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Opossum Lips

Being from the ozarks,and working in a city such has St. louis Missouri. I was all the time
ask odd things. One of the most odd things I was ask,was. "Dallas? Whats the most off the wall thing you've ever eaten?" Now this was always ask by one certain person,my boss.
He kept saying things like. "I know you being from the country,you've eaten some odd stuff." He'd say. Well I was getting ready to go home for 2 weeks,and was really excited about it. Sgt Brown was sitting at his desk,and I was busy putting things together for the next movement. Making sure that everyone knew where they were to be,and getting times set for the departure of the troops. " Roger that Brovo. Alfa will move in at 0:400. Must make sure that everyones mic's are open at that time. Over? The response came threw. " Roger alfa tango,will do. Will we be told where the hit will take place? Over? I reply. "Alfa,this is alfa tango. No. do you copy that? Over? " alfa tango,this is alfa. Yeah,roger that. Alfa out." came the discouraged reply. "This is alfa tango,out."
looking over at sarget brown,I felt my lips press together,my left eye brow lifted,turned my head a little to the side,and sat down.
"are they set?" sarge brown ask. I took a deep breath. "Yeah,there set." I lit a cig and sit back. "Weather will be the big thing. Can't do anything about that." I said has I looked at charts.
Sgt brown got up and walk to the coffee pot and said. "Oh in 2 weeks you'll be right back with 'em. Don't worry. They'll be fine." "Naww. I'm not worried. Just hopeful." I reply.
Sitting back down with cup in hand. Sgt brown ask. "Ok,so tell me. Whats the first thing your going to eat when ya get home?"
"Omg! will this guy ever stop?" I thought to myself.
Out loud I said. "Opossum lips. damn,I haven't had any of them in a long time."
from back behind me i heard a loud. "Shit! you made me spill my coffee." he said. "Well,you ask." I said.
" Dallas? Do opossums have lips?" He ask. I turned around and faced him. "Well hell yeah. Anything with a mouth,has lips." I reply. keeping the straighest face I have ever had in my life. I said. "Fry up a bunch of lips. Some greens,and taters. Mmmmm...can't get better then that." Folding my arms over my chest,I watched him turn from a human color,to,well,not sure what color that was he became. "I knew you ate shit like that. Dam! Dallas? opossum lips?" "Yep,good stuff." I said.
" Alfa Tango? This is Alfa,Over?" reaching for the mic,I said. "Alfa? This is Alfa Tango. Go a head." " the reply came back. "Alfa Tango? The shadow is light. Over?" "Alfa? This is Alfa tango. Roger that. The shadow will become dark. do you copy Alfa?" A time of no response is a heart stopper. And mine stopped.
"Alfa? This is Alfa tango. Do you copy? Over?" Waiting for responses on a movement. Was like no other time you could dream up. The job of putting things together was not wanted by anyone. A cool head,and never was needed behind the mic at all times. fear was never a thing to show. If ya showed fear. Others picked up on it,and that was a no,no.
"Alfa? This is Alfa Tang. Do you copy? Over?"
Having been on 3 movements myself. I knew there could be anything that could happen. A mic could have shorted out. Or disconnected some how.
"Whats the placement by now?" Ask sgt brown. " Flight time is now 4 hours and 36 minutes. that puts them. Right here." Sargent brown looking at the map,said. "There over water." "Yep." I reply.
"Alfa? This is Alfa Tango. Do you copy? Over?" "Alfa Tango? This is Alfa. The shadow is dark now. Do you copy Alfa tango? A soft smile came over my face. "Alfa? This is Alfa Tango. I copy. Over?" "Alfa Tango? This is Alfa. You old country bumbkin. Have fun ya hear? Over? There came a sting in my eyes. I replyied. "Alfa? This Is Alfa Tango. You move with the sun. You hear? Over? "Alfa Tango? This is Alfa. Roger that. Will do. Alfa out."
"Good job. Now. It's about time for you to go." sgt brown said has i replaced the mic. "Yeah,it is." I said.
"We are going to have a dinner the day you get back." he reminded me. "Yeah i remember the maj saying something about that." I said.
"Hey. bring some of them opossum lips back with ya. could ya do that?" Almost loosing it. I said " Sure,I can do that."
Walking out to the car i thought. "OMG! Now what did ya go and do? Brown? why do you put your self in such places? "Opossum lips?"
Well the 2 weeks went fast. the next thing I knew it was to work the next day. Thanking of something to make up about not haveng the lips. I went to bed. Some where in between laying down and just about to fall to sleep. It hit me. I jumped up. got dressed. Jumped in the car,and went shopping.
I ran to the meat counter,and started looking. There it was. Chicken thys.
After i got back to the house. I started deboning the thys. I placed the meat on a cutting board..and cut 'em into thin strips. And I mean thin.
I took and fryed 'em all up. golden brown. I was pleased. They really did look strange.
I wrapped 'em all up and by the time i was done,it was time to go.
The table at the dinner was all set up. looked really good. All the food,and things. I set my plater down,right beside Sgt Browns place to sit.
Alfa had returned. Everyone was ok. The spritis were all high,and playing jokes on each other was at hand. I pulled my close buddy off to the side and told him what i had done.
The response i got was what? i had figured. "Dallas!? you little shit. he'll kill ya." I laughed so hard,and so long. I thought i had lived my last. But no. the real laugh was yet to come.
The Gen. and his staff was coming. now this was not part of the dinner. Or so i thought.
Standing at the table side. Until the gen,and his staff was seated. I was kinda wondering how this would play out. I knew The gen. was from Ga. he and i had talked and had a laugh or 2. But this was for the record books.
Sgt brown sit down has did we all. I sat acros from him. he looked at me and ask. "Did ya bring 'em?" saying nothing I showed him the plater. he had a funny look on his face,lean forward,and ask. "Is this for real?" Leaning toward him,I said. "Yeah. It's for real."
The food was past around. Plats were full. folks were eating like there was no tomorrow.
Except,sgt Brown.
Our co. commander,knowing that i cook,ask me which dish i fixed,or if i fixed one. I said. "Yes sir,I did." "What did ya bring?" he ask. Now. taking a sec to think. I said. "something from home. Sir. I think you'll like it." Sgt Brown was not liked by the Co. Sgt brown looked at me with kill in his eyes. I looked down. Was not about to look up.
the co. took some off the plater,and started eating. " Sgt brown...this is good. What is this?" Omg! now what? Sgt Brown. The other sgt Brown. Said. "Oh sir it's like nothing you've ever had." "Oh really? Humm. It's something like chicken." The co. said.
Now by this time I've got hot flashes,all over me. god? what do i say?
The friend of mine I had told this about was about to die. then out of nowhere he ask. "Dallas? did you bring them opossum lips I ask about?"
Well thanks i thought.
"Yes i did. Do you want some before they are all gone?" The Co. looks down at his plate.

