I know, I know, I haven’t updated ya’ll on the KAF dining situation in almost 2 months. I trust you managed to get yourselves fed in the interim. While I’ve been back here for approximately 11 days, 8 hours, 5 minutes and 42 seconds, I’m only now getting over my jet lag and apathy enough to get back to my journalistic duties.
I had notes for pretty much a whole post jotted down before I left back in January but just didn’t get around to writing it. Upon reviewing those notes I’ve discovered that my penmanship sucks and the stuff I can read doesn’t make much sense. Do I always become incoherent near the end of a roto, I wonder? Anyway, I’m gonna just jot down as much of that old shit as I can decipher and throw in some new observations from the last few days. Hell, I may even give you some insight into what I get up to when I’m at home. I dunno…I’m just gonna type some shit. Hope you find it informative and delightful…or, at least, only mildly annoying.
Remember how I thought COMKAF had finally set down iron-clad rules regarding tray emptying protocol? Yeah, well, there’s some pretty heavy duty insubordination happenin’ at the DFACS. At the Cambridge exit, there was a DFAC dude standing there right beside the racks COMKAF has ordered me to put my tray on. The guy grabbed my tray and tipped it into the bin while I still had a grip of the other end of it…thereby forcing me to at least appear to be helping him dump it with no sorting of any kind. I thought it was some sort of sting operation and fully expected the IMP to nab me as I exited the place.
Then there’s the mutinous IH and Monti which now have signs telling you to sort and dump your own tray in clear violation of the COMKAF directive. They don’t even have racks to put the trays on. Tray dump times have become the most stressful moments of my day.
Whatever Happened To…
I guess that’s why they haven’t had a hit in so many years.
Don’t Try This At Home
As we gathered for dinner a couple of nights ago, A confessed that he wasn’t too hungry because he had opened a can of Ranch flavoured Pringles about an hour earlier and devoured them all. As much as I wanted to mock his gluttony, I felt compelled to confess that the day before I had had a similar experience. You know how it is, you go to the PX to buy some soap and shampoo and, on the way to the cashier you walk by that wall o’ jerky. “Hmm, about a 1/3 lb of Peppered Jerky, that sounds good”, I thought. “Ooooh, ooooh, those mini Slim Jims are only 35 cents each, that’s like 6 for two bucks, I should buy six” my internal dialogue continued. I wiped the spittle from my chin as I guiltily scooped up the two meat-like products and began to move toward the checkout when “Sour Gummi Bursts! I love Sour Gummi Bursts!”. That’s one bout of nausea and self-loathing I can’t blame on DFAC food.
A Roseberry By Any Other Name Might Be A Real Fucking Word
I guess I have to give the Cambridge Juice Labeling Authority some credit for getting rid of the ridiculous “whiteberry” nomenclature…but did they have to replace with another non-existent flavour? Roseberry? What the fuck? I highly doubt this juice tastes like a hill in Yorkshire. Just go with raspberry or strawberry or even boysenberry. I like this stuff…it tastes good but we all know it’s just sugar water with artificial flavour which resembles nothing in nature. Hell, go with the generic colour based labeling they use at the Monti…Red Fruit Drink. Can’t argue with that. Just don’t make shit up. It annoys me.
Gotta hand it to the UAE contingent here. They drive nice vehicles, have a spiffy compound and, I hear, actual porcelain flush toilets in their hangar. They even painted a fancy-pants zebra crossing to facilitate safe passage to the North Line. I dearly wanted to get a photo of four of us (one barefoot) walking across it…(Sh)Abby Road, I was gonna call it. Alas, I was too slow. It lasted all of about two months. D hypothesized that they used water soluble paint…something that wouldn’t be a problem in many parts of the UAE.
The Most Wonderful Time of The Year
A was a little disgusted when he returned at the end of January to find the Xmas tree still up in the office. I figure, he brought the damn thing out so he can put the damn thing back. Dragging a tree taped to a coat rack out of the storage room is a little more effort than I want to put in to decorating. A, on the other hand rather enjoys decorating…like those 7 goddamn clocks he’s put on the wall. “Tic Tica Tock Ticticitic TockTicTock…” Yeah, that really helps the roto fly by. Thanks A!
