M.A.S.H. 714th

[Medical tent for Dr.Bones]

Chris "Dr.Bones" vonSeggern

Royal Army Medical Corps

[Attending Physician]

With his loyal assistant to care for what ails you;


Appointment to Flight Surgeon status by Goshawk:

Dr.Bones assigned as the new Flight Surgeon, and Base Psychiatrist. More,,

As such, he will be responsible for any necessary diagnosis of potential or real psychic disorder among the pilots. He shall also provide the necessary medication to avoid contagion from those unfortunates who dilly their dallies too much with the dollies of London!
That is all.

An announcement from the surgeon:

In Response To: Dr.Bones assigned as the new Flight Surgeon, and Base Psychiatrist. More,,

"All right, gentlemen, listen up. There will be a few changes in the area of base medical policy, and you'd all better get this the first time, because they're effective immediately."

"First of all, I'd like to state for the record that there is NO truth to the rumors about how I joined up to avoid legal action back home. 
Mrs. Johnson's complications have cleared up nicely, my relationship with Nurse Davis was purely a professional one, and the issue regarding 
my license was merely a misunderstanding. So you can all rest easy in the knowledge that you're in competent hands. Speaking of hands, the
twitch has almost completely gone away; good news for you blokes who'll be needing surgery!"

"Second, any of you showing up for sick call better actually be sick. I'll be sending the names of any fakers along to the ACSM, so you've been warned! And you boys in the 609 can just forget about sick call right now; there's no reason you can't fly with the clap! Yes, I've seen your files, 
and I know all about the unfortunate consequences of your last R&R rotation. Just keep taking your medicine, and it'll clear up nicely. 
Ask Goshawk; he knows."

"Third, the new shipment of prophylactics has finally arrived, so feel free to pop in for a handful. Lord knows, some of you randy bastards can use them."

"Fourth, and last, remember my door is always open if you have any, ahem, issues you want to talk about. Don't worry, our conversations are 
totally confidential. I hardly ever talk to those reporters anymore anyway."

Announcement from Goshawk:

Effective immediately, a tent has been erected to assist our newly appointed flight surgeon in performing his varied and sundry duties. His nurse, "WuWu" has been hard at work preparing the facilities with fresh linens, towels, sponges, and several boxes labeled "ACME S&M Toys, Trinkets, and Asst.Supplies".

I never knew that ACME made Surgical and Medical supplies. In any event, the boxes have been unloaded at the medical tent.

Dr.Bones will begin his practice immediately.

Meridian_EAF92 responds immediately:

COUGH, COUGH, I feel a cold coming on, and I've always liked the little red S&M's, Oh S&M, are they new

Inquiry from Solar Arrow, Rescue Pilot and supervisor of KiKi, (Rescue Flight Nurse):

Hey Gos what is that squished bug next to Dr. Bones callsign in the roster page???

Also , have you noticed how all the EAW women's names are repetitions of monosyllables? like Ko-Ko, Ki-Ki, Wu-Wu??? 
That is the second step in speech development in babies, are you trying to tell something to the pilots???

[Goshawk clears his throat] "Ah-hem" [and responds]:

"That's the RAMC badge. And as far as the names go,,,,"

Communiqué smuggled in from the Reich:

"Dastardly Anglanders, WuWu is screwing up NJG training (more)"

"Ever since you appointed WuWu as the new flight nurse, all the NJG members have taken to unauthorized flights over the new RMAC Hospital 
in an attempt to showoff their flight skills to her. A few have even attempted to feign illness so that they can be seen by her.

Freight Train is now flying around with her picture on his dash, and has even contemplated going Brit on us.

You Dastardly Anglanders have GONE TOO FAR this time!!

I have talked to both Koko and Kiki, and they are also pretty upset with all the fawning by all the pilots on the ladder over WuWu. They have even gone as far as suggesting I organize a repeat of the raid in the Pacific!!!!

As I see it, the only alternative, maybe to go and liberate her from RMAC, and bring her over to the NJG base at LeHavre. Unless you want a WAR on your hands, you may have to do something to rectify the situation.

Memoirs from the Dr.'s desk:

It was another busy morning in the base clinic. I pushed back the tent flap for a look outside and swore. For the last few days, the lines for morning sick call had been growing longer and longer. I was not often able to pin down the specific maladies from which the pilots queuing up outside were suffering, and I was beginning to suspect they were "exaggerating" their symptoms in the hope of gaining a few moments alone with WuWu.

