Memorable Quote to LIVE by:

"If you're going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it, or else you're going to be locked up." Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Kuwait 2008 Big Country Versus The Bat


Konnichi wah Y’all
That’d be jap oh heeno for “Good Evening Ya’ll”  Yep, the Intrepid and Bored Reporter here to fill in the blanks (again) not that a hell of a lot has been happening here.  Truth be told, It’s about as exciting as watching paint dry ‘round these here parts, so if this seems a bit on the light side on info and fun stuff, so be it. 

As you can tell, I’ve sorta been in a kind of a funk lately; see’n’s how there is nothing wild nor exciting happening here in Kuwait.  Well, nothing locally exciting, well, then again, maybe it is, maybe it ain’t… as you can see the old IR is in a sorta kinda contradictory sort of mood.    Long and the short of it, well really, the long of it is I’m still waiting to hear about the Japan Job. 

Now for those of you who haven’t heard, I got the job in Yokohama North Dock with a new company.  The IR scored huge with this one folks…. British Aerospace Engineering, better known as BAE.  It’s the second largest contracting company in size and money, and its waaaay exciting to think I might have a shot at staying with them for a while.  BAE is better known for its current production of the JSF, the Joint Strike Fighter which is the Navy’s new toy.  I got to see one in the Dulles Annex when I went through there with Ryan and Doctor D and as far as companies go, it’s considered to be a real “brass ring” to get hired with them.  I got lucky… they needed an AWRDS clerk/pc puke and I got the gig. 

OK the geek in the back is asking “What’s AWRDS and why did you get the job?”
To satisfy this, I gotta explain in simple terms.  AWRDS stands for Army War Reserve Depot Supply System. (Or something to that effect… I’ve been downing some “Evil Green Nasty” so I’m short on the old memory tonight) But anyways, it’s the ‘new’ supply tracking software and it was created and owned by my current company Stanley ASSociates.  And yeah, I did capitalize the ASS in this.  More on this in a bit.  Anyways, some how some where the Army decided it’s going to use AWRDS to track any and ALL equipment… from the M1A2 Abrams Tank, to literally small bags ‘o bolts.  Stanley ASSociates licenses other companies to use it and they do… all over the entire world.  It is, for my geekdom friends out there it’s an SQL Based DB with some really easy to use and intuitive GUIs.  It has to be seeing that an 18 year old supply clerk with nothing but a GED needs to be able to use it.  Now, by no means am I COMPLETELY literate in using it.  I do have a pretty good grasp, and, having worked for the past 18 months with it with the company that created it, I was a prime candidate for the job in Japan.  Now I did get the job.  I’m just waiting on contract award (meaning that BAE is rebidding and we’re both, me and BAE that is are waiting on the word on it)  They’re going to be needing an AWRDS puke, and I got the gig as I stated before.  Now I wait.

It’s like that classic Russian story “Waiting for Godot.” 
“”Should we wait longer?” 
“We shall see.”

It’s so dragging out to have to wait.  I’m a bit stir crazy as I want out of A) The Middle East and B) Out of Stanley.  Throw C) the local situation deteriorating, and I got my “three-fucking-strikes-it’s-time-to-pop-smoke” award.  The Main reasons for both are A) Iran and B) No way am I ever going to move up any more in my current enslaver…er… make that company.  C) I’ll cover in a few…

To explain part A specifically… I’ve had a couple of you audience members give me shit about wanting to hightail it out of here on account of Iran and the Head Weirdbeard  Moosestuffer I’madinnerjacket.  Terms like ‘Pussy’ have been bandied about.  That’s cool… I can see the rationale in your minds, but let me explain further, and see how you’d look at it. 

