They Said It Better Than I Ever Could...

These words that I write, they keep me from total insanity. -Charles Bukowski

Who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived, or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed? -Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

Jan 18, 2009

The 5-Gallon Bucket Brigade, Spray On Tans, And Beer Pong...

First of all I would like to introduce the latest in the never-ending cast of characters that is my company. I am going to call him "Spray on". Why would I call him that? Because he has one of the creepiest tans that I have ever seen. It never goes away! Regardless of the time of year. Now if we were at home I would just chalk it up to another emasculated metro-sexual going to the tanning beds all the time. However, we are here and I know for a fact that there isn't a tanning bed anywhere to be found. Apparently the complexion of the Afghani's is such that there is no money for "LA Tan" to make here. Nevertheless his tan has not so much as faded in the almost 3 months we have been in the suck. It's creepy.

Which, to me, says but one thing, HE SPRAYS IT ON! Hence his moniker. Well spray on runs the flight line here; he's one of those guys who are the complete opposite of me. First of all he's skinny, but then on top of that he has complete control of himself at all times. Which if any of you who know me can attest, I have the temper of a wolverine on PCP. Anyways, we were working the other day and he came up and gave me the idea for the title of this post.

Now what the hell is the deal with the "5 gallon bucket brigade"? Well I'll tell you, everything here breaks at one time or another. Literally, everything breaks. At one time or another. Now whenever something breaks we usually have to wait months while the part to fix whatever it is comes in, and in the meantime we have to do by hand what used to be done by some mechanical contraption.

In this case, the thing that broke was a really big moveable gas tank that we use to fill an even bigger but immoveable gas tank on the other side of the FOB. Now when this thing is broken we have to fill this really huge gas tank using 5-gallon gas cans that we use to keep extra gas on our trucks.

So this damn tank broke, and sure enough they came and found me and some guys from my platoon to fill this thing. 5 gallons at a time. Fun for us. I was told by someone who loves to see me angry that the tank we had to fill held 2000 gallons. So off we go, filling one can with fuel, then emptying it into the tank and so on and on and on...

Now if it is true that the tank held 2000 gallons and we were filling this damn thing 5 gallons at a time that means we would have to have dumped 400 of these cans in there. And we were taking 10 cans back and forth to the fuel point every time so we had to do that how many times? For you math majors out there it is 40 times.

Well luckily for us the big tank that they use to fill the bigger tank got fixed right in the middle of us doing this little exercise and we didn't have to finish. Thank God, there was only so many times I could've done that before I would've taken a rag, soaked it in fuel, stuffed it into the tank and turned that fucking thing into the biggest Molotov cocktail the world has ever seen.

And then we played beer pong. Yes, I know there is no alcohol allowed in AssCrackIstan, which seems counter intuitive to me. They are always preaching that we need to keep morale high, well why not slip us a little booze every now and then. I mean really, is it too much to ask? A beer or two after an IED would definitely get the ringing out of your ears.

But we do have this non-alcoholic piss water that they keep around for God knows what. I do believe that it is an evil joke being played by all the military brass. Now enlisted men know that the brass can pretty much get whatever they want, whenever they want, wherever they want. Every enlisted man also knows that we cannot. So in order to entertain themselves at our expense they put something that looks like beer, tastes somewhat akin to beer and does in fact smell like beer in the chow hall. So that every time you walk past this shit, if nothing else you are cruelly reminded of just how badly your life sucks. As you stare at this can you start to dream of all the good times you had drinking with your friends, all the times you found a girl who was probably about as cute as a mule's ass but you were drunk so she looked like Brittany Snow, all the times you found a girl who was as pretty as Brittany Snow and thank God she was drunk because otherwise she would've seen that you did in fact, look like a mule's ass prior to waking up next to you the following morning. Ah, God bless beer.

Hey Benjamin Franklin once said, "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy!" And he invented bifocals, how could he ever be wrong?

Yes, enough of that tangent and back to the beer pong. We held the first annual Monthly Waza Khwa Beer Pong Tournament. (Yes, we know that monthly and annual don't go together. Up yours, it’s our tournament.) And we played. Whipping ping-pong balls around the MWR like it was your favorite spot back home. And drinking this piss water, I still feel like ass, and so this completes the cruel joke. Not only do you get none of the benefits of real beer, but also you actually do get all of the shitty parts. Well someone send my thanks to the procurement department of the military "chow hall stocking committee".

And we played beer pong for about 5 hours. I managed to get all the way to the championship round but I lost, which sucks. And I have yet to figure out exactly why we wanted to torture ourselves like this. Think about it. We are in a place where there are people who are trying on a fairly constant basis to end our lives, not to mention we have to work pretty much perpetually doing some of the stupidest shit you could ever come up with and yet we want to remind ourselves on a fairly regular basis of all the great shit we don't get to do anymore. Sounds like self-loathing to me. But I digress.

Anyways, we have been snowed on for about 3 days now so nothing else has been going on.

I am done for now.


I love you mom...

P.S. Hey spray on, the S.O.G. will get his comeuppance sometime soon. Just searching for a little inspiration.


  1. Well, I give you major props for the Beer Pong story. And for your enduring attitude to find the humor in worst.
    That my friend, is truly a talent.

    Stay Safe. God Bless* You are in my prayers!

  2. mudpuppy...If 'spray-on' needs supplies to keep that bronze look, let me know ;) Gotta help the guy hold on to his name!
    It does sounds as though you guys find endless ways of passing the time and maintaining a sense of humor.
    I deeply appreciate each and every one of you. Your sacrifices are far more than real beer or a tanning bed...
    Stay Strong!
    Pray Hard!

    ~AirmanMom returning to her blog...

  3. mudpuppy,

    Enjoyed your post, as always. I can't imagine how you figure out ways to pass the time over there.

    I definietly agree with AirmanMom on the fact that your sacrifices are more than beer and tanning beds.

    Stay safe. Prayers are speeding heavenward.


  4. glad that you have found ways to keep it "unreal" how are the puppies?

  5. glad to hear that you are keep it "unreal" more importantly how are the puppies? chicks dig puppies!

  6. You know damn well it is not a spray on tan. I am cherokee and you know this. I can't say I haven't visited a bed back home to maintain my already bronzen complexion, but hey, what can I do?

    Oh, and BTW... S.O.G. loves it when the showers are full.

  7. The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 01/19/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

  8. Did I hear on national news that for Super Bowl they are allowing the troops 2 beers each?


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