The Fobbit

Above shows accommodations down range.  These are nice ones, but the snoring can be intense.

Camp Ripper is a forward operating base – a FOB.  A FOB has some of the comforts of home, including a good chow hall, toilets that flush and cans with electricity instead of tents.  You also have access to laundry and shower facilities.   FOBs are comfortable and some people never – or very rarely – leave the FOB.  They are called Fobbits.

I don’t know the exact numbers, but my guess is that around half of the guys in Iraq are Fobbits.  I am a semi-Fobbit.   I spend most of my time on the FOB, i.e. I endeavor whenever possible to return at night to the comfort of my own can.  However, I do regularly travel away from the Shire and sometimes get stuck at some outpost or tent city where conditions are less comfortable.  

Fobbit is a term of some derision among non-fobbits.   Some people love the FOB and there are others who evidently like to be out in the deserts eating MREs.  I prefer the semi-fobbit life.  I go out when my job requires it and do so eagerly and happily.   I always enjoy getting away from Al Asad and most of the blog-posts I write are about those experiences.  However, it doesn’t take long for me to satisfy my sense of adventure and I like to get back to the cans of home. 

I am getting too old for this.  Most other places are either too hot or too cold and I sometimes worry – irrationally – about scorpions, camel spiders and snakes.  (I say irrationally because I have seen only one scorpion and no snakes, but I know they are laying in wait – stingers and fangs poised.)Besides, you usually have to sleep among people who snore loudly.   I also have the sense of guilt since I know that I snore too and am inflicting this on my colleagues.  Of course we all have earplugs.  Better to be in your own can.