A faint puff of perfume preceded the click of six-inch heels on the wooden floor as the new nurse herself swayed into my office. "So, Doctor, when are you going to show me why they call you Dr. Bones?" Draping herself most professionally across my desk, she purred in a deep, throaty, clinical voice, "I just love this desk. I wonder what else it's good for?"

About to answer, I was cut off abruptly by a high-decibel stream of profanity that could only have come from the ACSM. I looked outside, and there he was, berating a hapless young rookie for something or other. Some things never changed. "Later, my dear, we've got patients to see. Is your cousin Helga from Bavaria still staying with you?"

"Helga the German Army nurse? Yes, she is. You don't' think she's prettier than me, do you?"

"Good God no, woman. But we could use an extra hand. Do you think she could come help out for a few days?"

"I'll ask. I'm sure she'd be glad to." With that, WuWu sashayed out to the waiting room to get back to business. Helga was a damn scary sight to see, but quite, well, efficient. Just the thing needed to return to a reasonable schedule around here.

Nurse Helga arrives:

"Herr Doctor, you haf asked for zis meetink? Vaht may I do to be off zervice to zee men off zis base?"

Dr.Bones realizes that he may be able to get "all" of his needs fulfilled by these "ladies":

"Keep your grimy, uncouth hands off my staff!"

"Gentlemen, it has been brought to my attention by a tearful and hurt WuWu that most of you are not taking her seriously. She is a medical professional, and any attempt to manhandle her or cop a feel will be looked upon most sternly, believe me. I'm the only one who gets to do that,^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H I mean nobody will be allowed to do that. As the mature, quiet, reserved adults I expect you fighter pilots
to be, more gentlemanly standards of conduct should be the rule. Need I say more?"

KiKi's comments:

"I don't know what the fuss all about!!!!
What she is got that I aint got? I am 10
times more beautiful" : P

"And also have better taste in ties!!!!!"

Dr.Bones memoirs [meeting with Helga]:

 "you haf asked for zis meetink? Vaht may I do to be off zervice to zee men off zis base?"

I offered my hand to shake, then hastily withdrew it when Helga just stared at it like it was a particularly offensive, yet harmless insect. 
"Yes, yes, glad you could come. Listen, we're really in a spot here, and I'm hoping you can help out."

"Herr Doktor, I am a professional. Just be telling me vhat I am to be doink."

I opened the tent flap and gestured outside at the long line of malingerers waiting there in the hot sun. "You see those boys? Some of them are legitimately ill, but most are just trying to get in to see your cousin Wuwu. Poor girl, she's running herself ragged, and says she has a headache every night."

"I zee. And exactly vhat am I to do vis these not-sick men?"

"Well, I'll leave that up to your professional judgment. Personally, I'd give them a thorough examination. The last thing I want is for some poor boy to be shot down because he was too sick to fly, and I wouldn't listen. So take a good look. Hernia exam, the works. And don't forget the rectal exam. Spending hours at a time in the pilot's seat seems to be conducive to hemorrhoids." I handed over a box of Latex gloves. "Here, use these. What a shame, though, we're all out of Vaseline. Guess you'll just have to do without."

"Zat ist not a problem, Herr Doktor. In ze Great Var ve used to perform !! rectal exams in ze field vis nothing more zophisticated zan a sharp stick. And don't worry, Herr Doktor, I am nutting if not thorough."

With that, Helga pulled on a glove with a sharp SNAP and marched off into the waiting room, shouting "NEXT!"

Four hours later, the line outside had miraculously disappeared. I began to wonder, though, if there hadn't actually been something wrong with all those boys. The ones I could see moving around the base seemed to be walking funny . . .

Goshawk's secret mission:

"What're we gonna tell him, Gos?? He's gonna have a bloody hernia over this flap, he will!" spoke Wolf as
he paddled the raft from the front.

In the rear, Goshawk was thinking. Thinking hard. He had to come up with something, and fast. The English coastline was looming larger and larger ahead, and the AirCommandSgt.Major would be wanting a full report of the cause for the downing of four Spitfire fighters, should he find out about them. Two new XIVE's and two older, yet still quite effective, IXC's found their final resting spots at the bottom of the icy channel
waters by now. Maybe the ACSM wouldn't notice. Just maybe....

