Thursday, October 16, 2008
In Case You Haven't Heard, Iraq is a Boring Vacation Spot
My son, Spc. Reuben Stringfellow - vacationing in the deserts of Iraq for another year.
You'd think he would have picked a better place to lie about where he's going to relax and lay about, but no, my son says he's been in Iraq for the past 4 weeks and he's thinking of extending his vacation for about another 48 weeks. As if I couldn't check and find out - he's in Alaska!
He says the weather is great, the people are friendly, he gets along with the local livestock (I didn't ask too many questions about that statement) and he's thinking that the war is just about over. I purposely said "What war? Is there a WAR going on in Iraq son when you're there?"
He and I have been playing this game of "Eternal Denial" for quite a while, and he's one of the best players I've ever met - - he claims that he actually took his body and had it flown to Iraq to play this game with me. He claims also that he's living inside a real tank just to prove his point, now that has to be the epitome of characterization! He believes he's in a war! He believes he's enlisted in the United States Army, and from time to time he even gives himself a new rank just to pull another one over me - I guess you can only pretend to be a Private, or Private First Class just so long. Now he's calling himself a Specialist! Imagine that. My son, special! OK, I CAN imagine that.
So, here's this Specialist, he's hanging out with real Army personnel, he's eating with them, drinking with them, sleeping and training with them, guarding posts and he's even reporting back to me that on this particular vacation package they (the U.S. Army Forward Operating Base that he's somehow paying to stay on) is letting him shoot guns with live ammunition. I have to assume he's talking about a controlled indoor environment, again, I didn't ask too many questions - Reuben's been known to sneak into the movies to see that 2nd show when he's only paid for one. He tells me that he uses phone cards to call home since his cell doesn't work. (C'mon even I know they have Sprint and Verizon cell towers in the desert, I saw them when I drove to California.) He only calls in the middle of the night so we can keep the game up - Alaska is 3 hours behind Oklahoma so if he's calling me at 2:45 a.m. my time it's only 11:45 p.m. in Fairbanks where I'm sure he's actually - - wait - - my son called me from a phone card, the return number wasn't an American number at all - it registered as a - - foreign country.
OK...now I'm concerned. When he left my house and told me he was going on vacation for a year he was lying! NO! He's not pretending to be in Iraq - he's ACTUALLY IN the country of Iraq. Those photos of the palms aren't really from the West Coast? Those camels weren't rented or borrowed and you know what - my son is - - Oh, he almost had me...I almost believed it, hahahaa...good one boy, good one. If I hadn't heard his X-box in the background with the Packers beating the crap out of the Cardinals I may have thought he was in or near Baghdad....wow. OK, I'm fine now. Everyone knows there's no electricity in Iraq! He couldn't be playing Madden 08, he couldn't be, right?
I should pay attention to what he said - It was something like "Glad you're not here Mom, wish I was home." Well, the good news is that the vacation and the traveling should be over in less than a year for Baby Boy and if he ever does make it to the war he'll be the best damn tanker this world has ever seen. Let's just hope that doesn't actually happen.