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Author:  NebrHogger [ Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Shame

I strongly believe humans have a *need* to laugh and react strongly to things that maybe aren't actually all that funny.

I noticed that graphically at a bridge on Rt. 9 in Viet Nam. I can't recall the exact location, but it was somewhere west of Dong Ha.

Returning from a patrol, we stopped for a break near a bridge guarded by a squad of ARVINs. It looked like they were assigned to that place for an extended period - they had a poncho suspended over their sandbagged position for shade and laundry drying on paracord lines. Their dress wasn't what you'd call 'squared away' - all wore sandals rather than boots, and most had shorts in place of trousers.

When we stopped, two came over to see what could be mooched from us. They soon had a couple packs of Salems (for some reason, Vietnamese smoked only Marlboros or Salem cigarettes) and several C-ration meals.

In poor English, they inquired if we'd like to see something funny. Gy Sgt said it was okay so they invited us over to their position to see two small monkeys in separate cages. There was a male and a female who was "in season". That condition was putting severe stress on the male. Even more so when the female's cage was placed near his.

His enclosure was made of split bamboo which was too tough for him to chew through, and I thought for sure he'd break a few teeth trying. The ARVINs would move the female's cage closer, and the little male would try with all his might to reach her. After a few minutes of this, he was quite inflamed - even more so when he was allowed to actually touch the object of his heart's desire.

One of the soldiers winked to us, bringing near another cage containing a chicken. When it seemed the poor little guy couldn't possibly stand it any more, the female's cage was whisked away, and the chicken's brought next to his. One of the soldiers grabbed him and in with the chicken he was stuffed.

Putting a wrestling choke hold on it, he raped the chicken. And the sounds it made!! It gargled, squalled, made a very credible imitation of a rusty gate hinge and squealed like a tiny pig.

The funny part was how we reacted. Hard grunts were screaming with laughter - a couple actually rolled with hilarity on the ground.

Returned to his own cage, the monk made some very human-like facial expressions... most prominent of which appeared to be shame.

"It wasn't my fault, you see," he seemed to be expressing, "I'm just a monkey - a slave to my hormones and base needs. Please don't laugh at me like that!"

The Vietnamese soldiers were roaring with laughter, too, but I know well they were highly amused by our behavior and not the little monk's.

"Break's over!" the Sgt announced. I happened to notice there were what appeared to be tear tracks through the dust on his face. Tears of laughter, I strongly suspect.

Away went the point man with the rest following in our usual order. Glancing back, I noticed the chicken's proximity to the cooking fire indicated it hadn't long to contemplate it's outrage and humiliation. The monk? Poor little guy still acted ashamed.

Not long after that, we passed the same place on the way back to Cam Lo. Hoping for more humor, we stopped to visit with the ARVINs.

Bottom line, no monkey show. It seems the female monkey had been sold or traded for groceries like fruit, vegetables, rice and such condiments that go well with stir fried monkey.

Yes - they had eaten him.

Which in a country that at times could be as improbable as a Vivaldi concerto for cymbals and 'seal horns' wasn't improbable at all.

Author:  A square 10 [ Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Shame

great story with all the aspects one would expect yet presented in a way one might not , i see why you are a writer and many that wish to be are not , thanks for sharing that ,

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