It's Veteran's Day everyone! Go hug someone who served.
Last year I posted a great story told by my friend Erin from her days in the army. Some of you have read it before, but I have a lot of new readers since then, so I don't feel guilty about posting it again. So, in honor of service people everywhere, I give you The Bird Story.
The Bird Story I joined the Army on September 10, 2001 because I
have magnificent timing. "What could go wrong?" Yep. Anyway, I became an
Engineer in the Army and ended up getting stationed in Germany. Incidentally, I
was the only female engineer in my company for nine months straight. Please
remind me in the future to tell you about the initial hilarity/eventual
nightmare that this entailed.
I got to Germany right about
the time when George W. was busy pissing off all of Europe with his stupid WMD
bullshit about Iraq-- he *especially* had pissed off the French and the German
people. Fantastic. We were not very welcome in Germany. I remember being on
Guard Duty (standing at the entrance of the base, fully armed and prepared to
blow away anybody who posed a threat) and an elderly German man rode past on his
bicycle, giving me the finger and yelling, "Go back to your own country!" I
completely agreed with him. Anyway, bad things started to happen-- people
yelling at us on the street, bar fights and eventually a stabbing at the local
pub. We were put on Base Restriction for our own protection.
exactly four things to do on base: go to the movies, rent movies, bowl and get
drunk. Usually, the first three activities involved the fourth.
night, after going bowling (while drinking), coming back to the barracks and
watching a movie with some friends (while drinking) and then finally settling in
alone in my room (while drinking), I decided that I was not quite drunk enough.
Mind you, in the course of four hours, I had consumed three giant German beers
and one... it's not a pint, and it's not a fifth-- it's the one in between--
let's call it a fish bowl-- so, I had consumed three giant German beers and one
fishbowl of tequila. But I wasn't drunk enough, so I went to the base liquor
store and bought another fish bowl of tequila, went back to my room and popped
in another movie. I got about halfway through my second fish bowl and... I
started to not feel so good.
Are you familiar with the stage of
inebriation when you know you're going to be sick but you *really* think that
you can prevent it from happening? This stage usually involves food.
was around one in the morning at this point and everything on base was closed.
The only food I had in my room: bread and peanut butter. Score. Peanut butter
sandwiches. I made myself a stack of peanut butter sandwiches, maybe 5 or 6 of
them, and started happily munching away at them. Halfway into the second
sandwich, I realized that I did indeed feel better...but I was so thirsty from
the peanut butter. I didn't feel like going *all the way* down the hall to get
some water, and after all, I had that half-bottle of tequila sitting right there
next to me, and I *was* feeling better, soooo... I washed all 5 or 6 sandwiches
down with the rest of that bottle of tequila.
Strangely enough, shortly
after, I started to feel not so good again. And again, I thought I could fix the
problem. "I'm just hot. I should take my clothes off." So I did, and that helped
a little, but I was still not feeling so good. "The window," I thought, "I need
to open the window." And I did. These were old Nazi barracks (I'm not kidding,
seriously, they used to be Nazi barracks), and they had the giant windows that
went all the way to the ceiling. So, three in the morning, wintertime in
Germany, I am naked, relishing the cold winter air on my naked body. After a
minute, I felt okay and I left the window open and slipped into bed. As soon as
my head hit the pillow, the room started spinning out of control and I shot
right back up, stumbled over to the open window and proceeded to vomit for what
seemed like an eternity. Remember, I'm 5'7" and weigh all of 120 pounds and I've
consumed three giant beers, two fish bowls of tequila and 5 or 6 peanut butter
sandwiches, all of which were brewing in my stomach the whole night. Drunk as I
was, I can still remember thinking-- as I was puking-- "Jesus, this is taking
FOREVER." At some point, I stopped and made it back to bed.
I woke up the
next morning cold and confused. "It's freezing in here! Why is the window open?
Why am I naked? What did I DO last night?" It all came back to me when I went to
close the window and saw that I had not *quite* cleared the ledge all the way
while I was puking my guts out the night before, as there was a huge, frozen
mound of tequila/peanut butter sandwich vomit right outside my window. Fuck.
One of the many things that blow about the military is something
called Base Inspection, and this usually involves the Commander of the base
strolling around and seeing what's fucked up. It can happen at any time. Knowing
this, I went outside to see what the damage looked like from the ground. This is
when I discovered the 15-foot long puke-cicle stretching from my window to the
ground along the side of the building, with another little frozen mound of puke
at the bottom. "I'm too hung-over for this. I'll deal with this tomorrow and
hope for the best."
There was no inspection that day, thank
The next morning, I woke up unpleasantly early to sound of
10,000 birds chirping right outside my window. "What the fuck!" I opened my
curtains to find that the puke mound was gone, and all sorts of birds were
hanging out on my ledge, pecking away at what was left of it. "That's
disgusting." I immediately went outside to see what was still left on the side
of the building, and holy shit, it was ALL gone. All of it, the mound on my
ledge, the puke-cicle, the mound on the ground, all of it. "Oh my god, thank
goodness, I really didn't want to clean that up. But that's fucking disgusting."
Relieved, I went back inside and didn't think much of it again.
least not for a day or two when I started seeing dead birds around base. And not
just one or two, but a whole mess of them. The first dead bird: "Aww, a dead
bird." The second: "Huh, that's weird, I just saw a dead bird." The third:
"What's with all the dead birds?" The fourth, fifth and so on and so on... "Wait
a minute. Oh, fuck." I finally realized that all the dead birds on base were
right next to buildings. I looked up at some point and that's when I discovered
what clearly appeared to be a bird splat mark on one of the building windows.
The birds, who were completely shitfaced on my tequila vomit, were drunkenly
flying into windows and accidentally killing themselves.
I never harmed a
single human being when I served. But I think I killed a shit-ton of
In conclusion, birds are gross.