Archive: HappyHour

Happy Hour 4

UN Civil Affairs, Bihac Region 


Double Occupant Cows


“We’ve a crisis on our hands”, Baron Radoukov said tersely on the phone.


Now the Baron has this annoying habit of calling me, just as I am about to take the first sip of my first morning coffee, to report one crisis or another in Canton 10, thus spoiling my taste for coffee and ruining the rest of my day.


“Before you say anything,” I replied, “are you on a secure line?” Read more

Happy Hour 3

UN Civil Affairs, Region Bihac



Judgement at UN House


Deep in my heart I always knew that my preoccupation with Happy Hour would lead to my ultimate undoing. But I never thought the end would be so self-inflicted and come so soon and so drastically. I should have become cautious when malicious rumours (no doubt hatched in Janet’s office) began to spread in the RHQ that I managed to do all those Happy Hours because I had nothing else to do. My demise became unmistakably imminent the day I made the fatal mistake of telling Janet how to “doctor the reports”. Stupidly enough, I thought I was cleverly showing her the UN ropes. “You mean you’ve been making up all those DSRs, Weekly Assessment and Special Reports?” she slyly asked. I grinned like an idiot as I confided that the whole Regional Implementation Plan was the brainchild of my imagination. The “I see” with which Janet commented jolted me into realizing the magnitude of my blunder. I implored her, actually going down on my knees, not to disclose my little secret. “Sure”, she responded evasively and I immediately knew that my goose was cooked for sure. Serves me right for being such a trusting blithering fool.

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Happy Hour 2

UN Civil Affairs, Region Bihac




Those of you who have been wondering what happened to Civil Affairs Happy Hour are probably unaware of the troubles visited on me during my short-lived leave. I had hardly disembarked at Washington D.C. Dulles airport when a consortium of lawyers descended on the terminal, falling over each other to slap me with subpoenas (boy! was I glad John wasn’t among them!). One said he represented a Baron Radoukov who alleged that I had threatened to give him a haircut (I wasn’t even aware of the restoration of the Monarchy in Bulgaria).   Another said he represented the Canadian Defense Ministry suing me for slanderous remarks I reportedly made about a Lieutenant-Colonel Thompson’s cuisine (truth be told, the BBQ at SFOR TSG was the only sustenance to help me endure all those Principals meetings). A third said she represented a Ms. Mulic who was accusing me of ‘palatable’ harassment of her coffee. This case was the first I deftly defended in court. I pleaded that I actually liked Ms. Mulic’s coffee so much that I actually dreaded going back to Bihac and so I actually started dreading going to Livno because after savoring the coffee there I actually dreaded going back to Bihac! The judge bought it hook, line and stopper. (Which made me wonder if I had chosen the wrong vocation but then I thought of John and decided I hadn’t). Read more

Happy Hour 1

UN Civil Affairs, Region Bihac





Yesterday I drove to the office minding my own business and nursing a slight hangover (the morning-after of a BarBQ party that started on Sunday afternoon and ended in the wee hours of Monday). As I was getting out of my car whom do I see waiting for me but my old friend Brendan. Now, Brendan is a jolly good fellow but under normal circumstances I have difficulty understanding more than 10% of what he is saying in his heavy Ukrainian accent. With a slight hangover (his or mine) that percentage drops to zero. So I may be forgiven for assuming that he was inviting me for a drink at 15:30 hrs in the conference room (why at that time and location was beyond my comprehension, but from past experience I’ve learnt never to question an Irishman’s drinking habits). So I walked into the conference room at the anointed time, expecting to assuage my dry tongue with an ice cold Guinness, only to discover that a meeting of the R&W was about to start. Now my understanding of abbreviations is at best lousy so I listened and nodded my approval to everything being said (my usual practice when the proceedings are over my head – a bad habit I’ve picked from my student days).  Janet apparently understood what was going on for she, foolishly in my view, volunteered IPTF organization of a Happy Hour (whatever that means) on Friday. I could not help thinking “there but for the grace of God goes our RIP”. I failed to warn IPTF not to count on Civil Affairs advice on the political implications of this Happy Hour (it’s not in the mandate, see?); but then neither did I commit Civil Affairs support for it.


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