Channeling Hawkeye Pierce

Perhaps you’re old enough to recall the run of the television show, M*A*S*H. If you aren’t, there’s a good chance that you’ve seen it in reruns.

Hawkeye Pierce (public domain image via wikimedia)

M*A*S*H focused on life in an Army mobile field hospital unit during the Korean War. While the setting was serious, the show was usually funny, with the occasional moments that made the point that war is a terrible thing. The central character, Captain Benjamin Franklin (Hawkeye) Pierce, was unfailingly witty. Even under the most difficult circumstance, he always had the right thing to say, and that right thing to say was always something new…except for that one line.

Hawkeye found himself helplessly caught in the crossfire of artillery on more than one occasion. Such is the nature of being a television Army Surgeon in the Korean War. Captain Pierce would soldier on, doing the best he could while the guns rumbled and the shells exploded just off-screen. The sound of the artillery barrage was such a presence in the background that it was almost like another character in the story.

Then, as the story reached its peak of tension, Hawkeye would utter the only lines I remember him repeating. He’d ask “hey, do you hear that?” The character he was addressing would say “I don’t hear anything”. “That’s what I mean, the shelling has stopped”. Not until he said that, would the audience or the other characters realize that the artillery bombardment had stopped.

(public domain image via wikimedia)

This presidential election has been a miserable affair.  It seemed there were few places a person could go to avoid contact with the Obama or Romney campaigns.

Each side brought out the heavy artillery to destroy the other. There was a barrage of shameful ads from both sides. The parties recruited surrogates to drop the bombs deemed too unseemly for a presidential candidate to deliver.

In the end, they rained misery down upon those of us unfortunate enough to live in their crossfire. We soldiered on, suffered the attacks more than either candidate and did our patriotic duty. We got our little “I Voted” stickers.

The votes have been counted. The victor has been declared.

Hey, do you hear that?