10 February 2009


The dust has returned. It was hazy this morning, outright dusty by afternoon, and it's now best described as thick.

We don't tend to run non-essential missions when the visibility is limited, so if doesn't lift, my entertainment for tomorrow is in jeopardy. That's no good, because I'm on a roll this week - two for two at getting lunch provided by someone other than the US Army.

That's the thrown-together version of lunch we stumbled upon Monday, out looking at canals and counting sheep. You'll see chicken (cooked on one of those big rotating sticks that I can't spell), rice, tomato-based soup of some sort, and that wonderful bread that might well be the only thing Iraq really has going for it.

The young man I cropped out of the photo had never done one of these sit-on-the-floor-and-grab-some-chow things, but he caught right on, much to the delight of our host, the local mukhtar, who is looking on with some amusement.

08 February 2009

Good lord

The roommate came stomping back in out of the darkness. Something had gone terribly wrong, it seemed, on her trip to the porta-jon.

The first pooper? she said (yes, she actually uses the term "pooper"), there's poop all over the seat!

I blinked. I was getting this information because I had announced my intention to visit the Green Closet after she returned.

Does this mean, I asked, that the Mad Pooper has struck again?

The Mad Pooper Incident was recorded photographically but, because I respect basic human concepts of decency, I have not shared those photos with you. You can imagine, if you try, what exactly the Mad Pooper Incident involved.

No, Roommate answered. It's just a little poop. But then the second pooper? There's pee all over the seat. I didn't have enough paper to wipe it up, so I sort of had to hover. I'd recommend you use the second pooper, but take lots of paper.

So I went to the second closet, taking enough paper to make the seat...habitable. But I gotta wonder, folks, what's so damn difficult about using a porta-jon? Our have the little "urinal feature," so about two-thirds of the available hortizontal surface is totally in play for succesful peeing. And still... And the pooping issues... I dunno. That just ain't right. At least we finally got the locals to stop straddling the hole and splashing water all over...