6.19.2007

Fun With Little Kids

Another fun filled day of adventure resulting in a wicked heat rash on my back.

At one point, when I was on a knee on the sidewalk, all the kids that were hanging around mobbed me because I made the mistake of waving, smiling, and the big no-no: high fiving one of them. They swarmed me, wanting me to slap hands with them, like I was some sort of rock god or something.

"Mista! Mista!!!"

All these shrieking voices loud like waves crashing against rocks, flailing arms everywhere, bizarre patterns of moving colors that can only be T-shirts. And then the next part begins.

"Mista! You give!"

"Mista! Football!" (Iraqis love soccer).

"Money! Money!"

And there I am, laughing and furrowing my eyebrows, saying, "Fuck you man, I don't have a football, and I'm not giving you any goddamn money--"

Another one wants a high five. Kids are pushing and punching each other just to hit my glove. My sweat-stained glove, several shades darker than it was when I bought it.

The interpreter tells me that one of the kids wants to know if I bought my M4. These kids are nuts. We pick up and move elsewhere, and not much later, I'm passing more kids screaming, "Mista!" I don't even acknowledge half of them because they're just demanding shit from me, and because its hot as hell and I'm sweating and my back hurts and my knees and feet are screaming at me and I know our mission is going to entail more than its supposed to, just like always.

One kid holds his hand out for a high five. I decide to oblige the little nipper and lift my hand from my rifle to meet his. This little bastard drops his hand and looks away, struggling to contain the laughter at the fact that he just completely punked a soldier. I looked at him, thinking, "You little son of a bitch!"

What the hell is this? I'm an ICON! Who the hell is he to deny me my own decision to grace his hand with my presence? I am a comic book hero badass!

If I would have had a dollar, I would have thrown it at his feet just to catch a quick look at kids and maybe even grown men mobbing him, beating the piss out of him, while I stroll onward to our next objective. But no, I had to throw in for the damn cookout.

Now, I'll leave it to you to decide which of these little stories is more messed up, and by messed up, I mean hilarious. But before you cast your final condemning vote, hear this last one.

I knocked on a door of some house, because that's what I was told to do and that's all you need to know for now. This tiny little dude answers the door. He must have only been two or three years old. The door opens and this small eyes stare up at me and grow instantly huge, wide and full of fear.

There, standing before him, is six feet one inches of army combat uniform pattern, desert boots, body armor, ammo pouches, a rifle, a breach tool, a helmet, and dark sunglasses hiding the eyes.

The kid completely LOSES his shit.

He opens his mouth as wide as it will go and lets loose the most terrified scream I have ever heard. As he continued to scream, he backpedaled three or four steps until his back hit the wall, and it was right about then that the other guys I was with make their way to the doorway. Decked out in the same fashion, except these guys are 6'3" or so, and unlike me, have some body mass behind them. Big dudes.

The kid, back to the wall, raises his hands and shakes them, flailing them about in an extremely comical manner, as he continues to scream bloody murder. He's completely freaking out, and finally gets his head together just enough to bolt into the living room and hide behind his father's leg.

I took my sunglasses off, in an attempt to show that yes, I am a human. I approached the man, and by doing that, the little boy as well. Before I could so much as kneel, the kid lost it again.

It was hysterical.

5 Comments:

  1. Anonymous said...
    Your stories are very interesting. You make it easy to visualize what your days are like over there. Keep writing.
    I'm waiting for October.

    Love You

    Dad
    Anonymous said...
    Somehow I never saw "Scare the piss out of a 3 yr old" as part of the Army's advertising campaign. It's funny how these kids built up your ego then slammed it to the ground! Glad you have something to laugh at for a while. Stay safe!

    Aunt Sandy
    Anonymous said...
    All the stories are great, well written, interesting to read and visualize! Ambassadors and warriors...which role is more rewarding.
    Take care...glad you all get a day "off" now and then!
    4/2 mom
    Anonymous said...
    Ha! Way to go about "winning hearts and minds" there Mr. Ambassador Soldier!
    How much fun can you have in one day?
    Very funny!
    Cathy B
    Jarod said...
    Yeah I'm not gonna lie to ya, the kid freaking out was hilarious! any time you can make a three yr old crap his pants because of your presence, is priceless and deserves an award...or cookies...

    -Cousin Jarod

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