Culinary Hits and Misses
I had several horrendously bad experiences with roast beef at several of the DFACs. Consequently, I’ve avoided the stuff for many months. I’ve recently began trying it again and ya know what? Most of the DFACs seem to have begun using actual cow meat rather than cow hide as I had suspected them of in the past. Sure, it’s still always over done but I haven’t broken a knife on it in ages. Cambridge continues to serve roast beef almost every Sunday and their Yorkshire puddings are excellent. I particularly appreciate the massive tub of horseradish they usually have available now. Way to go!
And, hey, whoda thought unidentifiable fruit covered in unidentifiable white stuff and topped off with dried mint would be good much less constitute a Caribbean Fruit Salad. I strongly suspect you’re just making that shit up, Cambridge, but I’m glad you did.
Now Cambridge, don’t go getting all “Hey, look at us getting a good review on JustDFACs. In your face, Luxembourg”. I really want to know what the hell you were thinking with the BBQ pork ribs back in January. Sure, they were tender and meaty…but, come on, they shouldn’t be served up outta a bucket of grease. I don’t think ribs should glisten. And, hey, I know those things weren’t cooked on a BBQ so ya pretty much have to put some fucking BBQ sauce on them if you want to use that word. And no, grease cannot ever be construed as a “sauce”, BBQ or otherwise. Oh, and if you’ve whipped the potatoes so long that they become a slurry…don’t serve them to me.
Hey, Guy What Cuts Up The Vegetables at North Line…you don’t mind if I call you Guy What Cuts Up The Vegetables at North Line, do you? No? Good. Anyway, Guy What Cuts Up The Vegetables at North Line, here’s a couple of hints. Next time someone hands you a bucket of green tomatoes, how about either frying them up, thereby evoking heart warming memories of that touching film featuring the inimitable Kathy Bates or, perhaps, making a delicious green tomato chow? Do not, however, slice the damn things and put them on the fucking sandwich bar! That’s just nasty.
And another thing, GWCUTVANL: I like variety. I think it’s awesome when the DFACs offer up something for everyone. Heck, the day you had quartered, sliced and diced tomatoes all in their separate bins on the salad bar I thought “
Th at’s unnecessary Wow! What a selection”. However, a day or two later, when you offered up Sliced and Diced Cucumbers I began to suspect that you don’t actually know what those words mean.
While on the subject of the North Line…I know, Pie Guy, you’re wearing plastic gloves. Intellectually, I understand its sanitary but when you grab my piece of cherry pie in your hand and unceremoniously slap it on my plate upside-down, I get kinda grossed out. Sure, you only did this once and usually have a pie server to, you know, serve pie, but once was too often. Speaking of utensils, whatever happened to the ice cream scoop you guys used to have? Now, don’t get me wrong, I love ice cream but that big ass spoon you’re using to serve it these days results in a rather unattractive presentation and I usually get way too much…even for a guy that can down 1/3 lb of jerky, 6 Slim Jims and a pack of Sour Gummi Burst in 30 minutes.
Yeah, I know this blog is supposed to be about KAF food but I can’t let this go without comment. I was off doing some training at a military base in another part of the world a couple of months ago. The food was generally pretty good but….wait for it…the bacon had fucking bones! I’m not making this up! I mean, holy shit, who the fuck has heard of bones in bacon? It’s like everything I’ve ever believed is in question now. Oh, and the bacon was all sinewy and nasty too.
North Line Renos
Northline coulda learned a thing or two from Cambridge. They allocated almost half the steam line serving area and one whole entrance/handwash area to takeout, effectively reducing the dine in throughput by 50%. This would be awesome if 50% of their customers used take out. They don’t. At a typical lunch, there are between 1 and 5 people at a time on the take out side and about 4.7 gajillion waiting to be served on the dine in side. Not only do I have to be with far more people than I am comfortable (3.2 is the approximate critical mass at which I begin to hate everybody), but we now have to walk around the building from the parking lot…and during flood season, this meant precariously balancing on a path formed from semi-submerged pallets. D, demonstrating the resigned bitchiness common to us long term KAFites, summed up the situation with “This is totally unacceptable but ok”.
