On all fronts
On all fronts
It was 5.00 p.m. sharp when general Ashley W.W.W. Black’s jeep drove through the flower decorated gate of the Bombs and Grenades Factory ltd. in Czernievo and stopped in front of the Administration Office. On the doorstep of a small red brick building, there were colonel Henry W.W. Willwood, two nameless majors, four totally meaningless captains and sergeant Malvina ‘Nonpruderia’ Snowbeard, irreplaceable in such situations, waiting for him. When general Black got out of his jeep and stepped on an amaranthine carpet, the sergeant immediately ran towards him and, swaying her hips coquettishly, she chirped:
“Welcome, General, oh, welcome!”
Pleased with himself, general Ashley W.W.W. Black greeted the gathering with a wink, peeped into the contents of sergeant Snowbeard’s shirt and, suddenly raising his hand in a Nazi gesture, he shouted:
“Hello, soldiers! Hello, my invincible crew!”
Colonel Henry W.W. Willwood seemed calmed down with this not so serious behavior of the general. He realized that his superior was in an extremely good mood and there was no need to worry. He remembered quite well the situation from two years ago when, during an annual inspection in the Factory, general Black had impersonated a Roman archer-courtesan, and had provoked many excesses he would be glad to forget.
Colonel Willwood had known general Black for over twenty years and he was aware that the reason for those eccentric acts was some unpleasant incident that had happened a couple of years before, during his peace mission in Afghanistan. Due to his inborn carelessness, general Black got captured and, in compensation for bombing an Afghan village by the Allied Forces, he was forced to pretend to be a goat. And what it means to a heterosexual man, know only the mountain-dwellers who pasture sheep and share with them long weeks of loneliness. When the Allied Forces soldiers finally managed to liberate their brave commander, he was no longer the same man. He started wearing trousers made of the thickest possible fabric accepted by the army, organizing orgies with both wild and domesticated animals, and making up various quizzes for his subordinates, which often resulted in fights. Therefore, seeing his smiling face, colonel Willwood sighed with visible relief and broke from the rank. He stepped forward, saluted and spoke on behalf of the crew:
“Sir! Colonel Henry W.W. Willwood reports unit for inspection. All present, no illnesses, and there’s a first rate welcoming party.”
“At ease”, ordered general Ashley W.W.W. Black. “I hope your papers are in a perfect order, ‘cause I don’t feel like shooting anyone today.”
“Yes, Sir!” Colonel Willwood armed himself with an enormous smile. “Should you, by any chance, change your mind, I have a few officers always at your service.”
“That’s perfect!” General Black rubbed his hands. “But, before we start the inspection, how about a little bet?”
“Excellent idea, General. What sort of bet?”
“Well,” the general started to pick his nose, “don’t worry, Henry. I’ll think of something!”
As he promised, general Black tapped his temple with his finger, peeped at sergeant Malvina ‘Nonpruderia’ Snowbeard’s breasts and sentenced:
“I bet you 100 euros each that you don’t know the color of the carpet I’m standing on!”
“That’s easy, General”, said the colonel. “The carpet is red.”
“False!”, shouted general Black, offended.
“If not red, then it’s purple”, sergeant Snowbeard interjected.
“Wrong! Any other suggestions?”
“I know”, colonel Henry W.W. Willwood patted a nameless major on his back.
“The carpet is coral-red.”
“Missed!” The general almost burst out, laughing. “The last chance!”
“I know”, the sergeant pouted like a film star and dealt a final blow. “It is amaranthine.”
“No, no, no!” General Ashley W.W.W. Black triumphed over the defeated. “Do you want to know the color?”
“Of course, General.” Colonel Willwood didn’t lose his good mood. “Undoubtedly.”
200 euros richer, general Black suddenly turned towards his jeep, called for his driver, lieutenant Cox, and whispered something to his ear. Then he directed his eyes to the hosts and said:
“As I want to play fair, I will say the color of the carpet and lieutenant Cox will decide who is right. OK?”
“Yes, Sir!” Sergeant Malvina ‘Nonpruderia’ Snowbeard gave the winner a hot smile.
“Well,” the general started drooling over his female subordinate, “the carpet is burgundy!”