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Tema: Joseph Heller ~ Džozef Heler  (Pročitano 30258 puta)
08. Jul 2005, 03:45:12
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Zodijak Gemini
Pol Muškarac
Poruke Odustao od brojanja
Zastava 44°49′N - 20°29′E
mob
Apple iPhone 6s
Catch-22
Joseph Heller

The Texan
Clevinger
Havermeyer
Doc Daneeka
Chief White Halfoat
Hungry Joe
McWatt
Lieutenant Scheisskopf
Major Major Major Major
Wintergreen
Captain Black
Bologna
Major—De Coverley
Kid Sampson
Piltchard & Wren
Luciana
The Soldier in White
Colonel Cathcart
Corporal Whitcomb
General Dreedle
Milo the Mayor
Nately’s Old Man
Milo
The Chaplain
Aarfy
Nurse Duckett
Dobbs
Peckem
Dunbar
Mrs. Daneeka
Yo-Yo’s Roomies
Nately’s Whore
Thanksgiving
Milo the Militant
The Cellar
General Scheisskopf
Kid Sister
The Eternal City
CATCH-22
Snowden
Yossarian
« Poslednja izmena: 03. Avg 2005, 01:21:31 od Anea »
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Apple iPhone 6s
The Texan

   It was love at first sight.
   The first time Yossarian saw the chaplain he fell madly in love with him.
   Yossarian was in the hospital with a pain in his liver that fell just short of being jaundice. The doctors were puzzled by the fact that it wasn’t quite jaundice. If it became jaundice they could treat it. If it didn’t become jaundice and went away they could discharge him. But this just being short of jaundice all the time confused them.
   Each morning they came around, three brisk and serious men with efficient mouths and inefficient eyes, accompanied by brisk and serious Nurse Duckett, one of the ward nurses who didn’t like Yossarian. They read the chart at the foot of the bed and asked impatiently about the pain. They seemed irritated when he told them it was exactly the same.
   ‘Still no movement?’ the full colonel demanded.
   The doctors exchanged a look when he shook his head.
   ‘Give him another pill.’ Nurse Duckett made a note to give Yossarian another pill, and the four of them moved along to the next bed. None of the nurses liked Yossarian. Actually, the pain in his liver had gone away, but Yossarian didn’t say anything and the doctors never suspected. They just suspected that he had been moving his bowels and not telling anyone.
   Yossarian had everything he wanted in the hospital. The food wasn’t too bad, and his meals were brought to him in bed. There were extra rations of fresh meat, and during the hot part of the afternoon he and the others were served chilled fruit juice or chilled chocolate milk. Apart from the doctors and the nurses, no one ever disturbed him. For a little while in the morning he had to censor letters, but he was free after that to spend the rest of each day lying around idly with a clear conscience. He was comfortable in the hospital, and it was easy to stay on because he always ran a temperature of 101. He was even more comfortable than Dunbar, who had to keep falling down on his face in order to get his meals brought to him in bed.
   After he had made up his mind to spend the rest of the war in the hospital, Yossarian wrote letters to everyone he knew saying that he was in the hospital but never mentioning why. One day he had a better idea. To everyone he knew he wrote that he was going on a very dangerous mission. ‘They asked for volunteers. It’s very dangerous, but someone has to do it. I’ll write you the instant I get back.’ And he had not written anyone since.
   All the officer patients in the ward were forced to censor letters written by all the enlisted-men patients, who were kept in residence in wards of their own. It was a monotonous job, and Yossarian was disappointed to learn that the lives of enlisted men were only slightly more interesting than the lives of officers. After the first day he had no curiosity at all. To break the monotony he invented games. Death to all modifiers, he declared one day, and out of every letter that passed through his hands went every adverb and every adjective. The next day he made war on articles. He reached a much higher plane of creativity the following day when he blacked out everything in the letters but a, an and the. That erected more dynamic intralinear tensions, he felt, and in just about every case left a message far more universal. Soon he was proscribing parts of salutations and signatures and leaving the text untouched. One time he blacked out all but the salutation ‘Dear Mary’ from a letter, and at the bottom he wrote, ‘I yearn for you tragically. R. O. Shipman, Chaplain, U.S. Army.’ R.O. Shipman was the group chaplain’s name.
   When he had exhausted all possibilities in the letters, he began attacking the names and addresses on the envelopes, obliterating whole homes and streets, annihilating entire metropolises with careless flicks of his wrist as though he were God. Catch-22 required that each censored letter bear the censoring officer’s name. Most letters he didn’t read at all. On those he didn’t read at all he wrote his own name. On those he did read he wrote, ‘Washington Irving.’ When that grew monotonous he wrote, ‘Irving Washington.’ Censoring the envelopes had serious repercussions, produced a ripple of anxiety on some ethereal military echelon that floated a C.I.D. man back into the ward posing as a patient. They all knew he was a C.I.D. man because he kept inquiring about an officer named Irving or Washington and because after his first day there he wouldn’t censor letters. He found them too monotonous.
   It was a good ward this time, one of the best he and Dunbar had ever enjoyed. With them this time was the twenty-four-year-old fighter-pilot captain with the sparse golden mustache who had been shot into the Adriatic Sea in midwinter and not even caught cold. Now the summer was upon them, the captain had not been shot down, and he said he had the grippe. In the bed on Yossarian’s right, still lying amorously on his belly, was the startled captain with malaria in his blood and a mosquito bite on his ass. Across the aisle from Yossarian was Dunbar, and next to Dunbar was the artillery captain with whom Yossarian had stopped playing chess. The captain was a good chess player, and the games were always interesting. Yossarian had stopped playing chess with him because the games were so interesting they were foolish. Then there was the educated Texan from Texas who looked like someone in Technicolor and felt, patriotically, that people of means—decent folk—should be given more votes than drifters, whores, criminals, degenerates, atheists and indecent folk—people without means.
   Yossarian was unspringing rhythms in the letters the day they brought the Texan in. It was another quiet, hot, untroubled day. The heat pressed heavily on the roof, stifling sound. Dunbar was lying motionless on his back again with his eyes staring up at the ceiling like a doll’s. He was working hard at increasing his life span. He did it by cultivating boredom. Dunbar was working so hard at increasing his life span that Yossarian thought he was dead. They put the Texan in a bed in the middle of the ward, and it wasn’t long before he donated his views.
   Dunbar sat up like a shot. ‘That’s it,’ he cried excitedly. ‘There was something missing—all the time I knew there was something missing—and now I know what it is.’ He banged his fist down into his palm. ‘No patriotism,’ he declared.
   ‘You’re right,’ Yossarian shouted back. ‘You’re right, you’re right, you’re right. The hot dog, the Brooklyn Dodgers. Mom’s apple pie. That’s what everyone’s fighting for. But who’s fighting for the decent folk? Who’s fighting for more votes for the decent folk? There’s no patriotism, that’s what it is. And no matriotism, either.’ The warrant officer on Yossarian’s left was unimpressed. ‘Who gives a shit?’ he asked tiredly, and turned over on his side to go to sleep.
   The Texan turned out to be good-natured, generous and likable. In three days no one could stand him.
   He sent shudders of annoyance scampering up ticklish spines, and everybody fled from him—everybody but the soldier in white, who had no choice. The soldier in white was encased from head to toe in plaster and gauze. He had two useless legs and two useless arms. He had been smuggled into the ward during the night, and the men had no idea he was among them until they awoke in the morning and saw the two strange legs hoisted from the hips, the two strange arms anchored up perpendicularly, all four limbs pinioned strangely in air by lead weights suspended darkly above him that never moved. Sewn into the bandages over the insides of both elbows were zippered lips through which he was fed clear fluid from a clear jar. A silent zinc pipe rose from the cement on his groin and was coupled to a slim rubber hose that carried waste from his kidneys and dripped it efficiently into a clear, stoppered jar on the floor. When the jar on the floor was full, the jar feeding his elbow was empty, and the two were simply switched quickly so that the stuff could drip back into him. All they ever really saw of the soldier in white was a frayed black hole over his mouth.
   The soldier in white had been filed next to the Texan, and the Texan sat sideways on his own bed and talked to him throughout the morning, afternoon and evening in a pleasant, sympathetic drawl. The Texan never minded that he got no reply.
   Temperatures were taken twice a day in the ward. Early each morning and late each afternoon Nurse Cramer entered with a jar full of thermometers and worked her way up one side of the ward and down the other, distributing a thermometer to each patient. She managed the soldier in white by inserting a thermometer into the hole over his mouth and leaving it balanced there on the lower rim. When she returned to the man in the first bed, she took his thermometer and recorded his temperature, and then moved on to the next bed and continued around the ward again. One afternoon when she had completed her first circuit of the ward and came a second time to the soldier in white, she read his thermometer and discovered that he was dead.
   ‘Murderer,’ Dunbar said quietly.
   The Texan looked up at him with an uncertain grin.
   ‘Killer,’ Yossarian said.
   ‘What are you fellas talkin’ about?’ the Texan asked nervously.
   ‘You murdered him,’ said Dunbar.
   ‘You killed him,’ said Yossarian.
