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Phi Bi is alright
I had just extend six months in Viet Nam to bring a girl back from Saigon.She was a Cambodian Saigon tee girl,you'd go to these bars and girl would sit down next you pretend she likes you or interest in lonely hearts story or dance as long as you pay for time buying tees no sex.
So I did almost everynight with same girl after awhile we move in together off base.But I was under 21 and needed my mothers permission believe it or not.So I extended and went back home to pleaded my case.And thought all was okay except when I got back to base. when .they transfer me to Phi bi 20 miles from the DMV.I asked why because your mother wrote a letter saying she wanted out of the ares away from this girl.
I asked the major where it was and he pointed on a map.
I go "shit Major that's almost in North Viet Nam."
"You'll be assigned to 101st air calavery as photo recon.
So I fly up there and its bad news and I'm thinking gee ma I didn't know you wanted me dead so bad.But desided to make the best of it.Well I was assigned to lab boys houch which was tin roof and wood floor with screens for walls and bunks.
Well Jim who was senior lab guy says"everyone is screw up here pretty much all the time.Drugs or booze or both.Theres a village outside the base where I buy weed."
That night I go with Jim and couple other guys to the grave yard.Its between the housing and the outside wire.Large tombs of rich viet namese surrounded by a small fense.which we climb over a few trees and bushes near a large tomb with concrete plate form.
"Over here a voice yells out."
There where about ten guys sitting on the ground smoking weed.Playing a tape recorded music laughting.
"Hey got a new guy.These are my boys.I call us the wild bunch.THey don't morters into this place because they maybe communist but still buddish."
Sure enough here comes the morter rounds into the base and now hitting here."Come here at night get screwed up a be safe.
So my first time smoking weed.
"Shot gun someone yells out for new guy and it was a real shot gun.A guy blows smoke down the barrel of points it at me.I put my mouth on the barrel and hope its not loaded.Inhale deeply and start coughing my guts out.
They all laugh,and so I get messed up and the music starts sounding real good.I mean deep and rich like.Like when I was in the old rock group in high school."Man where have you been all my life."
So the next I report to co and he tells to take a jeep to air base.I go there I never seen so many helicoppers in my life.A flag with the scream eagle flying .Ships landing and taking off with troops and some carry dead bodies of troops.I go oh crap am in for it now.
I go into head quarters and there is pilot waiting for me.Captain Reeves and he is site.A blue calarvery hat on with shoulder holster and german ww2 grease gun in his hands.
"You my photo boy."he says with southern draw.
"Okay son going real close the border today got your rifle clips stocked.Never know been shot down before."
Great I thought nothing like a little scare talk to start your day.
We get the small plane with roar the choppers going in and out.Once up in the air the captain pulls out a joint."YOU smoke."
"Yes but isn't dangerous flying high."
"I don't fly any other way boy,I'd be to afraid otherwise it gets hot and heavy up here even for us.Going get killed might as well be high."
So he light one up and took a big drag and past it over to me."Why not."
He turned on his tape recorder and the animals where playing I'm crying.
"I don't here your knock upon my door.I need you baby by my side.I'm crying here me crying."
"Okay baby we are here do your thing."
So I put my head out the window start shooting and bullets are flying up and hitting the wings.Thoud it sounds like.I start laughing."there trying to kill me captain I hope I make it back alive."I laugh so more.
"Worry they don't hit me unless you can fly."
After we shoot all the film and head back I ask to take the wheel."this isn't so hard."
"Its the landing buddy."
"There is a house in New Orleans they call the rising sun.Its been the ruin of my poor boy and god I know I am one."
THis is cool as long as you don't get killed.
"HOw about another one."
"you land being high."
"Never do it sober."He lite one up and past it over.
"Cool ........sir," I say after take a drag.
going a drug run
Well as consumers we consume and after awhile there ain't none left meaning weed.
"Shit JIm we are out of the holy stuff."I whispered to him as lay in our bunks.
Its five in afternoon on I don't know what day.Because we worked seven days a week.Charlie don't take the weekends off co would say."Well he should,must be in the rules somewhere.Under we don't torture just kill you Monday through Friday and if make it by 5 oclock you have weekends off."
"Hell Harmon if wars were like that everyone would want to join, might even be fun.We never try to have fun in wars.Right Harmon."
"Never have fun sir and that is an order."
"Yes it is.Dismissed."
OF course he didn't know about the captains weed habit and me as well.
Even the captain was running low,so Jim and I just get into a cheap by the motor pool,where for a bag a month Jim gets the use of a jeep.
SO we go to front gate and now remember we are so close to the north you can smell cooking sometimes.Outside the gate is dense jungle and dirt road.
I go "damn Jim this is dangerous,"looking around in the trees for vc with my forty five in my hand.
"Damn straight it is,honestly I think the vc sale it to us for money to buy food and medical supplies from the locals.Its kind like our version of the paris peace talks."He laughted.
There was a clearing a about ten building some concrete in row like it might been a rubber plantation one time.Others made of trees palm leaves for the roof.
we stop in front of this building and go inside.Some Viet Namese writing I couldn't read above the door.Inside it looks like a 7/11 American beer and cans of c-rations.Tons of americdan cigarettes cartons as almost every viet namese smokes.
A woman stands behind a counter in her 50s in black pajamas."Jim you son of bitch you come for more weed.Price go up you know vc messing crop."
"Hell mama san you said last month.THose guys gota have a heart don't want us sober do they.We are easy to kill that way."He smiled
"They say weed give you balls make war last longer."
"Okay how much this time."
I looked around and room was full of goods and about five men sitting around play cards in the corner.
"What about those guys in the corner," I whisper to jim.
"Maybe who knows but mama san going get her money so don't worry otherwise we'd be dead by now.
"Fifty dollars for ten."she said.
"Are you kidding me.THats double last times price."
"Sixty for ten cause you shame mama san.No pay no leave alive."
"Jesus Christ you pulling I'll kill you bull shit.You know we are packing."He leaned forward with hand on his forty five smiling.
The men stopped playing cards and turned around looking at us as I looked at them and then back to mama san.
She started laughting"Have boy pretty scared don't we ha ha."
Jim said."I knew was a joke but he didn't haha .
"Here you go jimmy and out came ten bags of weed about gallon plastic bag size and Jim handed over the money.
Outside we got into the jeep started back to the base.But I could hear guns going off in the distance.As fire fight was happening.
I looked at Jim."This time its real baby ,"and he hit pedal to the floor.People were running for cover as they didn't know if it would come there way either.
Back at the base I go "JIm is it always hairy like that.'
"That's the bad part about doing this gota buy out there cause they check all the viet namese workers coming on base for weapons or drugs.
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