By Justin Sage
B.J. Hunnicutt staggered through the door of the Officer's Club and squinted at the sun in the sky. It was a hot day. And from what he could remember, it was either three or four ambulances that nearly ran him down.
"What's going on?" He slurred.
Hawkeye pulled his friend to his feet. "All this gravity...."
Hot Lips was the first to see BJ being led into Post-op by Hawkeye Pierce. The others were wounded in their beds. They turned back to sleep while Major Houlihan scowled and stormed at the two surgeons.
"What's this?" She yelled.
"This is serious, Margaret," Hawkeye said, laying his friend on an available cot. "Beej is sick."
"Oh, I get it," she snapped. "Too much gin and you two are out of this picture!"
"Do you know how many soldiers we have wounded in triage? Fifteen! Fifteen soldiers, Captain!"
"Margaret, BJ is sick right now. And you're a nurse. And I am sure someone taught you what sick was in nursing school."
Margaret flushed, turned and stomped out of the hospital determined to do something.... Hawkeye could only guess what it was she was going to do. And as he watched her leave, his mind turned to his friend.
BJ's hands began to shake as the pores on his forehead beaded with sweat. Poor BJ's eyes looked wrenched closed. He wasn't asleep. He was painfully aware of all of this -- this banter with Hot Lips and this....
Margaret returned to Post-op with Colonel Potter rubbing his eyes. He looked haggard and annoyed. It was as though he could not get a full night's -- afternoon's -- sleep as long as these silly monsters were in This Man's Army.... "What's going on, folks?"
"It's Beej," said Hawkeye. "Maybe too much of the grape, Colonel."
"Can I see you outside, Doctor?"
"Margaret call a Doctor!"
Margaret started to follow Hawkeye and Potter outside Post-op, but Potter waved her back, tipping his finger back and forth like a "no-no" to a child.
She walked across the Post-op to the staff desk and pretended to continue her paperwork.
Outside, Potter asked, "So what's the good news? Another letter from the Missus?"
"Maybe. I don't know." Hawke looked pained. Even his defensive humor had been alluding him this whole time.
"Hawkeye, we have wounded coming in in a few hours."
"Why don't you bring Hunnicutt to The Swamp? Let him sleep it all off there?"
Then there was the sound of a G.I. door being slammed, right where they were standing.
"Margaret!" They both moaned, loudly.
BJ Hunnicutt leaned over the side of his bed to retch, but saw boots, slowly followed by legs that went all the way up to a face. As far as he could tell with his swimmy eyes it was Hot Lips. And if it was Hot Lips he was never going to hear the end of --
"What do you think you're doing, Captain? Are you so burned out, feeling so sorry for yourself that you can take precedence over the truly wounded soldiers who are fighting a real war?"
"They are dying, Captain," She said. She turned to a young man unconscious on the bed next to him. "See that?"
"I think you've crossed a line, Major." Looking around, startled he wasn't in his own bed, he lay back and shut his eyes. "Who brought me here?"
"I did, Beej," Hawkeye said, stepping around Colonel Potter. Turning to Hot Lips, he relaxed and casually waved his hand in dismissal of what he thought she would say to him in retort....
Then BJ blurted-out, "You're right. You're all right, but you're not very clever." He slid out of bed and picked his G.I. boots off the floor. "Next time lock Margaret in the supply tent when you talk about me behind my back. I'll be OK."
"Can I be sure, Doctor? I need my surgeons with both their feet on the terra."
"All six of them? You got it."