Intelligence reported the Werewule'z "Greywolf" and "WileECoyote" spotted over the eastern coast of the channel, and both Goshawk and Wolf were so eager to find and destroy them, they had taken off without clearance. The shock at seeing WileECoyote alive and again at the stick of a fast Germen fighter filled the Brits with dread. Consequently, they were easy prey for the practiced tactics of offsetting B&Z moves. The desire to down these two had been so intense that they had decided to take the fighters without clearance from the ACSM. After losing the first two Spits and sneaking back for two more, they were humbled at their inability to beat the
Germans and bring the planes back home.

Losing aircraft without "tasking orders" for a flight was not acceptable!

"Hey, Wolf, I got an idea!", shouted Gos over the sound of waves lapping against the rubber raft. "We gotta create a diversion to get the aircraft inventory book from the ACSM's desk!"

"Roger that!", replied the other Wing Commander. "This better be good 'cause he's gonna boil us in oil and use our residue for loo seat lubricant if he finds out."

By the time they returned to base, the sun had set and darkness had fallen upon the field. Lights were out and most of the pilots were sleeping. Goshawk and Wolf crept into their quarters and began their search for the tools they would need to take care of the discrepancy in the inventory book that would surely be noticed at
morning inspection by the ACSM.

After several minutes of sneaky-pete'ing around their building, they were sufficiently armed for the task at hand.

Belly-crawling to the ACSM's hut, they discovered the office window conveniently open. Creeping up to the window, they were able to hear a faint moaning from within, and upon entering through the window, there was no mistaking the sounds.

[Skreeek-skreeeek-skreeeek-skreeeek]"OH YES, ZEES EES ZO VONDERFUL, SARGEANT!!" came the cries of Helga from within the next room.

Goshawk and Wolf, never ones to listen to such things, and both totally shocked at the realization of what was happening inside, hurried to their task. They must find the book.

After several minutes of searching, during interludes of squeaking springs, several calls of "OUCH, that hurts!", along with sounds of whips slashing air, Goshawk located the inventory book on a small table next to the furnace.

On top of the book, Goshawk and Wolf placed the fruits of their search from their quarters, and as they turned to leave, several inches of open Hershey bars now lay atop the book, opened to the "Plane Count" page. The last act involved Goshawk's reaching and turning the temperature control of the furnace to "HIGH". Both pilots returned to the protection of darkness outside.

As the sun crest over the treetops and brought on a new day, the temperature inside the ACSM's hut was sufficient to not only allow the plane count to be totally "fudged" over, but also enough that Helga's sharp accented shouts from earlier were rendered to mere whisperings as she secretly left the hut and headed furtively
back to the medical tent.

The base was back to business as usual.

Dr. Bones memoirs:

9/7, 1005 hours--
I've noticed something strange today. The atmosphere in the clinic just seemed . . . looser, more relaxed. Couldn't put my finger on it at first, then realized what it was. Helga. The Teutonic Terror was a terror no more, it seemed. There was a spring in her step, a twinkle in her eye, and she actually . . . SMILED at me as she bounced in the door for work this morning! At first I dismissed it, but when she greeted her first case of the day with a friendly, compassionate "Gut morning, Leutnant. How may I be helping you today?" instead of the usual, "Yes, vhat ist botherink you? Out vith it!" I knew something was up. Now if I could just figure out what it was . . .

My train of thought was again interrupted by the shrill screamings of the ACSM outside the window. He was really in fine form this morning, but I wasn't sure about quite what. Something about the plane inventory and chocolate bars . . .

Comments from No609_OzZiggy:

What a laugh.... I just read Doctor Bones exploits ... They are real good.. Keep it up, mate .. Oh, by the way the base needs more zinc tablets.

And you guys of a medical background should know what that trace element zinc is used for in a biological sense ...or did the good doctor get his medical degree from the same place I got this medal for participation at the battle of Umboato pass :).

Cheers, Oz

Ps: Bones keep up the great work .... And, um, I hear certain types of tree bark are good for headaches (like the ones that ail WuWu) so I told the blokes and they have gone off on what I can only describe as a deforestation mission, lol.

Response from Goshawk:

"That explains the 10-yard pile of beauty bark by the dispensary!

Clarification and qualification by Dr. OzZiggy:

Zinc and bark what is it used for

Zinc is an essential element in sperm production :).. In fact, the old tooth past tubes were made of zinc, so the expression "going home to chew on some toothpaste tubes" is common in my circle of ex-army friends. lol"

Willow bark contains salicylic acid... Which is commonly called "aspirin" or "dispirin".. It was where they originally got it from... I am told the species name for the willow tree is salicylis (my other half is a scientist too) ..hence the name salicylic acid ....

