Saturday, April 30, 2005

Advice for prospective comedians

One of the very first things a person learns when they meet me is my name. Dave Doody. And almost every time, almost without fail, they will laugh. And hey, who can blame them? Doody is a pretty funny last name. I can understand that. So laugh away, ladies and gentlemen. By now, I'm used to it, I assure you. A little giggling is A-OK in my book.

But there is something else that people do that simply has got to stop. They try to make jokes. "Doody? As in Howdy-Doody? Whoa-ho-ho-ho! I bet you get that a lot!" Or "Like Doodypants, right? Ha!" and the big military favorite: "Boy, I bet YOU sure got messed with in boot camp! Private Doody!"

So I've got advice for you prospective comedians out there. A little "joke formula", if you will. If you can think of something funny to say about a person's name, profession, horrible physical defect, etc. within five seconds, it's probably been done to death already. Going against my advice anyway means that you are little more than a catfish in the great aquarium of humor, mindlessly feasting on the waste of others and being content to do so. If that's your choice, fine. But don't get butt-hurt when I look at you like a pair of testicles just started growing out of your forehead.

My real animosity is reserved for anyone who makes one of the aforementioned, weak-ass jokes while I am in uniform. You have no excuse. It's right there on my shirt. You've got plenty of time to come up with something a little more than creative than "Is Doody on duty? Ready to do his duty?" It wasn't funny twenty years ago when my Dad was in the military, and I speak with firsthand knowledge when I say the joke isn't aging gracefully.

Of course, Officers & Staff NCOs are exempt from all of this. "Yes sir, that's a good one, sir! Never even heard it before, sir! Very clever indeed! Quite the play on words!" I just haven't the heart to tell them that in spite of all the college and the shiny little rank insignia, they still ain't got it.

This post has been brought to you by Marines For More Creative Insults, and a dipshit captain in front of the PX. Sir, if you're reading this, I just want to say thank you for inspiring this weeks post. Your ability to inspire is exceeded only by your rapier-like wit.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Now I am become Death, Destroyer of Musca Domestica

Of all the things I dislike (and the list is long), there is one that rises head and shoulders above all others: The fly.

I find it's almost as if these bothersome creatures were created for the sole purpose of driving me insane. Now that it's hot out, they are everywhere. They are in my bedroom at night. There are in the port-a-shitters when I'm trying to accomplish an "urgent mission". They are on my meatloaf in the chowhall and they are FUCKING MULTIPLYING.

Most Marines swat at them with a hand, or their cover (hat). Some have even gone far enough to purchase flyswatters. None of them have taken the time & energy to learn how to capture them for torture. Except me.

My tools are as diabolical as they are simple: Half empty water bottles. A leatherman. A lighter. Anthills. Bleach and other cleaning solutions. Fly Tape. Superglue. Hand-washing gel (flammable!). And whatever other sinister methods my hideous, depraved mind manages to conjure up.

Capturing one of the enemy is not simple, but through discipline & refinement, I have borne forth such a method: Flies see & react to movement, so I approach with care. The most common mistake is to try bringing your hand down atop them, but when a fly flies, it goes off to the side, easily dodging a hand. So then, what to do? Come in from the side.

That's right. From the side. Almost like clapping my hands. CLAPPING FOR DEATH. By cupping my hands and bringing them in very, very slowly, I can get within inches of a fly on either side. Then, it's a simple matter to bring them together swiftly while still cupped. Since hands are (relatively) soft, the fly isn't crushed, just trapped.

Then the fun begins.

I may choose to drown them in the water. I may choose to slowly tear their heads from their bodies with my leatherman. Or singe their wings with my lighter & leave them on the ground, letting them slowly bake to death in the sun. My options are many. My amusement is great.

You may ask yourself "What the hell is wrong with that man?" If you're asking, you've never had a fly come up from between your legs whilst taking a shit, only to land on your lips.

Oh, and you may be interested to note that as I typed this, one more fly joined the ranks of the fallen as it crawled across my arm.

Monday, April 18, 2005

I expect a commission on this, UnderArmor.

