Apathy Jack writes:
War Reporting For Cowards by Chris Ayres
I noticed the captain looking at my flak jacket.
‘Why the hell are you wearing a blue vest?’ he asked. His eyes moved upward with growing disbelief. ‘And a blue helmet?’
‘It’s, er, Kevlar,’ I replied. ‘Bullet-proof, y’know?’ I rapped my knuckles twice on my helmet and gave a weak laugh.
‘Do you have any idea how many blue things there are in the Iraqi desert?’ the captain replied, his eyes damp with anger.
I shook my head. I didn’t want to hear the answer.
‘Well I’ll tell you,’ he said. ‘There’s one blue thing. And it’s you.’
Trux appeared from behind me, his M-16 slung over his shoulder. He glanced at my jacket, which had the word ‘PRESS’ inscribed on the chest-plate in large, florescent white letters. Then he gave me a playful shove.
‘What th-’ I began to say.
‘I’m pressing!’ said Trux. He shoved me again, harder. ‘Look, I’m pressing! It says here I have to press! What happens now?”
Trux slapped his palm on my back, then nearly collapsed with laughter. I thought I detected an upward curl of the captain’s lips.
‘That’s very funny,’ I said.
‘Whoever gave you that vest, man, I wouldn’t send ‘em a Christmas card,’ said Trux. ‘I think they might want you dead. Why didn’t they write “PRESS” in Arabic? As far as the Iraqis are concerned, that snazzy blue jacket might mean you’re a goddamn general. I hope the Kevlar comes with a warranty.”