POSTCARDS FROM A HOT AND SANDY PLACE #8 – All female Captains look alike

Readers, I apologize for my hiatus, sometimes my job as a desert lawyer gets in the way of my career as a humor columnist.

I have discovered I have an evil twin. No kidding readers, there is someone running around our encampment who looks exactly like me, confusing the heck out of soldiers and civilian workers alike. Now, for those of you who know me and not just my virtual persona, you know that I am fairly distinctive looking person amongst a literal army of male infantry soldiers, petite, athletic, with long brown hair and my most defining characteristic, being a girl. Well, I have discovered that there is another petite, brown haired, DCU-clad female on our encampment, a perfectly nice medical service corps captain named CPT Z. While I do not think we look much alike up close, apparently being female is just too overwhelming a characteristic for people to see beyond.

When we first moved into our camp, I was assigned a room with all the other staff captains in the staff barracks. Immediately, we all started scrounging for furniture and decent mattresses, cleaning and throwing away all the crap left by the not so tidy cavalry soldiers we replaced. When I heard that you could get a real mattress from one of our supply offices, I headed over and grabbed one. As I was walking out, a concerned looking NCO stopped me and said, Ma’am, your room is the other way, are you lost? No, I replied, trying to heave the mattress out the door, I am pretty sure the room I have been living in for the past two weeks is that way! Ok he replied and walked away looking confused and shaking his head.

That afternoon, the head of the supply office came up to me and said Ma’am, you sure are picky about your mattresses, I heard you exchanged yours 5 times! No, I am quite sure I only took one and I like it just fine! Then I remembered that CPT Z lived in the same building as the supply office and she was a quite finicky about her living quarters, turning her nose up at a room on the staff barracks floor for a nicer one in a different building nearer to the laundry room. Lord, I thought, why could not my evil twin be super athletic or fly around doing good deeds that I could take credit for, instead I get mistaken for a girly girl!

The next week, I went to visit one of our paralegals in a different section of our area. We were touring his area, seeing where he lived, what local shops were by his barracks and checking out the gym and movie centers. One of the American civilian workers came running up and said Hi Ma’am, glad to see you back again today, you must really like the gym. I was a bit perplexed, as my friends know I really do like the gym, but had only come over to the area that morning. My paralegal started laughing and said Ma’am, CPT Z was here yesterday Yikes, she strikes again!

Recently, my finicky evil twin decided yet again she did not like her room and that she wanted to move to a different building. Apparently this caused some consternation amongst the civilian maintenance workers, one of them pulled me over in the street and said Ma’am, do you need to move right away, we are having problems getting the room ready right away. Arrgh! I said, pointing to my branch designation on my collar, I am legal, you are looking for the other short brown haired female captain, the medical one! Nothing like getting a reputation for stuff you didn’t do!

But, after getting multiple questions about medical issues, I decided to give in and just go with the flow. But it did not last very long, since soldiers figured out that when they asked me what to do about the heat rash on their toes, my response of immediate amputation was not the right answer. Although, I get to have a bit of fun by treating a few cuts and scrapes by tying the bandages on with fluffy pink bows and ordering the soldiers not to remove it for 24 hours on pain of death. I think that’s when they figured things out and were on to me not being a doctor.

Although, I must say, being a female amongst a sea of infantry has its advantages and I am enjoying my 15 minutes of fame. For example, when I go to do legal assistance in one of our satellite offices, I don’t have to advertise that I will be available to see soldiers, because word of the arrival of the female lawyer spreads throughout the infantry sections within minutes. Soldiers who I have never met before come streaming in looking excited, Ma’am, I sure am glad you are here, they said you just came in, I got a problem with my (credit) (baby-mamma) (truck payment).

While I can understand being mistaken for my evil twin, it was a bit much when my tall, strawberry blond, blue eyed, military intelligence captain friend got mistaken for me. A soldier had urgently elbowed his way through the chow hall to speak with her. He asked what her hours were and when could he come see her, he had a question he need to ask her right away. Flattered, she replied that their office ran 24-hour operations on the second floor of the staff office building, so he could come by anytime. The soldier looked really impressed that she was available 24 hours a day and started telling her his life story and how he might need help with a divorce because his wife had just stolen all his money are run off to Jamaica. She started laughing and said, I work in the operations office – you want the other female captain downstairs in legal!

Geez, we have cable TV out here, soldier can’t be that blind about females already!

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