Last month my Company Gunny and I were grabbing chow at the food court on NSA Bahrain. As we stood in line a young Navy Lt (0-3) walked up behind us. A glistening sheen of perspiration shown on his forehead indicating he had just come in from the sweltering heat.
Summer in Bahrain is not merely hot. Somewhere over the tiny island kingdom, sunshine is transformed into beams of magma. This causes a kind of heat and humidity the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature measures as “Molten.” The occasional breeze offers no relief as every gust feels like a hair dryer blistering the back of your neck. Just leaving your office to go grab a bite can turn your afternoon into an episode from a reality survival show.
As the young Lt behind us gingerly patted out the flames on his uniform, my Gunny and I turned and greeted him with a hearty, “Good afternoon sir.” Taking this as some kind of invitation the plucky Lt sought to engage us in friendly Naval banter.
“Hey, I heard Marines can do anything,” he said readily. “Can you do something about this heat?”
Without hesitation or a trace of humor, I replied: “We can make it hotter.”
My pithy response and implied threat visibly deflated the unfortunate Lt. Shoulders slumped, he broke contact taking his smoldering utilities with him to the Chinese takeout line.
Turning back to the task at hand my Gunny wondered aloud: “What was he thinking?”
We may never know.