"Ah, it's a beautiful day, Colonel Hogan. Enjoying the sun?"
"Yes, I am, Schultz." Hogan, who was seated on the bench outside the barracks, was watching a volleyball game between his men and Barracks 5. That is, when he wasn't dozing off. If it wasn't for the fact that there was a war on, and he was in a prison camp, you could almost say it was a Kodak moment.
"Where are Carter and Newkirk?" Schultz asked. "They usually play."
An errant ball headed Hogan's way. He picked it up and threw it back.
"Inside, Schultz. There was something those two needed to take care of…"
"What a mess." Newkirk stood by the door and stared at the interior of their barracks.
"Looks like a tornado hit downtown Atlantic City ," Carter joked.
"Not funny, Andrew. We have to clean it."
"You're right. Sorry," Carter frowned. "I don't even know where to start."
Scraps of paper were everywhere. The top bunks resembled Times Square after a ticker tape parade, as somehow the multi-colored play money had been torn into bits, thrown into the air in frustration and floated down, sticking mercilessly onto the not so soft thin woolen blankets.
"Work on the bunks," Newkirk, who was holding a broom, suggested. "I'll start on the floor. Oy."
Chance, Community Chest and real estate cards lay scattered all over the room. Newkirk began sweeping up the mess while Carter, who was climbing from one top bunk to another, worked on the tiny scraps of currency. He looked up. "Hey, how did that get there? Marvin Gardens is stuck to the ceiling!"
"Nope. See the yellow," Carter pointed. The rectangular piece of cardboard was clearly visible. "And I already found pieces of Baltic and Atlantic ."
"Ow!" Newkirk shouted. He shook his hand. "Caught the flat iron." He tossed it into the wastebasket. "This is ridiculous," he muttered.
Carter hopped down and began to clean the table. "KP in boot camp was worse," he retorted.
"I got back late from leave one night," Newkirk recalled as he picked up what looked to be a corner of the jail, "And I had to scrub the loo with a toothbrush."
"Loo who?" Carter asked.
"The loo! Toilet." Newkirk shook his head.
"Ah, you see, there you go. This is all your fault. You and your… your… Britishisms. That's what got us into this mess in the first place. Pontoon. Harrumph."
"Yeah, well, you got us going on the Monopoly bandwagon!" Something on the floor caught Newkirk's eye, and he reached down and picked it up. "Oh, St. James; your fault!" He held up the offending card.
"It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that if the clues all lead to 21, Newkirk, that you label the blackjack game 21, not a type of bridge."
"Well, look at the linguistics expert from America; where they call the true football, soccer, and where, in football, they barely touch the ball with their feet."
"Oh, well…" Carter stabbed at an orange piece of paper - part of a 500 dollar note. "Well…ah, whoever heard of calling a trunk where you store stuff, a boot? And a biscuit is something you give a dog. Really…" he chortled.
Newkirk remained silent.
"See, you agree with me." Triumphant, Carter folded his arms and dared the Englishman to offer a retort.
"Hey, don't mess with our sacred institution, mate. It's tea and biscuits. It's the King's English. You people twisted it."
And with that, the two reached an impasse. Carter and Newkirk stopped their work and glared at each other.
"Oops," Carter whispered softly.
"'E's right behind me, isn't 'e?"
Newkirk turned around and gave Hogan a cheerful smile. "We're just about done, sir, see? Spit-spot. Right as rain."
"Uh, huh. Your argument interrupted my nap. In the sunshine. With a redhead. On the beach, with, well never mind." Hogan glanced at the barracks, which looked a lot better than it had an hour ago.
"Okay, you two have suffered enough."
"By the way, sir. You never told us what was in the message for Snow White," Carter said.
"Oh, that? Well, you're not going to believe this but…" Hogan grinned.
"Try us," Newkirk replied.
"It was a recipe for egg salad." (1)
(1) For those of you who don't understand the reference, look up "What's up Tiger Lily." A film by Woody Allen.; And yes, I couldn't figure out a good way to end this. LOL