Tuesday, February 15, 2011

What Every Soldier Should Know



What Every Soldier Should Know

To yield to force is an act of necessity, not of will; it is at best an act of prudence.
—Jean-Jacques Rousseau


If you hear gunfire on a Thursday afternoon,
it could be a wedding, or it could be for you.

Always enter a home with your right foot;
the left is for cemeteries and unclean places.

O-guf! Tera armeek is rarely useful.
It means Stop or I’ll shoot.

Sabah el khair is effective.
It means Good Morning.

Inshallah means Allah be willing.
Listen well when it is spoken.

You will hear the RPG coming for you.
Not so the roadside bomb.

There are bombs under the overpasses,
in trashpiles, in bricks, in cars.

There are shopping carts with clothes soaked
in foogas, a sticky gel of homemade napalm.

Parachute bombs and artillery shells
sewn into the carcasses of dead farm animals.

A graffiti sprayed onto the overpasses:
I will kill you, American.

Men wearing vests rigged with explosives
walk up, raise their arms, and say Inshallah.

There are men who earn eighty dollars
to attack you, five thousand to kill.

Small children who will play with you,
old men with their talk, women who offer chai—

and any one of them
may dance over your body tomorrow.

- Brian Turner

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Korean Ginseng and Long Balls


I was in Poundland yesterday when I noticed a small section selling vitamins and minerals. At a quid a time, you can't go wrong, eh? So I stocked up on cod liver oil. I thought I'd buy one more item, a novelty I'd never tried before.

They had Ginko Bilboa - "improves mental alertness and memory" - or Red Korean Ginseng - "improves energy levels and vitality."

Since I'm as smart as a guardsman's helmet I passed on the Bilboa. I went for the Ginseng.

Now I've heard about this stuff & we all know what "improves energy levels and vitality" is a euphemism for, eh? It's for helping out 'down there.' In the fruit basket.

They say that as man ages, and his testosterone levels go down, his interest in the doing of sex declines. Well, as I approach my twenty-ninth birthday I can state it's not quite as simple as that. Sometimes, I feel like a fourteen year old fellow who has landed a Saturday job in 'World of Bras.' Yet at others I'm like a geriatric, world-weary habitué of the opium den. Peaks and troughs, you see. And at the moment, I'm in something of a form dip.

It's not that the equipment doesn't work, oh no, it's just that sometimes I can't be bothered switching it on. I'd rather read a novel (Moby Dick at the moment, thanks for asking) than chasing fruity ladies down the pub. Which may not be a bad thing.

However, I can report that the Korean Red Ginseng does indeed
"improves energy levels and vitality." Now, all I need is a good lady friend to help me prove this. No pushing girls, and if you leave the queue, I'm sorry, but you have to go to the back.

Another thing I've been suffering from is Long Balls. You know, like Larry David's long balls:



No one likes old man balls. So recently I've found a solution to this problem.


You get a bag of ice and put in down the front of your trunks. Recently, I've been freezing a bit of water in a little Tupperware container I usually use for mixing dry mustard or egg and onion. I nestle this down in the grundle area, right by Biffin's Bridge.


At first it smarts a little, but soon you forget it's down there. I like to watch 'Countdown' with my balls iced. At the end of the show, those boys have retreated back where they came from. Like a hermit crab slinking into its carapace.