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How to Lie. (standard:drama, 1870 words)
Author: JohnSeegerAdded: Feb 26 2008Views/Reads: 2860/1969Story 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." 

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