It has been a long time since I told this story, and today just seemed like a good day to share it with everyone.
Many years ago, back when the Earth was flat, and so was my stomach, I had many life altering experiences, but this is one of my favorite ones that I am allowed to legally share.
I was with my squad in the Jungles of Central America. We were lost. Very lost. Lesson 1, never let the newbie navigate no matter how good he says he is or how much experience he thinks he has. We were supposed to be out for three days. It was day number 5. No food. Not safe water. We were on the last battery for the PRC 77. Worst of all, I didn’t have my woobie to help pass the nights.
We were lucky, and we made contact on the radio. After a few hours, a chopper circled over head, and they said they couldn’t pick us up because of the dense jungle, but they could pick us up the next day at a clearing that was about 6 klicks away. In the meantime, they were going to drop water to us. The idea was to tie some ponchos onto five gallon plastic cans of water and drop them to us from the chopper. Well, imagine how well that might work. It sounds good in theory. In practice, it means that heavy plastic bombs fall on you, and explode all around. We were wet, and were blasted with bits of plastic shrapnel. Yeah, not fun. Worse, not successful.
Good news, we were no longer lost. Bad news, we still didn’t have food or safe drinking water. The news became worse as the rains started hitting us and soaking us to the bone. Hey, we had a couple of extra ponchos. You have to look at the bright side.
That night, we managed to build a very non-tactical fire. It was huge. We managed to get dried out and then somebody said the magic words, “It could be worse.” Yeah, it could have been worse, we were about to have a wounded soldier as I was about to kick his ass. For the Young Frankenstein fans out there, yes, it was raining again.
I can’t remember who said it, but somebody said, “Hey, let’s talk about would make it better rather than what is making the suck suck more.” So, we had a quick round of negotiations and decided to tell each other what three things would make life so much better than it was at the moment, and they had to be small things. It couldn’t be that you were at the hotel with room service or owning a yacht.
My three things were:
- A shower – even a cold one would be fine
- A bed – no blankets or anything like that was needed
- Waffles with strawberries on top
If I have a really crappy day that depresses me beyond belief, I remember that situation, and then I go to Denny’s, IHOP, or Village Inn.
Of course, I have my woobie, too.