i’m totally the david copperfield of iraq

The first time I deployed in support of OIF, Americans were still fairly novel creatures to the regular “Joe Iraqi” townsfolk, as were our beardless faces, our cargo pants, and–most intriguing–our sunglasses.

On one of the two trips I took “outside the wire” while there (both unauthorized), I saw firsthand the perception they had about our sunglasses; before that day, I’d heard rumors about this belief only:

Iraqis think our sunglasses allow us to have x-ray vision.

At least, they thought that in 2003, when we first arrived. So, on June 7, 2003, when I went into a local village to eat a meal that wasn’t packaged 20 years ago, I was bum rushed by a group of middle-aged men who wanted to borrow my sunglasses.  I told them (at least 3 times) that my sunglasses were not magic and that they did not give me x-ray vision.

Our server was particularly pushy, however, and wouldn’t give up.

Iraqi server:  “You glasses let see panties, yes?”
Me: “Maybe…why?”
Iraqi server:  “I want you glasses, so I can look at her…”


“Her” was a 19-year-old redheaded medic from outside Little Rock; her name was Lacy. According to the list tacked inside the plywood door to our outhouse, she was the #2 most attractive female soldier working at the Combat Support Hospital.

Me (shouting): “There’s no need to bother, she ain’t wearing any panties!”

This made the server blush and the group of male restaurant patrons laugh hystercially.  Most importantly, they left me the hell alone long enough to finish my meal.
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  1. I wanted x-ray vision glasses SO bad when I was a kid. And I never ever thought of having it stop at the panties. Sheesh, what would be the point of good x-ray possibilities if you stopped at the damn BORDER?!

    With those thoughts now back to life in my head, I suppose I should stop by Father Muskrat’s confessional on Friday.

  2. Bill S, Hilarious comment. Yes, you probably should stop by Friday, and I thought the same when the guy asked about undergarments.

    Jim, That’s a great suggestion, but I don’t think server man would’ve understood “defective.” Maybe “fucked up”?

  3. You could have said that yours were defective and all you could see were skeletons walking around all damn day.

    Jim @ IPR’s last blog post..He Blogs, She Blogs

  4. Last time I was in that area of the world, the native believed that all Marines had x-ray vision (without glasses) and had to kill a member of their own family in order to join up.

    I don’t know where they got those ideas…actually, I do. It was from the pamphlets dropped by the psyops guys.

    Brent Diggs’s last blog post..The Official Memphis Position on Snow and Ice

  5. Or you could say that yours are unreasonably powerful, simply giving you an uninhibited view of whatever is behind the person you’re looking at. Now THAT’S a bitch.

  6. How do you say ‘dirty bastard’ in Arabic/Farsi/Kurdish/whatever?
    Went skiing today and my girlfriend ate shit, tore her rotator cuff etc. There was boob outline on her x-ray. Don’t worry I pointed it out.

    SwedishSkier’s last blog post..Poo Particles

  7. So, technically she was going…commanda?

    NukeDad’s last blog post..That’s It, No More Reading The Comics For You!

  8. I woulda just walked around leering at people. “Man,” I would say. “You really should get that kidney checked out … ”


    LOBO’s last blog post..Ghost of Christmas Past CAUGHT ON FILM!

  9. yeah photo of number 1 and number 10 please… how many girls were on the list? Was there a corresponding list in the girls dorms?
    Anyways, you naughty, slap slap.

    SSG’s last blog post..MrC’s music meltdown: Pixelh8

  10. I always categorized x-ray glasses with sea monkeys: back-of-comc-book-money-scams. THEN, I was given sea monkeys and watched them grow. Then they had a bunch of babies. I was so excited because this made the things found in the back of comic books more legit in my eyes. Then I realized the birth of the sea monkey babies made me a grandma so I stopped feeding them. [ok, not really. I fed them but they all died anyway]

    I’m holding out hope that x-ray glasses are legit.

    Thank you for using David Copperfield in your title. If you had used Criss Angel, I might have had to do something drastic.

    Sherri’s last blog post..Come Into The Pantheon.

  11. Brent, You were a Jarhead? Wow…didn’t know. I guess the stories got more legendary over the decade between “conflicts” in that region.

    Brother, That would make for a good wartime capability.

    SwedishSkier, I believe you give the “thumbs up” sign to them.

    FreeMan, Pervert! Perhaps I’ll post it on a “wordless Wednesday” entry this week.

    NukeDad, I believe she was! Keen observation.

    LOBO, Great suggestion. I didn’t think that fast.

    SSG, I have pictures of some of them, but not all. And yes, there was one for the guys (made in retaliation), though it wasn’t posted. There wasn’t much competition, though, as I was #2 on their list.

    Sherri, I’m old school like that. Who’s Chris Angel anyway?

  12. avatgardener

    panties perverts pursue photo-xray-ic possibilities. politely pester proud post-er. prefer pinup. ponder pantie-less-ness.

  13. no, soldiers aren’t allowed to wear panties.. she had on boxers.

    ChurchPunkMom’s last blog post..Smile and say ‘Cheesy!’

  14. HAHA how ridiculous! Sunglasses don’t have X-ray vision! hahahaha

    (man, shut up about that, will you? You’re gonna ruin it for all of us. My wife thinks these are for driving.)

    hahahahaha x-rays! how ridiculous! haha… ha… hah.

    busydad’s last blog post..Nothing Says Happy Holidays Like a Sugar OD

  15. AvatG, “Ponder pantielessness” is right. But I gave up after a while.

    ChurchPunk, Not these types of soldiers!

    BusyDad, Are you drunk already? That’s a lot of laughing. What time was it on the west coast when you commented?

  16. I know I’m late on writing this, but DUDE!

    As a former GI myself, there are some things that just DEMAND that you go the extra mile..

    When you told the server “She not wearing any panties”, the addition to that is “Because I’m waering her underwear right now”

    Geez.. I thought you of all people would know this!

    Jormengund’s last blog post..Well, there’s news, and then there’s… NEWS.

  17. I was kinda worried when you said war story and funny in the same sentence, especially since you were actually in Iraq. Glad there were some moments that could make a fella laugh over there
    .-= habanerogal´s last blog ..A Quickie Quitting Update =-.

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