While on my first deployment to Afghanistan I and three of my buddies got the opportunity to go to Qatar in Saudi Arabia for some R&R. I was new to the Army still and had only formed friendships with my fellow mechanics and a few of the Joes from the Earth-Mover platoon. Their job was to make dirt roads between the various villages in country and my job was to fix the many vehicles they broke each day. They would operate, and I would subsequently repair, construction equipment such as Dozers, Graders, Dump-trucks, Vibe-rollers, and Scrapers, not to mention the tractor-trailer combinations that hauled the equipment to and from the job sites.
I had met a fellow Alaskan from the EM Platoon who turned out to have the same smart-assed sense of humor that I had. Needless to say, we hit it off and were ecstatic when we learned that we would be going to Qatar together. A senior mechanic in my platoon was to accompany us; he was the kind of guy who could jerry-rig the equipment in order to get it back on the road. The third member of our motley crew was a Mormon fella who was also a member of the EM platoon.
We had all been in country for about nine months and, as far as I knew, none of us had partaken in the consumption of alcohol during those months. The first thing we asked after getting off the C-130 transport plane was, “Where is the bar?” Most of the other Joes who had traveled to Qatar wanted to see the sights or engage in some good, wholesome fun, i.e. dune buggy rides, shopping at the Saudi mall, or swimming/snorkeling. Not us representatives of Alpha Company though. We were there to drink until we fell down- one of my favoritest games. Like I said before, there was a Mormon guy with us and he proved to be invaluable. Qatar is a military run base, and as such, it has certain rules for the Joes who visit. The main rule is that there is a three drink maximum. Lame. We figured out a way around this technicality though, have the Mormon guy, who did not drink alcohol as per his religious beliefs, buy his three drinks and give them to us. This worked out perfectly… until we had drunk our fourth beer.
We found out another way to consume more than the three allotted beers, we petitioned other Joes for their beer tickets. Normally, after showing your military ID card and paying ten dollars for your drinks, your name and last four were entered into the computer to ensure the adhering to of the three drink max. My fellow Alaskan and I had more cash than common sense and proceeded to procure beer tickets to the tune of ten to twenty dollars apiece. Thus, we were able to get extremely blitzed every night.
Now, for some reason or another, when I get wasted, I develop a Scottish accent. I refer to myself as Kevin and am fearless when hollerin’ at the ladies. The other Alaskan decided to partake in the accent but adopted one from the U.K. and proclaimed to be from Manchesta’ True to form, four of the seven female US soldiers at the bar found themselves drawn towards our table. We held their attention the entire night until we were asked to leave by the Military Police- we were having too much fun, I guess. The very next night, we decided to use our normal American accents to see if the ladies would still come around. Nope, not a one sat with us. After partaking in more than a few beers, our accents re-emerged and the ladies, though puzzled, yet inebriated, found themselves at our table once again as we regaled them with B.S. stories from our respective homelands.
Just goes to show you, I guess, that men aren’t the only superficial ones amongst the humans.