For those of you who dont get the "Umboato Pass" reference (Goshawk especially),, go hire the "Blackadder
Goes Forth" videos comedy all about WWI trenches .. Very humorous in a dark sort of way.

Not to be outdone, Dr.Solar Arrow shares his concurrence:

"You are right."


Goshawk's response to the medicinal classes:

"Personally, I think there's another remedy!"

Having been married twice, and currently in my second blissful union, I believe that there's something even more effective than "aspirin" to cure that ol' "Not tonight, dear! I have a headache!" syndrome.


Never in all my 50 years has a female told me "after" the fact that they had a headache. Never! (Although some have told me before) :-)

Hope this is of tremendous benefit to those of lesser experience and qualification. Feel free to expouse this theory to those new wives and such whenever the malady occurs. Besides, it's a lot more sightly than wood chips slivers in the teeth, or funny white patches on the nose and chin.

Just another friendly fatherly bit of sage advice from your administrator. Any questions? Very well! That is all!

Announcement from the good Doctor!:

Hey, you! Shut your trap!

In Response To: Personally, I think there's another remedy! More,, ("Goshawk")

I'll thank you *not* to dispense medical advice without proper qualification within
spitting distance of my clinic! The last thing I need is to have to treat this bunch of
louts for multiple cases of God-knows-what because "Goshawk said holly berries
were an aphrodisiac" or "Goshawk says eating raw beef is good for my reflexes,"
or some rubbish. Do you hear me?

And for the rest of you, I've said it before, leave my damn staff alone! This latest
round of harassment of my poor WuWu has gone too far. When I find the joker who
sent her a box of chocolate-covered bark, he's going to find out for himself how
much fun it his to have slivers in his gums. That is all.

Taipan's dilemna:

"I still think we should be checking it, just to be sure", mentioned Goshawk to Dr.Bones.

"That's a pile o' baloney, Gos", the good doctor complained. "You know that he's just tryin to get checked again by WuWu, and she's got better
things t' do than stare at Taipan's locked up extended appendage".

"Can't she check it out by manipulation or something?" asked the Wing Commander. "He's said in his sick-call memo that it hurts bad, and won't
bend anymore. It's gotta be something serious, fer chrissake. Have you even looked at it, doc?"

Dr.Bones was fuming! Ever since WuWu's arrival, the boys at the field have checked in almost daily with every conceivable malady imaginable.
He was tired of perusing the sick-call chit complaints.

"Jeezuz, Gos, you can't imagine the crud I've had to deal with", picking up a stack of memos he thumbed through them.

"Listen to these, Goshawk! Just listen for crying out loud!" He began to read, casting aside the ones he read from as he finished. The sheets
fluttered to the floor like leaves as he spoke.

"Diddle Do Disease"
"Balls o'Fire"
"Cranial Insertion Deficiency"
"Missin' Mum's Mams, can you guess who that one's from, Gos?" "Here, this is Taipan's." He held out the white slip to the side to get
good lighting on it. "My pinkie's been straight and locked so long, it aches. Can't bend it anymore. Can you help me relax it a bit?"

The papers continued to fall, as Goshawk interrupted, "Have you looked at him, doc? Have you checked him out yourself?"

"Christ no, I haven't had time to stare at Taipan's "pinkie"! I have my own medical problems to deal with and you promised that as soon as my
nurse showed, she'd be able to deal with my needs first. You promised!!"

Goshawk saw that he was in a difficult situation. Furthermore, he had not expected his own sick-call memo to be used against him when he passed it
on to WuWu in the mess line.

"OK, doc, tell ya what, I'll fly with him, and if he's got a valid complaint, you gotta promise to check him out, ok?"

"OK, Gos, but I do the checkin' of that bloke, I don't want him anywhere near my nurse with that complaint of his. She's startin' to lose her focus
on real medical issues."

Goshawk turned and left the mash tent. He headed to Taipan's hangar.

As he arrived, Taipan was in his Spit, engine running. "Doc says ya gotta fly it, Taipan. I'll be checkin' you out, though, and if you do less than
your usual, I'll ask him to ground you and put you in the infirmary."

"Right, boss!", yelled the pilot over the din of the Merlin. He signaled for the chocks to be jerked, and pushed full on the throttle. As the Spit
began its roll out, Goshawk climbed aboard his own.

