Part 6 by Zen Greene
"Rizzo, you idiot, what do you think you're doing?" Klinger rushed into the camp's main road and brought Rizzo's jeep to a shuddering halt. Klinger knelt and hugged the tire of Rizzo's idling jeep disconsolately. "That was my wedding gown - I was saving it for that special occasion," he mourned as he gently unwound the shredded dress from around the tire. "It was supposed to be white…." He brushed at the mud and muck saturating the silk.
"Well, I don't see no groom pining around for no hairy bride like you," Rizzo commented. "Besides, you shouldn't leave your laundry strung across the main road like that. How's a guy to know when he turns a corner 'round a tent that he's soon gonna have someone's drawers flappin' in his face?"
Klinger decided not to join the guys at Rosie's when he got off shift. He needed some time to plan the latest addition to his wardrobe. He'd blown his budget on the wedding gown, envisioning a flamboyant mock wedding as the key to his Section 8. In his wilder moments, he had thought he might even borrow some of Radar's animals to complete the wedding party, replete with proper attire. Rizzo had promptly trampled on that dream and, incidentally, saved Radar's pets from unnecessary indignity.
Klinger decided to make a short side trip to the local black market to look for inspiration.
"How much?" Klinger asked, eyeing the dazzling array of silks in vibrant jewel tones. Just what he needed to make his impression.
"Special shipment," the merchant responded. "Special price."
"Eight bucks a bolt."
"That's robbery! Your grandfather must have been a desert thief!" Klinger couldn't believe his luck. "Three dollars - and that's being generous."
"It was my grandmother. And I won't take less than seven."
"Then you'd better hope your kids can live on silk sandwiches - 'cause you won't be selling that stuff any time soon," he said, his gesture taking in the bolts of cloth. "I'll give you four bucks…. And that's just 'cause I feel sorry for the kids."
"Five… and your choice of buttons for your next dress."
"OK, OK - I can't resist an offer like that - but I need garters too…."
Klinger picked four bolts of the brightest material: hot pink, orange, striped and turquoise.
"So where did you get so much of this grade of silk around here?" Klinger asked.
"Like I say - special shipment. Our guys board a Chinese boat."
Klinger was outside his tent, putting the final stitches in a hem. Charles paused on his way to the mess tent, regarding Klinger's latest oeuvre dubiously.
"What, precisely, are you endeavoring to construct there?"
"This is my pièce de résistance," Max said proudly.
"It certainly resists the boundaries of good taste..."