Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: It’s Christmas Day (in the present or living memory) (11/27/08)
TITLE: A Bland Holiday
By Clyde Blakely
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Finishing guard duty one day I thought Iâ€™d try out the Vietnamese restaurant close to the mess hall Iâ€™d seen earlier, getting into the new culture sort of thing. I was surprised no other customers were there and had a seat anyway. The waitress and cook stood in the back and stared. Perhaps they donâ€™t speak English, I thought. The waitress finally came out and asked what I wanted. Good, she can speak English. â€śMay I see a menu?â€ť â€śYou eat here?â€ť Was that a clue? I nodded my head. â€śUâ€™sure, GI?â€ť Yes, it was a clue! Perhaps US soldiers didnâ€™t eat here or something. Not wanting to be an â€śugly Americanâ€ť in this country I was to live and perhaps die in I reluctantly said, â€śAh, Iâ€™d like to see a menu.â€ť
I had heard the rumors about missing cats, dog soup, andâ€¦well, you know. I glanced at the exit door.
The menu arrived along with another uncomforting quizzical look. I didnâ€™t see any â€śbulgesâ€ť under her clothes that might have been a weapon.
Glancing at the menu, Good, they have hamburgers.
â€śA hamburger and coke please.â€ť
Another glance at the exit.
As she placed the order, I quickly turned my head when they stared at me, again. Thankful Iâ€™d ordered just a hamburger and a safe American Coke!
Another â€ślookâ€ť arrived with the hamburger. It was plain, in fact, tasteless.
I noted the waitress and cook were talking again with occasional glances my way. Returning to my table she again asked why I was eating there.
â€śIâ€™m hungry,â€ť now becoming upset with the â€śatmosphereâ€ť AND the bland burger.
â€śWhy not eat mess hall?â€ť
â€śI just wanted a hamburger, okay?!â€ť
â€śGI, it Christmas!â€ť
The hamburger lost any appeal. A holiday Iâ€™ll never forget and the only holiday I remember in VN because it was â€śspecialâ€ť. Not!
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