As in the last post, we were stamping our clothes with our identification stamps. For whatever reason, downstairs where I was at, everything was going smoothly. Upstairs Sgt. Bickell was still doing a fine job of filling the air with cussing rants. I glanced up at Sgt. Hernandez just as he looked at the ceiling and smiled. “Hatchet Man, front and center.”
There was no response.
“Airman so-and-so. I said get up here!”
Though reluctantly, Hatchet Man stepped up to his desk. “Yes sir.”
“When I say Hatchet Man, that’s you!”
“Can you hear Sgt. Bickell upstairs?”
“He sounds rather angry, doesn’t he.”
“Why do you suppose he’s so angry?”
“I…I don’t know sir. I guess it sounds like the fellas upstairs are making some mistakes marking their clothes.”
Sgt. Hernandez gave a slow shake of the head. “No, I think its more than that….I don’t think Sgt. Bickell’s wife gave him any last night. Hatchet Man, I want you to go upstairs and ask Sgt. Bickell if he got any last night. And I don’t want him to know I’m the one asking. It’s you asking the question.”
The room fell into silent shock. This poor soul was being told to walk into the gates of hell and ask, what is perceived to be, a question he thought of himself.
“Whaa…What?” Hatchet Man gasped. “Sir, I can’t–”
“Airman, that is an order.” He then thrusted his finger. “Now get upstairs and ask Sgt. Bickell if he got any last night! And I better not hear my name!”
Hatchet Man slowly walked up the stairs as if going to the gallows. All eyes stared at the stairway even after he had disappeared through the walkway. We could still hear Sgt. Bickell screaming. Then suddenly there was silence. We then heard a meek and quivering voice say, “Sir, did you…did you get any last night?” In an instant I flinched as the air filled with Sgt Bickell’s screams, his booming voice rising several decimals levels higher than we had ever heard before, and almost taking on the qualities of a person demon possessed.
“Why you bleepity bleep bleep, who do you think you are! It’s none of your bleepity bleep business if I got any last night! If you had a stripe to take I’d bust you right now! Now get the hell out of my sight!”
Down stairs we didn’t know whether to laugh, smile, or wind our watch. If a person’s skin can instantly pale a couple hues in color, it was Hatchet Man as he walked back down the stairs.
Sgt. Hernandez smiled. “Excellent job, Hatchet Man.” (I am now quite sure that this was a very well rehearsed plan between the two sergeants.)
Hatchet man gave no response as he trudged back to his bunk. The bright side was he didn’t pee his pants.
But there would be more occasions where his bladder control would be tested….