This last week has probably been the most eventful to date. In addition to my 5-day AQ (Al Qaim) run, I just got back last night from a 3-day mission at TQ (Taqqadam Airbase). The mission, while not exactly exciting, still falls under the class of "fucking cool". I was one of four Marines sent to pick up two brand-new uparmored humvees.

To a Marine, anything brand-new is always cause for excitement. Be it a new rifle, pack, or in this case, car. I mean, they had the new-car smell & everything. On top of all that, these humvees have some additional features not included in the regular package. Allow me to list them.

  • BULLETPROOF EVERYTHING: The cab is one big, armored box. 3/4 inch armor covers everything but the windows & windshield. 2" and 3" bulletproof glass is present in place of said windows & windshield.
  • COMMS: Each vehicle has four headsets that allow inter-vehicle communication. So the guy on top of the humvee with the .50, MK19 or M240G can talk to the driver. Or the A-Driver. Or any combination thereof. Best feature of all: If you pair the headsets up with a radio, everyone can hear radio traffic on that freq. Brennan alone will understand what I mean when I say it's exactly like Ventrilo.
  • REAR WINCH: Yep. Doesn't matter how stuck you get it, your pal can pull you out. Power slides and monster jumps are now authorized.
  • SWEET JESUS WE HAVE AIR CONDITIONING: By far the most popular feature. When we did the four-hour drive home last night, I actually got cold.
  • BLUE FORCE TRACKER: Through the technical wizardry of GPS, commanders can keep track of any vehicle's location that has a BFT. This means Airstrikes and other forms of support can be coordinated very, very quickly. It also has the added benenfit of cutting down on fratricide, since you can check YOUR BFT to see if those vehicles a few miles away are friendly or not.

So just in case you didn't pick up on my enthusiasm, these hummers are amazing.

And as long as I'm tooting the gear-queer trumpet, I want to take a moment to say that I would gladly send my firstborn child to work the coal mines, in exchange for five underarmor shirts. Ever since the heat started picking up around here, guys have been buying them. I kept saying "$20 for an undershirt? You're smoking dope, kiddo." But one of my buddies talked me into buying one, saying that if I wasn't happy with it, he would give me $20.

So what could I do? I bought one. What does it feel like? It feels like the first time I had sex. It feels like a million fairies massaging my back everytime the wind blows. It feels like I was lost in the Sahara and I suddenly found a slurpee oasis. I have to say, they're worth every penny. And the underarmor underwear? Sweetness and light, I don't know how it's possible, but those feel even better.

I've seen & done a lot of things, but I never thought I would see the day that undergarments turned my world upside down.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

It's been a crazy week so far. The mission I went out on was to clear mines for 1st Recon on the way to an unmentionable (They're still conducting missions, so opsec still applies) AO. Once we arrived at our destination, we got to wait around a few days for a convoy to show up. Unfortunately, the convoy was late because they found about a dozen mines on the way up to us. Yeah. A dozen. Getting a little hairier out there.

So when they finally arrived about 12 hours behind schedule, everyone decided it would be a good idea to get a night of sleep, then head out in the morning. Little did I know, they really wanted to push the definition of "Morning". So despite waking up at 0530, hauling our gear down and making other preparations to leave, we didn't roll out until around 1130.

With so many mines found the day before, someone had a brilliant idea to drive not on the road, but instead to go along in the dirt. If you would like to know what it's like to drive in Iraq's dirt atop 7-ton vehicles, you can do a little mockup in your very own at home. Open about 20 bags of flour in your living room, set up several box fans and turn them on high. Voila. Driving along in the dirt not only allows your weapons to get so clogged up they'll never fire, it also sends up a rooster tail along the column that blinds you and lets everybody know exactly where a big American Convoy is.

But wait, there's more.

After getting about 30 miles from Al Asad, the decision was made to return to the road. At last, we get a chance to get some dust out of our eyes, off our cammies, out of our weapons. We're pretty much on the home stretch, when I hear the unmistakeable sound of an explosion about a mile ahead (Our convoys are stretched out a very long way, to keep deaths to a minimum should a mine/ied go off). Immediately, everyone halts and puts weapons outboard, establishing security while our convoy commander tries to find out what the hell just happened. About a minute later, the word comes out that the explosion was an IED, and it hit our other Engineer Vehicle.

