Top five dumb things I did this week.
1. Going on mission with the wrong eyewear.
Note to self: It gets dark at night. Just because you roll out at , don’t expect to be home by dark. We never go outside the wire without eye and ear protection. I am a nazi about it, and the boys don’t ever not do it, because they value their eyesight (and their paychecks—if I catch them without the glasses). The eyewear of choice is the Wiley-X sunglasses. (For those who are thinking about them, I’ve used the following models: SG-1, SG-1 V-cut, CQC Goggle, XL-1, and PT-1. Every model except the PT-1 fogs up like the golden gate bridge. I had to poke holes with a hot needle in the lenses of the SG-1s to mitigate it, and cut out some of the foam around the lens, but it still isn’t enough.) Anyway, there I am, sitting at an OP, in the middle of the night, wearing sunglasses. Choice between being blind, and risking being blinded. I compromised. The NVGs I was using (A/N PVS 14, for those who are interested) are monocular, so I popped out one of the lenses on the SG-1s and put the NVG over that eye, and kept the other one in. Sure, I have the clear lenses for the SG-1s. They were in a pouch on my shelf when I left.
2. When The Pin on Mr. Grenade is Pulled, he is not our friend.
Note to self: As far as grenades go, I don’t schlep around the frags. I keep them in the truck until I need them, which is usually right before I get out of the truck to raid something. No point in a) carrying the extra weight (they are a little over 1 LB each) and b) risking getting them snagged on one of the other hundreds of things I have tied to me. Now, I do carry smoke grenades in my pouches. A red one for MEDEVAC, and a purple for marking, and a white one for obscuration. I also carry a flashbang, because it can serve my purposes until the frags are needed. Well we needed a smoke grenade to mark our position for the whirlybirds who were helping us look for bad guys in the palm groves. I reached into my pouch, pulled a smoke grenade, pulled (and subsequently tossed away) the pin, and realized I was holding the wring friggin grenade. Mr. Flashbang sat there in my hand. It’s the same size and shape as a smoke grenade, and I couldn’t tell the different texture because I was wearing gloves. The spoon is taped down when it rides in the pouch, but I’d already torn that off, so I couldn’t set it next to me. Sure I could throw it, but it’s really loud and everyone would think we were being attacked. So I said “Here, hold this” to my driver, took out the marking grenade, and tossed it instead, this time keeping the pin, which I put back in the flashbang. Stupid is as stupid does.
3. If god wanted me to eat goats, he’d have made me an Arab.
Note to self: The food here will give you the squirts. Never drink the water, unless boiled. Goat actually tastes a lot like pork. (another note to self: Don’t feel the need to share this with Muslims who are providing the goat) Really greasy pork. Ever eat a plate of really greasy pork chops? Ones that were cooked in canal water? Ever feel your intestines percolate like a coffee pot? You may have to eat the food to not offend, but don’t eat hearty, and take an immodium. (another note to self: a) carry immodium on your truck b) carry baby wipes.) Since I use hand sanitizer religiously—I don’t carry the wipes with me. Holding it is usually the best course of action. Wait until I can get back to the little plastic box to poop. Well, that wasn’t necessarily in the cards. I’ll spare you the details, save to say that I could have shit on a screen door and not hit a wire.
4. Clipping the mic to your helmet is a bad idea.
The hand-mic. It has a clip on the back for some unknown reason. You need it to hear and talk on the radio, and the clip holds it almost perfectly to your head while wearing a helmet. This allows you to do other things with your hands. Like drink coffee, play with your map, scratch yourself… you know, other things. When dismounted, clipping on your helmet keeps your hands free for shooting and other stuff.
When you have to get out of the truck in a hurry, having something attached to your head that is also tethered to the truck is not so good. You end up wrapped up in the cord, lying on the ground with a very sore neck.
5. Portajons stink. (Note to self, for extended sitting sessions, bring air fresheners.) My life is getting entirely too poop-centric. We don’t have plumbing, so I crap in a plastic box. Just like everyone else. These boxes sit in the sun all day and ferment, for lack of a better term. They are emptied daily, but after Mexican night in the DFAC, they get a lot of repeat customers in 24 hours. Must remember to keep the anti-stink spray close by the wipes.
Okay, the last one wasn’t all that dumb, just forgetful.