   The Texan shrank back. ‘You fellas are crazy. I didn’t even touch him.’
   ‘You murdered him,’ said Dunbar.
   ‘I heard you kill him,’ said Yossarian.
   ‘You killed him because he was a nigger,’ Dunbar said.
   ‘You fellas are crazy,’ the Texan cried. ‘They don’t allow niggers in here. They got a special place for niggers.’
   ‘The sergeant smuggled him in,’ Dunbar said.
   ‘The Communist sergeant,’ said Yossarian.
   ‘And you knew it.’ The warrant officer on Yossarian’s left was unimpressed by the entire incident of the soldier in white. The warrant officer was unimpressed by everything and never spoke at all unless it was to show irritation.
   The day before Yossarian met the chaplain, a stove exploded in the mess hall and set fire to one side of the kitchen. An intense heat flashed through the area. Even in Yossarian’s ward, almost three hundred feet away, they could hear the roar of the blaze and the sharp cracks of flaming timber. Smoke sped past the orange-tinted windows. In about fifteen minutes the crash trucks from the airfield arrived to fight the fire. For a frantic half hour it was touch and go. Then the firemen began to get the upper hand. Suddenly there was the monotonous old drone of bombers returning from a mission, and the firemen had to roll up their hoses and speed back to the field in case one of the planes crashed and caught fire. The planes landed safely. As soon as the last one was down, the firemen wheeled their trucks around and raced back up the hill to resume their fight with the fire at the hospital. When they got there, the blaze was out. It had died of its own accord, expired completely without even an ember to be watered down, and there was nothing for the disappointed firemen to do but drink tepid coffee and hang around trying to screw the nurses.
   The chaplain arrived the day after the fire. Yossarian was busy expurgating all but romance words from the letters when the chaplain sat down in a chair between the beds and asked him how he was feeling. He had placed himself a bit to one side, and the captain’s bars on the tab of his shirt collar were all the insignia Yossarian could see. Yossarian had no idea who he was and just took it for granted that he was either another doctor or another madman.
   ‘Oh, pretty good,’ he answered. ‘I’ve got a slight pain in my liver and I haven’t been the most regular of fellows, I guess, but all in all I must admit that I feel pretty good.’
   ‘That’s good,’ said the chaplain.
   ‘Yes,’ Yossarian said. ‘Yes, that is good.’
   ‘I meant to come around sooner,’ the chaplain said, ‘but I really haven’t been well.’
   ‘That’s too bad,’ Yossarian said.
   ‘Just a head cold,’ the chaplain added quickly.
   ‘I’ve got a fever of a hundred and one,’ Yossarian added just as quickly.
   ‘That’s too bad,’ said the chaplain.
   ‘Yes,’ Yossarian agreed. ‘Yes, that is too bad.’ The chaplain fidgeted. ‘Is there anything I can do for you?’ he asked after a while.
   ‘No, no.’ Yossarian sighed. ‘The doctors are doing all that’s humanly possible, I suppose.’
   ‘No, no.’ The chaplain colored faintly. ‘I didn’t mean anything like that. I meant cigarettes… or books… or… toys.’
   ‘No, no,’ Yossarian said. ‘Thank you. I have everything I need, I suppose—everything but good health.’
   ‘That’s too bad.’
   ‘Yes,’ Yossarian said. ‘Yes, that is too bad.’ The chaplain stirred again. He looked from side to side a few times, then gazed up at the ceiling, then down at the floor. He drew a deep breath.
   ‘Lieutenant Nately sends his regards,’ he said.
   Yossarian was sorry to hear they had a mutual friend. It seemed there was a basis to their conversation after all. ‘You know Lieutenant Nately?’ he asked regretfully.
   ‘Yes, I know Lieutenant Nately quite well.’
   ‘He’s a bit loony, isn’t he?’ The chaplain’s smile was embarrassed. ‘I’m afraid I couldn’t say. I don’t think I know him that well.’
   ‘You can take my word for it,’ Yossarian said. ‘He’s as goofy as they come.’ The chaplain weighed the next silence heavily and then shattered it with an abrupt question. ‘You are Captain Yossarian, aren’t you?’
   ‘Nately had a bad start. He came from a good family.’
   ‘Please excuse me,’ the chaplain persisted timorously. ‘I may be committing a very grave error. Are you Captain Yossarian?’
   ‘Yes,’ Captain Yossarian confessed. ‘I am Captain Yossarian.’
   ‘Of the 256th Squadron?’
   ‘Of the fighting 256th Squadron,’ Yossarian replied. ‘I didn’t know there were any other Captain Yossarians. As far as I know, I’m the only Captain Yossarian I know, but that’s only as far as I know.’
   ‘I see,’ the chaplain said unhappily.
   ‘That’s two to the fighting eighth power,’ Yossarian pointed out, ‘if you’re thinking of writing a symbolic poem about our squadron.’
   ‘No,’ mumbled the chaplain. ‘I’m not thinking of writing a symbolic poem about your squadron.’ Yossarian straightened sharply when he spied the tiny silver cross on the other side of the chaplain’s collar. He was thoroughly astonished, for he had never really talked with a chaplain before.
   ‘You’re a chaplain,’ he exclaimed ecstatically. ‘I didn’t know you were a chaplain.’
   ‘Why, yes,’ the chaplain answered. ‘Didn’t you know I was a chaplain?’
   ‘Why, no. I didn’t know you were a chaplain.’ Yossarian stared at him with a big, fascinated grin. ‘I’ve never really seen a chaplain before.’ The chaplain flushed again and gazed down at his hands. He was a slight man of about thirty-two with tan hair and brown diffident eyes. His face was narrow and rather pale. An innocent nest of ancient pimple pricks lay in the basin of each cheek. Yossarian wanted to help him.
   ‘Can I do anything at all to help you?’ the chaplain asked.
   Yossarian shook his head, still grinning. ‘No, I’m sorry. I have everything I need and I’m quite comfortable. In fact, I’m not even sick.’
   ‘That’s good.’ As soon as the chaplain said the words, he was sorry and shoved his knuckles into his mouth with a giggle of alarm, but Yossarian remained silent and disappointed him. ‘There are other men in the group I must visit,’ he apologized finally. ‘I’ll come to see you again, probably tomorrow.’
   ‘Please do that,’ Yossarian said.
   ‘I’ll come only if you want me to,’ the chaplain said, lowering his head shyly. ‘I’ve noticed that I make many of the men uncomfortable.’ Yossarian glowed with affection. ‘I want you to,’ he said. ‘You won’t make me uncomfortable.’ The chaplain beamed gratefully and then peered down at a slip of paper he had been concealing in his hand all the while. He counted along the beds in the ward, moving his lips, and then centered his attention dubiously on Dunbar.
   ‘May I inquire,’ he whispered softly, ‘if that is Lieutenant Dunbar?’
   ‘Yes,’ Yossarian answered loudly, ‘that is Lieutenant Dunbar.’
   ‘Thank you,’ the chaplain whispered. ‘Thank you very much. I must visit with him. I must visit with every member of the group who is in the hospital.’
   ‘Even those in other wards?’ Yossarian asked.
   ‘Even those in other wards.’
   ‘Be careful in those other wards, Father,’ Yossarian warned. ‘That’s where they keep the mental cases. They’re filled with lunatics.’
   ‘It isn’t necessary to call me Father,’ the chaplain explained. ‘I’m an Anabaptist.’
   ‘I’m dead serious about those other wards,’ Yossarian continued grimly. ‘M.P.s won’t protect you, because they’re craziest of all. I’d go with you myself, but I’m scared stiff: Insanity is contagious. This is the only sane ward in the whole hospital. Everybody is crazy but us. This is probably the only sane ward in the whole world, for that matter.’ The chaplain rose quickly and edged away from Yossarian’s bed, and then nodded with a conciliating smile and promised to conduct himself with appropriate caution. ‘And now I must visit with Lieutenant Dunbar,’ he said. Still he lingered, remorsefully. ‘How is Lieutenant Dunbar?’ he asked at last.
   ‘As good as they go,’ Yossarian assured him. ‘A true prince. One of the finest, least dedicated men in the whole world.’
   ‘I didn’t mean that,’ the chaplain answered, whispering again. ‘Is he very sick?’
   ‘No, he isn’t very sick. In fact, he isn’t sick at all.’
   ‘That’s good.’ The chaplain sighed with relief.
   ‘Yes,’ Yossarian said. ‘Yes, that is good.’
   ‘A chaplain,’ Dunbar said when the chaplain had visited him and gone. ‘Did you see that? A chaplain.’
   ‘Wasn’t he sweet?’ said Yossarian. ‘Maybe they should give him three votes.’
   ‘Who’s they?’ Dunbar demanded suspiciously.
   In a bed in the small private section at the end of the ward, always working ceaselessly behind the green plyboard partition, was the solemn middle-aged colonel who was visited every day by a gentle, sweet-faced woman with curly ash-blond hair who was not a nurse and not a Wac and not a Red Cross girl but who nevertheless appeared faithfully at the hospital in Pianosa each afternoon wearing pretty pastel summer dresses that were very smart and white leather pumps with heels half high at the base of nylon seams that were inevitably straight. The colonel was in Communications, and he was kept busy day and night transmitting glutinous messages from the interior into square pads of gauze which he sealed meticulously and delivered to a covered white pail that stood on the night table beside his bed. The colonel was gorgeous. He had a cavernous mouth, cavernous cheeks, cavernous, sad, mildewed eyes. His face was the color of clouded silver. He coughed quietly, gingerly, and dabbed the pads slowly at his lips with a distaste that had become automatic.
