A Regrettable Anniversary

Note and Disclaimer: Obviously, I don't own the storylines and characters of M*A*S*H (as always, we know we wish we do). I just write silly stories, especially about Klinger lately, because he's just a fun character to write for when he's thinking about escaping and his Section Eight. Enjoy!

October 17, 1952, 1200 Hours

Today, I am bored. My fingers are tap, tap, tapping on the desk next to the phone, itching to have something to do. Hell, I'm a company clerk, but with all the paperwork done that comes along with it and finishing up handling this camp with our Chief of Chiefs, I am thoroughly bored, as in B-O-R-E…umm, D. I mean, it's hot here, even in this autumn season, so everybody's all grouchy and I'm the person who's supposed to entertain them, since Captains Pierce and Hunnicutt are now the Morale Officers…again…and they want me to go get them things in Seoul.

Jeez, what am I, a slave? Am I the Lebanese man that begs for the populace to give him some space to barter for the things that please them?

I don't know anymore. All I do is sit here in nothing but my Army shorts and shirt and wonder. Yes, I can think. And it's all I can do around here, seeing as how Colonel Potter put an end to my Section Eight old tricks and all of my hard word with the escape attempts. That Section Eight is just not in my cards this war around, I guess.

However, this hot day reminds me of something that happened a year ago today. It's October 17, 1952 now in Colonel Potter's Korean command. Last year on this day, it was Colonel Blake's Korean command that was destroyed with one discharge paper and one trip down into the Sea of Japan. And that day was also the beginning of the end of Major Burns.

Colonel Blake was a swell guy and dealt with me like the daughter he never had. However, his death was a tragedy, even if you didn't agree with his military double-talk and his drunkenness and whatever else I could remember that made me love him. It's been so long since I've heard him talk and drink and zip up my dresses.

Hell, I even remember my first escape attempt from him…


August 30, 1950, 1500 Hours

I sat in Colonel Blake's office, in the chair in front of his desk usually reserved for all those special people visiting him. However, today was a special day for me, something that might prove to the Army (and to the world) and this certain Maxwell Q. Klinger is not only a genius, but also a psycho that needs to be a civilian. That day, in the morning of August 30, 1950, was my first escape attempt from this camp, the 4077th M*A*S*H, where the enemy lurks about three miles away.

As I sat there, dressed as the Mona Lisa with my painting equipment with me on the floor, I watched as Colonel Blake read through my file and wrote down a few more notes. It was a large one, to be sure, since I was in before this stinkin' war began. I mean, I hadn't been escaping or anything, but I was dressing in dresses and other costumes since Fort Dix, before I came into this hole called Korea, which I hadn't heard about until I came here dodging bullets and patching up panty hose.

After a few minutes of silence later, Colonel Blake looked up at me with his fatherly, yet tired, eyes. "Klinger, this is the most outrageous escape plan I've ever heard of."

"Yes, Sir," I replied, reaching down and then holding up my brushes and paint. "Would you like to be painted? I'll only charge you a small fee."

"Klinger…" Colonel Blake's pointing finger started wagging a warning at me. "If I ever caught you out of this camp, sneaking out like that again…"

"What? I have to deny what my artist's instincts tell me to do?" I nearly fainted…well, it was almost fake, too.

Colonel Blake stopped wagging his finger at me, at least for the time being. "Klinger, who the hell sends General MacArthur a naked self-portrait of himself and offers to paint a picture of the General himself? And naked, mind you?!"

"The human body is a deep well of focus and inspiration," I only replied proudly, remembering that my own self-portrait was beautiful…and a little on the hairy side.

"Well, Private Klinger…"

I stood up in outrage. "Private Klinger?!"

"Yes, Klinger, you're going to be demoted unless these shenanigans stop."

"Sir, I've never been so insulted in my life –"

"Can it, Klinger! After that stunt, and even walking out of camp dressed as the Mona Lisa and conning Koreans and G.I.'s alike for their portraits and then daring to mail General MacArthur something as hideous a painted picture of your own naked body, I think you should be staying in camp for a while."

I started waving the brushes in my hand. "Sir, you have to reconsider the…the…"

Behind me, two M.P.'s kindly tapped me on my shoulder, stopping my protests within seconds. I knew they were there because I saw the white gloved finger on my shoulder.

"Now, what were you going to say, Klinger?" Colonel Blake asked me kindly as he folded his hands like in prayer, knowing that he was wrong to restrain me with military force, but was right to keep my records cleaned up as much as possible.

"Nothing, Sir," I only replied, turning around with my equipment and leaving with the kind M.P.'s.


October 17, 1952, 1230 Hours

I still remember that day so clearly. Even Colonel Blake had the M.P.'s on my back for a while until I stopped escaping from the camp. However, I still dressed in dresses and tried to get out of a Section Eight until Sidney Freedman offered it, also adding in that I had to wear dresses for the rest of my days. However, I don't think it helped that –

"Klinger, what the hell are you doing now? Have you gotten those forms yet for the new nurses that I wanted?! I told you to do this last week!"

Oops, there's Major Houlihan, barking at the door again. I gotta run before she catches me daydreaming…

Or even thinking of a new escape plan/Section Eight scheme. Either way, I am getting out of here alive and a civilian, no matter what happens.