Saturday, January 17, 2009

CARE Packages

A while back, an old friend of mine said he was going to send me a CARE package, and asked what I wanted out here. Cookies? Candy? The answer, surprisingly (since I'm a big fan of cookies) is: nothing with sugar. Please. We have sugar coming out the wazoo out here. The DFACs have fresh-baked cakes and piles of big chocolate chip cookies, as well as an ice cream section. My office still has candy bowls filled with Hershey Kisses and gummy bears and all sorts of other goodies dating back to Halloween. And lots of people get packages from home filled with sweets of all kinds, much of which winds up in the "Take it, please!" pile. So we are not lacking for sugar. But CARE packages are always welcome. So what do we like to get out here?

Toys.

Yup, toys. Silly little footballs that we can throw at each other. Doodads that we can stick on top of our computer monitors. Gooey balls of some kinda slimey silly putty that we can stick on each other's desk and gross them out. Stuffed animals. Little monster trucks. Things that make us laugh.

Over Christmas, I ran around wearing a Santa hat that would wiggle to the tune of "Have A Holly Jolly Christmas". At least, I did until the music thingie burned itself up, at which point the wiggling didn't make much sense. One of the guys in the office was constantly getting small rubber Chicago Bears footballs. I'd find out about it when the new ball bounced off my computer screen or the back of my head. A woman in the office has a collection of stuffed green frogs that are often rearranged on her desk into very compromising positions. (Yes, we are equal opportunity harrassers).

So my friend's package arrived yesterday. Inside it, I found:
- A Washington Post newspaper (I'm so thankful it wasn't a Washington Times ...)
- Four movies. (Every little Iraqi store around here sells black market DVD's for dirt cheap, but their quality is often pretty bad and, as an artist, I'm sensitive to copyright infringement, so real movies are greatly appreciated!)
- A matchbox-sized monster truck.
- A small American flag.
- A bag of marbles (to replace the marbles I've lost ...)
- A toy compass, so I can find my way out of this country.
- A tiny little sunshade.
- A whistle (just in case I decide to be a whistleblower ...)
- A membership guide for AARP. Thanks, John ...
- A wind-up flashlight.
- A hand-held electronic Uno game.

The CARE package is achieving its mission. About a dozen of us have read the paper and there have been lots of laughs about all the other items. I have a section of my desk now reserved just for toys.

So if you're going to send a CARE package to somebody over here or Afghanistan, don't send them cookies or candy.

Send them toys.

2 comments:

OrionNav said...

Glad you enjoyed the package. Anyone who gives up retirement in North Carolina for a tour of duty in Iraq deserves at least one CARE package.

David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 01/19/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.