Posted on December 2nd, 2017 by:

Posted in:


By Sgt. Richard B. Stone, Fort Bragg, N.C.

SGT. Ichobod O’H, Plother, E-17-6, Fort Bragg, N.C., dropped his newspaper on the latrine floor and stared glassily. Finally in dramatic tones he addressed the orderly: “Do you know what it means?”

“Do I know what what means?” asked the basin burnisher.

“This,” said Sgt. Plother, kicking at the saturated newsprint. “It says here the war may last for another 9 years, and the estimate is made by a person in authority.

The orderly looked like something you leave on your plate. Plother, pleased with the effect, went on: “It means that with my present routine of three trips a week, I shall visit Fayetteville 1,414 times, spending a total of 1,414 hours or 58 days on the bus, at a cost of $561.60. I may even get a seat, one of these years. But I fear I shall never remember to buy a book of tickets.

“Of Coca-Cola, at my present ration of two bottles a day, I shall consume 821 gallons, costing $328.50. I shall pay out $492.75 for 65,700 cigarettes, at a pack a day. And it is usual, in this respect, to note that these cigarettes, if laid end to end, would reach from Center Headquarters to the 1st Regiment and back again.

“Furthermore, I shall enjoy an aggregate of 6 months’ furlough, in addition to 702 days or nearly two years of week-end freedom, at the rate of 1 ½ per week. I shall see 936 movies at two a week, and dray $8,424 in pay.

“Now you, my mop-faced friend, have prospects equally magnificent. As a battery-duty man you pull 6 consecutive days of KP once every 3 weeks.  Thus, you may expect to spend 936 days in the kitchen. You will clean may large, black pans, and I leave it to you to reckon the number of potatoes you will peel and tables you will swab. As latrine attendant one-third of the time you shall meet me here not less than 936 times under similar circumstance.

Sgt. Plother paused to resume scraping his chin. He failed to notice that the orderly was doing some rapid mathematics of his own. As Plother turned to continue his conversation, the orderly broke in: “What you say may be true, sergeant. But there’s one item you omitted. Since there are five wash basins in this room, I shall have to clean the out 4,680 times, so if you’ll kindly get the hell out of here, I could cut that down to 4,679.”

wwii cartoon fort bragg

For Further Reading Check Out:

Hook Up: A Novel of Fort Bragg

For Related Articles See:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Past and Present WWII History Posts