awake a moment longer,” LTC Corviday (Maysan RE) admitted. “The dude needs to shut up about his childhood.” Corviday rubbed his head and winced. “I hit the floor kind of hard,” he explained. “Next time I’ll be ready and try to tip over forward, letting my food cushion the fall.” ◙


 BA(aaaa) Camp Residents Don’t Much Care About Rockets Anymore

 A base in the south, Iraq       Most BA(aaaa) Camp residents don’t much care about incoming rockets anymore. Many leap up out of their seats at the sound of incoming, but only in order to beat the siren to their hooches.

 “No one wants to sit on the cold floor of the DFAC or the MWR,” one resident told reporters. “If we’re watching a movie in the MWR, and there’s enough couch pillows to go around, that’s ok. Otherwise it’s worth running ….”

 Asked whether he cared if residents make a run for a comfortable seat while rockets are exploding, Ops Manager MAJ Zeb Brighton, who used to report all force protection offenders to LTC ‘Slasher’ McDonald, replied, “Who? Who’s doing that?”

 He grinned and sauntered off in the direction of the MWR. ◙


 Crazy LTC ‘The Edge’ Corviday Busts RE Conference

 A base in the south, Iraq LTC Corbin ‘The Edge’ Corviday busted up the RE conference last week in Tallil by confronting COL Jeep about dire staffing shortages. After the conference ended he reportedly hunted down the Jeep for a private conference, during which he surprised himself, boldly exacerbating his own stress level by mentioning LTC McDonald’s ignorance, BS Resident Office (everything) and soon to be PM Seren Seren’s impending reassignment, and the current PHC mayhem.

 Corviday phoned Seren after the private engagement to briefly describe his daring dive into the Jeep’s headlights.

 “I told him everything,” ‘The Edge’ Corviday said, still breathing heavily as if having just run a dangerous gauntlet and surprised to find himself among the ambulatory. “It’s out there now. To start with, you’re staying in BAO until Alamo Road is finished.”

 The full impact of the Corviday’s strategic engagement has yet to be determined. ◙


 New BCH RE Big Enough For the Job

 BAO, Iraq      The new Bestest Children’s Hospital RE, LT Willy Beal, is tall and pretty big in a fit sort of way, fitting right in with the best of the BCH staff.

 “I was relieved when I saw him,” CMD ‘Skippy’ Skip admitted before he flew home. “I was afraid he’d be too skinny or too short, but look at him – he’s perfect for the job.”

 “The Navy is objecting to his staying in this position,” LTC ‘Slasher’ McDonald told reporters. “They don’t think a Lieutenant should be in this prestigious position. They want to replace him with a Lieutenant Colonel. But we’re very happy with LT Willy. He’s a big, tall man and that’s what we need.”

 When asked if he might not have ulterior motives in trying to keep LT Willy in the position instead of getting a Lieutenant Colonel to fill the position, Slasher’s eyes went blank. “I would rather not see another lieutenant colonel in this office,” he stated. “Not that I’m insecure or anything – don’t get me wrong …”

 “We’re not,” LTC ‘the Edge’ Corviday muttered, trying not to giggle.

 “… I just think,” Slasher continued, “LT Willy  is doing an excellent job and we’d like him to stay here.”

 LT Willy , who has a strong attachment to this project due to a son who is a survivor of leukemia, at first seemed disturbed by the talk of being replaced. After a week or two of looking pensive, though, he relaxed. “They’re not moving me,” he told BS Resident Office PM/RE/PE/CR/COR Seren  Seren. “They’re not moving you either. If they tell us to leave, we just won’t go. If they try to move you, I’ll hire you.”

 Seren lit a smoke and Willy  took a dip. They both appeared satisfied with the simple solution. ◙


 Cat in Camp

 A base in the south, Iraq   The white cat with random dark spots, generally referred to as ‘Cat’ has become friendly with a number of BA(aaaa) Camp residents. The cat spends about one hour each evening in the laps of either Johnny ‘You Wan’ I Whack ‘im’ Dattilo (BCH Con Rep) or Seren  Seren (BS Resident Office everything) on the smoking patio outside the MWR.

 During meals Cat lounges in the general vicinity of the DFAC door, where she collects stray scraps of food that people accidentally drop on their way out the door. At night Cat sleeps in the cabana behind the BAO wing of the office building, on an abandoned executive office chair.

