THE VERMINOMICON |
September 24, 2007
Name: Adrian B.
Posting date: 9/24/07
Stationed in: Afghanistan
Milblog url: thesatiristatwar
A lot's happened since the last time I took a couple minutes out of my day to write. Notable highlights were me getting my CIB*, a steady worsening in the me-interpreter relations, the death of my grandfather, and a steady escalation in the activities of our "friends across the border," the Taliban. People may be wondering why I don't write more about such things, or imagine that I'm not writing dashing stories of travail and adventure because I haven't experienced them. The fact is, writing about certain things makes me think about those things, and the things that you might be most interested in are things I'd rather forget. It's already hard enough not to think about it without my favorite elixir (which is to say "hootch" or "booze"). So, no dramatic epics of wartime heroism, etc. -- just more of the same inconsequential stories.
The most recent episodes here on the FOB have revolved around the introduction of animals into our habitat. Certain types (especially younger, high-school and college-aged individuals -- people that don't know any better, in other words) always make such a big fuss about us encroaching on nature, and pushing all the cute animals out of their natural habitat. What these people fail to take into consideration is how irritating it is when an animal -- and more specifically, vermin -- makes its way into your home.
As winter's started its relentless advance, here in the mountains, every field mouse, spider, centipede, and bottle fly within a 500m radius has made living in the command hallway their number one priority. The field mice have staked out the wooden walls that separate our community, whereas the spiders and centipedes contend for homes in our shoes, boots, and sleeping bags. Flies seem content to limit themselves to the hallways.
Everyone has their ideas on what constitutes the best system for keeping vermin out of one's room. My favored technique is to keep my room as cold as possible, in hopes that the vermin will prefer my neighbors' rooms to my own, a defense that has met with excellent success, though not without incurring a significant amount of animosity from my colleagues; also, I am currently writing with gloves, a long-sleeved shirt, and long pants on, all of which I will have to switch out with more appropriate attire before venturing into the 85-degree mid-day heat.
Our 1SG has taken to cleaning his room obsessively since discovering an eight-inch, poisonous centipede near his shoes; he seems to feel that keeping his room pristine will deny the vermin access to the food and shelter they seek. The Fire Support Officer and our Commander have taken a more aggressive approach to the problem, emplacing numerous sticky tent traps around their rooms, and have to date enjoyed the best success, capturing, and quickly putting to the torch, three mice.
The commander was lucky enough to catch a fourth mouse with his boot the other day, bringing the total number of mice killed to four. Using poison is not a viable option with the mice, because they'd just crawl into a corner, die, then bring pestilence to our abodes with their rapidly-decomposing bodies.
*Combat Infantryman Badge