Not content to rest on the laurels of their takeout renos, North Line was recently shut down for 5 days for more mysterious building activity; including a new tented area right next door. Waiting in line prior to shut down I pondered “I wonder what they’re going to do. I heard they’re making a private VIP room”. “You don’t have a fucking clue what they’re going to do” replied D cheerlessly. I had to agree, “Yeah, I could have a signed, stamped, official letter from COMKAF himself saying what the plan is…”…. “and we still wouldn’t know what the hell they’re actually going to do”, D interjected to finish my thought. “Whatever it is they’re up to, I know it’s not going to improve my dining experience” D summed up.
Well, the NL renos are now done and, as far as we can tell, they’ve cut two holes in the wall, painted the floor and put a stack of napkins under the drink dispensers. I’m not sure why that took 5 days. The mystery of the new, empty tented area remains. Oh, and they’ve also crammed the one-too-many rows of tables they removed several months ago back into each seating area. Now, even a svelte yet wiry guy like me can barely squeeze between the rows if anyone is seated there. This isn’t made any easier by those who sit with their chairs well back from the table. “Who are these idiots that sit with their chairs 2 feet away from their plate?” I moaned. “They’re the ones with ketchup stains all over their pants” D replied.
Random Rants and Overheard Observations
DK, in the Business Lounge in Frankfurt: “I just saw a guy guzzling water out of the tap in the bathroom. He doesn’t quite get the idea of the lounge and its open bar…”
Some American civilian contractors get to carry guns. I don’t know why…some second amendment shit or something, I suppose. Anyway, they’re usually packing either M16s or pistols. Yesterday, however, I saw a civvie toting a shotgun and a pistol. I knew he was a good guy because he also had a white cowboy hat. At first I thought “Why the hell would anyone need a shotgun?” Then I thought “But damn! How the hell do I get a job where I get to carry a shotgun AND wear a cowboy hat?…Lucky bastard”. As a Canadian all I’m allowed is a stern (yet polite) voice and a toque.
At the Lux:
M: “What if you saw a train heading for a 100 people and the only way to save them was to throw a switch that would divert the train but it would then kill one person. Would you throw the switch?”
Me and A simultaneously: “Yeah, duh! What a stupid question”
M:“Ok, but what if the only way to divert the train was to push someone in front of it. Would you do it”
A: “Well, I’d need a lot of help. In order to impact a trains trajectory, that would have to be one HUGE person. Some kind of giant or something”
Me: “Yeah, A’s right. This isn’t making a lot of sense”.
A: “Hmm…I wonder what mass he would have to have”
Me: “Well, that would depend on the speed of the train, its mass and the amount you need to deviate it. The guy would have to be like Godzilla sized or something”.
M:”Look, it’s not about the damn physics, it’s a moral/ethical question.”
Me:”You can’t just ignore the laws of physics…that never ends well”.
M:”Don’t get all hung up on the physics…just answer the moral question”
Me:”M, those of us who would readily pull the switch in the first question are exactly the type of people you can expect to get hung up on the physics in the second.”
Me:”So, you suddenly lost most of your hearing in one ear? Have you seen a doctor about it”
DN:”I was gonna have it checked out but I discovered that I kind of like it”.
At the Lux:
M: “My German citizenship finally came through. I could go live there if I want”.
Me:“Hell, you can go live in all kinds of places; Poland, France; Czechoslovakia…”.
M: “Hahaha…fuck off”.
In my ongoing effort to become more tolerant and understanding, I’ve decided to give a little guidance to those people in the DFACs who are consistently contributing to my aura of despair. You know who you are; you slow, indecisive, oblivious bastards. Please use this handy flowchart to aid you in all of those stressful decisions one must make at every DFAC Meal:
I love this gate. It used to be open all the time but was recently locked up tight. Kinda odd in that the “enclosed” area only has fence on two sides.
That was a lot of shit I just wrote; guess I should update more often.
“If once a man indulges himself in murder, very soon he comes to think little of robbing; and from robbing he comes next to drinking and Sabbath-breaking, and from that to incivility and procrastination.” -Thomas de Quincey