"Sgt brown? Is this?" The co stops talking. looks up. then back down at his plate. He looks down where Ted was sitting. "What did you call these?"
"Opossum lips sir. Sgt brown makes the best lips in the country." Over 9 years of active service. No bad time at all. Never failed any inspection,not one time. 2 Army a comdation medals,with valor. Overseas service ribbons,good conduct medals,3 of 'em each standing for 3 years of service each. Was hand picked for this job. And many letters and other awards,and ribbons. All this was flashing before my eyes. This was it. I was done.Then. out of no where. The Gen. ask. "Did someone say, opossum lips?"
Sgt brown looked straight at me. I could feel the heat. He whispered something. i couldn't tell what it was. So I looked closer. he repeated it. "Fuck you Dallas."
The gen. said. " Men? I've not had opossum lips sense i was a boy back home in Ga." I looked at him. I thought "Hu?"
The gen said. "Pass that plater up here. I'll sure have a go at it."
The paltter made the trip. the Gen. took a bunch. I had for got about the sex thing that sgt brown was talking about. And i was watching The Gen Has he ate. You could hear every heart pound away. He said. "Now thats home cooking. Your right Cpt. Crammer. They do taste like chicken. Who brought these?"
I slowly raised my arm. "I did Gen. sir." he looked at me. he said. "You did a good job on these son. A real good job." He placed his fork back on the table. "Are you on stand by,or movement ready today?" He ask me. "No sir." I responded. "Who's your movement boss?" he ask. " I said Sgt brown,sir." He took a drink. He ask. "Sgt Brown? Do you see a problem with this young man having the rest of the day off?"
Well ! I can tell ya. With all my heart. Sgt brown wanted to say "No!!!!!" However.
He said. "No Sir. Not at all."
I said My thank you sir,and sit back down.
The dinner ended. I never got the rest of the day off tho. A movement was called in. I grabbed my gear,and was on my way to somewhere.
Sitting in the plane. I seen smiles everywhere. thats what it's all about.

The Alfa Tango would be short lived. We would lose 3 people. While lost to us all. They will never be forgoten.


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