Munchkin Land

Oh yes, the same old repetitive song and dance, how I love it. Drive one day, walk around with the radio the next. I swear I'm just along for the ride, truth be told.

The kids today all swarmed me. It's pretty much the only somewhat interesting thing about going out anymore, and even that gets old quick. Hordes of kids poking and prodding me, yanking on my gear, competing for my attention, all wanting to high five and handshake and facemake and babble to me in Arabic. I use this time to practice my Japanese.

"Mista! Shismeck! (What's your name?)"


They repeat it to themselves like they're trying to word out, getting a taste for it. Like feeling a new car or something. That's right, I'm Batman.

They'd crowd around me, asking for candy or soccer balls, overwhelming me with little-kid-chaos, and I was for the most part cool with it. "That's right, little children, swarm! Swarm around me as I take a knee here. Hopefully no one will shoot me now."

To me, it's all the same faces, the same streets, same everything. Meet new people but they're still the same. See new houses but still, you've already been there. Post the same post I did last time because it's all one huge deja vu, repetitive and surreal.

Someday the dream will end.

Yes, I'll wake up in my bed in Montana someday and just lay there. I'll lay there and ponder, until I start to question whether I was ever in the army or not. Because one day, I'll leave this place, and it'll be almost like I was never here. That alternate life discontinued, the original life taken off hold, off the back burner, put back in the driver's seat with a new perspective. Enjoy it. The clean country, advanced civilization, taking things for granted, the good life, a house on Easy Street. Complaining about little shit. Why not?

Perspective is easy to lose out here, I gotta tell ya. All them fancy ideals and beliefs and all that delicious horseshit we swallowed by the shovelfull just doesn't cut the mustard some days, and all the wasted time, the countless hours spent waiting at an outpost or sitting in a truck or walking around a neighborhood that'll be completely quiet and peaceful and bad-guy free until you leave and someone gets murdered, it all just seems like a big messy nothing. A paradox of bullshit.

That's why you have to have something, ANYTHING to keep you into it. The politics of it don't make sense? You said it pal. So what then? Your recruiter lied? Hahaha, you too huh? Failed operation, repeat of Vietnam? You really think that? You being a liberal, boy? So you lost the taste for all of this, and that's the bottom line?

Well fuckin A, Suspect, that just isn't good enough. You're still here [YOU SIGNED A CONTRACT, JOE, NOW EAT IT!], so you should make the best of your time and try to do something. Well what then?

"Cover the story." Simple enough, right? Let them mad little piss and vinegar keystrokes of yours flurry until yet another barely comprehensible rant is slapped onto the web, because there isn't really anything else constructive to do. You're here to survive and forget about it all right? Well people are reading, for who knows how many reasons. So cover the story, pal.

Yeah, I can do that. Seems simple enough. But there's just one problem. It's so boring and monotonous most of the time? Guess I have to make things interesting however I can huh?

Sidenote [obligatory action scene]

"Hey, any of your guys wanna blow this?" an EOD (explosive ordnance disposal) guy asks. My team leader from firefighting looks to me.

"Butters? Wanna set it off?"

I took off for the EOD truck quick fast and in a hurry. Like hell am I going to waste another day. I've got to do SOMETHING, right? Well this'll do it. I haven't blown anything up in two months now.

"All right, ya take this wire and plug it into that yellow deal, press that button to charge it, then this button to blow it," explains an EOD guy of obvious Southern origin.

Little yellow detonator rests in my hand and I rip my gloves off, hang the Oakley eye protection on my vest, and crawl to the back of the truck to watch out the window. They call up the countdown on the radio and I hold the little button to charge it. A light slowly illuminates.

"Fire in the hole, fire in the hole, fire in the hole."

I press the tiny little button. A minute amount of pressure, and explosives in the house 70 meters away explode. I can visibly see the shock wave travel across the sand in wild ripples. In movies, there are awesome fireballs. In reality, every speck of dust you never knew was there is kicked up and it swells and dissipates in the wind, but not in any quick fashion. BOOM! and then dust obscuring everything. Makes for some confusing aftermath.

"...Cool. Thanks guys," I say.

"No problem. Now, they're calling up for you. They want you on the truck behind us."

And so I walk a few dozen feet down the road to one of our Strykers. Groups of people stand in their gates from every direction, staring at the spectacle, and at me. For a moment, I wonder if they think or know that I set off those charges. Then the ramp drops and I pile in. Who cares, right? It was kind of cool.

[Resume monotony.]


  1. Jenni said...
    Haven't talked to you in a while, Doughboy (maybe you've been too busy writing Alana and not me?!) ;) your birthday's coming up on the 21st...(I'll make sure Chris doesn't "forget" it again, lol). It makes me remember last year, which was awesome. You know we'll do it again when you get home (minus Chad trying to call the cops and Cory getting yelled at for, well, being Cory, ha ha).

    Miss you, and chris says hi. he's on his way to base to go yell at some guys for screwing up his re-enlistment papers...i guess it's a pretty tough job, reading which box is checked off and entering it right into the computer. ;)
    Anonymous said...
    Say, (Batman - that's a great name to use :) are those kids on the streets always boys? On tv, it's always boys we see. Are they the little "Huck Finns"?
    4/2 mom
    Anonymous said...
    I do believe you started this whole thing claiming to be a Greek or Roman god... so now that you have a swarm of minions, are you satisfied? I'm glad you called yourself Batman & not Zeus. Makes me wonder.. do you think God gets bored? Only you could make boredom an exciting read!

    Aunt Sandy
    Anonymous said...
    Hey Batman,
    I stumbled upon you by mistake and I keep coming back because you tell it like it is. I haven’t found you to be boring at all, just the opposite. You are a talented writer and I find what you have to say to be interesting, insightful and very funny. Everything you have written has been worth reading.
    If you’re now Batman, I’m going to call myself Wonder Woman. I wanted to grow up to be her when I was a kid.
    Hang in there Batman---Wonder Woman will be coming back to read.
    Anonymous said...
    Great to see a posting again. We miss reading them! I'm with Jenni, we'll have a greaty party when you get home! If anyone tries to open a bottel on my island again or call the cops it will get ugly, maybe LOL!

    Miss and love you lots!
    julie anna said...
    I still peek in here quite a bit even though I keep quiet at times. I remember a post awhile back about them calling you Butters and it appears they still do. That's so funny. Butters is my fave on South Park. The other little guys are all asses, but not Butters. Anyway, stay safe Suspect.

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