THE KID IN LOWER D – AN UNFORTUNATE SITUATION IN ARMY BARRACKS

By Pvt. Lawrence Feigenbaum

I have the worst bed in Co. D. No, wait—the bed itself is all right; it’s just that it’s in the worst place in Co. D.

If my barracks has the most unfortunate location in the company area—and it has—and my bed holds the worst spot in the barracks, you can see how it adds up.

The barracks is the structure closest to the mess hall and the company orderly room; the bed is the nearest to the door of said barracks. It is this combination of proximities that has been the bane of my army life.

Here’s what happens: Every night the mess sergeant decides at 9 0’clock that he is behind in his work and he goes out to impress a relief KP into servitude. He saunters out of the mess hall and enters the nearest barracks; he points the finger at the first man he sees. I am reading or writing a letter to mother. I am a very quiet, self-effacing person but I do not escape his notice. How can I?

He lends sound effects to the already too eloquent finger.

“Out to the kitchen,” he says.

Out I go.



barracks

Typical WWII Army Barracks

Similarly, the charge of quarters at the orderly room accounts for my Sundays and afternoons off. He is always popping out to find someone to police the company rea, to mop a floor tor two, or to shovel some coal. And the CQ does his seeking close to home.

Between him and the mess sergeant the problem of my leisure time is eliminated. They contrive to keep me a very busy man. I think there must be some agreement between them, for they never conflict.

They never call when I am out, but let me step close to my bed and footlocker, and I am a dead pigeon. It is the kitchen or diving for cigarette butts for the next two hours.

For some time I struggled against this strange circumstances of location. I hid further down the barracks room, even went upstairs. I lurked about the library and PX until lights out. It was no use; for just the moment I ducked in to get something, the blow would fall.

I tried staying under the bed. It worked on night; the second night the mess sergeant ferreted me out.

“What the hell are you doing under there?” he hollered?

I’ve just about given up the struggle. I stand by now each day awaiting the call, sadly resigned.

It must be fate, my having the worst bed in Co. D. Gosh, when will I become a corporal or something?



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