Drugs, War, and Journalists

Well, kind of a lot is happening this week, huh?

Started off the week with the malaria tablets. Haven’t had too much in the way of problems with that except for some rough dreams that seem to have gone away. Add to that my smallpox poke on Wednesday and I wasn’t much of a happy camper. The Z Monster came up and perched on my shoulders like a lonely vulture. Soothingly it whispered, “just close your eyes, it’ll be okay…all that stuff can wait. Sleeeeepppp…” From about 2PM on I was beat, among other things. “I will watch over and protect you, just rest your weary head…” But nay! The wanderings must go on! “Why? Why do you do this? Just a lil’ break…” Supper was uninspiring. That is to say, I simply couldn’t eat much. The food itself was probably fine. “Ah yes, after a meal, they always fall apart! Victory is mine!”

And it was. By 7:30PM I was a cot-confined individual. Just fine the next day. My blister looks like it is starting to raise up. Soon it will get nasty looking — I’d take pictures, but my camera died, sent back to the states for repair and those sorry bastiges won’t have it back to me before I leave on R&R most likely. Then it becomes a delightful scab before falling off in the third week to crawl away and attempt to infect other unwary souls. It’s not actually smallpox you get, but some live cowpox. Afterwards you are protected from smallpox, cowpox, and…monkeypox. Remember kids, it’s always a bad idea to consort too closely with monkeys. Sure they’re cute and all, and look like beloved members of your family, but they carry disease and throw shit. Nobody needs that.

So far no word on the Anthrax shots. I’d hope this thing will be over with by then and people can start calming down.

I guess it got around to the shooting. If that came as a suprise to anyone, you may hang your head in shame. For quite a while now there has been no doubt it was going to happen, and that was late last year. Hopefully it will be prosecuted in such a manner as to have the best possible outcome. So far it looks like a professional job, but it’s the aftermath you really have to be concerned with. Knocking down the 98 pound weakling is only the first step, and body counts and bad things aside, it’s the easy part. We’re at the highest threatcon right now but things are fairly quiet here. I am not concerned. Let me step back from that a bit — here in more-or-less REMF-land, I notice these kids don’t seem entirely comfortable with their weapons. They’ll all be carrying for the next couple of days at least, with two magazines in pockets but none loaded. Can’t have any ADs, you know. “Oops! Didn’t mean to shoot you, sorry!” Some of the poor bastards are required to wander around rucked up, too. So you have folks that have their chemical gear with them, some that don’t, and some that don’t have any at all. (Like us! But here I think it would be only a waste.)

Journalists…I am sure they are respected by their peers, and loved by their families. I wonder if they are aware how banal and inane their prattle is, and whether it bothers them. I am speaking more of the “I gotta fill time, so I am going to repeat everything you are saying back” syndrome. I think a lot of the questions they ask are probably equally stupid. The fact that they have no understanding of anything they are saying is probably somewhat more forgivable. After all, you can’t be a subject matter expert on everything. For example, there was one guy who was talking about being in an area with all these Bradleys, and he has the camera guy pan 360 degrees around to show them. There isn’t a damn Bradley in the bunch. He’s with a command group of some kind since the only tracks they do have are M113s and M577s. Who’s going to catch that one? Only a small percentage of the people. I guess it’s the questions that the anchors ask that bother me the most. “So, if the Iraqi forces don’t surrender, could they be fired upon, and potentially killed?” Well yes, you fucking idiot, that’s pretty much the way it works. What other brutally obvious observation could you make? “I notice there is a lot of dust in the area of desert you are travelling in. Why is that?” ACK!

10 Responses to “Drugs, War, and Journalists”

  1. Imported Comments Says:

    From Tom George:

    not to far from a flak jacket. Possible to deflect or absorb shrapnel. Can I say that here. Hmm, sounds life a great time for all there. Mu nephew in Kuwait is posting similar correspondence. I suppose a break from all that is is order. Keep your head down.

  2. Robert Says:

    Well, the only off-range shooting here is accidental so far. No casualties as of yet.

  3. Imported Comments Says:

    From eagl:

    Yea… Is it leaking pus yet? Blotchy red with clear fluid inside? Don’t scratch it or you’ll give the entire camp smallpox and then they’ll be mad at you.

    The USAF pamphlet “smallpox and you” (not real title, but close) says that you can even have sex after the smallpox shot but you should wear a shirt, so at least you have THAT going for you, it’s even officially sanctioned by doctors.

  4. Robert Says:

    Silly Eagl, can’t give anyone smallpox, we only got cowpox! They almost spazzed making the distinction between the two — it seems like everybody forgot you used to get this one as a matter of course way back when. It’s just a red splotch right now. It hasn’t been even a week. I was in the first bunch, but some of the other guys are further along. No itching, no big deal so far really.

    I am careful about touching my eyes though, cos they showed a scaaaary picture of some woman who got pox in her eyes — eeew! (Not like Cheech and Chong’s Earache in My Eye, of course.)

    And no, we didn’t get to have sex afterwards. That must be a special thing you flybabies negotiated separately. Wink Plus, the woman ratio is rather low, even if you take the local nationals into account.

    I think you are supposed to wear a hat, too…

  5. Imported Comments Says:

    From eagl:

    A hat? Neato! Did they issue a special hat, or did you have to find some tinfoil to make your own? I have a hat but it is too small so I wear it on the closet shelf to protect the shelf from dust.

  6. Robert Says:

    Well, if you were cool, you’d have a beanie with a propellor AND your name on it! HA!

  7. Robert Says:

    Ok, then I will allow you to be cool.

    PS – I was there — that was a gimme. :)

  8. Imported Comments Says:

    From eagl:

    I do I do!!!!! Tone gave it to me, and it’s proudly displayed on my bookshelf next to my autographed copy of Bob Shaw’s book :)

  9. Imported Comments Says:

    From eagl:

    Ah, the good old days. When banning was limited to hackers and HT merely ignored feedback…

  10. Robert Says:

    Before Missing Man flyovers became so common…

    (but when there was still a volcano to dive into!)

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