The More Things Change…

We had some huge changes in personnel over the last few weeks but even with the fresh faces of new staff, KAF remains pretty much the same; some food was good, more food was bad, my workmates made inane comments and a Surf lost it’s wheel.

Spotted yesterday by M near the fuel point.

Spotted yesterday by M near the fuel point.

Changing of the Guard

We said goodbye to about 1/2 of our staff over the last month or so as their contracts came to an end and they moved on to other things. These folks had all spent from 2 1/2 to 4 years in KAF which is enough for anyone (I write as I embark on year 5…I’m a fuckin’ idiot). We had quite a cast of characters. The great thing about the people who choose to work in a shithole like this is that they’re all hanging around the edges of the “normal” bell-curve. Whatever else you can say about KAF-rats, we’re memorable personalities. While there were a couple of the normal interpersonal incompatibilities on our team, we shared a unique experience, it was never boring and we saved some coalition lives in the process. Best of luck to Sky, Randy, Lou, Beth, Andre, Sly, Tom, Donny, Dave and Jim as you begin new and less smelly adventures.

Welcome to the new bunch of guys, six of whom are Aussies. They’ve lowered the average age of our team by about 20 years while increasing the prevalence of mispronounced vowels significantly. It’s great to get some new, enthusiastic blood on the team but their ability to fill out paperwork without reaching for their reading glasses and disinterest in our talk of prescriptions and colonoscopies are just plain weird.

L, and her husband R, also departed today for a very extended vacation to set up house in the States. She’ll be returning only to cover K’s time off and he’s leaving KAF permanently to run his business in Houston. While we’ll all miss the opportunities to mock her use of words like lorry and dustbin, Britain’s stupid electrical standard and A4 paper, we’ll be okay without R’s tales of the fresh strawberries, gourmet food, unicorns and rainbows at Camp Lindsey. Have fun, kids!

Talk of the Town

Me: “I didn’t mind being here for New Year’s. It’s always seemed like such an arbitrary, contrived celebration to me”.
D: “Oh, I don’t know. I like the way we pause to look back on noteworthy events of the past year…I can’t remember any at the moment, but you know what I mean.”

L: “I couldn’t believe it when I was out driving last night. There were these US army blokes out running. There were about 20 of them and 2 more..”
So, like, 22?”
L: “Fuck off. No. I mean like 10 running on either side of the road
and 2 right in the middle of the road. What the hell was up with that group of assholes?”
What is the collective noun for a group of assholes? You know, like a gaggle of geese…a what of assholes?”
D: “It’s called a platoon.”

At the Cambridge:
D: “The pie was pretty good; the crust was soggy but you could get through it
Me:”And you see that as a positive review”
D: “Well, yeah. You know those pig ears you can buy for your dog? How, after the dog chews on ’em, they get soggy and have a layer of slime on them but are still tough as leather? The crust is usually like that.”

Lone working guy

Lone working guy

At the Niagara:
Me: “Goddamn, the line at the short order bar was slow. There’s one guy running back and forth serving everyone. I want the job of the other guy who just stands there watching everyone else do the work.”
M: “Don’t you already have it?”

Me: “Touche, asshole”.

Upon tasting the chili at IH:
L: “This shite is just awful. You HAVE to try it.” And we did.

L shows up at the table with fried food and two desserts”
L: (laughing) It’s fat fucker night”
Next, night, L shows up at the table with three desserts:
Me: “Is it fat fucker night again?”
L: “Fuck off”
I really don’t understand British holidays.

Hell, the Germans invaded Poland for lesser offenses.

Careful. The Germans invaded Poland for lesser offenses.

