William J. “Billy” Barnes
IF ONLY LATRINES COULD TALK
From time to time, when things were quiet
up country round “The ‘Dat”,
Some Red Cross ladies would come up
from Vung Tau for a chat.
They’d spend the day amongst the boys
and dish out writing pads;
And have lunch in the Sergeants’ Mess
where food was not so bad.
They’d walk down on the gun line
and watch the ammo hauled,
Then help the surveyors pass line
when bearing checks were called.
They helped to lift morale a bit
when war had got too much
And brighten up the Batt’ry some
with a caring woman’s touch.
The Batt’ry had to take great pains
before the girls would call:
The boys would clean the lines a bit
taking “Playmates” off the walls.
They’d make a spare room ready where
the girls could change and rest,
And get clean linen from the store
and flowers through P.X.
They’d arrange cool drinks and chocolates
to comfort their short stay
And ferret out some magazines –
old prints of “Woman’s Day”.
But most consideration then
was given, above all,
To toiletry arrangements for
when Nature’d make her call.
There was a natural tendency
to have a bit of fun
When Red Cross ladies visited;
it was just how things were done.
To take advantage of the girls’
naivety a bit
Was just too much for NCOs
and gunners to resist.
The Motor Transport NCO,
a veteran of Korea,
He planned a little comedy
He’d seen tried over there.
He gathered up some brushes a
few tins of paint then ran
A coil or so of “DON-10” wire
down to the ladies’ can.
He painted up a “LADIES” sign
and hung it on the door.
The draped a large partition cloth
that hung down to the floor.
This put some private cubicles
into the multi-seater,
And underneath one outer lid
he hung a tannoy speaker.
He carefully concealed the wires
and left some rags about
That smelled a bit of turpentine,
leaving paint and brushes out.
The line ran back out down the track
that led to the C.P.
He hooked it to the microphone
and stood where he could see.
Eventually, and after lunch,
a lady named Maureen,
She got the call, she had to go,
right off to the latrine.
The MT Sergeant saw her bustle
briskly down the path
Heading towards the W.C.
he gave a secret laugh.
He made a gunner simulate
the sequence of undress,
So he could timely launch his prank
and guarantee success.
Quite unaware, the Red Cross lass,
being cautiously discreet,
Untied her belt and buttoned fly
and calmly took her seat.
She nestled quietly on the throne
as Nature took its course,
And just as she relaxed she heard
a voice in tones so hoarse:
“HEY! Hold it will ya lady, will
ya give ‘us half a sec?
I’m down here in the bogger and
I’m not through painting yet!”
She rocketed right off the seat
and grabbed her loose attire,
The clutching, stumbled through the door
like knickers were on fire.
She tried hard to compose herself
a minute or two after;
When half-way back along the path
she heard the Sergeant’s laughter
She knew, at once, that she’d been had,
the victim of a ruse,
She settled down quite quickly then,
in fact, was well amused.
She calmly then returned alone
back to the Ladies’ dunny
To reap some vengeance of her own
and found it rather funny.
She took the paint and brush he’d left
and every dunny seat
She painted bright-red, dripping wet,
and left them closed-up neat.
She knew she’d trap some NCOs,
she had an evil hunch
The seats would soon be popular –
they’d “Curried Dog” for lunch!
Then having so relieved herself
in more ways than just one,
Maureen she headed back to change
to catch the shuttle run
That’d fly her and the other girls
back to their base down south
At Vung Tau General Hospital,
away from joking louts.
A crowd assembled at the pad
to bid the girls farewell,
The MT Sergeant waved his hand,
his face was smiling still.
And as the chopper lifted off,
right from the window seats,
He saw two fingers in a “Vee”
that did not signal “PEACE”!
©Copyright 2003 by William J. “Billy” Barnes