   The colonel dwelt in a vortex of specialists who were still specializing in trying to determine what was troubling him. They hurled lights in his eyes to see if he could see, rammed needles into nerves to hear if he could feel. There was a urologist for his urine, a lymphologist for his lymph, an endocrinologist for his endocrines, a psychologist for his psyche, a dermatologist for his derma; there was a pathologist for his pathos, a cystologist for his cysts, and a bald and pedantic cetologist from the zoology department at Harvard who had been shanghaied ruthlessly into the Medical Corps by a faulty anode in an I.B.M. machine and spent his sessions with the dying colonel trying to discuss Moby Dick with him.
   The colonel had really been investigated. There was not an organ of his body that had not been drugged and derogated, dusted and dredged, fingered and photographed, removed, plundered and replaced. Neat, slender and erect, the woman touched him often as she sat by his bedside and was the epitome of stately sorrow each time she smiled. The colonel was tall, thin and stooped. When he rose to walk, he bent forward even more, making a deep cavity of his body, and placed his feet down very carefully, moving ahead by inches from the knees down. There were violet pools under his eyes. The woman spoke softly, softer than the colonel coughed, and none of the men in the ward ever heard her voice.
   In less than ten days the Texan cleared the ward. The artillery captain broke first, and after that the exodus started. Dunbar, Yossarian and the fighter captain all bolted the same morning. Dunbar stopped having dizzy spells, and the fighter captain blew his nose. Yossarian told the doctors that the pain in his liver had gone away. It was as easy as that. Even the warrant officer fled. In less than ten days, the Texan drove everybody in the ward back to duty—everybody but the C.I.D. man, who had caught cold from the fighter captain and come down with pneumonia.
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Poruke Odustao od brojanja
Zastava 44°49′N - 20°29′E
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Clevinger

   In a way the C.I.D. man was pretty lucky, because outside the hospital the war was still going on. Men went mad and were rewarded with medals. All over the world, boys on every side of the bomb line were laying down their lives for what they had been told was their country, and no one seemed to mind, least of all the boys who were laying down their young lives. There was no end in sight. The only end in sight was Yossarian’s own, and he might have remained in the hospital until doomsday had it not been for that patriotic Texan with his infundibuliform jowls and his lumpy, rumpleheaded, indestructible smile cracked forever across the front of his face like the brim of a black ten-gallon hat. The Texan wanted everybody in the ward to be happy but Yossarian and Dunbar. He was really very sick.
   But Yossarian couldn’t be happy, even though the Texan didn’t want him to be, because outside the hospital there was still nothing funny going on. The only thing going on was a war, and no one seemed to notice but Yossarian and Dunbar. And when Yossarian tried to remind people, they drew away from him and thought he was crazy. Even Clevinger, who should have known better but didn’t, had told him he was crazy the last time they had seen each other, which was just before Yossarian had fled into the hospital.
   Clevinger had stared at him with apoplectic rage and indignation and, clawing the table with both hands, had shouted, ‘You’re crazy!’
   ‘Clevinger, what do you want from people?’ Dunbar had replied wearily above the noises of the officers’ club.
   ‘I’m not joking,’ Clevinger persisted.
   ‘They’re trying to kill me,’ Yossarian told him calmly.
   ‘No one’s trying to kill you,’ Clevinger cried.
   ‘Then why are they shooting at me?’ Yossarian asked.
   ‘They’re shooting at everyone,’ Clevinger answered. ‘They’re trying to kill everyone.’
   ‘And what difference does that make?’ Clevinger was already on the way, half out of his chair with emotion, his eyes moist and his lips quivering and pale. As always occurred when he quarreled over principles in which he believed passionately, he would end up gasping furiously for air and blinking back bitter tears of conviction. There were many principles in which Clevinger believed passionately. He was crazy.
   ‘Who’s they?’ he wanted to know. ‘Who, specifically, do you think is trying to murder you?’
   ‘Every one of them,’ Yossarian told him.
   ‘Every one of whom?’
   ‘Every one of whom do you think?’
   ‘I haven’t any idea.’
   ‘Then how do you know they aren’t?’
   ‘Because…’ Clevinger sputtered, and turned speechless with frustration.
   Clevinger really thought he was right, but Yossarian had proof, because strangers he didn’t know shot at him with cannons every time he flew up into the air to drop bombs on them, and it wasn’t funny at all. And if that wasn’t funny, there were lots of things that weren’t even funnier. There was nothing funny about living like a bum in a tent in Pianosa between fat mountains behind him and a placid blue sea in front that could gulp down a person with a cramp in the twinkling of an eye and ship him back to shore three days later, all charges paid, bloated, blue and putrescent, water draining out through both cold nostrils.
   The tent he lived in stood right smack up against the wall of the shallow, dull-colored forest separating his own squadron from Dunbar ’s. Immediately alongside was the abandoned railroad ditch that carried the pipe that carried the aviation gasoline down to the fuel trucks at the airfield. Thanks to Orr, his roommate, it was the most luxurious tent in the squadron. Each time Yossarian returned from one of his holidays in the hospital or rest leaves in Rome, he was surprised by some new comfort Orr had installed in his absence—running water, wood-burning fireplace, cement floor. Yossarian had chosen the site, and he and Orr had raised the tent together. Orr, who was a grinning pygmy with pilot’s wings and thick, wavy brown hair parted in the middle, furnished all the knowledge, while Yossarian, who was taller, stronger, broader and faster, did most of the work. Just the two of them lived there, although the tent was big enough for six. When summer came, Orr rolled up the side flaps to allow a breeze that never blew to flush away the air baking inside.
   Immediately next door to Yossarian was Havermeyer, who liked peanut brittle and lived all by himself in the two-man tent in which he shot tiny field mice every night with huge bullets from the.45 he had stolen from the dead man in Yossarian’s tent. On the other side of Havermeyer stood the tent McWatt no longer shared with Clevinger, who had still not returned when Yossarian came out of the hospital. McWatt shared his tent now with Nately, who was away in Rome courting the sleepy whore he had fallen so deeply in love with there who was bored with her work and bored with him too. McWatt was crazy. He was a pilot and flew his plane as low as he dared over Yossarian’s tent as often as he could, just to see how much he could frighten him, and loved to go buzzing with a wild, close roar over the wooden raft floating on empty oil drums out past the sand bar at the immaculate white beach where the men went swimming naked. Sharing a tent with a man who was crazy wasn’t easy, but Nately didn’t care. He was crazy, too, and had gone every free day to work on the officers’ club that Yossarian had not helped build.
   Actually, there were many officers’ clubs that Yossarian had not helped build, but he was proudest of the one on Pianosa. It was a sturdy and complex monument to his powers of determination. Yossarian never went there to help until it was finished; then he went there often, so pleased was he with the large, fine, rambling, shingled building. It was truly a splendid structure, and Yossarian throbbed with a mighty sense of accomplishment each time he gazed at it and reflected that none of the work that had gone into it was his.
   There were four of them seated together at a table in the officers’ club the last time he and Clevinger had called each other crazy. They were seated in back near the crap table on which Appleby always managed to win. Appleby was as good at shooting crap as he was at playing ping-pong, and he was as good at playing ping-pong as he was at everything else. Everything Appleby did, he did well. Appleby was a fair-haired boy from Iowa who believed in God, Motherhood and the American Way of Life, without ever thinking about any of them, and everybody who knew him liked him.
   ‘I hate that son of a bitch,’ Yossarian growled.
   The argument with Clevinger had begun a few minutes earlier when Yossarian had been unable to find a machine gun. It was a busy night. The bar was busy, the crap table was busy, the ping-gong table was busy. The people Yossarian wanted to machine-gun were busy at the bar singing sentimental old favorites that nobody else ever tired of. Instead of machine-gunning them, he brought his heel down hard on the ping-pong ball that came rolling toward him off the paddle of one of the two officers playing.
   ‘That Yossarian,’ the two officers laughed, shaking their heads, and got another ball from the box on the shelf.
   ‘That Yossarian,’ Yossarian answered them.
   ‘Yossarian,’ Nately whispered cautioningly.
   ‘You see what I mean?’ asked Clevinger.
   The officers laughed again when they heard Yossarian mimicking them. ‘That Yossarian,’ they said more loudly.
   ‘That Yossarian,’ Yossarian echoed.
   ‘Yossarian, please,’ Nately pleaded.
   ‘You see what I mean?’ asked Clevinger. ‘He has antisocial aggressions.’
   ‘Oh, shut up,’ Dunbar told Clevinger. Dunbar liked Clevinger because Clevinger annoyed him and made the time go slow.
   ‘Appleby isn’t even here,’ Clevinger pointed out triumphantly to Yossarian.
