If you’re eagerly anticipating a heartwarming tale from the the Hundred Acre Wood, you’ve been horribly misled. You see, I’m almost two weeks into this roto and they say “Time flies when you’re having fun”. Well, I wouldn’t know. They also say “Patience is a virtue”. They are fucking idiots. But, hey! Look at this picture of helicopters:
“Oh, dear. Oh, d-d-d-d-dear, dear.”
Bacon availability issues continue to plague us here. While I had initially chalked this up to the KAF supply chain being entirely devoted to beef jerky, I’ve since learned that there is indeed bacon on the base…I just can’t have any for breakfast. Northline lists American Bacon (AKA bacon) on it’s midnight meal menu. They also had bacon available at the sweaty potato bar for lunch. Huh, Northline-Guy-What’s-In-Charge-Of-Deciding-What-To-Offer? You provide bacon for the meals either side of breakfast but not at breakfast itself? This, along with cranberry sauce being available only at breakfast and orange juice only at lunch makes me think you need some remedial training in North American dining norms. Now, I’m not saying the DFAC has to cater only to the needs of North Americans…oh, who am I kidding…of course, I am.
However, I’ve gotta say that I prefer Northline’s incomprehensible bacon timetable to the Monti’s decision to offer up chunks of brown vinyl at breakfast. Labeling something “bacon” doesn’t magically transform it into such, dude. It kinda looked like bacon but, for the love of god, what the fuck did you guys do to it? Seriously, it had absolutely no flavour and was tough as nails. It didn’t even taste like nitrites! If it did indeed start out as bacon, I can only assume it was boiled for several hours then tossed in a deep fryer. PX jerky tastes more like bacon than this crap.
Stars and Stripes reports that the Pakistanis are threatening to interrupt our supply lines again. It seems they’re upset about remotely piloted vehicles (no, they are not fucking drones) blowing up bad guys inside their borders. Yeah, yeah, “sovereignty”, “diplomacy”, “geo-political stability”, whatevs. Why is no one talking about the impact this may have on me eventually getting some fucking bacon for breakfast? And Banana Day! Imagine a Banana Day without bananas…it would be just another day and we have far too many of those around here as it is.
“Could you ssspare a sssmall sssmackerel?”
With a couple of notable exceptions, the DFAC food over the last couple of weeks has been unimpressive. Here’s a rundown of the high and lowlights by DFAC.
Northline replaced it’s regular Chicken Mini-Bites, which were previously filled with some nondescript cream cheesy goo, with their spicy cousin of the same name. Sure, they’re an unnatural orangey-brown on the outside and an even more unnatural dayglo orangey-red on the inside but, damn, they were good. “I don’t know what that stuff inside them is, but it’s delicious” I proclaimed. “It’s probably completely synthetic. Good job, scientists”, D lauded.
In the interest of expanding my already considerable cultural awareness, I tried the collard greens. “What are collard greens, anyway,” I naively asked that font of wisdom named D. “Well, you see, they come from the collard plant…they’re the green part.” Fuck, they’re bitter and awful. As much as the 13 year old boy inside of me continues to admire Elly May Clampett, I gotta say I don’t think much of her people’s cooking. I should have known, as my experience with succotash a couple of years ago was similarly off-putting. And grits? Ugh.
Northline’s Cream of Broccoli Soup was similarly ungood. I’m not being a prima dona if I think it shoulda tasted at least a bit like broccoli, am I? I managed to make it taste like crackers and salt with the addition of huge quantities of both but this wasn’t as delicious as it sounds. Did you know that the Brits don’t break up crackers into their soup? R reminds us of how much it disgusts her every time D and I do it. Once again I’m perplexed as to why non-North Americans can’t just be like everyone else. They seem so culturally intolerant.