While the minutes ticked by and we all waited to find out if everyone was okay, I got a pretty sour taste in my mouth. First I was relieved: I almost rode in that vehicle. Then I felt disgusted for even thinking that. Then a low-grade panic started to set in as I thought about everybody I knew on the 7-ton. The fact that the report hadn't come over the radio wasn't helping things any. I imagine the churning in my stomach was similar to what a mother feels when she suddenly realizes she doesn't know where her kid is.

Finally, after what seemed like years, the word gets out: Everyone is okay. No deaths, no injuries. In fact, the IED didn't even detonate near the vehicle, but about 200m away. So much for accurate intel.

When we got back late that night, I took a few moments before I left to quietly look at everybody while they offloaded the vehicle. Can't say I was thanking god, but I felt something. Divine intervention or just plain luck, I guess. I didn't like the feeling I had on that 7-ton. The feeling that despite all the training, all the airpower, the superior marksmanship, the bodyarmor.... It all came down to some clown that didn't time his bomb right.

But, we're all here safe. Ultimately, that's what matters, I suppose.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

The green wienie cometh

In the dark corners of the Marine Corps hides a terrible being. Long and sleek, olive drab in color, it feeds on the happiness of enlisted men. Only the saltiest, bravest of men dare to speak it's name: GREEN WIENIE.

Late last night, it sensed a good deal of happiness coming from a particular Lance Corporal. Creepingly, stealthily, it makes it's way out out of the home created from the misery of others. It watches in silence as this Marine eats chow, listens to music, posts on the internet. As the Green Wienie hovers in silence, he reads the following words: "I waited four days for something interesting to happen".

This is a grievous personal insult to the Green Wienie, and so he sets his terrible sights on our beloved Company Commander, poisoning his mind, and makes him decide to move Marines from one room to another, confusing the entire company, causing havoc & discontent in the wake of this order. Satisfied that it's work here is done, the Green Wienie returns to his watchpost, where he is seeking, always seeking, the beginnings of happiness or comfort.

The Green Wienie is always watching. It will never sleep, nor tire, nor hear your cries for mercy.

Yeah, I know what you're thinking. "There is no such thing as a Green Wienie." But there is, my friend. There is.

At least, that's the only thing that makes any sense. Because if it wasn't the Green Wienie that made the Major decide that everyone should do a perverse version of musical chairs, then I don't know what did. It took me two hours to pack up last night and another two to unpack everything into my room this morning. What's done is done, but the worst part is my new roommates. I've got two full-grown shitbirds in there with me, and if they make it to the end of this thing without me shooting them, it'll be nothing short of a miracle. Must......control...fist......of...death.......

But enough whining. I've still got it better than a lot of other guys, so I'll be glad for what I've got.

In other, more interesting news, I've got a mission coming up...uh..."soon." So there won't be an update for "a little while." Once it's all over, I'll tell ya who I was with & what we were doing. Hopefully it doesn't violate opsec (that's operational security) to say that it's a fucking cool mission, because I'm going to say it: This is a fucking cool mission. Haha! Fiddle-dee-dee! I said it!

Clearly, I'm losing my mind, so I'll go ahead and finish this off. As always, more word to follow.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Lifestyles of the Enlisted & Stupid.

I waited four days for something interesting to happen that I could post about, and still I have nothing of serious interest to report. So I thought I would go over some of the funnier stuff that's happened since I got here, that I haven't been able to post about since the internet center was down.

Misfire the Dog:

I adopted a cute little puppy only a few weeks old on one of my convoys, and named her Misfire. She lived outside in one of the gardens by our barracks, and probably would have spent the rest of the deployment with us, were it not for one small problem she had: Crying out when left alone.

Unfortunately, when the Staff & Officers found out, they freaked out. "Get rid of that thing, it'll give you diseases!" They know this because of the many well-documented cases of Bubonic Plague, Syphillis, and Alzheimer's Disease that have been spread far & wide throughout the world because of lost dogs. So we (I) gave her a bath and cleaned her up. Not good enough. Eventually, someone made a phone call and tried to get the MPs to come out here, pick her up, and have her put to sleep. So I snuck her out and got her to another unit on base. A unit, I might add, that does not have goose-stepping, devil-worshipping, baby-eating staff & officers.