   ‘Who said anything about Appleby?’ Yossarian wanted to know.
   ‘Colonel Cathcart isn’t here, either.’
   ‘Who said anything about Colonel Cathcart?’
   ‘What son of a bitch do you hate, then?’
   ‘What son of a bitch is here?’
   ‘I’m not going to argue with you,’ Clevinger decided. ‘You don’t know who you hate.’
   ‘Whoever’s trying to poison me,’ Yossarian told him.
   ‘Nobody’s trying to poison you.’
   ‘They poisoned my food twice, didn’t they? Didn’t they put poison in my food during Ferrara and during the Great Big Siege of Bologna?’
   ‘They put poison in everybody’s food,’ Clevinger explained.
   ‘And what difference does that make?’
   ‘And it wasn’t even poison!’ Clevinger cried heatedly, growing more emphatic as he grew more confused.
   As far back as Yossarian could recall, he explained to Clevinger with a patient smile, somebody was always hatching a plot to kill him. There were people who cared for him and people who didn’t, and those who didn’t hated him and were out to get him. They hated him because he was Assyrian. But they couldn’t touch him, he told Clevinger, because he had a sound mind in a pure body and was as strong as an ox. They couldn’t touch him because he was Tarzan, Mandrake, Flash Gordon. He was Bill Shakespeare. He was Cain, Ulysses, the Flying Dutchman; he was Lot in Sodom, Deirdre of the Sorrows, Sweeney in the nightingales among trees. He was miracle ingredient Z-247. He was—’Crazy!’ Clevinger interrupted, shrieking. ‘That’s what you are! Crazy!
   ‘—immense. I’m a real, slam-bang, honest-to-goodness, three-fisted humdinger. I’m a bona fide supraman.’
   ‘Superman?’ Clevinger cried. ‘Superman?’
   ‘Supraman,’ Yossarian corrected.
   ‘Hey, fellas, cut it out,’ Nately begged with embarrassment. ‘Everybody’s looking at us.’
   ‘You’re crazy,’ Clevinger shouted vehemently, his eyes filling with tears. ‘You’ve got a Jehovah complex.’
   ‘I think everyone is Nathaniel.’ Clevinger arrested himself in mid-declamation, suspiciously. ‘Who’s Nathaniel?’
   ‘Nathaniel who?’ inquired Yossarian innocently.
   Clevinger skirted the trap neatly. ‘You think everybody is Jehovah. You’re no better than Raskolnkov—’
   ‘Who?’
   ‘—yes, Raskolnikov, who—’
   ‘Raskolnikov!’
   ‘—who—I mean it—who felt he could justify killing an old woman—’
   ‘No better than?’
   ‘—yes, justify, that’s right—with an ax! And I can prove it to you!’ Gasping furiously for air, Clevinger enumerated Yossarian’s symptoms: an unreasonable belief that everybody around him was crazy, a homicidal impulse to machine-gun strangers, retrospective falsification, an unfounded suspicion that people hated him and were conspiring to kill him.
   But Yossarian knew he was right, because, as he explained to Clevinger, to the best of his knowledge he had never been wrong. Everywhere he looked was a nut, and it was all a sensible young gentleman like himself could do to maintain his perspective amid so much madness. And it was urgent that he did, for he knew his life was in peril.
   Yossarian eyed everyone he saw warily when he returned to the squadron from the hospital. Milo was away, too, in Smyrna for the fig harvest. The mess hall ran smoothly in Milo ’s absence. Yossarian had responded ravenously to the pungent aroma of spicy lamb while he was still in the cab of the ambulance bouncing down along the knotted road that lay like a broken suspender between the hospital and the squadron. There was shish-kabob for lunch, huge, savory hunks of spitted meat sizzling like the devil over charcoal after marinating seventy-two hours in a secret mixture Milo had stolen from a crooked trader in the Levant, served with Iranian rice and asparagus tips Parmesan, followed by cherries jubilee for dessert and then steaming cups of fresh coffee with Benedictine and brandy. The meal was served in enormous helpings on damask tablecloths by the skilled Italian waiters Major—de Coverley had kidnaped from the mainland and given to Milo.
   Yossarian gorged himself in the mess hall until he thought he would explode and then sagged back in a contented stupor, his mouth filmy with a succulent residue. None of the officers in the squadron had ever eaten so well as they ate regularly in Milo ’s mess hall, and Yossarian wondered awhile if it wasn’t perhaps all worth it. But then he burped and remembered that they were trying to kill him, and he sprinted out of the mess hall wildly and ran looking for Doc Daneeka to have himself taken off combat duty and sent home. He found Doc Daneeka in sunlight, sitting on a high stool outside his tent.
   ‘Fifty missions,’ Doc Daneeka told him, shaking his head. ‘The colonel wants fifty missions.’
   ‘But I’ve only got forty-four!’ Doc Daneeka was unmoved. He was a sad, birdlike man with the spatulate face and scrubbed, tapering features of a well-groomed rat.
   ‘Fifty missions,’ he repeated, still shaking his head. ‘The colonel wants fifty missions.’
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Havermeyer

   Actually, no one was around when Yossarian returned from the hospital but Orr and the dead man in Yossarian’s tent. The dead man in Yossarian’s tent was a pest, and Yossarian didn’t like him, even though he had never seen him. Having him lying around all day annoyed Yossarian so much that he had gone to the orderly room several times to complain to Sergeant Towser, who refused to admit that the dead man even existed, which, of course, he no longer did. It was still more frustrating to try to appeal directly to Major Major, the long and bony squadron commander, who looked a little bit like Henry Fonda in distress and went jumping out the window of his office each time Yossarian bullied his way past Sergeant Towser to speak to him about it. The dead man in Yossarian’s tent was simply not easy to live with. He even disturbed Orr, who was not easy to live with, either, and who, on the day Yossarian came back, was tinkering with the faucet that fed gasoline into the stove he had started building while Yossarian was in the hospital.
   ‘What are you doing?’ Yossarian asked guardedly when he entered the tent, although he saw at once.
   ‘There’s a leak here,’ Orr said. ‘I’m trying to fix it.’
   ‘Please stop it,’ said Yossarian. ‘You’re making me nervous.’
   ‘When I was a kid,’ Orr replied, ‘I used to walk around all day with crab apples in my cheeks. One in each cheek.’ Yossarian put aside the musette bag from which he had begun removing his toilet articles and braced himself suspiciously. A minute passed. ‘Why?’ he found himself forced to ask finally.
   Orr tittered triumphantly. ‘Because they’re better than horse chestnuts,’ he answered.
   Orr was kneeling on the floor of the tent. He worked without pause, taking the faucet apart, spreading all the tiny pieces out carefully, counting and then studying each one interminably as though he had never seen anything remotely similar before, and then reassembling the whole apparatus, over and over and over and over again, with no loss of patience or interest, no sign of fatigue, no indication of ever concluding. Yossarian watched him tinkering and felt certain he would be compelled to murder him in cold blood if he did not stop. His eyes moved toward the hunting knife that had been slung over the mosquito-net bar by the dead man the day he arrived. The knife hung beside the dead man’s empty leather gun holster, from which Havermeyer had stolen the gun.
   ‘When I couldn’t get crab apples,’ Orr continued, ‘I used horse chestnuts. Horse chestnuts are about the same size as crab apples and actually have a better shape, although the shape doesn’t matter a bit.’
   ‘Why did you walk around with crab apples in your cheeks?’ Yossarian asked again. ‘That’s what I asked.’
   ‘Because they’ve got a better shape than horse chestnuts,’ Orr answered. ‘I just told you that.’
   ‘Why,’ swore Yossarian at him approvingly, ‘you evil-eyed, mechanically-aptituded, disaffiliated son of a bitch, did you walk around with anything in your cheeks?’
   ‘I didn’t,’ Orr said, ‘walk around with anything in my cheeks. I walked around with crab apples in my cheeks. When I couldn’t get crab apples I walked around with horse chestnuts. In my cheeks.’ Orr giggled. Yossarian made up his mind to keep his mouth shut and did. Orr waited. Yossarian waited longer.
   ‘One in each cheek,’ Orr said.
   ‘Why?’ Orr pounced. ‘Why what?’ Yossarian shook his head, smiling, and refused to say.
   ‘It’s a funny thing about this valve,’ Orr mused aloud.
   ‘What is?’ Yossarian asked.
   ‘Because I wanted—’ Yossarian knew. ‘Jesus Christ! Why did you want—’
   ‘—apple cheeks.’
   ‘—apple cheeks?’ Yossarian demanded.
   ‘I wanted apple cheeks,’ Orr repeated. ‘Even when I was a kid I wanted apple cheeks someday, and I decided to work at it until I got them, and by God, I did work at it until I got them, and that’s how I did it, with crab apples in my cheeks all day long.’ He giggled again. ‘One in each cheek.’
   ‘Why did you want apple cheeks?’
   ‘I didn’t want apple cheeks,’ Orr said. ‘I wanted big cheeks. I didn’t care about the color so much, but I wanted them big. I worked at it just like one of those crazy guys you read about who go around squeezing rubber balls all day long just to strengthen their hands. In fact, I was one of those crazy guys. I used to walk around all day with rubber balls in my hands, too.’
