Tuesday, January 1, 2013

IRaq and Roll

Any of you who know me in real life and are not currently hiding my posts on your Facebook feed, know that I have been posting on the semi-regular about this ass hat I work with. His name is Mario, but I have given him a blog name BEFORE I even thought to blog about him.

The first time I met...wait for it...Stolen Valor, I was on a ladder, trying to not fall and crack my head open. He walked up, grabbed the frame, shook it a little bit, and then said "Oh shit, don't fall!" He then laughed like a drunk Hyena with a sinus infection for far longer than was appropriate. I calmly stepped down from the ladder, squared off with him, and said, "So it's funny to scare the shit out of someone while they are 25 feet off of the ground?" His face was priceless. He must have thought I was someone else (because there are so many white girls where I work) because he looked beyond shocked. He began backpedaling all over the place, saying he thought I was Maria or Alma or Beatrice (all short, squat Hispanics) and that they normally joke like that.

"So you think violating safety rules is a joke?" I asked in my best cop voice. "Oh no its cuz they like for me to tease them" he explained with a petulant but cocky tone. "Well, I don't. And you won't be doing it again. To me, or them. Got it?" I stated, rather than asked. I didn't wait for an answer. I walked into the back room and went straight to my "office." I needed to shake off the anger and fear I had from almost falling. See, I don't have a fear of heights, I have a fear of falling from them. Big difference.

But it didn't end. I'm angrily clicking the keys of my keyboard, trying to find a stupid signage report that my lovely coworker didn't finish and I feel two hands on my shoulders. As I'm preparing to take my keyboard and crack whomever the fuck it is in the face, I hear "Oy yey gringa, I'm sorry I scared you." I stand up, step to the side, then turn slowly and as dramatically as possible (I am nothing if not effective) and say "Listen, no need to touch. Ever." He laughs and says "Oh did I scare you? You jumped like someone shot a gun or something." "No," I replied, "I wouldn't jump from a gunshot. I jump when I'm in the back of a dark warehouse and feel creepy rapist hands on my shoulders." However, all he caught was that a gunshot wouldn't scare me.

"Oh, you know guns? You military?" he asked, tilting his head up to appear taller. In that moment, I knew. I fucking knew. He was going to be the bane of my existence. The rest of the night became a game of 20 questions, times 100. As he asked about my service (which I didn't really confirm) he mixed in his time in the Army, switched to calling it Navy, then back to Army and finishing strong with Navy. I wanted to call him out on it, but I decided that engaging him would be far worse.

It wasn't until I took my break that I really wanted to choke the life out of him. He sat right next to me, like scooted the chair even closer and began to probe me....for information. Had I ever been shot? Had I ever fired a gun? Did I say I was Army? Where was I stationed at? Was I ever down range? Did I know anyone in the Navy? I gave curt, one-word answers if I answered at all, but it dawned on me more and more with each question that he was trying to see how much I really knew about the military....so he could gauge how much bullshit he could get away with.

The next night when I arrived at work, he was waiting for me. Literally waiting at my desk. I say excuse me as politely as I can muster, but he still stands in front of my chair. "Can I help you with something Mario?" I ask. "Nah, I'm just back here. Watching them unload the truck, Angel wants me to oversee" he says, bragging to me. "Don't you have to be able to see them to oversee?" I ask. "Ah yeah, I got this," he replies. Okay, he can't take a hint, so I sort of motion for him to step aside. He laughs and  moves aside, but not silently.

SV: That was like a signal, huh? Like military stuff. But I got it, you know, cuz we were both military. Air Force right?
Me: Yes Mario. Air Force.
SV: Oh so like, you guys got pampered, huh? Not us man. We were in the shit. I graduated for my job on 9/11 and it was like go go go go after that. Yeah, I've been to war.
Me: That's great Mario (I'm thoroughly engrossed in my inbox)
SV: Yeah, I was on the George Washington, that's a ship, a big one. But we docked in Iraq and then went in from there.
Me: (Looking up from my inbox) You docked IN Iraq?
SV: Yeah, bet you didn't know that huh? Yeah, Iraq is by the ocean.
Me: Well, it's on the Persian Gulf, not an ocean. But I didn't think a carrier could dock in Umm Qasr. And I really didn't think that the US Navy would send a carrier INTO Iraq. (Yes, I know where Umm Qasr is...I have an excellent memory...I don't think he accounted for that).
SV: Yeah, well they did.
Me: I thought only spec ops went into Umm Qasr in 03. I mean, it was kind of a big deal battle.
SV: Yeah, how do you think I know about it?

This is important to remember for my next blog in The Ballad of Stolen Valor series. Umm Qasr, or rather, the battle of Umm Qasr was one of, if not the first objectives of the Iraqi invasion. Take the port, you control all supplies coming in. American and British Marines with some Polish bad asses took Umm Qasr. The only Navy involved was the trained divers who detect and remove underwater mines. So is he a diver now? Seriously, I remember all of that from a doc on the History channel and a little from when it was initially reported but I'm pretty sure a quick wikipedia search could get him more accurate shit.

I was just about to ask him for detail (to nail him with) but I think he saw the doubt on my face and he quickly bolted back over to truck land. No goodbye, no "Oh I think they called for me", nada. I went about my business for the night and tried to make a mental note of all the bullshit I heard him spewing as I passed. He was Angel's responsibility, not mine, so instead of telling him to shut up and get back to work, I just absorbed. In the span of six hours or so, I heard the terms AR15, parachuted, squirrel suit, boat, kill, hit, shot, almost, this close, and a few dozen others repeated with such fervor that I wanted to pounce on him and rip out his jugular. All of it was bullshit, even if I hadn't caught the full stories surrounding the words. Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit (yes, read that like Kristen Bell says it in Forgetting Sarah Marshall).

I knew I couldn't let him keep this up, but our shift was almost done and I was a busy girl. I would have to strike the next night....

This concludes "The Ballad of Stolen Valor: Part 1." Tune in next week for part 2.

Seriously, I know I've been a lazy blogger, but I will have part 2 up for you all next week. Promise. Why? Because I've already written it  and it's scheduled for a week from today. I have to keep you all coming back somehow.


Shannon {ava_caitlyn} said...

Oh bless you for writing this. AWESOME!!!! BAHAHAHA.....

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