Monday, April 2, 2007

Situational Awareness

Holy Shnikes! I figured out how to do pictures on this thing! I know, I know, not really a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but for me, it is quite the accomplishment.

Now let me explain this particular moment...

Early in the morning, after a long, all night patrol all over the Area of Operations (AO), Mouth was getting a little bit sleepy. He had been behind the wheel for the majority of the night, and took pride in his ability to drive for long periods of time. At about sunrise, however, he just couldn't hold out any longer. He let me know that he needed to take a break from the wheel, so he and the gunner traded places. About 20 minutes later, as we were approaching the air base, I happened to notice that Mouth had uncharacteristically shut up. Glancing up to see why there was not the constant chatter, I noticed that he was out like a light.

Insert the Calvin and Hobbes evil grin on my face here.

As quietly as I could, I scrambled around for some extra zip ties. I found a pair that had not been already threaded together, and very sneakily wove one through his belt loop, and the other through an opening in the turret.

For those of you not familiar with the turrets on the Hummers, this essentially pins him in place, unable to maneuver around to face anything that needs taking care of.

This would accomplish a few things.

First of all, when we scared the Bejeezus outta Mouth, it would wake him up.

Secondly, by scaring the Bejeezus outta Mouth, it would wake us up.

Thirdly, and hopefully, it would teach him a lesson about staying awake and paying attention to situational awareness, i.e. not letting a bored and sneaky Sergeant with idle hands mess around without keeping half an eye on him.

Utilizing the time, money, and effort that the Corps had spent in training us all, I communicated the plan in hand and arm signals to the other Marines. I counted off with my fingers.




All - (Screaming incoherently) AAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

Driver slams on the breaks, the tires screaming....

Me - (To a particularly startled Mouth, in the turret)


Mouth - Mnphf, snar, wha??!?! AAAAaaaaiiiieeeee!!!.....You Bastards!!!

Waking up rather unexpectedly, his first inclination was to duck. He had started to slide his ass of of the make shift seat, fighting the rapid deceleration of the Hummer. The zip ties did their job, and made sure that his trousers weren't going anywhere. I do have to admit, the belt loops on the Marine trousers are very sturdy, they managed to hold.

Let's just say that Mouth experienced the dubious distinction of falling prey to the improvised atomic wedgie.

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