October 29, 2014 Wake-up Pages
E: Hi. I'm ElRoy
E: I'm ElRoy. I'm in a place where I can't find anyone or anything. I'm not in pain or starving. I don't even have to pee. But I'm not happy.
Me: Do you know how you got there?
E: I guess I just... Well... I... I don't know. It isn't anyplace I would normally choose to go. I like a little more action.
Me: What is the last thing you remember.
E: Lacing up my boots.
Me: Combat boots.
E: How did you guess?
Me: Well, we can be pretty sure they weren't cowboy boots.
E: Ha! I left those at home.
Me: Did you die in combat?
E: I was on R and R. In the city.
Me: Visiting a young woman?
E: She's a prostitute but a sweet gal.
Me: Did she kill you?
E: Hmmm. No, I don't think so.
Me: How did you die?
E: I was sick. I was throwing up. My heart stopped.
E: Yeah. Must have been. Damn. The food. Someone brought it up from the kitchen.
Me: Someone tampered with it?
Me: Who would do that?
E: I'll bet it was R.
Me: Who is R?
E: A guy in my outfit. He had the hots for Queenie.
Me: The prostitute?
E: He was pissed that I got there first.
Me: He was jealous?
E: Oh Lord, was he jealous! He didn't want anyone to have her but him.
Me: That's kind of unrealistic, considering her profession.
E: Tell me about it. But I think I especially pissed him off. She liked me. He saw us laughing and fooling around before we went upstairs.
Me: Why are you still here?
E: I don't know. I can't very well go to Heaven. And I sure don't want to go to Hell. I always assumed that when I died I would be dead. I figured I would be buried in a hero's grave and be unaware of all the tears being shed on my behalf, yet somehow carrying with me the thanks of a grateful nation. 'Course I didn't plan on dying in a, ahem, resort. Struggling to put my boots on. I mean I didn't do anything wrong. I wasn't AWOL and the Palace of Shangri La was not off limits. And I was just doing what all the guys do when they get some time off.
E: It's not exactly the sort of thing you want your girl friend or your mother to know about. And it's not exactly dying heroically in battle. Queenie might think I deserve a medal but I don't think the Army will.
Me: I think I'd better get Ben.
B: I'm Ben. Howz is going?
E: I'm dead and I'm not a hero.
B: Well, you certainly could have been. It's just timing. But cheer up. Your friends, the staff and management of the Shangri La Palace, have added another service to their already extensive list. They smuggled your body out of the building and into a truck and drove it to a deserted road. They shot it full of holes with an appropriate weapon and left it in the road. Officially you were ambushed by enemy fire.
E: No kidding. Those guys are the best. But isn't this cheating?
B: You've been a hero before and you will be again. No point in nitpicking time and place.
E: I wish I could do something to thank them.
B: Having your body out of their establishment where it can't cause a scandal or an international incident is all the thanks they need. You can send them greetings from the TSP if you want to.
E: Really? My folks too?
B: Sure. Once your'e back in the TSP you can do all sorts of things.
E: Okay. Which way is the TSP?
B: See that light over there? March straight toward it.
E: Yes sir! I'm ready for the next exciting episode.