Boondocker's Diary: Page 10


The monsoon rain beat on us like hail on a tin roof. We were soaking wet and chilled to the bone. Our home was a hole dug in the ground, partially filled with water from the relentless rain. If we were lucky, we may have had a piece of corrugated tin over us, but it was a deafening sound to endure. More often then not, when it was time to man our perimeter, it would not be unusual to find a rat the size of a small dog doing the back-stroke in our fox-hole. Vietnam may have been a rat-hole, but this piece of turf was my rat-hole and sharing it with a whisker-faced rodent was out of the question... I just wasn't that damn lonely.

Day after day the rains continued. Mud was the major product of Vietnam. Every step taken, you slid an extra foot; and Charley was in the same shit we were in. At least they had tunnels to keep them dry. Nothing moved much during the hard rain. The hardest thing to fight was your own imagination. There were times when I wished that scruffy-looking rat WOULD show up, seein's that the U.S.O wasn't going to make an appearance. A swimming rat, blowing bubbles out of its nose, would be quite the entertainment. What would be even more entertaining, would be to see two hard-ass Marines scrambling out of a mud pit. Like I said, the rat WOULD be entertainment; but I wasn't into synchronized swimming with old fur-face, or the rat either for that matter.

A sense of humor? Hell no... just punch-drunk and ate up with stupid. Figure it out, two weeks so far, of being in a hole waiting for Biggie rat to show up??? At least Fang (yup, he only had one front tooth) was more dependable than the mail. Funny thing about Fang though, unlike other rats, he made a different sound. It was bizarre almost. You could tell when he was around by his distinctive cry. It was something like: THQUEEK..THQUEEK.. If they had dental floss back then, he coulda gotten away with using clothesline. Poor critter, shouldn't have tried to bite into a can of Ham and Mutha's...

Hell, even a Marine has better sense than that.

Hope it stops raining soon...!!


Richard D. Preston

Page created: Sunday, 28 May 2000



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