Saturday, June 23, 2007

Letters From Iraq: Midway Through Deployment

Hi folks, just thought I’d give everyone a little update.

We’re now past the halfway mark of the deployment and in recognition the regimental command has stepped up their Herculean efforts to obliterate the remains of our long forgotten morale. Yesterday it was passed down that everyone on the camp that carries an M-16 rifle (or variation) must now carry it at the ready, instead of slung on their back. This is absurd because the camp is surrounded by a huge base, which hasn’t been attacked in years.

In addition, although the rifles must be carried ready to engage invisible ninja terrorists that could appear anywhere, it is against camp rules to carry the weapon loaded.

Luckily this doesn’t apply to those who made this new policy because they all carry pistols. I hope they wear a thick coat of ninja-repellant at all times.

On the upside, I’m becoming reacquainted with some of the Iraq wildlife that had been previously dormant due to seasonal remission. Camel spiders have recently been found wandering around the area we live. Camel spiders are huge, ugly, soul-consuming death machines that resemble spiders, but are in fact earthly manifestations of the devil himself.

One had posted itself outside the door of J., one of the Marines here. We can only assume that it was sucking his life-force out through the closed door, slowly turning him into some sort of living-dead. T., his pal, coming to borrow a movie, opened the door (it was dark, he initially didn’t notice the creature lurking in the shadows), saw it, and jumped back of the way, slamming the door in the process. J. came out to see what the commotion was, also saw the beast and retreated back to the safety of his room, fortifying himself bravely on a chair whilst screaming in order to confuse the animal’s senses.

T., acting on a moment of uncertainty, brought his foot down on its ferocious head in an attempt to stun it. He tried three times, twice being unsuccessful in damaging its outer shell. Finally, somewhat bashed in, we (I, along with a veritable mob, had appeared by this time) succeeded in pulling the fiend off the porch where we proceeded to light it on fire. This in itself was a task because as everyone knows, evil is resistant to fire. The proper additives had to be introduced in order to produce a suitable flame to cast the treacherous soul back to the nether-regions of hell.

First we soaked the writhing caprice in hand sanitizer (in order to cleanse the area with a lasting flame and also kill 99.9% of all germs). After that we prepared some body spray in order to produce a blowtorch effect to really get the blaze going. Lastly we threw some mouthwash on top of the solution for no purpose other than to provide the condemned minty breath. Then we lit it up. And that was the first camel spider we found this deployment.

Another little touching point I wanted to share with you didn’t actually come from me but I have been obsessing about it for a couple of days. Someone pointed out to me how perfect our large “7-ton” trucks are for anti-zombie operations.

The 7-tons are huge trucks (named 7-tons for their before armor weight) that are used mostly for troop and supply transport and heavy towing. The cargo area is raised about 6 feet off the ground and accessible by ladder only, creating a natural choke point when entering the back. The new versions have armor plates surrounding the bed preventing any intrusion from the sides or front (especially from the un-coordinated jerky movements of the undead). They have huge all-terrain tires that would be impervious to all human-sized bites and would easily crush a fairly hefty zombie. The vehicles all have built in air-compressors for emergency tire refills and fuel racks on the side to store extra gas to postpone unnecessary and often dangerous stops. The cab is encased in double paned bullet-proof glass impervious to the beatings of angry, brain hungry fists. The front doors are really tricky to open and lock with a solid steel bar. Tow hitches and electric winches provide the capability of quick tow away rescues and heavy machine gun mounts provide a long range fire-support.

Those who know me know that I joined the Marines in the hopes of someday participating in the quelling of a zombie uprising and when I realized that these vehicles were so ideal for my ideal mission, naturally I got excited.

Here in Iraq the vehicles are next to useless. They’re too bulky for the narrow streets. Mass transport is dangerous with the numerous IEDs. They’re slow. They’re as hard to get out of as into and they’re prone to getting stuck in soft sand. So logically they’re frequently used in day to day operations. I know that the only reason the United States Marine Corps would use out-dated vehicles like the 7-tons and humvees is that they are preparing: crouching, slowly tightening their haunches for one fierce spring onto the back of the innocent gazelle that is the world zombie population.

Beware all ye undead. The Marines are on to you…

El Pocket Lint

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