Dear (deity of your choice) what have I put in my mouth?
Ah, Army food. One of those long running cliche's which holds so much truth that it may never die. Now don't read too much into this, the chow halls over here are first rate. Well prepared, recognizable food, hot without being overcooked. But due to our scheduling and lack of proximity to the chow hall we almost never are able to eat there. So our one 'hot' meal per day is usually served to us at midnight out of mermites (insulated plastic food containers kind of like a portable steam table), and with little choice of items.
Tonight was salisbury steak, onion rings, succotash, and fried bits of some darkish meat substance. Originally we took it to be overcooked chicken nuggets, so very few of us selected them. But of course there are a couple guys who just can't stomach salisbury steak, or have a perverse fondness for chicken nuggets. Keep in mind that the entry control point isn't lighted at all, so you're seeing your dinner with a flashlight as you serve it up, and are often times eating in the dark finding your mouth by luck and instinct (silverware just isn't used).
My buddy who shares my check point with me had passed on dinner and I elected for salisbury steak so I was unsuspecting. I was just nibbling onion rings when I heard a coughing choking sound that for once wasn't our generator dying. Then over the radio I heard "Oh dear god, what IS that!" there was a pause, heavy with anticipation, then "Oh my god it's LIVER!"
"Last calling station did you say it was liver?"
"Affirmative, affirmative, some bastard breaded and fried little chunks of liver!"
"Are you OK? Do you need help?"
It was quickly established that those who had attempted to eat the liver were not in any immediate danger, but all agreed it was a dirty trick for the KBR guys at the chow hall to have played on us.
Most of the chow hall workers are foreign nationals, Pakistanis, Phillipinos, Indians and normally supervised by a few US Soldiers. We agreed that it was foolish of them to have done such a thing as we are all heavily armed and somewhat frustrated at our lack of opportunity to shoot people. Serving us breaded fried liver chunks seemed an almost suicidal breech of dining hall etiquette.
At the end of our shift it was agreed that we would meet again to plan some sort of counter liver mission. It's doubtful you'll hear any more on this subject from me in order to protect those who should be presumed innocent until proven otherwise.