"Can I have everyone's attention for a minute please!" Radar exclaimed loudly as his guests tried to organize themselves in the O'Reilly's not overly spacious living room. Patty and Ellie Winchester had brought in a few chairs from outside to help accommodate the rather large crowd. Once everyone had a chair their patient host continued. "Klinger and I have prepared a couple of entertaining presentations for you all this evening. We hope that you get as much of a kick out of watching them as we did in preparing them."
"What kind of presentations, Radar?" Hawkeye asked curiously as he settled himself between his wife and his best friend. Trapper sat down between his wife and Margaret, flashing the latter a warm smile. Margaret returned the smile as Radar answered.
"Just give us a few minutes to set up and you'll see for yourselves." Radar replied and nodded towards the living room door where Klinger was rolling in a slide projector and screen. As Klinger set everything up his partner began a little introduction. "Just to give you a little background information on what you are about to see let me start at the beginning. When we were all still in Korea, Klinger and I were commenting one day that if we ever got out of that nightmare and made it back home it would be wonderful to have a reunion some day. Then we came up with the brainstorm that if we did have a reunion, it would be fun to have something to remember all the good times that we all shared. With that in mind, we tried to keep any mementos that we could find that would help us to remember the fun times. After this reunion plan became a reality we decided that the best way to remember the good times would be to look at some pictures that were taken over the years. So, for everyone's amusement Klinger and I have set up the following slide show. I hope you enjoy the shots that we have selected." Looking at his partner, who was now sitting beside the projector, he announced. "Take it away, Klinger."
"Yes sir." Klinger nodded as he turned off the living room lights. In a matter of seconds the screen in front of the group filled with an aerial shot of the camp.
A warm chuckled filled the air and a surprised Potter asked. "How did you ever get this picture?"
"I took it for the Stars & Strips photo contest." Klinger replied proudly. "I asked one of the chopper pilots to take me up so that I could get a complete shot of the camp."
"Klinger this is perfect!" BJ exclaimed excitedly. Addressing his wife he added. "The long building was were we had our operating room, Pre. Op., and Post Op. It also contained the main reception office also known as Radar or Klinger's office. Colonel Potter's office was in there too."
"Or Henry's." Trapper added as he glanced at his old friend warmly. Henry smiled back with equal warmth.
"The long tent is the Mess Tent..." BJ continued his verbal tour.
"Where they tried to pass anything off as food." Hawkeye added with a mischievous smirk.
"Here's a sample of the average tray." Klinger added as he switched a few slides in the reel and then showed a picture of a food tray loaded with a typical army meal.
"Doesn't look very appetizing." Patty admitted.
"It wasn't." Trapper agreed.
"This is what the food was good for." Klinger laughed as he changed the frame to show Margaret aiming a spoonful of potatoes at the camera. "A split second later it was all over my lens."
"Didn't Igor ask if you wanted gravy on it?" Margaret asked with a chuckle.
"Hey, don't laugh." Hawkeye remarked. "The camera may have given it some taste."
"Klinger, go back to the shot of the camp." Peg requested politely. When the picture reappeared she asked her husband. "Where was your tent? Where was the 'Swamp'?"
"Right here." Hawkeye replied as he got up and pointed directly to the large tent in the middle of the compound. "Home for rats, flees and other lowly, detested creatures - like Charles for instance." He shot the other man a wicked glance. Charles merely laughed sarcastically at the remark.
"Or Frank." BJ added as he shot a wicked look of his own at their former tentmate.
"Oh go fry an egg." Frank hugged and turned his back on them.
Continuing his little tour Hawkeye said. "Here was the Officer's club, the showers, Colonel Potter's tent, Margaret's tent."
"What's that thing beside your tent, doctors?" Mildred Potter asked curiously as she squinted to make out the funny looking object.
"That, my dear Mrs. Potter, is our beloved sign post." Hawkeye replied with a large grin. "It was a constant reminder of how far we were from home."
"Which wasn't something that we generally forgot anyway." BJ remarked sadly as he put his arm around his beloved wife. Trapper and Colonel Potter did the same thing with their wives, silently remembering the misery of separation.
