"I don't feel good," moaned Yossarian. He was lying in his cot in the tent he shares with Orr.
"Maybe you shouldn't have eaten so much," Orr replied without looking up. He was taking apart a watch and couldn't be distracted.
"I didn't eat too much!"
"Yes you did," Orr said with a small giggle. The watch now spread in pieces in front of him. "I saw you."
A silence settled over them broken only by the tinny sounds of gears and cogs being fit together.
"I don't feel good," Yossarian said.
"Maybe you should try what I do," said Orr never looking up from the watch.
"What do you do?" he asked before he could stop himself.
"I just don't eat."
"Of course you eat! Everybody has to eat."
"Nope, not at all," Orr reassured with a small gleam in his eye.
Yossarian turned over in his cot to put his back to Orr. He knew that he had had too much to eat. Milo had turned out a veritable feast in the mess hall that night. Beef Wellington with a Wellington sauce and lightly baked asparagus drizzled with cheese and butter was the main course. Preceded by a nice tomato bisque, and followed by steaming hot chocolate fudge rum cake. He had eaten every bite. He couldn't stop himself, shoveling in mouthful after mouthful.
The sound of Orr's endeavors had changed again; he was taking the watch apart for the millionth time.
"If you were smart like me, Yossarian, you wouldn't eat either."
"If I don't eat, I'll starve."
"That's what you think," tittered Orr. "What about the time you ate the soap?"
"Everybody ate the soap, we were all sick."
"I didn't get sick," Orr said, "You want to know why?"
"No, no I don't."
"Because, I don't eat," Orr said patiently
All Yossarian could do now was lie in his cot, grab his stomach and pray for sleep. But he couldn't sleep. The small clinking noises of Orr and that damned watch were keeping him awake. He thought for a moment, but only a moment, about going to the medical tent. It would be closed now, but he could forage around in the bushes outside for a laxative.
Maybe, he thought, maybe I'll feel better in the morning. I may even skip breakfast.
"Maybe you should skip breakfast," Orr advised sagely, snapping the back onto his watch. "There, it's perfect."
Yossarian got up the next morning. He didn't eat breakfast. He didn't eat lunch. He was actually starting to feel a little better. Instead of going to the mess hall, he went to the officer's club. It was almost empty, because everyone else was eating.
He noticed on the day after that he still wasn't all that hungry, so he skipped another round of meals. He didn't have to go to the medical tent. He felt no need to do anything. He didn't see many people anymore either.
As a matter of fact, over the next week he didn't see anyone except for catching the occasional glimpse of Captain Flume, or Doc Daneeka at the edge of the woods. He didn't even see Orr. He had walked into his tent one afternoon only to find a card lying on his cot.
"Glad to see you're feeling better. You can have the watch. I've gone out for a snack."
He picked up Orr's watch. It was a pocket watch, gaudy with molded scroll work, and just a little too large. As Yossarain turned it over in his hand he could hear it ticking away. Cradling it in his palm, he thumbed the button and let the cover fall open. Thanks to Orr, the watch now had no hands, just a face with numbers and a mechanism ticking vaguely away. As he snapped the cover shut, Yossarian thought, "Perfect."