The eagerly-awaited US Customs inspection arrived—one of those signs that you are close to the end of the deployment. We stood in formation with all of our "Tuff boxes", filled with personal equipment, just waiting for the Customs inspectors to do their thing before we packed them in shipping containers prior to the trip home. Before the Customs inspectors walked through, however, they had to read some mandatory verbiage. The gist of it prohibited us from bringing certain things back to the US—weapons, war trophies, animals, fruit, camel spiders, bootleg DVDs, you name it. However, they got to the end of the Customs briefing and noted that there is one very important thing that is prohibited during the Customs inspection.
"No pornographic material, to include magazines, DVDs, or any material with exposed female breasts of genitalia for the purposes of depicting graphic sexual behavior. No sexual devices or devices used for sexual gratification."
Wait...what? No porn? War is hell...
To pass on an undeniable truth—most Soldiers probably have oodles of porn, despite the restrictions. I believe the original intent behind the "no porn" rule was to avoid offending the Muslim culture. However, as anyone who has walked the streets of some of these neighborhoods can attest, a number of the local residents have a bootleg collection of porn that make the two girls with the cup blush (the sad thing is, most of you know what I'm talking about).
I often questioned the logic of Customs searching for porn before equipment gets shipped back to the US, the home of the porn industry, but that's well above my pay grade. Nevertheless, the rule is the rule. I made certain to give my equipment one last check to ensure that I didn't have porn. I've become so desensitized to it recently, that I probably forgot some porn. I made sure to check my GQ magazines I picked up in Australia to ensure that there weren't any nip slips in the Megan Fox issue of GQ.
I had an errand to run as Customs began inspecting other Soldiers. I returned just in time to see the inspector stopped at my equipment.
"Is this your equipment, Sir?"
"Why yes it is"
"Can you explain these", he said, pointing to a lump of condoms mixed among my equipment.
"Wha-wha…", I stammered. My first reaction wasn't "Those aren't mine", but as a testament to my depravity, I could only answer, "I didn't think still I had those".
"Fortunately for you, condoms aren't necessarily illegal. But they're definitely…I…I don't know, Sir. War must not be hell for you. Let's move on", he said, opening a DVD case.
"What is this!?" he exclaimed, showing me a DVD of [insert porn title here] with a bottle of lubricant inside. (I write "insert porn title here" not because I have some sense of high moral objection to porn, but because I don't want the pervs to come out in force due to Google searches which bring them to this blog. Seriously, the traffic from the Megan Fox pictures is bad enough)
"What kind of sick freak are you, Sir?"
Great. I could try to deny that this was my porn, but knowing me, that wouldn't be believable.
"I need to consult my supervisor", said the inspector, leaving me to hold a DVD of [aforementioned porn title] in one hand and a bottle of lube in the other hand, much to the gawking dismay of everyone else.
Fortunately, I realized that I'd been "Punked", with a few props courtesy of the medics as well as the "Amnesty Box" which contained copious amounts of seized porn. (Unfortunately, I didn't get to keep the porn.) I can only imagine what the Customs inspectors will say when I try to pass through the Rolling Stone magazine with SWJ on the hot list but with Lady Gaga in the bubble bikini on the cover. Might just want to throw that one away now—after all, Lady Gaga might not even be a lady after all, so I can only imagine trying to explain my way out of that.