Trying to break the sober mood Hawkeye lightly ordered. "Next picture if you will, Klinger." As the surgeon reclaimed his seat beside his wife the picture changed to show a group shot of the original 4077th staff.
"Hey, that's the original gang!" Henry exclaimed in delight as he looked at the new picture.
"Except for Hawk." BJ commented as he examined the photo closely. "Where are you, Hawk? I thought you were in Korea since the beginning of that confounded war."
"I was." Hawkeye confirmed, then pretending to puff out his chest with pride he added. "I was the photographer of that marvelous photograph that you are now beholding."
"He always was a professional at black and 'what' photography." Charles remarked sly as he gave the other man a wicked look.
"There is nothing wrong with that photograph." Hawkeye defended in a mock insulted tone. "It's crisp and clear..."
"...and off kilter." Trapper quipped as he noted the definite tilt on the photo in question.
"How would you know?" Hawkeye retorted huffily. "Your eyes are closed."
"How on earth could you tell?" Potter asked with an amused chuckle. "He's wearing sunglasses."
"Because my eyes were closed too." Was Hawkeye's witty reply.
"Oh, that explains the angle." Margaret commented as she shot her husband a teasing glance.
"I wanted the picture to match everything else in Korea - out of balance and off center." Hawkeye commented with a sly smile.
"Well you certainly did a good job." Potter chuckled.
"And it captures the essence of the photographer too." Charles quipped. "Cock-eyed."
"If you think that picture captures Hawkeye's 'essenceness'." Klinger commented, causing Charles to roll his eyes in despair. "Then you'll really like this one."
"Well, it certainly is an interesting shot of Hawkeye." BJ commented with a laugh. "What are you Hawk? King of the latrine?"
"Why are you holding a plunger and a volleyball?" Peg asked curiously, looking at her husband's best friend expectantly.
Hawkeye and Trapper had both started laughing heartily when the picture had flashed on the screen.
"That was during my 'crowning' ceremony when I became Chief Surgeon." Hawkeye replied. Glancing at Trapper and Radar with amusement he added. "The plunger was my scepter and the volleyball my orb."
"So this is was what you idiots were doing." Margaret commented with a jolly laugh as she shot the 'idiots' an amused look. "I always wondered what was going on during your little party."
"With Pierce and McIntyre you could always expect something unique to happen." Henry remarked with a laugh as he shot the two pranksters a sly look.
"You have to admit though." Potter chuckled heartily, shooting Hawkeye and BJ an amused look. "They sure know how to make you laugh."
"That they did!" Henry nodded in agreement, shooting the same look to Trapper and Hawkeye.
The trio exchanged mischievous smiles as Potter added. "I don't know about McIntyre, but I know that Pierce and Hunnicutt were always the worst when you wanted them on their best behavior."
Henry laughed. "Oh, trust me, sir. McIntyre was just as bad. He and Pierce were always up to some nonsense of some sort."
"That's not really surprising, though." Potter remarked with a broad smile on his face. "When you look at the fact that Hawkeye was involved in both pairs. It was either Pierce and Hunnicutt or Pierce and McIntyre."
"True." Henry agreed with a chuckle.
"And you've got to admit, Hawkeye's got quite the flare for foolishness." Potter commented as he glanced warmly at the younger man under discussion.
"You can say that again!" Henry exclaimed enthusiastically. "I never knew what mischief he and his cohort were going to scare up. They certainly did keep me on my toes." He started laughing harder at a memory that just popped into his head. Looking at the two in question he said. "Remember the time that you guys traded my antique desk for some hydrocortisone on the black market?" Looking at Potter he added. "I loved that desk, it was a beautiful 100 year old beauty. I had to bump four Privates and two Second Lieutenants off the plane just to get it to Korea."
"Well, we did offer them other things." Trapper defended honestly.
"Yeah, like free hospitalization for him and his friends." Hawkeye added eagerly. "Appendix operations, nose jobs...but apparently he had his own health plan."
"The only thing he was remotely interested in was your desk." Trapper concluded.