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?

That’s A Different Guy

The other day I went to vote.  Early voting for my neighborhood is held at the local library.

Spanky, Darla, and Alfalfa in the "Club S...

Alfalfa (right) and his Alfalfa hair(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I pulled into the parking lot and got out of my car. Nearby, a woman was putting her books in the back of her minivan. Her little boy stood outside the open back door. As I walked past them toward the library door, the little boy pointed at me and said “Mom, that’s a different guy”. I figured I’d just let the remark pass, but the kid wouldn’t let it go. He kept telling his mother I was different. Looking to her for an answer didn’t help, she just shrugged.

Discomfort seized me. I went into the library restroom to try to determine what made the boy so insistent that I was different. I didn’t have Alfalfa hair and there was nothing sticking out of my nose. My fly was up and I wasn’t wearing anything outlandish.

I’m not sure what made that mean four year old label me as different. I am sure I didn’t relish being too different. Read the rest of this entry »