Luck to me, well,  I have come to the realization that LUCK is a finite thing.  Only so much of it in yer life, and then shit happens!  This especially in my case.  I wasn’t nicknamed “Big Country The Mortar Magnet” for no reason… I’ve burned through a whooooole lotta good luck… generations worth of previously untapped Irish Luck is what I attribute it to. I’d be lying to say that things are peachy fucking ducky over here.  The military has in the past 6 months built large numbers of bunkers on base (where there ain’t been none before, to include 2001 til now.)  Nothing secret about it.  If anything, the bad guys are well aware of the buildup.  To me, the military doesn’t spend money UNLESS there’s what we call a Tom Clancy moment.  For the geek in the rear of the room and editorial sake, that means a “Clear and Present Danger.”  Now do you get it?  The fact of the matter is I’m working on a target that’s 100 miles across the Persian/Arabian Gulf and that’s well within range.  Again, nothing secret.  You can go to Google maps and even pull up my workplace on it in full glorious color pictures with a resolution that can actually show individual tanks and trucks.  All courtesy of the French satellite imagery, mind you.  Don’t that just about cover it?  Dirty frog bastids.  Add in enough aircraft carrier strike groups and the assorted support bullshit, and I’m willing to bet I’ll shortly be able to walk from Mahboula Beach here in Kuwait to the Eastern Shore of the Straight of Hormuz with out getting my combat boots damp.  Yeah, we see by the latest news that 2 US carrier groups and 1 British Carrier Group and even the Fucking Cowardly French are getting in on the act.  There’s already 2 full carrier groups here, so it’s getting fucking crowded out there…  That’s a whoooooole shitpile of large floating objects people.

But I digress, per my usual ramblings.  Yeah, the bunkers, the regular air raid siren drills, shit like that adds up to a real “Fuck.” Moment.  I mean they didn’t have any sort of protective stuff on base until around November of last year (remember all the saber rattling?)  It’s not the actions of the US per se that has me nervous, but the fucking Israelis.  The Iranians have said flat out they’d hit “any and all American interests in the region.” And to me, they’d have to hit us, seeing we’re the biggest base and have all the cool toys that the Army needs to fight a war with.  I figure if they hit the base, it’ll be game the fuck over.  I even have a plan, seeing that the odds are in favor of a chemical or gas attack.  That’d be per doctrine the easiest and smartest thing to do.  Area Deniability.  Cover my work area with chem. Or gas or bio and all them toys are rendered fucking useless until they can be decontaminated, not to mention that all of us poor dead fuckers who’d be trapped and gassed on base.  Real pleasant right?  My plan is that if anything happens, I’m boogying before it can.  I didn’t live through 22 months of Bombs Over Baghdad in the club formerly known as the Saddam-A-Go-Go to get wasted as collateral damage to a foreign policy that’s gone insane.  Hell, I still haven’t hit Tokyo Joes Bar n Grill.  THAT’S where I want to be.

Part B of the equation is that I’ve hit the proverbial ‘glass ceiling’ here… or maybe it’d be better calling it what it is, which is that I’m “not down with the brown.”  Yeah… only 3 of us are white dudes and I’m the only redneck.  This is out of 54 people.  I heard we might get another honky… er… Caucasian in, but for now… makes for lonely times I’m here to tell ya.  It’s not discrimination de facto, more like de jure.  I mean others got promoted up to Analyst 2 at their six month marker.  Me, try 14 months, and with not a single negative action on my record.  There is just no way in hell I’ll be allowed to be a manager here, not with the current crop of rejects in charge of this house.  That and the money sucks donkey cock.  And that I’ve made a pest of myself in demanding to be treated as an equal… yeah, drama in the orifice, who’d a thunk it?  It’s actually sort of funny because I get away with making all sorts of fucked up comments though…  My favorite is that when they give me a shitty assignment: “Hey BC… we need you to find this tonight…”  That usually means that I have to scour an 8.5 square kilometer box o’ sand to find one individual item (usually a truck) and the 8.5 sq km is full of 2500 exactly duplicate trucks.  At night.  All night.  Damned near every night.  I usually will do it, but I throw out there the line “This’s a ‘white thing isn’t it?”  Gets ‘em every time. 
So yeah, cold feet?  You bet your ass on that one.  Shitty Pay, Shitty Company, fucked up future circumstances waiting to blow...  I mean fuck this with bells on man.

