Mess Tent Mess Up!

by Corporal Shawna Marie

As Hawkeye and Trapper John was walking out of the O.R Room for some lunch with two beautiful nurses. Hawkeye had a date with Nurse Amy who was a blonde with icy blue eyes. Trapper John had a date with a nurse Linda who was a brown hair angel with green eyes. When they got there eagerly to the mess tent to arrive was chicken wings, corn, green beans, and today's lunch special warm Cole slaw. Hawkeye sat on one side with Amy near him. Hawkeye smiled gleefully as he tried to scoot up against Amy and nuzzled her with his nose. Trapper sat on the other side with his date close and shoving his face with food. Both in scrubs and nurses also in scrubs they looked like the perfect couples. Father and Radar as always came around to sit next to their friends. Of course, Hawkeye and Trapper John were always the friendly luncheon people. As always Radar just sat down and father said,

"May I sit here with you, my children?" He would say.

"Sit down, Father."

"Bless you, Hawkeye." or Trapper who ever said it first.

"Thanks, Father." Either one of them would say. After about five minutes into the meal when Father is getting full and Radar looks around from scraps. Radar would go,

"Are you going to finish this, Hawkeye?" or " Can I finish your coffee, Father?' or also " Hey, Trapper, can I have your corn?" He would say until he was either full or there is no more scraps on the table. This was the always-evening ritual for the war. As Hawkeye and Trapper's dates just suddenly slipped threw their fingers and left the tent they also got up and left. Hawkeye and Trapper were walking toward the compound for the new medical equipment from the government. Hawkeye looked forward to the new clamps and scrubs for his were dull and the scrubs were torn, ripped, and stained. Trapper was looking forward to the truck full of food. Steaks, fish, liver, corn, pudding, and carrot cake all waiting for him a truck drive away. Like little kids in a toy store Hawkeye crawled up into the truck and started throwing boxes upon boxes of medical supplies. Trapper crawled into his truck and saw nothing then winter supplies and more medical supplies such as Novocain and gases.

"Hawkeye, there's no food here." Trapper said, as the trucks were pulling away and gone in seconds.

"What do you mean?"

"There's no food!" Trapper said as Hawkeye was staring him down. Everyone else was like ants in a picnic pulling in the boxes smiling ear to ear. Except Hawkeye and Trapper. Hawkeye and Trapper didn't worry about it for three days when they kept on having left over, over and over. Igor, the chef, told Henry before Trapper and Hawkeye.

"Henry, we have no food." Hawkeye said hitting the door open and both flew into the room.

"Tell me something I don't know."

"So, make the call, Henry."

"I did, I called General Hammond, and he said the marketers took it."

"So, we have no food."

"We have food to last us three days."

"Then, what happens after that?" Hawkeye demanded picking up the Japanese doll and shaking it.

"First, you'll give me my doll back," Henry said taking the doll from Hawkeye, "Then we will have to share food from the Koreans or the 8063. " Henry said taking out his cigar and blowing the smoke in Trapper's face and laughing at his bullying. Trapper took the cigar from his hand. Took one big puff while Henry stared at him and at his cigar. Trapper threw the cigar on the ground and smashed it with his combat boots.

"Well, Trapper and I will get food and not share it with you!" Hawkeye said leading out the door while Henry light up another cigar.

"Yeah!" Trapper said taking Henry's cigar and putting it in his mouth and walking out the door. Henry gave him an "I don't care" sign and looked into his cigar box and he was all out of cigars. He looked at the door and slammed the box closed and put it in his drawer. Hawkeye and Trapper went to the tent. They had themselves a martini and went to the Mess Tent for one last meal. They got in line and they were served a weed and water stew with salt and pepper. Hawkeye stared at Igor. Trapper dropped his bowl and so did Hawkeye and it made a big noise when it dropped. Hawkeye hopped over the serving table and Trapper walked around into the kitchen. They start flipping pots and baskets open and making one great big mess.

