11 January 2010

Soldiers of Fortune-Cookies

During a tactical pause for dinner this past drill-weekend, a couple of my buddies and I went out to eat. We were so mentally fried that the only thing that sounded good was lowest-common-denominator Chinese food at the local grocery's deli. It was cheap, hot, filling, and spicy-enough-for-Midwestern palettes. (Remember, I also live in the land of "extra mild" salsa.)

Rhino, Trooper, Spartacus and I deployed together a few years ago, to monitor a crappy little peace overseen by a crowded multitude of countries. By the usual wacky set of circumstances, we've all found ourselves, years later, working different but strangely similar jobs at higher levels of alleged competence. Although we are comfortable in our skins and comfortable with each other, we are, by no means, masters of own destinies. The idea that we might be spending more-extended quality time with each other, in the coming months, is already part of our individual sanity-maintenance strategies.

The Chinese food came, of course, with cellophane-wrapped fortune cookies. Remember that game you used to play with your girlfriend (or boyfriend), the one where you added "... in bed" to whatever was on the little slip of paper in each cookie? On Saturday, we decided to amend the practice. We added "... on the deployment."

"You are what you eat," as they say. So, according to our Saturday night meal, here's what the future has in store for us four--we precious few, we happy few:
  • "Be what you wish others to become ...
  • "You will profit through experience ...
  • "Success is determined by how and what you think about ..."
  • "You can't slide uphill ..."
To the the Cookie-Confucius's credit, three-out-of-four of these are pretty darn affirming. Even the odd-man-out (for the record, it was Rhino's) sounds like a Roger Miller lyric, and that's not bad, either. You really can't roller skate in a buffalo herd, but you can be happy, if you've a mind to.

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