We all try to get our healthy amount of fruit and veg – but it can be difficult at times to get all the vitamin C that we need, and so, just to make sure each day I take an Effervescent Vitamin C tablet to help boost my immune system.
And the story I want to really tell you came into my mind this morning as I took another one of those tablets. Out on patrol in Afghan, as the EOD search team were checking out and clearing a compound we were moving into, the CO’s TAC multiple – basically the Company commanders tactical ‘HQ’ team which I was generally part of when we went out – took a breather by a stream.
We’d been out for a long time that morning, leaving before sun-rise, and it was getting close towards lunch. It was, as usual horrendously hot, and we took the shade that we could to escape the burning sun under some trees. We lounged around on the floor, still wearing our body armour, but removing our helmets and daysacks, propping ourselves up against them. Everyone was thirsty and hungry, and we took the opportunity to get some water down our necks and munching on the snacks we had taken with us.
One of the lads in the team then popped open a tube and slipped a tablet into his water bottle. He explained that it was one of those Isotonic rehydration tablets that you can get. He said that it also added a nice orange taste to the water too. He shared them out and we did the same, dropping a tablet into our water bottles to get a bit more hydration going, each tablet fizzing and bubbling away in the water. Us enjoying the taste and feeling of drinking something – anything – other than ‘just’ water.
And just as he was putting the tube away the Company Sergeant Major came over to let us know that the search had finished and we would be able to move on in a few minutes. And the guy with the tablets offered the CSM one. ‘Want an Isotonic tablet?’ he asked as he offered across the tube.
‘Ohhhh that’s a big tablet’ said the CSM ‘It’s not a suppository is it?’ he added as he popped it straight into his mouth!
Everyone was speechless as he instantly bit into the tablet and his mouth filled with froth as it started it’s natural job of effervescing – using the moisture and spit in his mouth as the catalyst instead of a bottle full of water.
‘Nooooooooooo…’ cried the OC and then, like the rest of us fell about laughing as the froth got worse and filled the CSMs mouth. Looking like an end stage rabies-sufferer the CSM started to cough and he spat the tablet out, trying to also spit the froth out, and reaching for his drinking tube to get some water to clear his mouth.
Crying with laughter we explained that the tablet needed to be dropped into water and dissolved before drinking and he continued to swill his mouth spitting out small remnants of the pill and gobs of more froth.
Coughing and spluttering the CSM added ‘Good job it wasn’t a suppository then, I wouldn’t want THAT going on up my arse…’