"What do you think you are doing, fellows?" Igor said opening the door as wide as he could look at the huge mess they were making.

"Where's all the food?" Hawkeye said staring him down also.

"I'd like to know. I don't want to be eating cesspool weeds and water!" Igor said closing the door behind him. Igor stood there dumb struck. Trapper flipped over a basket and found a stay potato he secretly slipped it into his packet. Trapper held a pan tightly for boiling the potato, yet acting like he was going to throw it at Igor. Hawkeye walked out and Trapper followed. They slammed open The Swamp door and flooded in. Trapper pulled out the potato and showed it to Hawkeye.

"Look what I found!" Trapper said tossing the potato at Hawkeye and pulling out his gas powered hot plate and lighting it with his cigar lighter.

"You old snake in the grass!" Hawkeye said smiling at the small bounty. Hawkeye made two martinis and place one each side of the table. Trapper got the water boiling and placed the potato and rubbed their hands and drooled while waiting for the potato to get done.

"This is ridiculous, Trapper, we can't go on like this."

"Right after this potato we will go to the 8063 and get a hot meal and see if we can nab a bag of food from them." Trapper poured out the hot water and Hawkeye put it on a tray and cut it in half. Trapper pulled out some sauces and put them on the table. Trapper grabbed some teriyaki sauce and Hawkeye grabbed the onion and garlic sauce. They both grabbed their knives and drenched their potatoes in Trapper's sauce and eating viciously like they haven't eaten before. Once the meal was gone they had another martini before hitting the rode. Hawkeye was looking for Henry's jeep while Trapper sneaked into Radar's office to find the car key. When Hawkeye found the jeep he went in the Radio room waiting for Trapper. Trapper looked all over then lifted up Radar's teddy and the key dropped from the bow and on to the pillow. He grabbed the key examining what kind it was. It was the jeep key. Trapper met Hawkeye out in the radio room."

"Hurry, up let's go, Hawkeye!"

"Ok, follow me it's by the men's shower." Hawkeye said walking out the door running to Henry's jeep. Spearchucker, Father, and Private Johnson were in the shower talking about Father's sister back home. Hawkeye jumped into the driver's side and Trapper in the passenger side of the jeep. Hawkeye started the jeep and drove off faster then normal. Hawkeye drove down the road no problem. Then stopped at an army stop.

"Dog tags?" the officer said.

"I'm Benjamin Franklin Pierce of the M*A*S*H 4077th I'm a surgeon and this is ..." Hawkeye said when Trapper interrupted.

"I'm John Francis Xavier McIntyre, also a surgeon at the 4077th M*A*S*H." They said showing their dog tags. The officer wrote down their names and number on his clipboard.

"Where you going in such a hurry." The officer said looking at them suspiciously.

"The 8063rd for medical supplies." Hawkeye said.

"Novocain." Trapper said to add on.

"Ok, you may pass." The officer said moving out of the way. Hawkeye rode in the swerve and passed on. Trapper looked at his surroundings while Hawkeye thought of food. When they pulled into the sign. "M*A*S*H 8063rd Open 24 hours a day." Hawkeye and Trapper went into the 8063rd 's Mess Tent where they're old friend, Private Tim, was working.

"You, Tim! See me in the back. You know the kitchen!" Trapper said taking Hawkeye into the kitchen. Tim waved and started serving meat loaf and peas. Hawkeye looked around at all the different foods and meats and poultry. He was dazzled to see all the food. Private Tim walked in and gave Trapper a big hug.

'Hey, Tim, the black market stole all of our food and we've been eating cesspool weeds and water. Spare us some food, please?" Trapper asked taking out a large army green sack.

