Thursday, June 01, 2006

Urine Luck: Another Brian Report

A lot of you are asking for progress reports from my son, so here's the latest update.

First of all, I'll back up to Mother's Day, a day in which I knew he'd be able to call, and so I did it: I got excited. I mean, I was "waiting for Santa" excited. I had a cookout that day. It rained for hours, but I had an awning over the grill, and all was right with the world, when the phone rang.

It was Brian, saying, "I only have 3 minutes. Someone from the next platoon snuck out of church, so everyone's grounded for the day." Rats. Fast talking ensued: are you ok, I love you, times up!

It's the first time I felt awful after we got off the phone. He sounded deflated. I'm sure he was frustrated, as were the dozens of other men unable to communicate with mothers, wives, and children that Mother's Day. How'd you like to be the guys that messed that up for everyone?

Well. I did not cry! I bucked up for the cookout. We had a great meal, and were preparing dessert when my doorbell rang. Everyone I know is in my house, so who could that be? I opened the door to find Bri's best friend Chris, holding out a card. "Happy Mother's Day." He stepped in to give me a hug, and I lost it. Wah, wah wahhhhh. Then Marcy cried, and my sister teared up, and I'm pretty sure Chris will never pull a stunt like that again!

Since then, Brian's received passes on the weekend, and we've had nice long talks. Last weekend, he got to call me on Sunday AND Monday, whoo hoo. We had so much time to talk that we ran out of things to talk about, in that "list of things to cover" sense, so we got to sit back and ramble about inconsequential stuff. Here are few highlights:

  • There are portraits. He doesn't want to send them because he had a black eye, or a swollen eye, or something. SEND THEM ALREADY!
  • Each night they're responsible for standing guard an hour in the hallway. Sleep is like gold there, he says, and he's making a few extra bucks buy taking over other guys' shifts. He's socking it away in savings. How responsible.
  • He was #1 in the target shooting exercise, even beating 3 of his drill sargeants. Even though his dad is on the SWAT team, I still can't wrap my mind around "my kid + a gun." He spent more time on a range than I know, I know.
  • He threw live hand grenades. Oh, god. I'm hyperventilating. Can we just get back to clothes and food for awhile?
  • He barfed up all the candy bars and mountain dew he had on the day he received his first pass. He will, in the future, take it easy on the junkfood and caffeine on pass-days.
  • Breakfast is eggs and choice of meat. Eat fast. If you get done early, you can speedwalk back for a yogurt or a bagel.
  • Lunch/Dinner is choice of 3 meats. Beef yakisoba was one offering that day. More worldly than I expected.

Water? I ask him? For some reason, I have been worrying about this water issue. It's hot down there, and he's working hard, and I'm here fretting, "I hope they give him enough water!" I don't want his tongue rattling around in his head like a bell-gong.

THAT gave us conversation fodder. Here's more for you, then:

  • 1 quart every hour.
  • 2 quart canteen in his rucksack, 1 quart on each hip.
  • 1 quart upon waking. They're awakened with that "Toe the Line" alert, and have to chug a quart right then, then go out for physical training. They all vomited up their water every morning for the first week or so, that they were there. They don't do that anymore.
  • There is a color chart that they have to compare their urine to, to determine their level of hydration. Orange = bad, clear = good. I forgot to ask where that chart is located. In the john? In their locker? In the field?

I summoned all of my artistic skills and made a chart, as I imagine it, just for you. You can print it out if you want. Hell, print several, and post them wherever you pee. Carry one in your wallet.

Drink water, folks. It's summertime.


  1. I think maybe they just tape the chart to one of their legs. lol

    I always love your reports. I have a friend who was (is) a Marine and he told me the very same story about everyone puking up their candy bars.

  2. Good, this will give me a target to aim at.

  3. I'm thrilled you got to talk until you had to *think* of things to talk about! We talk a lot about pee here in the Scherer house - so the chart will be a wonderful conversation starter! Thanks for the fodder!

    PS: I bet Chris DOES do that again. He seems like such a nice boy :)

  4. Yeah drink water - between 1 1/2 and 3 liters a day ( we have half liter and 1 1/2 liter water bottles. You can guess at the conversion. Well that is now, but we only hit 117 today. that is about 47 for the metric folks:P

  5. I DID cry when Chris came by. That was so touching!

    I'm so glad you've gotten to speak to Brian for long periods. And you got lots of updates!

    I love your pee chart!

  6. I love the pee chart! I could have really used this when I was sloppin' bed pans!

    You could toss one of these in the toilet each time you pee to see if you need to drink more water.

  7. what if your pee glows in the dark?

  8. betty7:30 PM

    Nice story, when is his gradurtion?
    Love Betty

  9. CB: A good idea, the leg tape. Perhaps a tatoo...

    Awe: Glad to be of service. Stay soggy.

    Wendy: I think I remember one of your pee stories. Yum. Hope to hear how the chart goes over.

    And, maybe Chris will get all crazy again, but place your bets he rings the doorbell and runs.

    Barry: 117!!! I was flailing around like an idiot after a long walk in a humid 87 yesterday. You must be sizzling!

    Momo: Put that chart up in your law-office restrooms, will ya?

    PP: You could have laminated one, carried on your lanyard. It's very scientific.

    Paul: If your pee glows in the dark...don't flush, leave the lid up, and turn off the nightlight. Then get a tax break on energy efficiency.

    Hi Betty. Brian graduates on July 15th. Nice & warm.

  10. I came over to check on how you were doing, and I got an educational lesson on pee. What a treat!
    Glad to hear things are going well.

  11. YAY! A Brian report! Glad to know he's well. And the military is fastidious about teaching hydration. (Spoken in my best SGM's voice) "If you're already thirsty, it's Too Late! You shoulda been drinking water by now!"

    And I agree with Wendy. I bet Chris knew Exactly what he was walking into ~ and would walk into it again.

    And I know Mama is happier, too...


  12. I will write you when we get back. We are leaving the on 13th because family day is the 14th and graduation is the 15th of June. I will fill you in on everything Love Betty

  13. I love your wit as always. Urine luck? HAHAHAHA! Ugh about that toe the line/puking the water thing. Uck.

  14. Hey!

    Sixty-one RSS blogs to read and yours is my first stop...talking about wee! I don't envy the poor chap who had to test samples to get a universal comparison chart.

    Good to back, though slightly concerned about hte amount of water I've been drinking lately...

  15. Totally off-topic but here is an interesting video your readers might enjoy,


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