Once again Cambridge had liver on the menu. It wasn’t as good as last time as it was pretty overcooked. It was, however, passable and a nice change from fish and chips. I combined it with a pretty decent beet salad. As the loving husband I am, I posted the picture at left to my wife‘s Facebook page and lamented that she couldn’t join me for dinner. Okay, so I know my wife hates both liver and beets and that the sight of them makes her gorge rise. Consequently, I was expecting a rather coarse reaction. I’m guessing her response of “Ugh. What an infelicitous combination” is the equivalent of “Fuck, that is goddamn disgusting” for someone with two English degrees. Maybe if I got her to edit my blog my mom wouldn’t be so upset with me.
Last night it was back to the Cambridge’s Chippy for dinner. I don’t exactly remember what was on the main line but it was a choice between “shit I hate” and “shit that looks like shit even though the sign says it’s something I usually like”. Surprisingly, there was no line up for the fish and chips. I approached with trepidation as I noticed there was one lonely, cold, shrunken piece of fish sitting in the tray. Resignedly, I handed the server my plate and asked for fish and chips. Surprisingly, he gestured to the fryer behind him and muttered something that was either “Wait just a minute” or “You’re gonna whine if I give you that last cold piece aren’t you, you self-entitled motherfucker”. Regardless, D and I patiently waited for the fresh batch to be ready. He brought the new tray of hot fish over, grabbed the sole (actually it was pollock) cold one and tossed it into the new tray. Fortunately, he was smart enough not to give D and I, the only witnesses, that piece but I gotta feel for the unsuspecting bastard who was somewhere in the line behind me. Basically, DFAC guy figures it’s okay to give someone the fish that’s been sitting around getting mushy…so long as they don’t know it.
Anyway, D felt the fish was “the worst I’ve had here”. “Oh, I’ve had worse.” “I’m sure I’ll have worse here someday too”. “It’s nice to have something to look forward too, isn’t it?”
IH was pretty adequate tonight. They, along with the Monti, have the best Ice Tea around. It’s unsweetened, which is unusual but how I and other civilized people like it. They also had Sweet Potato Puffs which contained all the sugar that they left out of the Ice Tea. Seriously, the things tasted like a sweet potato Timbit. Don’t get me wrong. As a Canadian, I have to love Timbits, it’s in the Constitution. But the uber-sweet, fat-laced goodness of these puffs is more appropriate to dessert than as an accompaniment to baked trout. Speaking of baked trout, I felt like a bit of a goof when I pondered aloud “How the hell do they catch enough trout to serve it in these quantities”. D and A simultaneously answered “Trout farms”. At that point a tiny part of my brain whispered “Duh! Keep your mouth shut idiot”. However, a much larger part of my brain made my mouth say “Oh yeah, hadn’t thought of that. I had visions of thousands of sad, third-world children standing along a riverbank with rods in their hands making about 25 cents a day”. This prompted A to go into a detailed and rather lengthy explanation of German trout farming practices as is his wont.
Oh, and now one has to decide exactly how much salt one wants on their food before heading to the table. It’s being served in bulk now. Yeah, so salt up before you’ve even tasted anything and make sure you guess correctly how much to add. Jeez. BTW, if anyone ever again hears me say “Hey, those mashed potatoes look like they might be real”, just smack me upside the head. On the bright side, both D and A raved about the coleslaw which is hit and miss at the IH. Some days, I’m assuming when the Coleslaw-Dressing-Guy is off, it is just shredded cabbage. Other days, I guess when the Coleslaw-Dressing-Guy is all hopped up on Sweet Potato Puffs, it is swimming in watery goo. And some days, when he’s on his game, it is fucking excellent…moist and slightly tart. Tonight was such a night, apparently, but I had no room for it on my plate because no one smacked me upside the head.
“Did you ever stop to think and forget to start again?”
