Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

The Ho Chi Minh Trail Of Unlimited Devotion

Go-Pro in 1960 (i.imgur.com )

SOMEWHERE IN SOUTHEAST ASIA, THE SIXTIES

“General, this is a terrible idea.”

“Jenkins, is your first name Nelly? It should be!”

“Because I’m–”

“Because you’re negative!”

“–so negative? Right. Anyway, sir: this is not negativity. It’s a reasoned critique of the plan and the tools available to implement said plan.”

“We need a spy, Jenkins. Information! That’s the way we defeat Communism! Also napalm, but mostly information.”

“That’s a good point, sir.”

“Of course it is. I made it.”

“Yes, sir. But: why me?”

“Jenkins, just because you look like an idiot doesn’t mean you have to act like one. You know damn well you’re the only soldier in my command that speaks Vietnamese.”

“Two small problems, sir.”

“Besides Communism?”

“Obviously, sir. Communism is one problem, and a large problem at that.”

“Quite right, quite right. Carry on.”

“First, sir: I don’t speak Vietnamese. I speak Restaurant Vietnamese. I can get the spicy shrimp thing I like, and also order drinks. I can ask where the bathroom is, but they only understand me like half the time.”

“Well, it’s better than mine. I’ve been squinting my eyes and yelling “HiiiiYAA” at every native I see for the past year. Nothing.”

“Second thing, sir: even if I did speak fluent and properly-accented Vietnamese, I would still be a 6’2″, blue-eyed white man.”

“And?”

“Sir?”

“I fail to see your point, Jenkins. You’re drifting close to malingering, and a malingerer is a diabolical tick of a leech of a louse!”

“No sir. I’m none of those insects, sir. My point was that I cannot pass for Vietnamese. By any metric. I’m a foot taller than most of them, sir.”

“They are tiny little sandal-wearers, aren’t they?”

“Yes?”

“Besides, Jenkins: once again, you insist on slathering the world with the stupidity you should have kept bottled up inside you. Yes, the Vietnamese from the south of the country are short and dark, but up north it’s a different story. Blond hair, blue eyes, drink beer instead of wine. You’ll fit in.”

“Which north are you talking about, sir?”

“Vietnam! All the way up there by the Apennines.”

“Italy, sir. You’re thinking about Italy.”

“Blast your eyes, Jenkins: foreign is foreign!”

“Possibly, sir.”

“Oh, no. Words always mean themselves, Jenkins. If a word doesn’t mean itself, then by Jove it doesn’t mean anything at all!”

“That’s a tautology, sir.”

“No, no. Learned it myself. No one taught me anything.”

“Obviously sir. Can we now discuss the “tool” section of my argument?”

“Jenkins, every discussion with you is a discussion with a tool.”

“That is correct, sir.”

“And I’ll not hear one single gripe about your gear! Jenkins-Vision cost millions to develop. You should thank me, and thank the taxpayers.”

“Sir, you stole my motorcycle helmet and bungee-corded a Super-8 to it.”

“That’s military-grade bungee, Jenkins.”

“Even still: it’s not discreet, is it, sir? Not exactly a spy-cam.”

“Oh, I don’t know. What if you infiltrate a Communist cell made up of blind people?”

“They would hear the whirring, sir. Camera makes a good deal of noise. It’s actually deafening in here.”

“Think quiet thoughts, Jenkins.”

“Yes, sir. One more thing, though: there’s no microphone. Any Communist cell that is blind, deaf, and stupid enough to allow me in to their meetings…well, it’s just going to be a silent movie, sir.”

“And when you get back, you’ll read their lips for us, Jenkins.”

“I can’t even read American lips, sir.”

“You’ll pick it up.”

“I don’t know about that, sir. Vietnamese is a tonal language. It might be un-lip-readable.”

“There’s that negativity again.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Won’t have it! Now: get out there and infiltrate Communism.”

“Yes, sir.”

“And don’t you dare hang around Saigon for a month and then come back saying that the film was exposed.”

“Never, sir. It’ll be two months.”

“There’s the spirit!”

“Yes, sir.”

11 Comments

  1. stealth videotaping Dead shows was too obvious a plotline huh? fair enough

  2. Spoiler alert! That’s legendary ski filmmaker, and proud owner of one the great porn names of all time………Dick Barrymore. I couldn’t make that up if I tried.

  3. why the can of spam on the one side?

  4. That can’t be a Jenkins. 6’2″ blue eyed handsome white men get immediately promoted past the SLJO (Shirt Little Jobs Officer) stage and are assigned Jenkinses of their own. That photo must be Sir himself, a posed media shot in case his idea panned out well and he needed to receive an award for his Jenkins’ valor.

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