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As I may have mentioned, I travel a lot for the military. I’m currently on one of my longer trips to an undisclosed location to a country that kinda sounds like a blanket for your friend, Stan. As I start my blogging journey, it could be due to inspiration at 0200 to start something creative. It could also be a nice distraction from the stomach bug going around camp that the locals have affectionately named “Gambola” for heart-warming reasons. Regardless of the muse in my bleary-eyed thoughts, I’m still drawn to focus on the positive and mostly the sarcastic.

For example, let’s focus on all the extra exercise opportunities afforded by the lack of indoor plumbing. I walk 154 steps to the building that contains such wonders of the 1930s and decode two cipher locks to reach the actual bathroom. What kind of high-tech military technology is a cipher lock? It is a numbered set of buttons designed to make you dance outside a locked door while trying to remember a code with endless possibilities. Using numbers 1 through 5 can only create so many combinations of numbers. However, upping the ante, many codes require two numbers to be pressed simultaneously. Adding to the full-bladder fun, I’ll mention that only female bathrooms have a cipher lock on the door. While I understand that they are there for my safety, I generate a new level of righteous indignation when I can’t key the right code in the middle of the night. How safe am I really if I can’t even get the door open? What kind of bathroom terrorists made such policies necessary? Maybe if they removed the locks, I’d finally get to threaten someone with my shower-caddie knife. As the locals say, Inshallah.”

I will remain thankful that this ancient sewer system is still functioning despite the local’s inclination to choose smooth rocks over toilet paper. I will stay hydrated despite the demoralizing heat and promise of kidney stones from the water. All in all, it could always be worse. My boots are dry, and I’m on the homeward slide of this all-expenses-paid government vacation.



5 comments on “Boots for Blogs

  1. Donna Trumbull says:

    Love the story. I laughed out loud. Nice job.

  2. john mckee says:

    Ok, so here are the amount of combinations in your lock…

    Firstly, you have a 5! (Five Factorial, 5*4*3*2*1) = 120 different combinations if you can only pick one number per code. However, since you can pick multiple numbers (let’s assume no more than a combo of 2 at a time), you then have (5*5!/2)*(3*3!/2)*1 = 300*18*1 = 5400. Then you add the two combinational possibilities and you get 5520 possible combinations in order to go potty.

    See you when you get home.

    1. john mckee says:

      actually, thinking about it more…that was wrong if….the keypad allows you to select 1-5 for each number. If that’s the case, it’s,

      5^5 = 3125 for the first conditional. Then,
      (5^5 * 4^4 = 3125 + 256 = 3381) + (3^3 + 2^2 = 31) = 3412 for the second conditional, mean that the final total combinations is = 3125 + 3412 = 6537.

      1. Talk nerdy to me, McKee! 😘

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