I visited the tiny PX outlet up by the Northline for the first time the other day. Yeah, I know, it’s been there for like 4 years…I’ve been busy, ok? Anyway, it had a pretty good selection of stuff for a seacan-sized operation. The snacks and toiletries are stuff everyone appreciates having access to in a place like this. I can’t for the life of me, however, figure out why the hell they have Dulcolax. Fuck, if I took that stuff here I’d be afraid of turning inside out.
Hey, it’s great that shows are brought in here and entertainers are willing to come to this shithole to “support the troops” and all that. And maybe it’s just me but I kinda think the only thing I’d want to see less than a Journey tribute band would be Journey itself. I never started believing, man. I also have a hunch that the lead singer’s real name ain’t Perry Stevens. Whoever refused to authorize this knew what they were doing. Yeah, yeah, I’m sure those that attended the event loved it, particularly the two or three totally uncool 50 year old Journey fans in the audience. I know, I’m a dick for dissing guys that came all the way here to entertain us. But, it’s fucking Journey, man.
I’ve mentioned before that we get all kinds of announcements about “fun” shit going down at corporate HQ in which we cannot participate. The latest was a Hallowe’en costume contest. I’m no big fan of dressing up but getting a constant stream of these emails still rankles. In keeping with my current trending towards dickishness, I emailed the organizer a photo of “my out-of-shape, middle-aged, overseas defence contractor costume” stating that “I feel it’s really come together this year. Beige is the key”. I got no response. I’m beginning to think working within the bowels of the corporate politburo is not as much fun as they make it out to be.
”People who don’t think probably don’t have brains”
So, a couple of days ago, I got this email from one of our guys:
I just blasted one of our neighbours for washing his underwear in our sinks. He was up to the squeegie drying part of his wash cycle at the time wringing his undies out over the tap handles and faucet…. You have been warned……”
Great. Even the delicious irony that this guy works for the company that provides laundry services couldn’t make me smile at this crime against humanity.
Well, I didn’t think our bathrooms could get any worse but this morning every single toilet of the 15 or so of them in two bathrooms was plugged. Most were full of shit and several had overflowed onto the floor. The poor cleaner rightfully refused to clean them until plumbers could come and get all this poo to flush away. This is a guy who uses the same mop to clean a bathroom floor as uses to clean the sink…and he was disgusted by the filth. What does that tell ya?
It’s also telling that most of us are waiting to get to work so we can use a rocket for our business. Yeah, a port-a-potty, with its ever present risk of splashback, is now considered an oasis of cleanliness and fresh scents compared to the flush toilets in our shacks. Oh, and here’s an idea. All you new residents of our accommodations block, take a look at the map of cholera outbreaks below. If your country shows up in yellow, you may want to reconsider that whole “not washing hands after taking a shit” policy you all seem to be following. I suspect the two things may be related somehow.
Fortunately, some of our more intrepid guys sought out the ablutions unit upstairs in the hallway reserved for our landlord’s management. Sweet Mary mother of god! It was like finding the fucking promised land. Not a speck of poo or even poo water to be found. There weren’t even pubic hairs in the sinks. It seems that they even flush after using the toilets which were blessedly free of footprints on the seat. And the smell…oooh….the smell. It smelled like a bus station washroom back home…which by KAF standards is pure fucking top drawer luxury. But don’t believe me…take a look for yourself. I’m sure you can guess which photo is our washroom and which one belongs to the gods. It’s hard to tell from the photo but that shine on our floor…that’s poo water. I’ve inset a picture of one of our toilets AFTER the plumber has been by to plunge away the worst of the feces.
Fortunately, a team of plumbers and cleaners were dispatched to de-shit and disinfect the bathrooms and for one glorious portion of an evening they were back to their former only mildly nauseating cleanliness if only for the next few hours. I recommended to our guys that anyone in need take advantage of this tiny window of poolessness. MC responded with “I didn’t even have to go but I went in there and sat for a while anyway.”
Now, wasn’t that a pleasant bed-time story?
“I’m alright. Don’t nobody worry ’bout me”. – Eeyore