Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Why I Watch

Anyone who has been on a ship for any length of time can relate to the inevitable sensory deprivation. This is brought on by the sameness of endless grey p-ways, dirty ladderwells, and nightly Wardroom food offerings of brown on white. While my current sensory deprivation is nowhere near as acute and pervasive as on the ship, I can feel it starting to invade my psyche. Perhaps it’s my living environment:

View of my neighborhood facing North.

View of my neighborhood facing South.

So what to do?

  • Read a magazine. There’s practically a library in the women’s latrine trailer. But I can only take so much Marie Claire.

  • Try something new and interesting at the DFAC. Umm, problem with that….

  • Create yet another PowerPoint presentation. (Really, I don’t know how we won WWII without PowerPoint.)

  • Conduct an Army-Navy psyops campaign on my Battalion Commander!

Yes! I will tape tiny pictures of Bill the Goat all over his office, in places where he will, over several days, continually discover them, much to his chagrin and my sheer joy! I will tape these images in such insidious places as the underside of his phone receiver and inside his desk drawers!


Well . . . I was actually going to do this, but an Army battalion staffer warned me that might “push him over the edge.”

Sigh. I guess I don’t want to push him over the edge.

Well, at least we have the Army-Navy Game to liven things up!

I was treated to YouTube footage of the most recent Whoop goat-napping caper at our Battalion Update Brief (BUB). And the Battalion Commander showed up in a 2007 Army-Navy Game “Goatbuster” shirt.

So that shows some good spirit, even if a bit moldy and overused, God bless ‘em.

Best, I got an invitation, as a Navy of One, to watch the game in the battalion spaces.

I would have loved to have gotten you, Dear Reader, a photo of us all watching the Army-Navy Game together. But here is what happened.

First of all, let me be clear: I don’t give a flying rodent caboose about football. But I care about the Army Navy Game. I care because it is a yearly marker, an event, a milestone in life. I care because the rivalry is pure and not malicious --it’s something like sibling rivalry. The players are destined to be professionals in the military, not the sports-entertainment industry. The gridiron is a long-standing metaphor for the battlegrounds on which Army and Navy will fight a real enemy, together.

Also, I often have a wager on the outcome.

Sadly, I could find no West Pointers who would even discuss a possible wager. Could it be that they thought they might not win? Again, sigh.

Anyway, night of the game, I grabbed some animal crackers, a couple of Diet Cokes, and the Third Battalion EWO, Joker, who was up from PB Dragon (not a grad, but he is a Navy LT who works at the Academy when not in Iraq) and went over to the TOC.

What a great time!

There were about 10 of us or so, with Joker and I the only Navy reps, rooting and joking, pointing out patches the players wore, and generally feeling sympathy for the Army football team.

I even rooted for them a bit.

But the teams winning or losing isn’t the thing. It’s just that we were together watching The Game. How cool, I thought, to be sitting in Iraq, with a bunch of Army officers and enlisted, in a battalion TOC, watching the Army-Navy Game! I was stoked.

I thought, I need a picture. (That is how my mother best communicates with me —subconsciously.) I came back with my camera after half time, but the crowd was reduced by more than half.

By the fourth quarter, Joker and I were it!

Now these Army guys were still in the building, but they had abandoned watching the game to go back to WORK (it was about 1030 at night!) and were all in their offices at their desks. (I guess making PowerPoint presentations. )

So no photo.

But what I said above, about the metaphor and the kinship, that’s all real.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TOONCES!! (And many happy returns of the day!) God bless you.