   ‘Why?’
   ‘Why what?’
   ‘Why did you walk around all day with rubber balls in your hands?’
   ‘Because rubber balls—’ said Orr.
   ‘—are better than crab apples?’ Orr sniggered as he shook his head. ‘I did it to protect my good reputation in case anyone ever caught me walking around with crab apples in my cheeks. With rubber balls in my hands I could deny there were crab apples in my cheeks. Every time someone asked me why I was walking around with crab apples in my cheeks, I’d just open my hands and show them it was rubber balls I was walking around with, not crab apples, and that they were in my hands, not my cheeks. It was a good story. But I never knew if it got across or not, since it’s pretty tough to make people understand you when you’re talking to them with two crab apples in your cheeks.’ Yossarian found it pretty tough to understand him then, and he wondered once again if Orr wasn’t talking to him with the tip of his tongue in one of his apple cheeks.
   Yossarian decided not to utter another word. It would be futile. He knew Orr, and he knew there was not a chance in hell of finding out from him then why he had wanted big cheeks. It would do no more good to ask than it had done to ask him why that whore had kept beating him over the head with her shoe that morning in Rome in the cramped vestibule outside the open door of Nately’s whore’s kid sister’s room. She was a tall, strapping girl with long hair and incandescent blue veins converging populously beneath her cocoa-colored skin where the flesh was most tender, and she kept cursing and shrieking and jumping high up into the air on her bare feet to keep right on hitting him on the top of his head with the spiked heel of her shoe. They were both naked, and raising a rumpus that brought everyone in the apartment into the hall to watch, each couple in a bedroom doorway, all of them naked except the aproned and sweatered old woman, who clucked reprovingly, and the lecherous, dissipated old man, who cackled aloud hilariously through the whole episode with a kind of avid and superior glee. The girl shrieked and Orr giggled. Each time she landed with the heel of her shoe, Orr giggled louder, infuriating her still further so that she flew up still higher into the air for another shot at his noodle, her wondrously full breasts soaring all over the place like billowing pennants in a strong wind and her buttocks and strong thighs shim-sham-shimmying this way and that way like some horrifying bonanza. She shrieked and Orr giggled right up to the time she shrieked and knocked him cold with a good solid crack on the temple that made him stop giggling and sent him off to the hospital in a stretcher with a hole in his head that wasn’t very deep and a very mild concussion that kept him out of combat only twelve days.
   Nobody could find out what had happened, not even the cackling old man and clucking old woman, who were in a position to find out everything that happened in that vast and endless brothel with its multitudinous bedrooms on facing sides of the narrow hallways going off in opposite directions from the spacious sitting room with its shaded windows and single lamp. Every time she met Orr after that, she’d hoist her skirts up over her tight white elastic panties and, jeering coarsely, bulge her firm, round belly out at him, cursing him contemptuously and then roaring with husky laughter as she saw him giggle fearfully and take refuge behind Yossarian. Whatever he had done or tried to do or failed to do behind the closed door of Nately’s whore’s kid sister’s room was still a secret. The girl wouldn’t tell Nately’s whore or any of the other whores or Nately or Yossarian. Orr might tell, but Yossarian had decided not to utter another word.
   ‘Do you want to know why I wanted big cheeks?’ Orr asked.
   Yossarian kept his mouth shut.
   ‘Do you remember,’ Orr said, ‘that time in Rome when that girl who can’t stand you kept hitting me over the head with the heel of her shoe? Do you want to know why she was hitting me?’ It was still impossible to imagine what he could have done to make her angry enough to hammer him over the head for fifteen or twenty minutes, yet not angry enough to pick him up by the ankles and dash his brains out. She was certainly tall enough, and Orr was certainly short enough. Orr had buck teeth and bulging eyes to go with his big cheeks and was even smaller than young Huple, who lived on the wrong side of the railroad tracks in the tent in the administration area in which Hungry Joe lay screaming in his sleep every night.
   The administration area in which Hungry Joe had pitched his tent by mistake lay in the center of the squadron between the ditch, with its rusted railroad tracks, and the tilted black bituminous road. The men could pick up girls along that road if they promised to take them where they wanted to go, buxom, young, homely, grinning girls with missing teeth whom they could drive off the road and lie down in the wild grass with, and Yossarian did whenever he could, which was not nearly as often as Hungry Joe, who could get a jeep but couldn’t drive, begged him to try. The tents of the enlisted men in the squadron stood on the other side of the road alongside the open-air movie theater in which, for the daily amusement of the dying, ignorant armies clashed by night on a collapsible screen, and to which another U.S.O. troupe came that same afternoon.
   The U.S.O. troupes were sent by General P. P. Peckem, who had moved his headquarters up to Rome and had nothing better to do while he schemed against General Dreedle. General Peckem was a general with whom neatness definitely counted. He was a spry, suave and very precise general who knew the circumference of the equator and always wrote ‘enhanced’ when he meant ‘increased’. He was a prick, and no one knew this better than General Dreedle, who was incensed by General Peckem’s recent directive requiring all tents in the Mediterranean theater of operations to be pitched along parallel lines with entrances facing back proudly toward the Washington Monument. To General Dreedle, who ran a fighting outfit, it seemed a lot of crap. Furthermore, it was none of General Peckem’s goddam business how the tents in General Dreedle’s wing were pitched. There then followed a hectic jurisdictional dispute between these overlords that was decided in General Dreedle’s favor by ex-P.F.C. Wintergreen, mail clerk at Twenty-seventh Air Force Headquarters. Wintergreen determined the outcome by throwing all communications from General Peckem into the wastebasket. He found them too prolix. General Dreedle’s views, expressed in less pretentious literary style, pleased ex-P.F.C. Wintergreen and were sped along by him in zealous observance of regulations. General Dreedle was victorious by default.
   To regain whatever status he had lost, General Peckem began sending out more U.S.O. troupes than he had ever sent out before and assigned to Colonel Cargill himself the responsibility of generating enough enthusiasm for them.
   But there was no enthusiasm in Yossarian’s group. In Yossarian’s group there was only a mounting number of enlisted men and officers who found their way solemnly to Sergeant Towser several times a day to ask if the orders sending them home had come in. They were men who had finished their fifty missions. There were more of them now than when Yossarian had gone into the hospital, and they were still waiting. They worried and bit their nails. They were grotesque, like useless young men in a depression. They moved sideways, like crabs. They were waiting for the orders sending them home to safety to return from Twenty-seventh Air Force Headquarters in Italy, and while they waited they had nothing to do but worry and bite their nails and find their way solemnly to Sergeant Towser several times a day to ask if the order sending them home to safety had come.
   They were in a race and knew it, because they knew from bitter experience that Colonel Cathcart might raise the number of missions again at any time. They had nothing better to do than wait. Only Hungry Joe had something better to do each time he finished his missions. He had screaming nightmares and won fist fights with Huple’s cat. He took his camera to the front row of every U.S.O. show and tried to shoot pictures up the skirt of the yellow-headed singer with two big ones in a sequined dress that always seemed ready to burst. The pictures never came out.
   Colonel Cargill, General Peckem’s troubleshooter, was a forceful, ruddy man. Before the war he had been an alert, hardhitting, aggressive marketing executive. He was a very bad marketing executive. Colonel Cargill was so awful a marketing executive that his services were much sought after by firms eager to establish losses for tax purposes. Throughout the civilized world, from Battery Park to Fulton Street, he was known as a dependable man for a fast tax write-off. His prices were high, for failure often did not come easily. He had to start at the top and work his way down, and with sympathetic friends in Washington, losing money was no simple matter. It took months of hard work and careful misplanning. A person misplaced, disorganized, miscalculated, overlooked everything and opened every loophole, and just when he thought he had it made, the government gave him a lake or a forest or an oilfield and spoiled everything. Even with such handicaps, Colonel Cargill could be relied on to run the most prosperous enterprise into the ground. He was a self-made man who owed his lack of success to nobody.
   ‘Men,’ Colonel Cargill began in Yossarian’s squadron, measuring his pauses carefully. ‘You’re American officers. The officers of no other army in the world can make that statement. Think about it.’ Sergeant Knight thought about it and then politely informed Colonel Cargill that he was addressing the enlisted men and that the officers were to be found waiting for him on the other side of the squadron. Colonel Cargill thanked him crisply and glowed with self-satisfaction as he strode across the area. It made him proud to observe that twenty-nine months in the service had not blunted his genius for ineptitude.
   ‘Men,’ he began his address to the officers, measuring his pauses carefully. ‘You’re American officers. The officers of no other army in the world can make that statement. Think about it.’ He waited a moment to permit them to think about it. ‘These people are your guests!’ he shouted suddenly. ‘They’ve traveled over three thousand miles to entertain you. How are they going to feel if nobody wants to go out and watch them? What’s going to happen to their morale? Now, men, it’s no skin off my behind. But that girl that wants to play the accordion for you today is old enough to be a mother. How would you feel if your own mother traveled over three thousand miles to play the accordion for some troops that didn’t want to watch her? How is that kid whose mother that accordion player is old enough to be going to feel when he grows up and learns about it? We all know the answer to that one. Now, men, don’t misunderstand me. This is all voluntary, of course. I’d be the last colonel in the world to order you to go to that U.S.O. show and have a good time, but I want every one of you who isn’t sick enough to be in a hospital to go to that U.S.O. show right now and have a good time, and that’s an order!’ Yossarian did feel almost sick enough to go back into the hospital, and he felt even sicker three combat missions later when Doc Daneeka still shook his melancholy head and refused to ground him.
