09 December 2008

Blinding flash of the obvious

At least it wasn't US tax dollars spent to figure this one out - Dogs Get Jealous!

Researchers in Austria, after what seems like a rough stretch of playing with dogs and giving them treats, have come to a startling conclusion.

Scientists noted that dogs hate to see their owners being affectionate to other dogs...

And, in other earth-shattering news, dogs prefer steak to lettuce.

Why I'm not allowed to go anywhere fun

It's Eid right now (the week of feasting after Ramadan), so there's not much going on in the Civil Affairs world. We could go out and annoy the locals during their holiday, but decided that would be unsmart. Instead, we packed up our MRAP and headed out on a two-day vacation to Camp Comfy - where our company headquarters is located.

We were packing up yesterday before we hit the road. The Boss lives over near me, and the boys were pulling the truck around, so my front porch was a staging point. The Boss and I were having smokes and discussing my recent mouse-killing spree.

Yes, sir. Look in that box right there. There's like six in there.

I waved toward the trash box into which I'd deposited the night's mice.

The Boss looked. Pondered a second.

What are you going to do with those?

I explained that the box was destined for the trash. Unless, sir, I added, you know anyone who needs six dead mice. Like a gift.

Our eyes locked. He grinned. I grinned. A gift of dead mice? And we were going to Higher?

Hey, roommate! I shouted. Do we have any Ziploc bags?

She popped out the door with a sealing plastic bag and a matching evil grin. Taking the mousies to the first sergeant? You guys are bad!

I used my mouse tweezers and stuffed the little corpses in the bag. Sealed it up and put it in the front of the truck.

We arrived at Higher, and I went off to have the normal NCOIC chat with the first sergeant. We covered all the necessary business first, of course.

Hey, first sergeant. Last time we talked you asked about our health and welfare and, in line with that, I brought you something...

You can learn a lot about a person by the way they respond when you hand them a baggie full of dead rodents. Without any warning.

The first sergeant, for instance, is not a big fan of rodents. And he has a bit of a gag reflex when he realizes what's in the bag he's holding up to his face.

The company commander will try to refer a team leader and team sergeant to Combat Stress Control when he realizes how much the dead mice amuse us. (We couldn't stop giggling. My stomach hurt from laughing so hard)

Our private from a nearby patrol base (we're all taking vacations this week) will ask if he can have the dead mice, since he sees opportunities to torment his team leader.

The infantry platoon leader who rides in our truck and sees the mice will accuse of being "sick, sick people." Coming from an infantryman, this might be a cause for concern.

And, at the end of the day, the company commander will seize one's mice. Because Higher exists to kill fun.

07 December 2008

Small victories

It's been dull here.

Until this afternoon. After returning from another trip to look at Things That Weren't There, the boss and I were sitting out on the porch. I was having a cup of coffee and a cigarette, he was enjoying a phenomenally stinky cigar.

"You've got a mouse," he said, gesturing at a crack in the boards by our door.

I whipped out a trap, grabbed my trusty chocolate Rice Krispie Treat, set it up, and...SNAP! Less than ten minutes, and it became Abby 12, Mousies 1.

And folks, that wasn't the end. I got three more. I'm at 15.

I occasionally wonder if we're accomplishing anything worthwhile out here. At least, if nothing else, I am putting a hurting on the north-central Iraq mouse population.

I wonder if there's a medal for that?