Our Echo
Title, story type, location, year, person or writer
Add a Post
View Posts
Popular Posts
Hall of Fame

The Korean Five (Hobo)

Story ID:9362
Written by:Monte Leon Manka (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Corona CA USA
Person:Confused Chelsea Kansas Kid
View Comments (2)   |   Add a Comment Add a Comment   |   Print Print   |     |   Visitors


Your story was sad Arch but I have a sadder one.

My name is Mac; I live in Columbus Ohio. I will speak for the four others who cannot speak for themselves. They are suffering from K.S.S., known as Korean Shock Syndrome. Walking long distances can cure this disease.

Here is Ed from Hollywood, Don from Scoby, Monte from El Dorado and John from East Mauch Chunk.

These men had their young life interrupted by Induction. None really wanted to be inducted, they wanted to volunteer.

Ed had a blooming career of selling from door to door halted by the draft. Ed was the top broom salesman of the western quarter of the United States.

Ed who used to like to tell stories has not said a word since he was sent home from the Infirmary of the 29th. General Hospital. Ed’s nurse, Betty, counseled Ed for weeks before letting him go home. He was declared a hopeless case and shipped home to walk it off.

Ed’s main problem was the meat served by the dietician in the Hospital. Ed is a vegetarian and the dietician forced Ed to eat Horsemeat. Horsemeat was all we could get in Korea and stringy as it was it would fill your belly.
While discussing, one night, whether Palomino horsemeat was tastier than Pinto Ed, the animal lover, went off the deep end and lapsed into silence. He has not uttered a word since.

Don from Scoby is another story. When Don got his section 8 and was turned over to the crazy ward, he talked incessantly about his home state of Montana.
Addie Dean, the Red Cross Gal, was assigned to cover Don’s dilemma. Try as she might she was unsuccessful in quieting Don down. Don talked about how the weather in Korea was not any different from Montana.

One month it rained 30 inches, one cold spell it got to 27 below, in the summer it got to 120 degrees. These climate changes did not affect Don like it did the rest.
While on a scavenger hunt Don swiped some vegetables from a Korean Farmer’s garden. He made vegetable soup and consumed a large quantity. When he found what the Koreans used for fertilizer he flipped and that is how he is today.

As a last resort Addie Dean sang the State Song to Don “Montana” and he quieted down and has not spoken since.

Monte from El Dorado had another problem. This man had a budding farming career ahead of him but induction into the Army cut it short.

The ten acres and team of mules that his Dad gave him at the age of 19 put him well ahead of the other farm kids he knew. With the ten acres and Mules he could make a great living and enjoy prosperity in his retirement life.

He made it to the Loony Bin when he drank Korean Saki. The Saki was made with wood alcohol and this affects your brain. He was climbing the walls and talking incoherently and it took Angie to sooth his fevered brow.

Angie found that if she played the “Missouri Waltz” he would calm down. She wore out three 78-rpm records, of the Missouri Waltz, before he lapsed into silence.

I know you are asking what happened to John. John had just received a Scholarship to Notre Dame.

John was the star player on the East Mauch Chunk Ping-Pong team and Notre Dame wanted him badly. John had completed about six months of college when he was inducted.

It did not make any difference what the sport was he was interested in it. He played softball in Korea, Basketball etc.
The Supply team was going to play the Brain Surgeon’s team. Pigg was the pitcher for the Brain Surgeon team. His windmill slow pitch (we timed it at 25 miles per hour) took forever to reach the plate. He had a fast gopher pitch that we clocked at 99 miles per hr.
One day while facing the semi-pro pitcher in a soft ball game John was hit in the ear by one of Pigg’s fast balls and has been in a coma since.

It took Addie Dean, Betty, and Angie to get John well enough to be discharged.

“Gentlemen” said Mac. “You have accepted a reformed child hater, you have accepted a man incapable of handling responsibility.” “You have accepted a murdering Trucker and a philandering, inattentive, alcoholic airline Pilot.” “I hope you have it in your hearts to accept a prevaricator and four men who are faking their silence.”

The Hobo’s were mumbling amongst themselves and finally agreed to accept the liar and the four fakers.
The Mogan David Wine was passed around. Partaking of this libation sealed their entries into the Hobo Jungle and the POOH (Paternal Order of Hobo’s) organization.

Monte L. Manka 12-16-99