If you spend anytime reading my drivel, you will find out that I’ve spent an inordinate time in drinking establishments across this fine land, and Canada. Which is not to say that Canada is not a fine land too, because it is. But it’s usually in American dive bars where I shine, dispensing the wisdom of a sage at the drop of a hat.

Recently, upon entering one of my favorite watering holes, I came upon two old gents discussing the Iraq war and whether or not it was all worth it.  Having spent the better part of three years in the cradle of civilization I knew it was only a matter of time before I was called to drop some science. Sure enough, one of the geezers sees me and says, “Hey Rod, you were in Iraq, right? What do you think? Do they really like us over there?

I drank deeply from my Genny Light and responded with this gem:

Well boys, it was the spring of 03,  May,  to be exact and we had just done a pretty good job of rolling through the country and doing our best to shoot up every non-compliant road sign we encountered.  The crowds of the liberated greeted us with a mix of frantic waving, shouts of America, Yes! and hairy eyeballs.  The thing about it was that once we had shot up all the road signs we really didn’t know what we were supposed to be doing, so for the most part we just stood around and guarded stuff. Well, guard is probably a strong word because we didn’t really stop anyone from doing anything.  We would just  park our tanks, put razor wire around our position and kind of stand there sweating and watching the freakshow go on around us.

The Iraqis for the most part were really curious about us. Hundreds of them would crowd around us and yell shit.

‘Mister, mister, mister,” They would scream to get our attention.  And us, fools that we were, would  go up to them thinking they were going to tell us important shit like where all the chemical weapons were, or where Saddam was hiding, or maybe where the hell we could find some goddamn ice.  But usually, all we got was. “What is your name?”

“My name? My name is Rod, dude. What have you got for me?”

Almost always they would respond with. “What is your name?’  Dude, I just told you my name. Now what have you got? Where the hell can a guy get a cold drink in this shithole?

Blank stare….. smiles , “Shithole!”

Dude, You’re killing me. Yes, sorry but your country is a shithole. In fact there is shit all over the place and it smells like shit. Look over there, see that?  That’s a pile of burning shit. Hence, my use of the word shithole. Now do you know something important or not?

Blank stares…. smiles, ” What is your name?”

” Fuck you, kid.”

And on it went, weeks and weeks of the same shit over and over again. We started calling it groundhog day after the movie where Bill Murray wakes up everyday to the same shit in Puxatawny, Pa. It was so fucking boring.

Pretty soon though, bad stuff started happening. Once they got the idea that freedom is a do it yourself thing some of them started doing crazy shit like strapping bombs to themselves and the crowds got a lot more dangerous. On July 4th in front of the only friggen ice factory in the city I was in, a dude with like ten grenades strapped to his chest started screaming crazy shit minutes after the owner said he was out of ice.  By the way, he was out of ice thanks to us. We bought it all.  Anywho, this guy either wanted to really kill some Americans or he was just really jonesing for some ice because he was yelling and everyone just cut him some slack and moved a safe distance away. Then he pulled the pin, and he was pink spray.

That little event made ol Rod especially wary about the crowds.

About a week later we were guarding a propane company which scared the shit out of me because it was basically like guarding a giant bomb, with about 500 dudes holding propane tanks trying to get in and screaming to know what my fucking name was.  At the height of the madness, I see this guy pushing his way through the crowd. I mean this dude was moving with a purpose. The closer he got, the more I started to freak out because all I could think of was grenade dude at the icehouse who really wanted some fucking ice. I figured this guy really wanted some propane and I knew he was gonna be shit out of luck. And he kept coming, but by this time he’s locked eyes with me and he’s moving my way. Really, I  was pretty much about to shit my pants.  Not knowing what else to do, I pulled my 9mm and just as he got to the edge of the wire I put it right between his eyes, prepared to either shoot him or go out in a mist of pink.

The guy made this weird face and like looked up for a second with crossed eyes at the barrel of  the 9 resting on his forehead then he looked directly at me and started singing.

“Hello, is it me you’re looking for?
I can see it in your eyes
I can see it in your smile
You’re all I’ve ever wanted
And my arms are open wide
Because you know just what to say
And you know just what to do
And I want to tell you so much
I love you ”

Then he smiled showing a brown rotten grill and the crowd went nuts with applause. The dude had the voice of an angel. He was like the fucking Susan Boyle of sweaty Iraqis.  I lowered the pistol and called over my driver.

“Garcia, check it. This dude has got some pipes.” And the guy did an encore. We were amazed. I asked him where he learned to sing Lionel Ritchie like that. He cleared his throat and said,” What is your name?”

I smiled and said, “Jean Claude Van Damme and don’t you forget it.”

So you see, guys, not all the Iraqis hate us. Some of them love the shit out of everything American, including Lionel Ritchie.

One of the old dudes looked at me questionably and said,” I never liked that song.”

 And I went back to my beer.

  1. Oh, Lionel. Bringing peace to the Middle East. And unrest to reality TV thanks to his trashtastic daughter, Nicole. He’s quite a multi-tasker.

  2. headbang8 says:

    You should check out a blooger called Father Muskrat. Google him.

    • Rod says:

      I haven’t googled him yet, but having been the reluctant recipient of a catholic education, I can imagine the results of that search….

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