Soon, both birds of prey were coursing their way into the sparsely clouded sky, leaving the white cliffs behind as they clawed for altitude.

Taipan merged with Goshawk in a fast diving pattern, spending a stream of cannon rounds at Goshawk's bird in doing so. Goshawk pulled hard and looped over, catching Taipan at a slow climb and away. As Goshawk turned into the propwash of Taipan's bird, Taipan tried to turn away. His engine was quickly smoked by the cannon rounds from Gos' Spit.

"Hmmm, if he does that again, I'll call this match and put him on recoup duties", thought Goshawk. "He's a better turner than that!"

As Goshawk returned to base, he did his customary victory roll over the field, much to the delight of KoKo, waiting at the door to his hut. Gos landed, and waited for Taipan to return.

As Taipan stepped from Solar Arrow's walrus, he waved KiKi off, yelling "No time for that!". He strode straight to his hangar where a Typhoon was waiting. As Goshawk ran toward the hangar to check on Taipan, he was off again.

Goshawk followed close behind, and after reaching altitude, Gos again downed the snake after a less-than-adequate turning performance by Taipan.

Taipan again took off from the field before Goshawk could check the complaint out, and he decided to finish the match. Both pilots took to Tempests this time, and in a similar situation to the other rounds, Taipan was downed by a faster turning Goshawk.

As the walrus landed with Taipan in it the third time, Goshawk met Taipan as he stepped from the plane.

"Show me that appendage, Taipan. This better be good!"

Taipan held the swollen rod-straight "pinkie" out in Goshawk's direction. Goshawk, upon looking quickly at it, then turning away, ordered Taipan
to sick-call.

"Tell the doc I said you're grounded 'til that gets fixed!"

Taipan turned to head to the mash tent.

Terrific match, Taipan, considerin' the physiological dilemma you were flying under! I'm amazed that that thing didn't get in your way more while
you were flying. Hope the swelling goes away son. Doesn't that hurt???


Dr. Bones report on Taipan's condition:

"Grounded! No man can fly in that condition!"

I'd just finished seeing Taipan as promised when WuWu swayed in, coming back from lunch a bit early. "Wasn't that Taipan I saw leaving just now?"

"Yes, it was, and he's in quite a state. That extended member of his is simply frightful."

I thought I was going to *die* from embarassment."


Taipan's request for recouperatory leave:

My compliments to you.
Due to my swollen member, I would like to request a temporary transfer to N. Africa as I have been advised that the swollen member which I now suffer from will heal more rapidly if it is kept from getting damp and hot. Further the N. African desert is reported to be hot and dry which for some swollen members can be devastating. However, given my swollen members moisture I am lead to believe that allowing my swollen member to rest in the hot dry climate will allow a quick return to the daily grind!.

Your obedient servant
Flt. Lt. J. Taipan

Dr.Bones' reply:

A great idea! Make an appointment w/Helga for your pre-departure checkup


[Excerpt from base surgeon's report to commanding officer re: Medical status of
one Lt. Taipan]

It is furthermore my medical opinion that Lt. Taipan is badly in need of some time in a desert climate. The heat, dryness and scarcity of female companionship will do much to aid the healing of the aforementioned inflamed member. In many such cases, the attentions of a young woman are exactly what is needed. However, in Taipan's case, the presence of nubile young females seems merely to aggravate the condition.

I should reiterate that I am at present still unable to find the reason for Taipan's discomfort. There is no obvious trauma or infection, yet the digit continues to be stiff, swollen and sore. These symptoms are most consistent with what we call repetitive-stress disorders, such as "tennis elbow," yet I can fathom no activity which would lead to such an effect upon the digits of the right hand. It is, therefore, my recommendation that the Lieutenant be allowed a short period of R&R in the high desert of North Africa in order to regain his health.


Flt. Lieutenant Dr. Bones

Base Surgeon

Dr. Bones' sick-call report:

WuWu stepped back a pace, crossed her arms and assumed that pouty look that drove all the lads crazy. "Doctor, you just can't fly with that thumb like that. You know how worried Helga gets about you."

"Come on, WuWu, it's just a scratch." I knew that was a slight exaggeration, but what could I do?

"Zat ist not merely a scratch, Herr Doktor." I jumped about six inches at Helga's voice suddenly issuing from behind me. "You alvays haff to learn ze hard vay, no? Alvays cut AVAY from yourself ven using ze scalpel!"

