The war officially began in 1950 when North Korean forces crossed the 38th Parallel and attacked the south. I was eight, and at the house next door when the disturbing news came on the radio. A lot of people were there in the kitchen, smoking, drinking coffee. Mike said beating back those invaders was gonna be real tough on our troops, and everyone sagely nodded, and said things like yeah, war is nothin' but hell, it ain’t just a piece of cake, and who knows what’ll happen next? Huh?
The conversation turned to some of the less fortunate among them who’d returned, five years ago, from WWII. Joe Lapinski, and Marty Rodginski, and Sam Koslowski. They’re just not right, you know? Marty hasn’t been sober for five years. These guys got seriously messed up over there, even thought they weren’t wounded, and that’s what happens after combat. But now here we go again, another friggin’ war. Those goddamn Koreans!
It was getting pretty gloomy in that warm room, so I chimed in with something that I thought might cheer them all up:
“We’ll kick the mustard and ketchup and the shit and piss out of ‘em!”
That sentence froze everyone in the room. They all stared at me with their eyes wide, their mouths open, and their jaws slack. How in hell could a little eight-year-old kid still wet behind the ears come up out of the blue with something like that?( Collapse )