I mean come on.  There’s no jobs that pay worth a fuck in the States right now, and Japan?  Hell.  Land O Da Rising Sun?  I’m digging the idea of hitting Roppongi and Shibuya and looking for Austin Powers fine friends Fook Yu and Fook Mei.  Get me outta here ASAFP.  I mean given the choice of looking at the local women, who here currently either resemble Ninjas and/or Imperial Guards on the Death Star, and for that matter most of the broads who AREN’T uncovered, well, lets just say that 98% of them you practically WANT them to cover up or would pay someone to cover them.  Who knew Arab Wimmen can braid their mustache hairs? It’s the Lee Sisters on Patrol… you know…  Ugly, Homely, Beastly… the whole gamut.  Now in Japan… Hoo hoo hoo…  Tiny Japanese girly girls in miniskirts?  Shit, I have better stop now before the wife crawls through my CAT 5 cable and stomps a mudhole in my ass.  Like I said, given a choice?  Hands fucking down its time to Cowboy Up and Slant Down.

Part C) is that the Peasants are revolting.  (Cue Mel Brooks: “You bet, they stink on ice!”)  Yeah.  All is not well here in Kuwait.  The ‘foreign guest workers’ so euphemistically named in the local English newspaper have been getting a mite ‘uppity’ lately, and having the bad form to be in open revolt.  Leastways they were last week… up until the Kuwaiti Ministry for Public Safety (read Gestapo) unleashed a battalion worth of Kuwaiti Special Forces on the rioting crowds.  Between the billy clubs and CS, they handled it really fucking quickly.  All the ‘foreign agitators’ were arrested and deported posthaste back to whatever third world shithole they spawned from.  Now, turning off my ‘snark-o-meter’, what essentially happened was a whole bunch of Indonesian and Bangladeshi workers got pissed off at being pissed on, and subsequently went on a 4 ward rampage demanding their rights (the bounders!)  They burned a bunch of cars, one police station, and generally made it look like the LA Riots.  Us Americans weren’t in much danger that I can tell, but still, unsettling to see it.  Seems the fair rights they demanded was less work (they currently work an 14-18 hour shift daily) and fair pay, (they were promised 60 Kuwaiti Dinars and month but actually only see 12 KD a month) after their sponsor company gets through railing them.  It’s kind of like that song:  “I owe my soul to the company store…”  The company that enslaved them I mean employed them takes out $$$ for food, housing and their work visa.  It’s a titanic screwing if you realize that 60KD as of current exchange rates is equal to $228 dollars using the conversion of $3.80 to the KD.  They get left with 12KD… that’s like $45 US by the time they are done getting fucked. 

Yeah… 7 days a week, 18 hour days at ball breaking work, and they LINE UP back in the home country for the opportunity to work here.  It’s when they got fucked over so openly that the strikes and riots started.  That scared the piss out of the Kuwaitis as they are wholly incapable of working at anything other than buying Lamborghinis and counting their cashola.  The concept of the peasants revolting spurred not a debate of “How can we improve things?” but “Do we use non lethal means first to try and calm things before sending in the Tanks?”  Like I said, ugly in capital letters, 24 point boldface if you will.

Ok… lets see… bitched about work, bitched about waiting… bitched about the riots… HMMN… Lessee… OH!  I remember one now.  This is called :
BIG COUNTRY VERSUS THE BAT
Now what with all the Batman hype and shit with Heath “OD” Ledger and the Joker and all that, I had my own little run in with the Goddamned Batman’s little fuzzy and flying bag’s o’ skin and I figure I’ll tell it now.  Yep.  Larry and I were out labeling trucks (1am local time) and Larry, for those who haven’t heard is my current work partner.  Well, we only had one can of glue between the two of us, and we’re just diddle boppin along, taking turns huffing said aforementioned glue. (Nothin like a good 3M Buzz to make the night glide by!)   So we go up to the back of this big ole truck, and Larry hits the metal gate or something… I dunno what.  Well, the metal does what metal does and it made this nice ringing “BONG! sound. 

