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|How to Lie. (standard:drama, 1870 words)|
|Author: JohnSeeger||Added: Feb 26 2008||Views/Reads: 1542/998||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|A solder hears a story from a GI that he knows is untrue but learns the story matters more than the truth.|
How to Lie By John Seeger After high school I joined the Oklahoma Air National Guard. I picked the schooling I wanted and I kept expecting the Air Guard to send me but they just couldn't seem to get the school scheduled. I was working at Kerr's department store at the time as a stock clerk. I enjoyed the work, got along well with all the sales clerks and enjoyed a certain reputation as the guy who sang all the time and knew all the words to the songs so for the first time I can recall I was feeling appreciated by someone other than myself (I always liked myself.) But one day in a fit of pique at the Air Guard I decided "I'll show them!!", so I enlisted in the United States Air Force. Since I had been qualified for being out of the "service" for over 90 days I had to go through basic again (only 3 weeks) so I spent the time stuck in a barracks with a bunch of drunken bums who couldn't make it as civilians and had come back to the only home they knew. It was during this short 3 weeks that I learned how to really tell a lie and make it believable. I've always wanted to act in local plays and I'm sure that it is primarily because of my learning how to pretend to tell the truth convincingly. The story goes like this. One evening we were all hanging around the barracks swapping war stories. I, being the youngest, was only listening as they told of their adventures in the billets and brothels of the Far East and Europe but I could still tell that most of them were full of it. I mean some of what they said was, no doubt, born in truth but went on to grow up like Pinocchio's nose. As things slowed down one grizzled old re-up (re-enlistee) started to tell his story. He hadn't said a word before so we weren't ready for his voice yet. He spoke like an old drill sergeant, his tongue thick from too many visits to the bars; his throat raspy from yelling at recruits yet there was a touch of an old uncle there. As he told us the story he began to fade out of himself and simply handed us a piece of his life. He said, "We were stationed up near the DMZ in Korea during the last days of the 'Police Action' there." When he said "Police Action" he grunted so as to let us know what he thought of that misnomer. He continued, "Our primary duty was to stay out of trouble with the North Koreans. One day along about dusk we heard the gawdawfullist noise just outside the perimeter. Sounded like a screen door screeching and banging magnified ten thousand times. I mean such a long screech and then ka-bang klang-a-lang went on for what seemed like a full minute. Anyway pretty soon a couple of guys come running in from the perimeter yelling that one of our jets had smacked it in just over on the flat and the pilot was pretty bad shot up. "By the time we got over there the medics already had the pilot out and were working on him. From what I saw it didn't look so bad and sure enough they were able to walk him back to the quonset huts. Most of us had never seen an F-86 up close so we gave it a good going over with some of the guys even getting in the seat to see how it felt. Pretty soon one of the honchos chased us all off and they set a guard on the plane (I don't know what for since there wasn't no one around but us there now) and we all went back to the huts ourselves. A few days later after the pilot was jeeped out, a couple of mechanics came up from Pusan to look at the plane. Apparently they agreed that the plane was repairable right there and so they stuck around doing nothing after ordering some parts up for it. I don't know whose idea it was but somehow the brass figured that we had nothing to do there so we could have the pleasure of preparing the 'runway' for the birdie. For about 2 or 3 weeks we cut trees and leveled the ground in a path around 100 feet wide. Just enough room for the plane and a little to spare. I forget how long we made it but it seemed like it went for miles. They brought up a couple more mechanics with the extra parts and by the time we were through with the runway they were about through with the plane. It didn't look too great but they said it would fly so we sat around and waited for the pilot to show up to try to take it out. I thought it'd take them quite a while to find a guy crazy enough to do the job but in a week here he came. It was the same guy who dropped it in there in the first place. He didn't waste any time getting on with it, just went out to the plane and checked it out, ran up the engine and sat there flipping the controls back and forth. He shut it down and said 'That everything looked ok' (I noticed he didn't say 'great'.) Then he went in to the officers mess and after supper they said he was leaving in the morning." Click here to read the rest of this story (76 more lines)
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