First made popular in colleges across America, "Antiqueing" is done by taking a handful of baby powder, and throwing it onto the face of your sleeping buddy. Antiqueing is the new teabagging. Unfortunately, this gag results in serious cases of one-upmanship, and a simple prank usually escalates into a room full of grown men wearing little more than underwear, flinging baby powder into each other's faces.

"The horror, the horror."

Taser Fun:

Somehow, a Taser has made it's way out here into the hands of jarheads. Oh, I'm sure you can envision how it all started: *Zap* "Oooh, my arm!". *Zap* "Aggh, my foot!" But for me, the most surprising thing about all of this is how quickly a $100 dollar pot was put together for someone to zap their "taint". For five seconds. On full power.

For the less cultured, the "taint" is the small space between your testicles and your asshole. Since, as the reasoning goes "'taint yer ass, an' 'taint yer balls!". As I'm sure you figured out the second I mentioned testicles, it's pretty sensitive. I'm not really sure how I can describe the sound that comes out of a grown man's mouth by about halfway through the first second. Some kind of bizzare cross between a wookie, elephant, and six year old girl. In any case, it ain't pretty.

Temporary Tattoos:

The Mervine family sent me a small packet of temporary tattoos. Since I already have so many for myself, I decided that we all needed to "ink up" the new guys. So now we've got a bunch of guys with butterflies on their asses, unicorns on their chest, cupid firing arrows on their's pretty good. I decided to get in on the fun and put a pair of lips on my pelvis. Classy. That's me.


It's getting hotter & the vipers are coming out again. A lot of people are freaked out by them, and rightly so. After all, they're venemous and can kill you. But what a lot of people don't know, is that you can turn a snake into a great gag, once you take off it's head. Once that's gone, there are any number of things you can do with it. Place it's body in the port-a-john, fling it onto a buddy, the possibilities are endless, really. Unfortunately, it does start going bad after a few hours, prompting another hunt to keep the gag fresh.

And uh.. I think I've covered all the interesting/funny stuff. As soon as something interesting happens, I'll be sure to inform everyone.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Ferris Bueller's Month Off

First thing first. I haven't updated in ages because the internet center here has been down. Due to a catastrophic fuckup in the Army, who is taking over this airbase, They decided after the last troop rotation that "Aw hell, we don't need to staff no darn interweb center." So be on the lookout for my next in-depth report: "United States Army -- Intentionally lazy, or just plain stupid?" I've already sent the manuscript to Newsweek. I should be a bona-fide published author soon.

Now for the other important thing: Packages. Holy shit, you guys are amazing. I am the unchallenged "Mail Whore" of 1st Platoon. I have gotten packages from a lot of people, and unfortunately, I lost the list I was keeping to thank individuals. Here are the people I remember: Luke T., Bug Girl, Rebecca, Mlynn, Renata, and more that I can't remember. I shall have myself flogged mercilessly for this transgression. There are two people though, that deserve special mention. One is my girlfriend Anne. Anne has sent so much mail that the US Post office is suffering from severe nasal passage inflammation all up & down the line. The culprit is, of course, heavy perfume. The other thanks goes out not to one person, but an entire family, The Mervines', of New Hampshire. While not quite as much mail has been recieved from them as from Anne, I've gotten confused about which family I'm supposed to go home to this fall. A huge thanks to everyone for all the mail, again. It does wonders for morale.

For those worried about me poking mines with a stick, I present news that may give you cause to shit your pants: I'm considering applying for EOD work. Speakee engrish? That means I'll be doing a more specialized branch of demolitions. Instead of just mines, I would also deal with IEDs and whatnot. The decision isn't final, but I'm considering it. The upside is an immediate promotion and a huge reenlistment bonus. The downside is a 3 year reenlistment, 8 months of school in Florida, and possibly turning myself into pink mist. Back on the upside: if I ever make a terrible mistake, I'll never know it and will be immediately transformed into a messy pinata. And yeah, I AM filled with candy. We both know you were thinking it. Heh.

More updates soon, now that the Army has finally un-fucked themselves.