As a follow up to yesterday’s post, today I offer the story of “Nooner.” 
A few days ago, my Aussie footy friend, Chet, said, “I hope you make the nooner!” He was referring to the 12 o’clock game we have at the US Australian Rules Football (USAFL) National Tournament…and my infamous nickname from my first deployment to Iraq in 2005.  (I’d previously made the mistake of sharing the story of aforementioned nickname over beers one night at the team pub ;-p  ).  You see, I’ll be arriving to the tournament late, missing the Jillaroos’ first game at 9am, arriving in Austin at 11am, and scurrying from the airport to the field in order to hopefully make the noon game.

Columbus/Baltimore/Boston combo team at USAFL Nationals Oct 2011 Austin TX

Aaaaanyway, to the story – Life at the squadron wasn’t too bad.  We didn’t have a “real” chow hall because we were far enough removed from the main part of Al Taqaddum Air Base (aka: Mainside) to not warrant one.  Therefore, you could either go to the tent chow hall near our living quarters which was sort of like a real chowhall, or stay at the flight line and eat from the troughs filled with whatever remnants from the main chowhall the S-4 Marines could scrounge up and bring back to us.  (Those same Marines then had oh-so-pleasurable duty to serve everyone cafeteria-lady-style at meal time.)
Well, about a week before Christmas, the S-4 officer, Capt W, sent out an email to the entire squadron which said he would like to have the Officers serve the Marines their chow on Christmas Day.  He detailed the meal times, how many people he needed for each, and closed by asking the officers to volunteer for the morning, noon, or evening meals.  Still in the throes of my “Pep Rally” attitude at that point in the deployment, I immediately hit “reply all” and said: “I’ll do the nooner! J Sign me up! Lt P.”  Yes, I actually put an exclamation point and a smiley face.   Nearly as soon as I’d hit “send,” I heard Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! as my email began exploding with the signal of incoming email.  Replies ranged from the confused: “What did you say?” to the ridiculous “You’ll do the nooner!?  Then everyone in the squadron will want to do the nooner!” In a matter of a few minutes, my email inbox was jammed.  I laughed, but didn’t really know why.  Equally entertained and confused, I finally consulted my friendly buddy and mentor, “Funky.”  Doubled over in laughter, he explained the concept of a “nooner” to me: When you go home at lunch to have sex with your wife.  “Well, Pep Rally, I consider this a tribute to your innocence,” he said.  
From that day forward, I had to add “Nooner” to my ever-growing list of nicknames. 

“The best gift you have to offer when you write personal history is the gift of yourself.  Give yourself permission to write about yourself, and have a good time doing it.” Zinsser