Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Vietnam Trip Deconstructed

The world is a looking glass and gives back to every man the reflection of his own face . . . laugh at it and with it, and it is a jolly, kind companion. ---William Makepeace Thackeray

My Vietnam trip was canceled by my Lithium-headed sponsor at the last minute. The shithead got cold feet. What a pussy.

Went over to his house to beat my visa expenses
(not to mention all those shots and pills I had to take for the trip) out of him, but he confessed the real reason he backed out of our planned repatriation trip was not cold feet or dark memories but the strangers he had seen down by the pond in our neighborhood.


"Strangers," he said, "down by the pond."

"What were they doing there?"

"That's what I was wondering," he said.

"What's that got to do with our trip to the Nam?" I asked.

"They were looking at me," he said. "What if they're waiting for me to leave the country so they can break in to my house and plant a body in my basement?"

"This is Texas," I said, "You don't have a basement."

But he couldn't be convinced. Well, maybe it's better I don't go to southeast Asia with a guy who should be wearing an aluminum foil hat to all public functions.

My TV producer friend says she can get me on one of those veterans tours this summer. My other consolation is that I will not be catching hepatitis, tetanus, typhoid or malaria from the mean, dirty, strange streets of Marshall any time soon. My Vietnamese visa is only good until Feb 13 and I can't raise the money that soon to go on my own, so I guess I might as well hunker down now and reapply later this summer.

And those people? The strangers? I see them at the pond once in a while. I haven't asked about the body yet.

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