It rained all of yesterday, pissing down on all of us while we were at the combat shoot range near Pasir Laba Camp (or Pasir Labia Camp, as we called it, which is built around Bukit Vagina, as we giggled some more like secondary school boys, but you know, it’s a bit tiring to talk about how vulgar our conversations are when we’re in reservist.)
Strangely, we weren’t as miserable as we ought to have been – being in wet clothes for what, twenty hours or so and being stung by mosquitoes hardy enough to withstand our saturation spraying of much Off as well as our liberal application of many citronella patches all over ourselves.
As a platoon mate, who shall not be named because these days, if you get named on this blog, everyone in your office gets to know about your exploits in camp, and I really don’t want that to happen to you. Unless you want it to. If so, leave a comment and I’ll insert your names…
As I was saying, this platoon mate says to a bunch of grumbling fellow troopers who’ve started a conversation with, “Wah lao, this kind of rain won’t stop one leh!”, that we should “think about it. How often do you get to walk in the rain?”
I think he meant for us to try to enjoy our day out, and the conversation veered to how some people pay good money to enjoy getting stung by mosquitoes and other sundry insects while getting drenched on eco-tours.
You’d understand by now that despite being in uniform and bearing the latest in automatic rifles and Army gear, we weren’t thinking about how proficient we were going to be as soldiers – something which, in this 9th year of reservist (I have to keep calling it that though I know the official name is National Service) training, is getting increasingly laughable given our creeping ages.
The upshot is that for most of us, safety was always going to be the foremost consideration, as an exchange at the combat range between the control point officer and a safety specialist, over loundhailers, in the dark, would testify:
SS: “Hold it! Wait! Wait! Wait!”
CP: “Yes, what?”
SS: “Live round (bullet)! Live round!”
CP: “Where is it? Is it stuck in the chamber (of the rifle)? Is it double chambering?”
CP: “Then where?”
SS: “On the ground!”
CP: “Wah lau! Then pick it up lah! Idiot!”
Much laughter ensued. And so, yes, W, you missed out on a good one.