The Jackson Herald
October 10, 2001
(The Third Week)
Only the chief and I were in the tent now. The others had gone
outside and were looking up at the half-cloudy sky. Some were
predicting fair weather, others declaring more rain was in store.
They were making their bets. Some weather prophets, these guys!
Sully leaned on the center pole of the tent and eyeballed it
top to bottom. He grabbed the pole with both hands and shook
it vigorously. He seemed impatient, irritated and antsy.
"Godomski has had time to be back with that doctor,"
he said, looking at his watch.
"Maybe the boss isn't up yet, and Godomski is waiting to
walk back with him," I suggested.
None of us, however, would understand why a buddy of ours wanted
such company, even for a walk across the street, unless it was
to stab him in the back. It was an ugly thought, but all of us
- some secretly and some openly - wished the doctor ill.
Please, dear reader, don't be too hard on us. With the exception
of Sully, we were young men who had to grow up too fast. The
war stole our adolescence. We were far from home, away from our
families, facing the prospect of another Christmas in a strange
land. We worked hard to save sick and wounded sailors. We saved
some and we lost some, and our doctor didn't seem to care either
way. We were at war and we were depressed. In that situation
and under those circumstances, young men are capable of any sin
- even murder.
The men outside saw the big, blond Polack coming back, alone,
across the street that separates our cold, wet tents and the
warm, comfortable sick bay. They followed him in.
On Godomski's face, if such a combination is possible, was a
look of fright and pleasure.
"Doc won't be seeing you this morning, Ward," he said,
before any of us had time to inquire of his whereabouts.
"Why th' dirty son of. . ."
"Wait a minute, Chief," Godomski interrupted. "Don't
raise hell yet. He won't be seeing that Army nurse today either."
"Why?" we all asked at once.
"He's dead," was the simple reply.
I don't know what happened the first two or three minutes after
Godomski said "He's dead," but right now these were
confused pill pushers, all except the chief. The expression on
his face hadn't changed. I didn't have a mirror, but if the way
one feels is indicative of the way he looks, I appeared just
as startled as the next guy.
All but the chief and Godomski were sitting down now, Saur and
Kramer on the edge of my sack, Weaver and Minsky over on Kramer's.
Everyone was fumbling for a cigarette. Even Saur reached out
and took my pack. He had never smoked a cigarette in his life,
and he didn't know he was going to now.
If that was a look of pleasure on Godomski's face when he came
back from the sick bay, it was gone now. Had we not been scared
half to death, all of us probably would have shown signs of pleasure.
But this was serious. There were seven pharmacist's mates and
one doctor on shore duty at the little 20-bed sick bay in Bizerte.
The doctor was dead, and here were all the seven Ph.M.s, all
huddled in one little tent. And every sailor in North Africa,
certainly everyone in Bizerte, knew how we hated Doc. They had
heard us say what we would do to him if we ever got the chance.
Saur finally broke the silence, and it was a thought-provoking
utterance: "Well, I guess he has a pretty good reason for
not coming to see you, Ward."
"That's it, Saur, be cute! If you're going to run off at
the mouth like that, for God's sake say something intelligent!"
"Wonder who killed da guy?" asked Minsky, innocently.
"Did somebody kill him, Minsky?" the chief asked, emphasizing
"I ... I ... guess so. Hell ... I don ... don't know. I
"Minsky, this is no time or place to think," Sully
shouted bitterly. "You either know or you don't know! Did
somebody kill Dr. Jacobs?"
"I ...I don't know, Sir."
"Okay! Now listen, you guys: talk when I ask you to talk,
not before! Understand?"
It was evident this was going to be one of the few times when
the chief pulled rank on us. I was glad. Someone had to take
charge of these scared rookies, and the chief, a real American
hero, was our leader. I did believe, though, that he was a little
too hard on Minsky. All he did was wonder out loud what the rest
of us were wondering to ourselves.
I'd lay ten to one that somebody killed Doc. Guys like Doc -
225, an All-American running back - don't just up and die for
no apparent reason.
(To be continued.)
Virgil Adams is a former owner and editor of The Jackson Herald.
The Jackson Herald
October 10, 2001
House cleaning with Adam Fouche
Just a few short weeks ago, I shocked and amazed the culinary
world with my cooking tips and recipes.
In continuing with my housekeeping series, I have compiled my
tips for keeping your house in the cleanest possible condition
while putting out the least possible effort.
Because that's my motto-if it takes effort, it ain't worth doing.
·Dirt particles on the carpet. From time to time, dirt
and grass and small pieces of paper will gather on my floor.
Sure, there is a vacuum at my apartment. However, using the vacuum
would require the use of electricity. Plus, I would have to get
it out, unwrap the cord, plug it in, use it, wrap the cord back
up and put the vacuum back in the closet. The whole process takes
10-13 minutes, which violates the four-minute rule. (Any cleaning
action that takes longer than four minutes to complete is a violation.)
Instead of vacuuming, simply take your foot and scatter the dirt
across the floor. Therefore, the dirt isn't concentrated in one
area, and the carpet looks much cleaner.
·Dirty kitchen floor. I'm opposed to mopping. Mops, buckets
and water make more of a mess than they clean up. I simply strategically
place the trash can in different places in the kitchen to cover
up the dirtiest areas. If it's out of sight, it's out of mind.
(We'll see the "out of sight, out of mind" theory again
·Dirty tub. Anyone who has ever taken a shower knows that
the tub eventually becomes covered in soap scum and other debris.
I've learned to combat this. While showering, simply rub soap
on the bottom of your foot, and while you are rinsing out your
hair, scrub the tub with your foot. Large pieces of dirt will
likely wash away. Anything left isn't worth cleaning off. After
all, if it won't come off when you scrub it with your foot, it
isn't going to get you dirty.
·Dirty dishes, pots and pans. If the dishwasher can't
get them clean, you don't need them. Throw them away.
·Dusting. I don't dust. I'm an anti-duster. Instead of
dusting, I simply move things around to cover up the dust. For
example, the top of my television in my room often gets dusty.
I also have a small fan on top of the TV. Whenever the TV gets
dusty, I move the fan to the dusty spot, exposing the clean spot
where the fan once sat. Therefore, the TV looks clean because
the fan is covering up the dust. Every couple of months, I move
the fan around to keep the TV clean in appearance.
·Dirty mirrors, glass, TV screens, etc. This is the only
process in my cleaning plan that actually involves elbow grease
or work. To clean glass, I merely wipe it down with an old newspaper.
Using the newspaper saves money on paper towels and glass cleaner
and is also a good way to recycle. Plus, the newspaper is not
really good for anything else.
·Dirty toilet. Close the lid.
I hope I have covered any cleaning problems that may arise in
your home. If you follow my simple steps to a clean environment,
I guarantee you'll have a home as clean as my apartment.
If you'd like more information on easy cleaning, including spot
removal, clothes washing and odor elimination, please send $20
in my name to the newspaper office for my book, "Cleaning
In the meantime, I'll be taking out a loan at the bank, just
enough to pay all the health department fines.
Adam Fouche is a reporter for MainStreet Newspapers. His email
address is firstname.lastname@example.org.