   ‘You think you’ve got troubles?’ Doc Daneeka rebuked him grievingly. ‘What about me? I lived on peanuts for eight years while I learned how to be a doctor. After the peanuts, I lived on chicken feed in my own office until I could build up a practice decent enough to even pay expenses. Then, just as the shop was finally starting to show a profit, they drafted me. I don’t know what you’re complaining about.’ Doc Daneeka was Yossarian’s friend and would do just about nothing in his power to help him. Yossarian listened very carefully as Doc Daneeka told him about Colonel Cathcart at Group, who wanted to be a general, about General Dreedle at Wing and General Dreedle’s nurse, and about all the other generals at Twenty-seventh Air Force Headquarters, who insisted on only forty missions as a completed tour of duty.
   ‘Why don’t you just smile and make the best of it?’ he advised Yossarian glumly. ‘Be like Havermeyer.’ Yossarian shuddered at the suggestion. Havermeyer was a lead bombardier who never took evasive action going in to the target and thereby increased the danger of all the men who flew in the same formation with him.
   ‘Havermeyer, why the hell don’t you ever take evasive action?’ they would demand in a rage after the mission.
   ‘Hey, you men leave Captain Havermeyer alone,’ Colonel Cathcart would order. ‘He’s the best damned bombardier we’ve got.’ Havermeyer grinned and nodded and tried to explain how he dumdummed the bullets with a hunting knife before he fired them at the field mice in his tent every night. Havermeyer was the best damned bombardier they had, but he flew straight and level all the way from the I.P. to the target, and even far beyond the target until he saw the falling bombs strike ground and explode in a darting spurt of abrupt orange that flashed beneath the swirling pall of smoke and pulverized debris geysering up wildly in huge, rolling waves of gray and black. Havermeyer held mortal men rigid in six planes as steady and still as sitting ducks while he followed the bombs all the way down through the plexiglass nose with deep interest and gave the German gunners below all the time they needed to set their sights and take their aim and pull their triggers or lanyards or switches or whatever the hell they did pull when they wanted to kill people they didn’t know.
   Havermeyer was a lead bombardier who never missed. Yossarian was a lead bombardier who had been demoted because he no longer gave a damn whether he missed or not. He had decided to live forever or die in the attempt, and his only mission each time he went up was to come down alive.
   The men had loved flying behind Yossarian, who used to come barreling in over the target from all directions and every height, climbing and diving and twisting and turning so steeply and sharply that it was all the pilots of the other five planes could do to stay in formation with him, leveling out only for the two or three seconds it took for the bombs to drop and then zooming off again with an aching howl of engines, and wrenching his flight through the air so violently as he wove his way through the filthy barrages of flak that the six planes were soon flung out all over the sky like prayers, each one a pushover for the German fighters, which was just fine with Yossarian, for there were no German fighters any more and he did not want any exploding planes near his when they exploded. Only when all the Sturm und Drang had been left far behind would he tip his flak helmet back wearily on his sweating head and stop barking directions to McWatt at the controls, who had nothing better to wonder about at a time like that than where the bombs had fallen.
   ‘Bomb bay clear,’ Sergeant Knight in the back would announce.
   ‘Did we hit the bridge?’ McWatt would ask.
   ‘I couldn’t see, sir, I kept getting bounced around back here pretty hard and I couldn’t see. Everything’s covered with smoke now and I can’t see.’
   ‘Hey, Aarfy, did the bombs hit the target?’
   ‘What target?’ Captain Aardvaark, Yossarian’s plump, pipe-smoking navigator, would say from the confusion of maps he had created at Yossarian’s side in the nose of the ship. ‘I don’t think we’re at the target yet. Are we?’
   ‘Yossarian, did the bombs hit the target?’
   ‘What bombs?’ answered Yossarian, whose only concern had been the flak.
   ‘Oh, well,’ McWatt would sing, ‘what the hell.’ Yossarian did not give a damn whether he hit the target or not, just as long as Havermeyer or one of the other lead bombardiers did and they never had to go back. Every now and then someone grew angry enough at Havermeyer to throw a punch at him.
   ‘I said you men leave Captain Havermeyer alone,’ Colonel Cathcart warned them all angrily. ‘I said he’s the best damned bombardier we’ve got, didn’t I?’ Havermeyer grinned at the colonel’s intervention and shoved another piece of peanut brittle inside his face.
   Havermeyer had grown very proficient at shooting field mice at night with the gun he had stolen from the dead man in Yossarian’s tent. His bait was a bar of candy and he would presight in the darkness as he sat waiting for the nibble with a finger of his other hand inside a loop of the line he had run from the frame of his mosquito net to the chain of the unfrosted light bulb overhead. The line was taut as a banjo string, and the merest tug would snap it on and blind the shivering quarry in a blaze of light. Havermeyer would chortle exultantly as he watched the tiny mammal freeze and roll its terrified eyes about in frantic search of the intruder. Havermeyer would wait until the eyes fell upon his own and then he laughed aloud and pulled the trigger at the same time, showering the rank, furry body all over the tent with a reverberating crash and dispatching its timid soul back to his or her Creator.
   Late one night, Havermeyer fired a shot at a mouse that brought Hungry Joe bolting out at him barefoot, ranting at the top of his screechy voice and emptying his own.45 into Havermeyer’s tent as he came charging down one side of the ditch and up the other and vanished all at once inside one of the slit trenches that had appeared like magic beside every tent the morning after Milo Minderbinder had bombed the squadron. It was just before dawn during the Great Big Siege of Bologna, when tongueless dead men peopled the night hours like living ghosts and Hungry Joe was half out of his mind because he had finished his missions again and was not scheduled to fly. Hungry Joe was babbling incoherently when they fished him out from the dank bottom of the slit trench, babbling of snakes, rats and spiders. The others flashed their searchlights down just to make sure. There was nothing inside but a few inches of stagnant rain water.
   ‘You see?’ cried Havermeyer. ‘I told you. I told you he was crazy, didn’t I?’
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Doc Daneeka

   Hungry Joe was crazy, and no one knew it better than Yossarian, who did everything he could to help him. Hungry Joe just wouldn’t listen to Yossarian. Hungry Joe just wouldn’t listen because he thought Yossarian was crazy.
   ‘Why should he listen to you?’ Doc Daneeka inquired of Yossarian without looking up.
   ‘Because he’s got troubles.’ Doc Daneeka snorted scornfully. ‘He thinks he’s got troubles? What about me?’ Doc Daneeka continued slowly with a gloomy sneer. ‘Oh, I’m not complaining. I know there’s a war on. I know a lot of people are going to have to suffer for us to win it. But why must I be one of them? Why don’t they draft some of these old doctors who keep shooting their kissers off in public about what big sacrifices the medical game stands ready to make? I don’t want to make sacrifices. I want to make dough.’ Doc Daneeka was a very neat, clean man whose idea of a good time was to sulk. He had a dark complexion and a small, wise, saturnine face with mournful pouches under both eyes. He brooded over his health continually and went almost daily to the medical tent to have his temperature taken by one of the two enlisted men there who ran things for him practically on their own, and ran it so efficiently that he was left with little else to do but sit in the sunlight with his stuffed nose and wonder what other people were so worried about. Their names were Gus and Wes and they had succeeded in elevating medicine to an exact science. All men reporting on sick call with temperatures above 102 were rushed to the hospital. All those except Yossarian reporting on sick call with temperatures below 102 had their gums and toes painted with gentian violet solution and were given a laxative to throw away into the bushes. All those reporting on a sick call with temperatures of exactly 102 were asked to return in an hour to have their temperatures taken again. Yossarian, with his temperature of 101, could go to the hospital whenever he wanted to because he was not afraid of them.
   The system worked just fine for everybody, especially for Doc Daneeka, who found himself with all the time he needed to watch old Major—de Coverley pitching horseshoes in his private horseshoe-pitching pit, still wearing the transparent eye patch Doc Daneeka had fashioned for him from the strip of celluloid stolen from Major Major’s orderly room window months before when Major—de Coverley had returned from Rome with an injured cornea after renting two apartments there for the officers and enlisted men to use on their rest leaves. The only time Doc Daneeka ever went to the medical tent was the time he began to feel he was a very sick man each day and stopped in just to have Gus and Wes look him over. They could never find anything wrong with him. His temperature was always 96.8, which was perfectly all right with them, as long as he didn’t mind. Doc Daneeka did mind. He was beginning to lose confidence in Gus and Wes and was thinking of having them both transferred back to the motor pool and replaced by someone who could find something wrong.