No sooner than the ringing of the metal starts then this blur of ‘something’ blasts out of the back of the truck.  I think the truck was a 5 Ton, as the gate and deck was up at my eye level… nothing small about these trucks to say the least.  Well anyways, this dark blur comes bailing out of the back at warp speed and hits Larry in the head with a squeak.  Said flying object rebounds off of his squash, and before I can move, whackum!  I get a face full of bat. 

Stinky-Squeaking-Slapping-me-in-the-face-Bat.

Yup.  Lil Bastard comes DIRECTLY at my face at warp factor five and slams in my grill.  Before I can even register it, the poor lil fucker gets hemmed up immediately in between my Ball Cap brim and hangin on my glasses.  His (or Her) little funky body is pressed clear up against my face, and it’s musty little leathery wings are slapping me on either side of my face and head.  It’s squeaking to beat the fucking band and me?  I did what anyone would.

I fucking screamed like a bitch.

And not a girly scream either.  Nope.  This was a Full Throated “HOLY MOTHER OF GOD I HAVE A BAT ATTACHED TO MY FUCKING FACE” kind of scream.  I got the shit slapped out of me by its wings, and as it was fighting me, I immediately ripped off my hat.  Good thing I did because as it flew off, I get to see my Partner coming up to me with his Mag Light (the Rodney King Signature Edition) hefted up like he’s gonna club said aforementioned flying fucking rat off my face…  

Rather he thought he was.  

Thankfully, and unlike what would have normally happened (meaning as the bat flies off, Larry caves in my grill with a mongasso flashlight) the bat took off like, well, a Bat out of hell is an apt description, and Larry stopped in mid-club.  Good thing too… got me a hunch the dental bills would have damned near ruined both our days.  Me for having get a new grill built, and him for having to pay for the grill replacement.  Yeah… He then of course starts giving me shit about it… “Man, nice scream.  How’s yer underpants?”  I’m like “Shut the fuck up…” I’d like to see how HE would have reacted if the damned thing  had gotten hemmed up in HIS face. 

Leastways, I didn’t get bit, and I didn’t, for the record, shit myself. Close but no cigar but  it was definitely a near thing.  Goddamn the Bats AND Batman. 

So… that’s like the height of my entertainment for the past few weeks.  Bat Attack and waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting. 

Did I mention waiting?
That’s it for now, I’ll try to come up with something else in my next email.  Until then, I remain
The Intrepid Reporter
Big Country
Billy




5 comments:

  1. It could have been a vulture... Japan, you think they are ready for you? If it ain't against opsec, where oh where in Japan would you be doing your thang and swatting Mothra?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Shit, should have looked at the date... Man I smoked something and did something. Just fucking ignore me.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I remember the ‘foreign guest workers’ protest in '08. I was doing an upgrade to the Arifjan satellite dishes for the people that didn't exist. It was a 3 month job where I was in a cushy apartment that came with a driver and a cook/housekeeper for 6 weeks. Then the head guy with no rank or last name told me my team had to move to their compound and live in a tent. We had escorts when we left their compound. We went from a relaxed 10 hour work day to a 12 to 14 hour day to get to the next job as we wanted out of the area that doesn't exist on Arifjan.

    Sorry to hear about the crappy pay. I did the contractor gig for 9 years after I retired from the Air Force where I was making about 4 times what I did as an E-7. I got fed up with Army mentality and retired again 4 years ago. Six months ago I took a part time job as a school bus driver that advertised 30 hours a week. I am averaging 45 hours and the elementary and middle school is like coddling Ricky Recruits.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great story, and no bat shit reported either. Now that you put this out there from 2008, how about the follow on, we are all hanging by the nuts wanting to know if you ever made it to Tokyo bay. Peace or cash, both have benefits.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I laughed so hard at the bat part of the story that coffee came out my nose.

    ReplyDelete