"Well, we have got a few crates of extra steaks, lettuce, tomatoes, corn, and liver. Would you like that? Help yourself, ok?" Tim said patting Trapper on the shoulder and walking out of the door. Hawkeye got his sack out. Hawkeye went for vegetables and loafs of bread. Trapper went for the meats and got steaks, liver, fish, meat loaf, hamburger, turkey, and ham. They stuffed their bags until they hardly closed. Trapper pulled out a twenty dollar red bill and slipped it in Private Tim's pocket and walked out the door looking like Santa clause. They threw the packages in the back and drove away. Easily thinking of all the recipes they could make they all thought of all the food they had. Three between, five meals a day. Lunch, dinner, breakfast, brunch, lunch, midnight snack, snack, and other meals. When they got back to he compound Trapper looked all over to make sure no one was in sight. Hawkeye throwing the food stuffs over his back and making his way through the compound. Father Mulcahy showed around the corner.

"Wait up, my sons!" he said waving to Hawkeye and Trapper, "What do you have there?" he asked so innocently.

"Uh, it's clothes for the orphans." Hawkeye said looking at Trapper.

"Yeah, father." Trapper said to add on.

"Did you have the weird soup today? It was so awful I wished I had some eggs or toast." Father said looking down at his hands as in a prier. Hawkeye looked at Trapper in guilt. Trapper shrugged back in a half smile.

"Father come to our tent. Bring a frying pan. Don't tell anyone. While you're in the kitchen get us some other cooking gear." Hawkeye said to Father. Father grinned as he guessed what was happening.

"Father, come only by yourself. Nobody else and take the hot plate out of your tent. We'll need that. Your in for a real treat." Hawkeye went into The Swamp and looked at their bounty like it was Christmas. Father came back with pots and pans and dried ice in a Styrofoam cooler.

"I brought this. The ice should stay cold for several weeks if kept in a dry place like under Hawkeye's bed. Here the hot plate. The batteries are good. I just changed them a few days ago." Father said grinning a holy chaplain grin.

"Wow, Father, thanks this is great. Everyday you can come by for something to eat". Hawkeye was stuffing the freezer with the meats and some fruits on top. Trapper was setting up the hot plates on a small skillet and opening a wrapped up pieces of chicken. Three pieces of chicken were in on skillet. Artichokes were boiling in a pot on another hot plate. On Hawkeye's hot plate was some delicious pot of chicken broth as soup. Hawkeye made three martinis and placed them on the table. Trapper served them and Trapper also put down the screens on the tent so nobody can see. They ate quickly before Frank showed up and rat-finked them out like always. Father helped with great satisfaction by cleaning out the pots. Trapper hid all the food under a blanket under his bead and so did Hawkeye with the cooler. Hawkeye took care of the martini glasses while Trapper wiped out some toothpicks. Father came back and put all the pots and pans in Hawkeye's footlocker and folded up his metal chair and put it by The Swamp door. Trapper wiped out some bug spray to cover up the smell of the barbecue sauce. The whole room smelt like bug spray when Frank entered the room. Trapper and Hawkeye were in their cots swilling martinis. Frank sat in his bunk and inspected his things like always and checking his bible and things like that. He took off his boots and pulled out his writing pad and pencil and started writing letters or noted. They couldn't tell what he was writing.

"Hello, Frank." Hawkeye said to Frank looking proud and grinning with his chin up.

"Hi." Frank mumbled looking up then down and up again.

"What you writing, Frank." Trapper said looking at Frank. "Letter to your wife?"

"Yes, if you must know." Frank said squinting his beady little eyes at them and his mouth as small as he could get it in a pucker position. Hawkeye looked at Trapper and raised his eyebrows.

"Why don't we ever get a letter from Frank, Trapper?" Hawkeye asked sarcastically.

"I do, but I throw them at the North Koreans." Trapper said almost seriously.

"Frank! How dare you! How long have you've been seeing this ... this awful man!" Hawkeye demanded holding in his laughter.

