Thursday, January 26, 2006

Sorry it has been a while since I last blogged. The information security Nazis here have been up to some good tricks and restricted access to blogs recently. I am back online now and ready to write. So here goes...


This is me standing beside our tent, where we have to walk on our way to the toilet. Flippin' SWEET!

(This is sort of an ode to Hunter boots, aka "Wellies.") Alright, so, it rained here a month-and-a-half-or-so ago, and the muddy mess that resulted prompted me to do a web search for a suitable pair of “Wellies”, the famous rubber boots that Brits wear in the mud-laden countryside of the UK. I finally found some and ordered them for myself, Kristy, and Pauline. Of course, after the order was placed, the rain dried up and we entered a period of unseasonably dry weather. Finally, while I was on leave, the skies poured forth three days of incessant drizzle that layered the entire camp in some of the worst mud in the entire history of mud. Since I was away when this happened, I became slightly jealous that Kristy got to wear her super-cool green Wellies while my “Angelina Jolie in ‘Mr. and Mrs. Smith’” red Wellies sat unused and neglected in my dreary trailer. I can't have her face, boobs, lips, or bod, but I can have her boots! And she can keep her boyfriend.

Well, you should always watch out what you wish for, because, just as the awful mud I returned to from leave was almost completely dried up, and not long after our first real sand storm, the skies again unleashed their torrent. It rained one morning and one night, and now the Iraqi soil, with its complete inability to absorb moisture, is covered in giant puddles and mud that resembles that lake in Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Wonkaland is NOT all it’s cracked up to be!

For two days now, Kristy and I have been wearing our Wellies everywhere, and I think no fewer than 50 jealous people have asked us where we got them or commented on their utility. If I had known they would stir such emotion, I would have bought a pallet of them and sold them for profit out of the back of my hooch. (Another enterprise we have in mind is offering piggyback rides in front of the base exchange to ferry people through the mud pit between the parking lot and the building. Fees would range between $1 and $5 per ride, depending upon weight.) (Buy your Wellies here!)

The pictures in this blog do a lousy job of showing just how nasty the mud is here, because you can’t get any real understanding of the consistency of the mud by looking at a picture. I was driving around on it today in our team Pathfinder and did fishtails and donuts in the “parking lot” by the other team’s office trailers. It was so flippin’ fun. On our walk back to the palace, Kristy and I were joking about how crappy it would be to slip and fall when, wouldn’t you know it, Kristy slipped and fell. She caught herself and struggled to stand up while I fumbled for my camera and tried to keep from peeing myself from uncontrollable and spontaneous laughter. She really came out of it very well, with mud merely covering her hands, right knee, and left breast. I mean, it could’ve been a lot worse! In hindsight, I am glad I didn’t try to help her to her feet, because then we would have probably ended up in a female mud-wrestling match in front of God, Allah, and the soldiers and Iraqis standing around watching…

The stretch between the tent and the toilets...

The mud in front of the ladies' shower at the tents.

Kristy walking through the rain pools in Tent City.

Trailer-monkey mud compound.

Kristy after she slipped and fell in the mud. She got off easy!