With that probing question left hanging like a 'dangling participle', you waited for a response... you were standing in the chow line.. others of the chow line malingerers, may be sitting there on the concrete, but you have your dress whites on, just having come from a required personnel office call.
The guy you addressed kind'a gives you the eye-ball...perhaps determining your motive as to your wanting to know where his roots were from...he mumbles something that sounded like, Podunk, Kentucky.... You look at him as if to determine if that's really a place or not and he grins a big old toothy Pepsodent smile..."not Podunk, S---Head, Paducah, Kaintuck....I hauled nitro that was used in the mines for blasting...you do know about nitro, don't you Squid"?
Well Hell, you were just trying to be friendly to this fellow and already, he has addressed you as a S---Head and a Squid because of the dress whites you had on... But, you're a friendly sort...you started the conversation and you do know a thing or two about blasting...those newly plowed fields you had left back in Iowa, only the year before was covered with virginal oaks and walnut trees...you had helped blast the stumps out after harvesting the trees to be sold for lumber...all of which you are now relating to the Dental Poster Boy...
The chow line starts and you both continue the chatter...get your old partitioned metal tray and fill it full with your favored chow..."you sure got a hearty appitite, S---Head...now wonder you fill out that bridal wear the way you do eating like that.."! You had noted Barney (he'd told you his name)that he seemed to favor the peanut butter filled celery sticks...that and the green jello...maybe that's why his dental appearance was so pronounced...Not a bit ashamedly, you'd wrapped yourself around every morsel that had been on your tray... You walked together out of the chow hall and you asked where he was heading.. he replied he was just checking in and he'd be over in K-33 barracks..."Well Hell Barney, that's where I bunk...maybe we can get together and compare some notes about our duty assignments and watch bill. Yup, it started like that...you served together and stayed in touch over the years...sometimes you'd call him PURPLE BARNEY after the TV character...you'd chance to guess he never found out your real name of Mortimer...surely he would have nailed you with that ugly handle instead of the S--Head he always called you! JW


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