The Author Blog of Ethan E. Harris
The following is a piece I wrote in 2007 after a mortar attack in Baghdad.
So there I was, minding my own business walking down the street and an alarm goes off. So I jumped into the closest “duck and cover” beside a certain 4-Star’s convoy. Then the Big Voice says “Incoming, Inc…”. The Big Voice would have said it three times, but I couldn’t hear it because of the huge explosion. “Golly,” I said. The people with me echoed my words in unison although some added some slight variation.
Mortar attack. In the IZ (you know, the Green Zone where it’s safe).
After waiting in a very hot, confined space with other very sweaty people who exercised very questionable personal hygiene, we heard the Big Voice say “All Clear.” As we walked around the corner, something managed to grab my attention.
My latrine was blown up. This is where I was going. I had waited the last half hour to use this latrine. I walked a long way to get to this latrine. I liked this latrine. It was the Uber Pooper, the latest and greatest in contractor technology. It was nice and clean and it was my happy place.
And it was gone.
I said, “Crap,” and others agreed. And then we laughed about that word.
I stood there and looked at my latrine with great sadness (after visiting a small, green, plastic, hot, smelly box that only serves to perpetually collect festering urine in 110 degree heat and gives off foul odors like an obscenely evil kind of desert humidifier or as I like to call them: Satan’s Humidor). And I stood. And looked. After about an hour, I stopped mourning and went to chow.
And that’s my story of the other day. Wish you were here.