 Pets are prohibited under General Order Number 1. Luckily, Cat is not a pet. She’s a stray. She’s a feral cat that no one really cares about. ◙


BCH Craves More Space

 A base in the south, Iraq  Bestest Children’s Hospital (BCH) staff have completely filled up their 5000 sq ft office. They recently  kicked Contracting Officer Joan Bigg out of their wing, and are attempting to commandeer additional space by squeezing MSG Bobnoxious and LTC Corviday (Maysan Resident Office staff) out of the 4 sq ft of office space they occupy in the BCH wing.

 “I realize that the last couple of people we’ve added have been undersized,” LT Willy  told reporters, “but at the same time the volume of our minds and spirits has expanded. Bottom line: we need more space.”

 Randy ‘The Freak’ Fritz, BCH PM, agreed. “We’re doing very important work here, so we’re very important people. Being so important, we should have all the space we want,” he stated. “Being that I’m particularly important as a GS-14,” he added, “I should have LTC Corviday’s private office.”

 “We’re trying to fire Randy, actually,”LT Willy  whispered to reporters in an aside. “He’s a problem. He’s a kook.”

 Meanwhile, the BAO staff remains crowded into 50 sq ft of office space in the opposite wing of the building.

 “We’re really pretty tired of being shrunk,” one of the staff told reporters. “We’d like to be allowed to return to our normal sizes, but it doesn’t look like that will happen any time soon.”

 BS Resident Office PM/RE/PE/CR/COR Seren  Seren, unlike other BAO staff, didn’t seem to care about the inordinately large difference in square footage allotted to the BCH offices. “If they try to move me to HQ,” she explained, “maybe I’ll get a job on the BCH staff instead. When I’m allowed to return to my normal size, I’m pretty tall. Although I’m not fat, I think I could be. I’m willing to work on that.”  ◙


 Randy ‘The Freak’ Fritz Too Big For His Britches

 BCH, Iraq  Randy ‘The Freak’ Fritz, BCH PM, thinks he’s more important than he is and has been causing problems among BCH staff by getting in other peoples’ business.

 Randy has been called into LT Willy ’s office twice, where he was told to stand down, stay in his lane, and try to be a normal human being. Randy reportedlybroke down in tears the second time, when LT Willy  threatened to send him home.

 “I can’t believe I’m about to say this,” Willy told reporters, “but he’s actually too big for BCH. He’s not too tall or too fat, but he takes up too much energy space.”

 “And he has these weird pictures of the top of his head that he left on the public server,” Anna Lee, BAO Admin Asst whispered to one reporter. She rolled her eyes and tried not to laugh. “Oh. My. God.”

 “They’re odd,” Seren  Seren BS Resident Office (everything) confirmed. “Let’s fire him now.”

 Asked if her opinion had anything to do with the fact that if Randy is fired, she might be hired for his position, Seren smiled. “Of course not,” she said sweetly, crossing her fingers behind her back.

 Although everyone doubts that LT Willy will be allowed to fire Andy, everyone seems to be enjoying the possibility of it.


 Navy Seal Joins PSD Team, Triggering Testosterone Overload in Camp

 A base in the south, Iraq      Ex-Navy Seal Seth Somebody-or-other recently joined the staff of one of the PSD teams, triggering all the men in camp, PSD and BAO alike, to spend all their free time in the gym.

 Seth, who looks oddly like Joey on the television series ‘Friends’, sports a perfect body builder’s physique, spending hours each day running with a heavy pack on his back and lifting weights. His presence has apparently made the other men in camp feel like sloppy specimens of manhood.

 “I’m exhausted,” [censored] admitted. “Seth is running me ragged.”

 “I want the beer belly gone,” another man explained when asked why he was suddenly spending two hours a day running and lifting weights.

 “We’re on a rotating schedule,” another explained. “Weights, run, run, weights. I’ve lost about ten pounds already – in one week.”

 Anna Lee, Operations Admin Asst, was distracted when asked her opinion of the change. “Huh?” she said. “Say again? Excuse me, would you just lean the other way when you’re talking to me? You’re blocking my view.” She smiled sweetly.

The overall volume of the Bestest Children’s Hospital staff is expected to be affected by the body-building craze, although the cumulative weight is expected to remain stable.




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