Food for Thought

Ok, Northline, what the fuck’s going on? Seriously, you write “Jaegerschnitzel” on the menu and when we get up to the server, we see some stew-like substance. DN asks the server “Do you have any Jaegerschnitzel?” only to be answered with a head waggle and the mumbling of something that was either  “Jaegerschnitzel” or “Fuck you” as he gestured towards the stewy mess with his tongs. That ain’t fucking Jaegerschnitzel, dude. Hell, even after tasting it, we didn’t know what it was. And today, Rotisserie Chicken was advertised. I get to the server and espying an empty tray under the sign, I asked “Will there be more chicken?” “Maybe 10 minute” (head waggle, head waggle) was the reply. “Yeah, and maybe never” I think as I smile, nod and head over to the taco bar only to find it bereft of sour cream and onions with only a smidgen of sad tomato bits left. It was all I could do not to cry.
It's not supposed to look like that.

It’s not supposed to look like that.

Even I know that briefly immersing a hard boiled egg in cold water after it’s cooked will make it immeasurably easier to peel.Why oh why can’t you do this Northline? Watching D’s blood pressure spike every breakfast as he wrestles with those impossible shells is quite frightening. And there’s is nothing more icky than crunching down on an errant bit of shell while you try to enjoy the egg’s salty goodness. Not to mention the waste of perfectly good egg that is seemingly welded to the shell.

Maybe someone is trying to say they hat the food.

Maybe someone is trying to say they hat the food.

Aha” I said to myself (although after 4 years here I’m never sure if I’m speaking aloud or not), “ I’ll just fill out one of those comment forms!” Yeah, right. While the Cambridge has them available, I haven’t seen any in the Northline for, like, 2 years. Oddly, they seem to have been replaced with a hat. Come to think of it, I haven’t seen any IPod winners announced in the last many, many months either. I’m guessing the Northline’s customer satisfaction stats are through the roof. Maybe they just rely on reading this blog to find out what they’ve got right or wrong although, if that were the case the olive situation would have been sorted by now.



I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Don’t be bringing that nasty-ass looking chocolate ice cream to the table. If there’s no swirly what-cha-ma-call-it on the dispenser, either get the vanilla or forgo ice cream all together. No one wants to see you put that in your mouth.

I think I prefer the look of the poo ice cream.

I think I prefer the look of the poo ice cream.

I was pretty sure L was just having a bit of fun with the colonials when she took the Chip Butty abomination to a whole new level with her Chip and Bean Butty. She claimed it was delicious and gamely ate the whole thing making exaggerated “mmm” sounds the whole time. “The things some people will do for a laugh” I thought at the time. Google, however, has once again opened the door into a subculture of which I was blissfully unaware. It seems the Chip and Bean Butty (or Chip Butty with Beans) is a staple of British cuisine. It really is time to get the Queen off our money…

Factory made goodness

Factory made goodness

So, M and I went to the Cambridge for dinner tonight. “At least they’ll have Fish and Chips as a back up if the rest sucks”, I confidently proclaimed on our way there. Well, the rest did suck (M described the meatballs as “meaty“). Boy, was I chagrined to get to the Chippy and see uniform rectangles of what was purported to be fish. I immediately assumed they’d be made of that same disgusting “minced fish” they sweep off the fish plant gutting room floor to make fish sticks. In my head (or maybe aloud) I was already writing my whiny, profanity laden blog post as I took my first bite. I must admit to some pretty intense disappointment when I discovered that it was real fish and tasted fucking great, until I realized the literary potential. “This will make for a great plot twist in the blog”, I enthusiastically told M. “Yeah, it’s exactly like Bruce Willis finding out he’s dead”, he replied with what was likely awe but could have been sarcasm, I suppose.

Bottom Line

A shout out to my Mom on her 79th. This blog post contains 15% less frequent use of the word “fuck”. Happy Birthday, Mom!

“If you’re in a bad situation, don’t worry it’ll change. If you’re in a good situation, don’t worry it’ll change.” – John A. Simone Sr.

3 thoughts on “The More Things Change…

  1. Thanks M for a “memorable” 3 years. It was a great job, in a “not so great” locale….but the end result is saving coalition lives. If I had to do it over again, I would….but don’t tell my wife…. 😉

    I’ll continue reading your blog as I settle into my “less smelly” life after KAF.

    And, if you’re ever in my part of the country, you’re more than welcome to drop by for a visit.

    Take care, and best of luck with the newbies.

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