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Peek into Puppy Out Of Breath
#34: I Would Never Say Hello To Her
My Shoes Are Not Highly Polished
My commanding officer, Captain Marjorie Johnson, said that she was recommending me for promotion to sergeant. All I needed to do, she said, was be examined by the Fort Lewis promotion board.
I said, “Thank you, Ma’am,” and started worrying about facing the promotion board.
On the day I was to go before the promotion board, I polished my shoes, put on a highly starched uniform, and walked over to the building where the board was, avoiding stepping in any dust that would undo my polishing job.
#7: Never Squish It; Always Flick It
Blistered by the Alarm Clock
When I arrived in Africa in 1965, I had to learn how to sleep inside a mosquito net.
There is a technique to unfurling a mosquito net so that nasty insects don’t fly inside it. There is a technique to tucking it in so that no nasty insects can crawl inside it and a technique to slipping yourself inside so that no nasty insects take advantage of the brief opening.
It’s a cozy world; cocooned from the abundant African insect life.
One morning, when I had been in Africa for about two weeks, my alarm clock blistered me. I had reached out of the mosquito net to turn off the alarm, and when I pulled my hand back inside the net, there was a large blister on the back of my hand.
#70: A Little White Duck Doing What He Oughta
An Early Form of Karaoke
Back when I was a kid, I serenaded my aunt when she came over to our house for a visit. I was about three years old. The tune was “The Farmer in the Dell”, but I wanted to sing something original for my aunt, so I changed the words to: “The Farmer Jumped over the Fence”. This song is one of my earliest childhood memories.
Back when I was a kid, everybody sang.
At home, I would sing duets with my mother. Our favorite song was “Little White Duck”, which we learned from a Burl Ives record: “There’s a little white duck, sitting in the water; a little white duck, doing what he oughta.” Mom and I sang our duet with gusto.
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