"All right, all right, ladies. I'll ground myself until it's healed." No sooner had the words left my lips than I realized that by that time, I'd be well into the annual Base Doctor's Conference and Surgery for Dummies seminar, and have little time for flight duty. Not to mention those nagging problems with my Spitfire. For some reason all the controls had been lagging far behind my inputs of late, making it nearly impossible to fight the plane. The mechanics hadn't yet been able to figure that one out, but until they did, combat was out of the question.

Got no choice but to ground myself for a couple weeks, gentlemen. I've got a heavily bandaged thumb, severe lag that my ISP isn't very helpful with, and a SQL class taking up most of my free time. I'll return to flight duty in a couple weeks when it all calms down.

Goshawk's initial response:

"Does this mean that the nurses are going to be sitting around on idle thumbs? Oh good Lord!!"

Then, realizing that a statement must be made to the troops, he advises:

INVESTIGATION REPORT: Appendage maladies approaching epidemic proportions!

"Gentlemen, [ah-hem] gentlemen,

It has come to my attention that we have suffered the untimely loss of two good pilots to various difficulties dealing with swollen and locked appendages.

The exact cause of these complications is not known at this time, however, a thorough investigation will be forthcoming.

Until such time as a determination of causage, and a resulting conclusory evaluations completed to reduce future swelling of memberships, please avoid contact either directly or indirectly with WuWu or Nurse Helga until further notice.

We wish the good Doctor Bones well, as well as Taipan. May their digits return to normal proportions soon so that we may return to normal sick-call functions.

Hurry and heal gentlemen!

That is all!

Dr. Bones' return:

Returning to duty

Posted By: Dr. Bones <cvons@nwlink.com> (gateway.bfg.com)
Date: Tuesday, 26 October 1999, at 5:13 p.m.

Once again, the sharp crack of Helga's ruler shattered the stillness of the empty clinic.

"Und *zat*, Herr Doktor, ist for making us so vorried zick about you. Poor Wuwu vas in a state, I am tellink you. Vis all of her "Oh, wherever can the doctor be?" und her "Helga, do you think the Doctor is OK?" und her "I can't sleep, Helga, I'm so worried about the Doctor," she vaz drivink me to distraction. Don't you ever do zat to us again!"

"Ouch!" Sucking my stinging fingers, I glared balefully at Helga. "I was only off base for a couple days! What's the big deal? And will you PLEASE STOP THAT with the ruler!!!" I instantly regretted raising my voice, as the echoes reverberating around inside my suddenly-huge skull reminded me of my tender condition.

Helga's voice dropped a notch, taking on a distinctly menacing tone. "Don't make me go into zat again, Herr Doktor. It vas three weeks. I can't help you if you don't remember any of it. Our veelings aside, it ist not proper for a man of your stature to be seen drunk in the gutter zat way. Vat vould the flyboys think if they saw you lying der?"

"They'd probably ask if they could join me," I retorted, "at least the 609 crowd. You haven't seen the way those blokes can put away the gin."

"I zee a crushink hangover has done nothing for your attitude, Herr Doktor. It is all very well and gut to be talkink to your medical staff zat way, but you should be more grateful zat I happened to be walking down zat street when I did. Zat policeman didn't haff as gut a sense of humor as I do."

"Can I help it if he misinterpreted the situation? I swear, I'd never seen that girl before in my life. And, she told me she was nineteen! Not my fault her cousins were both underage. Anyway, you didn't have to haul me back here by the scruff of the neck like that. I'm perfectly capable of walking under my own power." By way of demonstration, I stood up, closed my eyes and almost came close to walking across the room, only knocking over one exam table along the way.

Apparently unable to refute that final argument, Helga gave me one last look that would have curdled milk, then turned on her size-13 heel and stalked off, muttering something I couldn't quite understand about swine and fighter pilots. Grateful for the end of Helga's Teutonic tirade, I began rummaging through the base medical supplies in search of aspirin. Six tablets later, the pounding in my head subsided and I began to be able to focus both eyes on the same object again. Time to return to flight duty. A rather nasty telegram from HQ had greeted me up on my return to the
base, informing me that if I didn't "Get your sorry arse back in the air and down some sodding Jerries" soon, my flight pay was going to be terminated. Ahh, well, apparently there was no rest in sight for the Doctor.

I'm back, salty and ready to fight. Please return me top active duty status ASAP.

