The following story was written specifically for submission to Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader for their consideration with regards to Uncle John’s Flush Fiction, a short fiction anthology recently released in the Spring of 2012.  Well, they didn’t accept it for inclusion, but knowing the quality of the work they do carry, I’m not too worked up about it. I know they had better stories and limited space. That being said,  I’d like to offer the fans of Uh, Actually Daddy the opportunity to read the story. Much of the details shared here actually took place; I just thought it would be neat to tell them from the perspective of a completely different main character.  Please feel free to share your comments and enjoy.

 

DUTY STATION

Ugh… did he really just do that?  No self respect whatsoever.  Well, at least he left his Maxim Magazine behind… I haven’t read this one yet.  Oooo, Marge Simpson, huh? Check her out.  Oh, who’s this coming up now?  Ah, ha… it’s that First Sergeant from Bravo Med.  You think that last guy was disgusting?  She’s had sex in here three times in the last month.  She was caught the last time… some private from the Ranger Battalion.  They’re both in deep now.  He’ll be lucky to make PFC in ten years and she’ll be the only First Sergeant cleaning out bedpans.  At least until she takes early retirement.

Hey, did you hear about what happened to that translator?  I heard that he was found with a side arm, two mags and a marked-up map of the compound!  Yeah!  And he was one of ours!  Yep… born in the States, man.  I kid you not.  They’ve got him locked up somewhere over at Blue Diamond now.  It’s probably for the best, though; the local translators were starting to “influence” his habits, if you know what I mean.  Yeah!  He started going right there on the plywood in the shower tent just like they did!  I mean, we’re right here for crying out loud!  Whoa, whoa, whoa…stop.  Don’t use that word.  Yes, “port-o-potty”.  And you can forget “porta-John” too; I hate those names.  Damn it, have some pride… we are “Portable Sanitation Facilities” and if we’ve got to be stuck over here in this God-forsaken desert, then we should at least have the decency to use our given names, even if no one else will.  Arggggh!  Why do you get me so wrapped around the axle?  Yeah, I’m glad you think it’s funny.

Uh, oh… shhh, quiet down.  Here comes Petty Officer Davidson… you know, that Seabee who leaves blood every time.  He thinks it’s just a bad case of hemorrhoids, but that’s because he doesn’t know that the dark blood comes from inside.  He’s probably got internal injuries from that last mortar attack and won’t realize it until it’s too late.  I wish I could tell him.  Maybe that Chief Corpsman will notice how he’s walking and get him into the hospital.  I hope so; he’s a good kid.  He’s one of the few that has any sense of decency and really seems to understand the job we do, ya’ know?  I mean, I realize we’re just here to take everybody else’s crap, but I have some self-respect.  That kid comes in, does his business, cleans up after himself and doesn’t leave his “hillbilly haiku” all over the walls.  That’s a classy upbringing.

Yeah, yeah, I know… I’m “gettin’ above my raisin’ again”, but just because you’ve resolved yourself to this hell-hole, doesn’t mean I have to.  I guess we do have it pretty good though.  What’s the worst we’ve seen?  Just that time when the insurgents made an example of our sanitation contractor; that was a pretty nasty couple of weeks.  Towards the end there, I was so backed up that they had to hover and cover just to do thirty seconds worth of business.  I’m glad that the MEG worked that issue out quickly.  Have you heard what the trench latrines out on the borders have to go through?  No water, no cleansers; just waste and sand, all day long.  And then, get this… as a “bonus”, they get to watch the young Marines compete to see who can catch the most flies as they pull up their pants!  And don’t even get me started on the things I’ve heard about the outpost up past Al Qaim.  They have 30 gallon drums, cut in half, doing our job!  And then they burn them down with diesel fuel!  Yes!  I’ve heard them talking about it!  Yeah, come to think of it… we do have it pretty good.

But that doesn’t mean I’m gonna give up on a duty station stateside…

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