"Hush up, you hooligans!" Frank said squinting at them. They sat there with Frank yelling at them for making fin of him behind his back. Hawkeye and Trapper were sticking out their tongues, crossing their eyes, making funny faces, and pretending to throw darts at him. They laughed at each other with each stunt. Frank had to pull down his army helmet down from the top shelf and put it on. Hiding from them under his covers, Hawkeye pulled out a jar of martini olives that he got as a gift from Klinger for a bow. They kept throwing it at Frank and throwing paper spit wads at him. Frank grunted under the covers and got agitated. Finally Frank got out underneath the covers and Trapper bopped him with an olive in the head. Right in between the eyes. Hawkeye spit a giant spit wad, which stuck to his cheek. Hawkeye couldn't help himself and went laughing uncontrollably and almost wetting himself. Frank snickered and wiped the olive juice and spit wad off of his face.

"I'm going to Major Houlihan's tent for the rest of the day. Don't expect me back for a long time." Frank said military and walked out.

"You do that, Frank." Hawkeye said as kind as he could. Trapper pulled out the hot plates again and some frying pans and pots. Putting on three New York strip steaks and baked potatoes with butter Hawkeye went to fetch Father who was in his tent cleaning out his piano.

"I come to take you to dinner, Father." Hawkeye said smiling through the door.

"Really! I'm coming, my son, bless you!" Father said dropping his rag and coming with Hawkeye. The smell of steak filled the air even through the shades, which were pulled down. The smell attracted Radar a very hungry corporal. Radar popped his little nosey nose in The Swamp and looked at the steaks and potatoes.

"Uh, guys. Do you mind if I could join you?" Radar said walking in so innocently. He looked so pitiful like a lost puppy.

"Sit down, Radar, but don't tell anyone." Trapper said scooting over and making room for Radar and also a plate. Hawkeye made four martinis and gave them each one. They toasted the martinis and started to eat. Radar got a little bit of barbecue sauce on his shirt, but didn't mind. After the meal and the second martinis Radar helped Father with the dishes and Hawkeye and Trapper hid the food again and covered up the smell with some room spray and cologne. The steak smell was all covered up and the blinds were open once again. When Radar got his clipboard and went into Blake's Office he noticed the stain on Radar's khaki shirt and inspected it. When they were done the signature all the supply forms and release forms for the patients he started thinking.

"Uh, Radar, what's that on your shirt?" Blake asked smoking a cigar.

"It's a corporal's badge. It means I'm a corporal." Radar said smiling proudly and about to walk out the door.

"Not that, Radar! The spot on your tank top!" Henry said pounding his fist on the desk.

"Oh, uh, sauce, sir." Radar said closing the door and looking down.

"And where did you get sauce, Radar."

"Uh ..."

"It's an order, Radar, you don't want to make me disappointed at you, Radar!" Radar looked up frightfully and thought real hard about this question.

"Captain Pierce and Captain McIntyre, sir, we had steaks, but you didn't hear it from me, sir." Radar said sweating and running out the door. Henry shook his head. Henry took a trip to The Swamp where he found Trapper and Hawkeye tossing out Frank's shirts and going through his footlocker for "finders keepers" cash, also throwing at one another, which hit Henry in the head was balled up socks and olives.

'Where is it, Pierce, I'll give you fifty red bills for two whole chickens." Henry said pulling out his poker money.

"Who told you, Henry!" Trapper said stopping his fun time and looking at Henry.

"A little sauce told me."

"Radar." They both said at the same time.

"Don't blame him, guys, he was commanded to." Hawkeye pulled out two whole turkeys and gave it to Henry and Henry gave them the money. Henry smiled at his bounty.

"Don't tell anyone! We got it at the 8063rd and we paid big bucks. We're surgeons we need to eat!" Hawkeye demanded.

"Especially Frank, Henry" Trapper added.

"I won't, guys." Henry said stashing the chicken under his arms. Henry went back to his office and took out all the gizzards and such out the chickens and put them in his personal freezer and also put in the chickens.

