Global Warming My part in the reduction of global warming started many years before the term ever appeared in the media. I struck a blow against the prolific consumption of finite fossil fuel by eliminating one of the Shell Oil Companys tankers. This incident occurred while on attachment to 1st/10th Princess Marys Own Gurkha Rifles LAD based at the Sungi Udang camp next to the 27th Commonwealth Garrison outside Malacca in Malaysia. The circumstances leading up to this monumental gesture of green consciousness unfolded as follows. I was called out to recover one of the Battalion Bedford three tonners used as a personnel carrier for transporting troops to and from the railhead at Tampin. The task had all the appearances of being an easy enough effortless job at first glance, merely requiring the use of a straight towing bar and another three tonner to be driven by yours truly and drag the broken down truck back to camp. On arrival at the location, which was about three kilometers from Tampin I found the normally cheerful driver Rifleman Ojang Bahadur in a very mournful state as the engine had overheated and cracked the cylinder head. It was late afternoon by the time we had hooked up and moved off and in hindsight I probably put the boot to the floor in an attempt to get back to camp before nightfall. My haste must have unnerved Rifleman Ojang as he kept swinging out to try and see the road ahead instead of remaining directly behind my vehicle or maybe he was being slowly choked by the clouds of red laterite dust we were kicking up. I stopped a couple of times and attempted to explain that this nipping out for a looksee was not good. It was a one sided diatribe delivered in the standard squadie heavily accented pidgin English used to address Gurkhas ,Malaya Chinese and Tamils alike. Rifleman Ojang, who was more Mongolian than Nepalese in appearance, always replied with a broad grin and an intelligible burst of Gukhali leaving both parties thinking that their point had been made. Abandoning any further attempt at communication we set off on the penultimate leg of the journey as dusk was approaching. The hour of reckoning was close at hand and on a long curving bend near Alor Gadjah we encountered a Shell Oil Company fuel tanker towing a bowser coming towards us with headlights full on. The graded laterite track was barely wide enough to pass two vehicles, thus caution and slow speed was required, bearing in mind the statutory deep monsoon ditches on either sides of the highway. I breathed a huge sigh of relief as my three tonner and the shell tanker slipped past each other like ship in the night, albeit at a fast lick. Unfortunately my relief was short lived when I saw the look of horror that crossed the face of the wizened old Malay driver as his raised eyebrows touched the rim of his songkok. A fear stricken glance in the rear view mirror revealed the final few milliseconds of our ill fated journey. Ojang had decided to have a look at road ahead and had swung out, creaming the side of the bowser that the Shell Tanker was towing. Ojangs Bedford side swiped the bowser with a screeching sound of tortured metal being radically rearranged to the accompaniment of the high pitched squealing of hastily applied brakes; a shower of sparks illuminated the cloud of dust and metal shavings. This cacophony of artificially created noise effectively silenced natures night time nocturnal orchestra of cicadas and bull frogs copulating in the under brush. I watched in stunned amazement as the Bedford and bowser preformed a dance of death, waiting for the inevitable explosion that would propel us all to kingdom come. Finally the two units separated, slewed off the track into the respective monsoon ditches on either side of the highway. Gradually the noise and dust subsided and a sickly moon broke through the scudding cloud cover, a precursor of the immanent monsoon rains but also illuminating the sorry mess. The Shell Company bowser lay on its side, disconnected from its wheels and chassis and the truck that had been towing it. Ojangs Bedford or rather the two thirds of what remained of it lay in the monsoon drain on my side of the track a hundred yards or so behind my vehicle. Officer Commanding Orders in the Brigade of Gurkhas was somewhat different from an AFB 252 appointment in the British Army. Inasmuch as being marched in before the O/C. with a Gurkha prisoners escort marching up your backside with a drawn Kukri tends to exercise the mind and sphincter muscle with equanimity. This precaution is taken in case the plaintiff should attempt to jump over the table and attack the officer sahib, contemplating such a rash move was decidedly mentally unstable given the Gurkha penchant for removing certain body parts required for continued longevity. It was a nerve wracking potential encounter with the grim reaper and taught me a valuable lesson, to the effect that being economical with the truth is the best course of action when someone is standing poised behind you with an unsheathed large kitchen knife. I sang the praises of Rifleman Ojang sweeter than any Linnet and vilified the driving ability and total incompetence of the Shell driver who should not have even been allowed to drive anything larger than a wheel barrow. Undoubtedly the poor old Chogie lost his livelihood and Shell pension to boot but on the bright side Rifleman Ojang became B Company number one driver and I was lauded as number one British soldier. Every time I see a Shell fuel tanker I cant help thinking how I definitely have helped to reduce the effect of global warming and done my bit to save the planet.