Mrs. Claus Takes a Hike

Note and Disclaimer: Obviously (and I'll say it all the time), I don't own the storylines, plots and characters of M*A*S*H (as always, we know). However, with Christmas coming and all, I think Klinger has more than one trick up his sleeve. Part ten of "The Klinger Chronicles", so enjoy!

December 17, 1952, 1305 Hours

So, here I am, sitting in the stockade and not knowing what's going on. I'm bored out of my mind still (no plans in action yet), waiting for someone at the 4077th to bail me out or to know that Colonel Potter is going to let me sit and sulk. However, this time, I think he'll let me rot in this lonely little cell, being here for a few weeks and all already…or, for that matter, he'll make me stay here in Korea until the end of time.

It's unbearable, I tell you! Unbearable!

I mean, it's what? Almost Christmas already? All I know is that I missed the Thanksgiving feast of feasts back at the 4077th and that it's cold outside, from the time I've gotten in here to even now (as if this place isn't cold enough). Guards outside my door were having Army surplus turkey for the past few weeks now, which is gross enough. But, I mean, to suffer in a puddle of saliva as they eat and I starved, eating nothing but weevils and mush? It's an outrage!

This Christmas season even reminds me of the eleventh time that I've tried to escape back to Toledo. It seems like a long time ago really, but come to think about it, with Christmas coming on and no peace on Earth anytime soon, it was only yesterday that it happened. You know, yesterday, when Colonel Blake was alive and Major Burns and Captain McIntyre were still kicking around the camp…


December 24, 1950, 2340 Hours

Snuggled safely into my latest woman's dress and pillow stuffing underneath, I smiled smugly in front of Colonel Blake. I mean, the man was tired and I do mean tired. I just woke him up from his nap before a shift in Post-Op (M.P.'s on my tail as they knocked on his tent door) and now, he has to deal with me, dressed for all those cold, desperate soldiers out on the Front Lines.

At least Colonel Blake called the dogs off and we were alone…for once.

God, and who said these morale boosters were so easy to obtain?

"Klinger, Klinger, Klinger," Colonel Blake began slowly in a slur, his eye mask crooked on his face, his bathrobe hanging loose in the cold office (and this be the man who walked into this weather without a coat and hat on). "What the hell am I going to do with you? And dressed like this, mind you?"

"Ho, ho, ho, and a Merry Christmas to you, too," I replied, trying to sound female, but failing miserably.

"Klinger," Colonel Blake warned as he turned around to pick up my file conveniently behind him, opening it to jot something down quickly. "Who's going to believe that you're Mrs. Claus, coming straight from the North Pole to being cheer to our soldiers on the Front Lines?"

"Ahh, Sir, that was just the –" I began.

"I didn't finish!" Colonel Blake sounded mad for once as he looked up from my file after finishing up his note writing (and it wasn't just him being tired and not getting any sleep for days). "Klinger, who the hell hikes right up to the Front Lines, from the aide station up, and offers favors, even to the captured enemy prisoners?! And with hairy legs?!"

"Mrs. Claus has Lebanese blood in her," I offered, trying to sound humbled as Colonel Blake continued to glare evilly in my direction.

"Mrs. Claus had better stop escaping this camp and trying to get a Section Eight!" Colonel Blake yelled. "Come on, Klinger, it's almost Christmas Day, in maybe less than ten minutes. Why can't you just give it a rest sometime? We all need a break at some point, but to keep escaping this camp isn't going to help you get home on time."

I crossed my arms stubbornly. "And what if Uncle Sam is prejudiced against those making this season so bright and gay?"

"Uncle Sam doesn't like those who keep on harping on Section Eights," I was reminded. "Get out of my sight, Klinger, before I treat you like my wife and put you back in your place. And I don't like punching a lady like you, either!"

I bared my leg once more, the pillow underneath the velvet red dress cushioning me from the miserable chill as I showed some hair and a soft red slipper. "And if I had a better offer?"

Looking almost like Major Burns possessed his body (and even the eyes were the same, too!), Colonel Blake immediately stood up and pointed to his doors. "Get out, Klinger! Get out! And don't think about escaping again or else I'll have my guards on you again."

I dropped the dress hem and stuck my big nose in the air as I got up to leave. "Some people!" I muttered. "I would never have been so treated unfairly had Mr. Claus been here."

"Even Santa Claus would have even raised an eyebrow, Klinger," Colonel Blake pointed out, sighing as he calmed down and sat in his chair again, watching as I left in a huff. "He would even have a problem with Korea and this lack of peace on Earth and goodwill to all men and women."

"I can petition," I said as I turned around, a scheme in my blood's veins. "Santa Claus would surely help with peace on Earth and –"

"Just get out of here, Klinger, before I have Majors Houlihan and Burns call the M.P.'s for me," Colonel Blake interrupted, sighing again as he rubbed his beady little eyes and got up and headed for his liquor cabinet.

"And the same to you, too," I finally concluded as I saw the shiny alcohol almost within my grasp, for once forgetting that I wanted to go home. "Merry Christmas, Sir. Let's really hope for peace in the New Year."


December 17, 1952, 1320 Hours

Finally, I hear some voices. The guards (and their stupid turkey) have been quiet lately, so this is something new for me. I didn't go to the door because they were loud (and to do so would be considered eavesdropping), but I knew that something exciting was about to happen…hopefully.

"Yes, siree, that's our Corporal Klinger."

That voice…I know that I heard it before…

"You know, Sergeant," the new voice continued. "What would you do with a corporal who keeps on making escape attempts and tries to get his Section Eight to go home?"

Yes! It was Colonel Potter!

"After the stunt he pulled a few weeks ago, I'd say to keep him in the klink for a while," my guard replied as I ran to the metal door (not caring about being caught), eager to hear some positive news other than some petty complaints about locking up Klinger the Genius. "My men could have gotten hurt by his antics, Sir. Him throwing all those clothes from the hot air balloon was dangerous."

"I agree, Son. I agree." I can almost imagine the Chief of Chiefs putting that reassuring hand on the man's shoulder, but his tone quickly changed. "So, we're agreed that Klinger can stay put for a while, before we sort out all of the paperwork to get him sprung out for good?"

"For as long as it takes, Sir," the Sergeant said. "Take your time. Corporal Klinger isn't going anywhere anytime soon. This place is escape proof, even for people like him. Leavenworth doesn't have the security we do."

"And I wish to Aunt Fanny that I burned all of the Klinger Collection," Colonel Potter muttered audibly, ignoring the bit about security (I think). "Well, Son, you keep him in there. I'll be back soon."

Soon? SOON?! My mind was reeling. I could not believe it. I was abandoned!

I slid down the door thinking of a plan, shivering as I looked around the bare room, empty except for that stinking latrine and a board attached to the wall that they call a bed. Well, if they won't get me out of here, I'll bust out of here or my name isn't Klinger!