   Doc Daneeka was personally familiar with a number of things that were drastically wrong. In addition to his health, he worried about the Pacific Ocean and flight time. Health was something no one ever could be sure of for a long enough time. The Pacific Ocean was a body of water surrounded on all sides by elephantiasis and other dread diseases to which, if he ever displeased Colonel Cathcart by grounding Yossarian, he might suddenly find himself transferred. And flight time was the time he had to spend in airplane flight each month in order to get his flight pay. Doc Daneeka hated to fly. He felt imprisoned in an airplane. In an airplane there was absolutely no place in the world to go except to another part of the airplane. Doc Daneeka had been told that people who enjoyed climbing into an airplane were really giving vent to a subconscious desire to climb back into the womb. He had been told this by Yossarian, who made it possible for Dan Daneeka to collect his flight pay each month without ever climbing back into the womb. Yossarian would persuade McWatt to enter Doc Daneeka’s name on his flight log for training missions or trips to Rome.
   ‘You know how it is,’ Doc Daneeka had wheedled, with a sly, conspiratorial wink. ‘Why take chances when I don’t have to?’
   ‘Sure,’ Yossarian agreed.
   ‘What difference does it make to anyone if I’m in the plane or not?’
   ‘No difference.’
   ‘Sure, that’s what I mean,’ Doc Daneeka said. ‘A little grease is what makes this world go round. One hand washes the other. Know what I mean? You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.’ Yossarian knew what he meant.
   ‘That’s not what I meant,’ Doc Daneeka said, as Yossarian began scratching his back. ‘I’m talking about co-operation. Favors. You do a favor for me, I’ll do one for you. Get it?’
   ‘Do one for me,’ Yossarian requested.
   ‘Not a chance,’ Doc Daneeka answered.
   There was something fearful and minute about Doc Daneeka as he sat despondently outside his tent in the sunlight as often as he could, dressed in khaki summer trousers and a short-sleeved summer shirt that was bleached almost to an antiseptic gray by the daily laundering to which he had it subjected. He was like a man who had grown frozen with horror once and had never come completely unthawed. He sat all tucked up into himself, his slender shoulders huddled halfway around his head, his suntanned hands with their luminous silver fingernails massaging the backs of his bare, folded arms gently as though he were cold. Actually, he was a very warm, compassionate man who never stopped feeling sorry for himself.
   ‘Why me?’ was his constant lament, and the question was a good one.
   Yossarian knew it was a good one because Yossarian was a collector of good questions and had used them to disrupt the educational sessions Clevinger had once conducted two nights a week in Captain Black’s intelligence tent with the corporal in eyeglasses who everybody knew was probably a subversive. Captain Black knew he was a subversive because he wore eyeglasses and used words like panacea and utopia, and because he disapproved of Adolf Hitler, who had done such a great job of combating un-American activities in Germany. Yossarian attended the educational sessions because he wanted to find out why so many people were working so hard to kill him. A handful of other men were also interested, and the questions were many and good when Clevmger and the subversive corporal finished and made the mistake of asking if there were any.
   ‘Who is Spain?’
   ‘Why is Hitler?’
   ‘When is right?’
   ‘Where was that stooped and mealy-colored old man I used to call Poppa when the merry-go-round broke down?’
   ‘How was trump at Munich?’
   ‘Ho-ho beriberi.’ and ‘Balls!’ all rang out in rapid succession, and then there was Yossarian with the question that had no answer: ‘Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear?’ The question upset them, because Snowden had been killed over Avignon when Dobbs went crazy in mid-air and seized the controls away from Huple.
   The corporal played it dumb. ‘What?’ he asked.
   ‘Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear?’
   ‘I’m afraid I don’t understand.’
   ‘Où sont les Neigedens d’antan?’ Yossarian said to make it easier for him.
   ‘Parlez en anglais, for Christ’s sake,’ said the corporal. ‘Je ne parle pas français.’
   ‘Neither do I,’ answered Yossarian, who was ready to pursue him through all the words in the world to wring the knowledge from him if he could, but Clevinger intervened, pale, thin, and laboring for breath, a humid coating of tears already glistening in his undernourished eyes.
   Group Headquarters was alarmed, for there was no telling what people might find out once they felt free to ask whatever questions they wanted to. Colonel Cathcart sent Colonel Korn to stop it, and Colonel Korn succeeded with a rule governing the asking of questions. Colonel Korn’s rule was a stroke of genius, Colonel Korn explained in his report to Colonel Cathcart. Under Colonel Korn’s rule, the only people permitted to ask questions were those who never did. Soon the only people attending were those who never asked questions, and the sessions were discontinued altogether, since Clevinger, the corporal and Colonel Korn agreed that it was neither possible nor necessary to educate people who never questioned anything.
   Colonel Cathcart and Lieutenant Colonel Korn lived and worked in the Group Headquarters building, as did all the members of the headquarters staff, with the exception of the chaplain. The Group Headquarters building was an enormous, windy, antiquated structure built of powdery red stone and banging plumbing. Behind the building was the modern skeet-shooting range that had been constructed by Colonel Cathcart for the exclusive recreation of the officers at Group and at which every officer and enlisted man on combat status now, thanks to General Dreedle, had to spend a minimum of eight hours a month.
   Yossarian shot skeet, but never hit any. Appleby shot skeet and never missed. Yossarian was as bad at shooting skeet as he was at gambling. He could never win money gambling either. Even when he cheated he couldn’t win, because the people he cheated against were always better at cheating too. These were two disappointments to which he had resigned himself: he would never be a skeet shooter, and he would never make money.
   ‘It takes brains not to make money,’ Colonel Cargill wrote in one of the homiletic memoranda he regularly prepared for circulation over General Peckem’s signature. ‘Any fool can make money these days and most of them do. But what about people with talent and brains? Name, for example, one poet who makes money.’
   ‘T. S. Eliot,’ ex-P.F.C. Wintergreen said in his mail-sorting cubicle at Twenty-seventh Air Force Headquarters, and slammed down the telephone without identifying himself.
   Colonel Cargill, in Rome, was perplexed.
   ‘Who was it?’ asked General Peckem.
   ‘I don’t know,’ Colonel Cargill replied.
   ‘What did he want?’
   ‘I don’t know.’
   ‘Well, what did he say?’
   ‘"T. S. Eliot",’ Colonel Cargill informed him.
   ‘What’s that?’
   ‘"T. S. Eliot",’ Colonel Cargill repeated.
   ‘Just "T. S. —"‘
   ‘Yes, sir. That’s all he said. Just "T. S. Eliot."‘
   ‘I wonder what it means,’ General Peckem reflected. Colonel Cargill wondered, too.
   ‘T. S. Eliot,’ General Peckem mused.
   ‘T. S. Eliot,’ Colonel Cargill echoed with the same funereal puzzlement.
   General Peckem roused himself after a moment with an unctuous and benignant smile. His expression was shrewd and sophisticated. His eyes gleamed maliciously. ‘Have someone get me General Dreedle,’ he requested Colonel Cargill. ‘Don’t let him know who’s calling.’ Colonel Cargill handed him the phone.
   ‘T. S. Eliot,’ General Peckem said, and hung up.
   ‘Who was it?’ asked Colonel Moodus.
   General Dreedle, in Corsica, did not reply. Colonel Moodus was General Dreedle’s son-in-law, and General Dreedle, at the insistence of his wife and against his own better judgment, had taken him into the military business. General Dreedle gazed at Colonel Moodus with level hatred. He detested the very sight of his son-in-law, who was his aide and therefore in constant attendance upon him. He had opposed his daughter’s marriage to Colonel Moodus because he disliked attending weddings. Wearing a menacing and preoccupied scowl, General Dreedle moved to the full-length mirror in his office and stared at his stocky reflection. He had a grizzled, broad-browed head with iron-gray tufts over his eyes and a blunt and belligerent jaw. He brooded in ponderous speculation over the cryptic message he had just received. Slowly his face softened with an idea, and he curled his lips with wicked pleasure.
   ‘Get Peckem,’ he told Colonel Moodus. ‘Don’t let the bastard know who’s calling.’
   ‘Who was it?’ asked Colonel Cargill, back in Rome.
   ‘That same person,’ General Peckem replied with a definite trace of alarm. ‘Now he’s after me.’
   ‘What did he want?’
   ‘I don’t know.’
   ‘What did he say?’
   ‘The same thing.’
   ‘"T. S. Eliot"?’
   ‘Yes, "T. S. Eliot." That’s all he said.’ General Peckem had a hopeful thought. ‘Perhaps it’s a new code or something, like the colors of the day. Why don’t you have someone check with Communications and see if it’s a new code or something or the colors of the day?’ Communications answered that T. S. Eliot was not a new code or the colors of the day.
   Colonel Cargill had the next idea. ‘Maybe I ought to phone Twenty-seventh Air Force Headquarters and see if they know anything about it. They have a clerk up there named Wintergreen I’m pretty close to. He’s the one who tipped me off that our prose was too prolix.’ Ex-P.F.C. Wintergreen told Cargill that there was no record at Twenty-seventh Air Force Headquarters of a T. S. Eliot.
   ‘How’s our prose these days?’ Colonel Cargill decided to inquire while he had ex-P.F.C. Wintergreen on the phone. ‘It’s much better now, isn’t it?’
