Greetings and Salutations!

Welcome to the longest-running* yet least-read** blog on the internet! Here you'll find me writing about all the things that I write about, which strikes me, just now, as somewhat recursive. In any case, enjoy :)

* not true ** probably true

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

How to cross the Uhwarrie River seven times in one night carrying a forty pound backpack, an M-16, a mortar bipod and a live chicken

There is a trick to crossing the Uhwarrie River in the middle of the night carrying an M-16 A2 rifle, a forty pound backpack, a mortar bipod and a live chicken. I know, because I did it seven times in one night, many years ago.

The trick is, you have to be very careful where you plant your feet, and take each step carefully, giving it your full attention, because you do not want to fall. You will be wet, all over, not just below the knees. All of your gear will be wet. The rifle and the bipod will be wet. The chicken will be wet (not that you much care, by this point). And while you will ensure all the things that can rust will become dry as soon as is practical, you will remain wet for hours in the chill North Carolina night. And being wet for hours in the chill North Carolina night is a special brand of misery.

So you place your feet very carefully, and you ignore the sergeant's bullshit direction about spacing, and you ignore the muttered complaint about your slowness from the guy behind you (he's not carrying a mortar bipod or a chicken, so he can just go fuck himself) and most especially you ignore the voice inside your head that says "Hey, you're crossing the Uhwarrie River seven times in one night carrying full kit plus a mortar bipod and a live chicken. That's, uh, that's... messed up? Funny as hell, if it were somebody else? Absurd? It's the live chicken that's the kicker, really..."

You have to ignore this voice, because this voice will not shut up if you indulge it even a little, and you will be inclined to listen to it, and chuckle along with its low wit, and you will forget to watch your footing on the slick river stones and in the moderate current.

Of course, the price you pay for ignoring the voice during the event is that, sometimes, the voice comes back years later. And then you are reminded all over again how you crossed the Uhwarrie River seven times &c. And then you are forced to blog about it.