"Don't you worry your pretty little face." He said to the chickens. Klinger spied through the corner of the men's latrine and saw the chickens and plotted in his head about how he could get some food for himself. Klinger went around and told Spearchucker and the nurses. At night when Hawkeye and Trapper were sleeping the nurses, Klinger, and Spearchucker were waiting outside of The Swamp ready to sneak in The Swamp and find the food. Klinger crawled into The Swamp. Spearchucker and the nurses were whispering telling them where to look. Klinger smelt meat by Hawkeye's bed. He checked in the footlocker and only smelt very dirty sweaty socks. Klinger felt the blanket and found the food. He was pulling it from under the bed when Hawkeye's hand fell right on Klinger's head. He felt the hair and thought it was his dog from Crabapple Cove, Maine.

"Good girl, Ginger, come to wake daddy up for work? Good girl." Hawkeye said in his sleep while smiling petting Klinger. Hawkeye felt Klinger face and felt a large nose.

"Wow, girl. Your nose feels swelled up and dry. Are you sick girl? Sorry daddy isn't a doggie doctor. I'll get my dad to take you to the doggie doctor, ok?" Hawkeye said squeezing Klinger's nose really hard.

"Ow, be careful! This is Lebanese it might break off!" Klinger said. Hawkeye's eye opened and scrambled up and turned on the light. He found Klinger hugging the box of meat.

"Your not, Ginger! What are you doing with that?" Hawkeye said taking his hands off of his nose and Klinger scrambling out the door. Hawkeye got up and ran after them. Trapper woke up and Frank was still at Hot Lip's tent. Trapper found out what happen and everyone practically woke up and ran out their doors. Spearchucker went into the tent and looked under McIntyre's bed and got out the bag of vegetables and fruits. He ran out with them. Trapper saw and ran and tackles Spearchucker. All heck broke loose when the food was scrambled all over the ground. Blake ran out of his tent and with Radar. Radar blew his whistle.

"That's it! All the food is going to Igor's kitchen. This food isn't leaving that kitchen. We will all have food, but little. I think we can survive for the next two weeks off of little food!" Blake said and Igor filled up the bags and went to the kitchen. Everyone covered in meat blood; dust, dirt, and fruit pulp got up and went to the showers. The shower line was huge until morning where everyone was asleep. Hawkeye sat pouting at everything and so did Trapper. Furious at Klinger for spying on Henry and stealing a superior officer's food. Blake gave two days of R&R to Hawkeye and Trapper for being a sport and also getting some extra helpings to last them. They also had to bring Radar because he eats too much to keep in the unit. After the few days at bars, spas, hotels, sight seeing, and for Hawkeye and Trapper beautiful Japanese women they came back and the kitchens were full of double shipment of food from the states after on the news hearing about their situation. One of the patients took his video camera and taped it all the fuss over the food and sent it to Stars and Stripes, which felt bad for them and collected money for food for them. Everyone's loves ones from he states that heard about their "difficulties" sent cakes, cookies, brownies, sauces, and different sweets. Hawkeye's dad sent him some peanut brittle and some new pajamas. Trapper from his wife got some apple crumb cake and a knitted white scarf with hearts. Radar got some his favorite butter pecan cookies and a home movie and new boots from his family back in Iowa. Frank got a letter. Father got a block for cheddar cheese and crackers and a letter from his sister and the church back home. Blake got all kind of different cookies from the neighborhood in Bloomington. It looked like a cookie walk when all the letters and different cookies flooded into his office. Everyone that week were having such a great time eating and enjoying each other's different goodies. A lot of the people didn't really talk to Hawkeye or Trapper for a couple of days for not sharing, but Father came everyday to show his appreciation and give them his blessing for their helpings.

"Thank you, Father." Hawkeye would say everyday for three days.

"See you tomorrow, or make it lunch." Trapper would say.

"Meet you at the Mess Tent later!" Father would say walking out the door clutching his bible.

The End