Dr. Bones' challenge of Hangten:

"Now turn your head and cough."

As Hangten reluctantly complied, I reflected that it'd been weeks since I last flew a combat mission. Fine with me. I was starting to enjoy 
having a few items of clothing that weren't mildewed and salt-stained, to say nothing of the ACSM going purple with rage every time I lost an airplane. Nope, I was happy here on the ground taking care of the men of this base. Plus, I was pretty sure I was close to getting Koko in for 
an entirely unnecessary physical.

"Just a minute, Hangten, I need to go get a new tongue depressor." Ducking quickly out of the exam room, I was halfway to the supply closet when I was accosted by WuWu.

"Oh, Doctor," she breathed, her chest heaving slightly under the lab coat. "I was just reading the notices about Clutter's decoration. Isn't it wonderful? He's so . . . strong and dashing. Imagine, 25 kills!"

"Yes, yes," I muttered irritably. Great. If it wasn't enough that every trained monkey on the base was chasing WuWu, now she was starting to return the favor. "But really I don't see what . . ."

"And when are you going to go shoot down some Germans, Doctor? It seems like you *never* fly combat anymore."

Uh-oh. This had to be nipped in the bud. "Nonsense! I was just about to challenge Hangten to a dogfight right now, as a matter of fact. Yes, I'm sure I was!" I stomped back to the exam room, WuWu tottering after me on her seven-inch surgical heels.

"And that's *NO* way to talk about my nurses, you cad! There's only one way to deal with an insufferable boor like you, and that's mano a mano, in the air! I'll see you over the channel!"

"But, but, . . ." Before Hangten could protest further or even figure out what the hell was going on, I threw his trousers at him and shoved him out the door of the clinic. "Prepare to defend yourself!" Slamming the door in Hangten's face, I turned to face WuWu again. "Now, my dear, what were you saying?"

Sorry, Hangten, but sometimes sacrifices have to be made in the interests of medicine . . . Let me know when you're able to fly. I'm home after 6:30 Pacific almost any evening, and have weekends generally open too.

Excerpt from Base Medical Officer's journal

April 24--

Feel compelled to comment on continuing amazement at efficiency of visiting nurse Helga. Far exceeds my expectations and is an invaluable addition to clinic staff. At this moment she is attending to one Beef from the 609 squadron. Patient came in complaining of discomfort in the posterior region and asked if WuWu was available to make an initial examination. As WuWu was busy folding my underwear^H^H^H^H^H^H^H typing reports, asked Helga to provide any necessary care instead. Patient's malady must not have been severe in nature, as upon nurse Helga's entry into exam room, he began to proclaim the pain totally gone and attempted to exit clinic. This is where Nurse Helga's bedside manner really shines. She doesn't take no for an answer, not even "Oh God, please NO!"

Addendum: After much noise and fuss, patient was successfully subjected to removal of one large fishing lure from the inside of the left buttock. How does this sort of thing happen? The medical community may never answer such questions. On further reflection, this is probably a good thing.

Received from Headquarters:

Date: 19 May, 1943
From: Headquarters, RAF Medical Corps
To: Flight Surgeon/Base Medical Officer Lt. Bones, 415th Experimental Operations Wing
Subject: Audit and Board of Inquiry

Lt. Bones:

It is with extreme reluctance that I inform you your activities of the past year are to be the subject of an Inquiry by this body, to commence immediately pending arrival of our investigators. Numerous complaints have been received by this office regarding procedures performed at your infirmary, especially with regard to the methods of one "Nurse Helga," an unidentified individual whom we cannot verify as being any of the authorized staff assigned to your operations.

The most recent, and in this office's eyes, the serious, of these complaints is the persistent tale that the "Grim Reaper" is often present in your hospital, and that you have been seen to engage in direct discourse with the aforementioned Fell Sergeant and Most Grim Harbinger of Death. It is contrary to the most cherished principles of the medical profession and the RAMC for a base doctor, the preserver of life and health, to be seen in public associating with the Reaper of Souls.

You are hereby ordered to cease and desist all association with Death, to cooperate in full with all requests of said investigators, and to furnish all requested documentation with the utmost dispatch. Any failure to comply with these orders will be regarded with the utmost seriousness, and will have grave consequences.

Yours sincerely,
Colonel Sir Walter Tosspot

Yikes! Looks like the authorities are about to close the noose; we'd better get this match in quickly before they yank my credentials!