Tue, 14 Sep 2010 04:33:56
David and I wrote and produced AFGHAN GLADIATOR for Radio Free Oz in July.
HOST: We’re backstage talking to the winner of “Afghan Gladiator,” the hot new TV show that gives returning vets from AfPak a chance to go back for another tour of counter-insurgency. Here he is, a former National Guardsman who has already revolved through eight tours over there – PTSD 1st Class, Crystal McStanley. Tell us about yourself, Chris . . .
CHRIS: Yes, sir. Well, I joined up at 18 for on-the-job training, and it sure was, because three days later I was in Kandahar. I want to go back, but they said I’m too used up, so I guess this shows ‘em.
HOST: I suppose you brought home some souvenirs from your last tour, right?
CHRIS: Sure – aphasia, night sweats, the crabs, and I used to be a woman, but the Army took care of that, last time I looked.
HOST: Chris, tell me about the “Afghan Gladiator” challenge.
CHRIS: First there was the pop-up fire-fights – I got 5 points for every turban, lost 5 for every CD – that’s collateral damage. I ended up even.
Then there was the IED swamp – I had to drain the thing and replace it with a girl’s school.
Then came Bribe the Warlord – you, know – it’s tea-up or get terminated on the Kabul to Freakin’ Nowhere Hiway. Cost me an arm and a leg. Glad they weren't mine.
HOST: So you survived the first three challenges, how did it end up?
CHRIS: In the Poppy Field. You have to dream your way out of it.
HOST: Kinda like the war. How d’ja do it?
CHRIS: I used my big jar-head of Fratris-Ade –it’s got meth-enhanced electrolytes to keep me up all night. See, you gotta stay up all day because the other guys own the night.
HOST: So what did you win, besides your chance to go back to Afghanistan?
CHRIS: A case of Bud Light Lime – enough to get the General from Paris to Berlin in my new Hummer.
HOST: The Army gave you a Hummer?
CHRIS: No, just the down payment. But it’s got robusted air-conditioning and skin seats.
HOST: So that’s your job on tour #9? Just driving the General?
CHRIS: No, sir. I'm a Stryker. Our orders are to Clear, Hold and Forget About It.
HOST: But what about winning the war?
CHRIS: There’s no winning, sir. Just survival.
HOST: And, PTSD 1st Class, Chrystal McStanley, that’s just what you’ve done on Afghan Gladiator today. Good luck on you way back to ‘Stan. By the way, all those countries out there are called “Stan” something. What does that mean, did they tell ya?
CHRIS: Yes sir. “Stan” is Moslem for “pain.” Afghani-pain, Uzbeki-pain, Paki-pain.
HOST: Well, no pain, no gain.
CHRIS: Lots of one, none of the other. But it’s a good war, sir. I’ve already signed up my unborn children to forget about what I’m goin’ out to clear and hold.
HOST: And back to you from the Bob Hopeless Studios in Burbank.