   ‘It’s still too prolix,’ ex-P.F.C. Wintergreen replied.
   ‘It wouldn’t surprise me if General Dreedle were behind the whole thing,’ General Peckem confessed at last. ‘Remember what he did to that skeet-shooting range?’ General Dreedle had thrown open Colonel Cathcart’s private skeet-shooting range to every officer and enlisted man in the group on combat duty. General Dreedle wanted his men to spend as much time out on the skeet-shooting range as the facilities and their flight schedule would allow. Shooting skeet eight hours a month was excellent training for them. It trained them to shoot skeet.
   Dunbar loved shooting skeet because he hated every minute of it and the time passed so slowly. He had figured out that a single hour on the skeet-shooting range with people like Havermeyer and Appleby could be worth as much as eleven-times-seventeen years.
   ‘I think you’re crazy,’ was the way Clevinger had responded to Dunbar ’s discovery.
   ‘Who wants to know?’ Dunbar answered.
   ‘I mean it,’ Clevinger insisted.
   ‘Who cares?’ Dunbar answered.
   ‘I really do. I’ll even go so far as to concede that life seems longer I—’
   ‘—is longer I—’
   ‘—is longer—Is longer? All right, is longer if it’s filled with periods of boredom and discomfort, b—’
   ‘Guess how fast?’ Dunbar said suddenly.
   ‘Huh?’
   ‘They go,’ Dunbar explained.
   ‘Years.’
   ‘Years.’
   ‘Years,’ said Dunbar. ‘Years, years, years.’
   ‘Clevinger, why don’t you let Dunbar alone?’ Yossarian broke in. ‘Don’t you realize the toll this is taking?’
   ‘It’s all right,’ said Dunbar magnanimously. ‘I have some decades to spare. Do you know how long a year takes when it’s going away?’
   ‘And you shut up also,’ Yossarian told Orr, who had begun to snigger.
   ‘I was just thinking about that girl,’ Orr said. ‘That girl in Sicily. That girl in Sicily with the bald head.’
   ‘You’d better shut up also,’ Yossarian warned him.
   ‘It’s your fault,’ Dunbar said to Yossarian. ‘Why don’t you let him snigger if he wants to? It’s better than having him talking.’
   ‘All right. Go ahead and snigger if you want to.’
   ‘Do you know how long a year takes when it’s going away?’ Dunbar repeated to Clevinger. ‘This long.’ He snapped his fingers. ‘A second ago you were stepping into college with your lungs full of fresh air. Today you’re an old man.’
   ‘Old?’ asked Clevinger with surprise. ‘What are you talking about?’
   ‘Old.’
   ‘I’m not old.’
   ‘You’re inches away from death every time you go on a mission. How much older can you be at your age? A half minute before that you were stepping into high school, and an unhooked brassiere was as close as you ever hoped to get to Paradise. Only a fifth of a second before that you were a small kid with a ten-week summer vacation that lasted a hundred thousand years and still ended too soon. Zip! They go rocketing by so fast. How the hell else are you ever going to slow time down?’ Dunbar was almost angry when he finished.
   ‘Well, maybe it is true,’ Clevinger conceded unwillingly in a subdued tone. ‘Maybe a long life does have to be filled with many unpleasant conditions if it’s to seem long. But in that event, who wants one?’
   ‘I do,’ Dunbar told him.
   ‘Why?’ Clevinger asked.
   ‘What else is there?’
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Pol Muškarac
Poruke Odustao od brojanja
Zastava 44°49′N - 20°29′E
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Chief White Halfoat

   Doc Daneeka lived in a splotched gray tent with Chief White Halfoat, whom he feared and despised.
   ‘I can just picture his liver,’ Doc Daneeka grumbled.
   ‘Picture my liver,’ Yossarian advised him.
   ‘There’s nothing wrong with your liver.’
   ‘That shows how much you don’t know,’ Yossarian bluffed, and told Doc Daneeka about the troublesome pain in his liver that had troubled Nurse Duckett and Nurse Cramer and all the doctors in the hospital because it wouldn’t become jaundice and wouldn’t go away.
   Doc Daneeka wasn’t interested. ‘You think you’ve got troubles?’ he wanted to know. ‘What about me? You should’ve been in my office the day those newlyweds walked in.’
   ‘What newlyweds?’
   ‘Those newlyweds that walked into my office one day. Didn’t I ever tell you about them? She was lovely.’ So was Doc Daneeka’s office. He had decorated his waiting room with goldfish and one of the finest suites of cheap furniture. Whatever he could he bought on credit, even the goldfish. For the rest, he obtained money from greedy relatives in exchange for shares of the profits. His office was in Staten Island in a two-family firetrap just four blocks away from the ferry stop and only one block south of a supermarket, three beauty parlors, and two corrupt druggists. It was a corner location, but nothing helped. Population turnover was small, and people clung through habit to the same physicians they had been doing business with for years. Bills piled up rapidly, and he was soon faced with the loss of his most precious medical instruments: his adding machine was repossessed, and then his typewriter. The goldfish died. Fortunately, just when things were blackest, the war broke out.
   ‘It was a godsend,’ Doc Daneeka confessed solemnly. ‘Most of the other doctors were soon in the service, and things picked up overnight. The corner location really started paying off, and I soon found myself handling more patients than I could handle competently. I upped my kickback fee with those two drugstores. The beauty parlors were good for two, three abortions a week. Things couldn’t have been better, and then look what happened. They had to send a guy from the draft board around to look me over. I was Four-F. I had examined myself pretty thoroughly and discovered that I was unfit for military service. You’d think my word would be enough, wouldn’t you, since I was a doctor in good standing with my county medical society and with my local Better Business Bureau. But no, it wasn’t, and they sent this guy around just to make sure I really did have one leg amputated at the hip and was helplessly bedridden with incurable rheumatoid arthritis. Yossarian, we live in an age of distrust and deteriorating spiritual values. It’s a terrible thing,’ Doc Daneeka protested in a voice quavering with strong emotion. ‘It’s a terrible thing when even the word of a licensed physician is suspected by the country he loves.’ Doc Daneeka had been drafted and shipped to Pianosa as a flight surgeon, even though he was terrified of flying.
   ‘I don’t have to go looking for trouble in an airplane,’ he noted, blinking his beady, brown, offended eyes myopically. ‘It comes looking for me. Like that virgin I’m telling you about that couldn’t have a baby.’
   ‘What virgin?’ Yossarian asked. ‘I thought you were telling me about some newlyweds.’
   ‘That’s the virgin I’m telling you about. They were just a couple of young kids, and they’d been married, oh, a little over a year when they came walking into my office without an appointment. You should have seen her. She was so sweet and young and pretty. She even blushed when I asked about her periods. I don’t think I’ll ever stop loving that girl. She was built like a dream and wore a chain around her neck with a medal of Saint Anthony hanging down inside the most beautiful bosom I never saw. "It must be a terrible temptation for Saint Anthony," I joked—just to put her at ease, you know. "Saint Anthony?" her husband said. "Who’s Saint Anthony?" "Ask your wife," I told him. "She can tell you who Saint Anthony is." "Who is Saint Anthony?" he asked her. "Who?" she wanted to know. "Saint Anthony," he told her. "Saint Anthony?" she said. "Who’s Saint Anthony?" When I got a good look at her inside my examination room I found she was still a virgin. I spoke to her husband alone while she was pulling her girdle back on and hooking it onto her stockings. "Every night," he boasted. A real wise guy, you know. "I never miss a night," he boasted. He meant it, too. "I even been puttin’ it to her mornings before the breakfasts she makes me before we go to work," he boasted. There was only one explanation. When I had them both together again I gave them a demonstration of intercourse with the rubber models I’ve got in my office. I’ve got these rubber models in my office with all the reproductive organs of both sexes that I keep locked up in separate cabinets to avoid a scandal. I mean I used to have them. I don’t have anything any more, not even a practice. The only thing I have now is this low temperature that I’m really starting to worry about. Those two kids I’ve got working for me in the medical tent aren’t worth a damn as diagnosticians. All they know how to do is complain. They think they’ve got troubles? What about me? They should have been in my office that day with those two newlyweds looking at me as though I were telling them something nobody’d ever heard of before. You never saw anybody so interested. "You mean like this?" he asked me, and worked the models for himself awhile. You know, I can see where a certain type of person might get a big kick out of doing just that. "That’s it," I told him. "Now, you go home and try it my way for a few months and see what happens. Okay?" "Okay," they said, and paid me in cash without any argument. "Have a good time," I told them, and they thanked me and walked out together. He had his arm around her waist as though he couldn’t wait to get her home and put it to her again. A few days later he came back all by himself and told my nurse he had to see me right away. As soon as we were alone, he punched me in the nose.’
   ‘He did what?’
   ‘He called me a wise guy and punched me in the nose. "What are you, a wise guy?" he said, and knocked me flat on my ass. Pow! Just like that. I’m not kidding.’
   ‘I know you’re not kidding,’ Yossarian said. ‘But why did he do it?’
   ‘How should I know why he did it?’ Doc Daneeka retorted with annoyance.
   ‘Maybe it had something to do with Saint Anthony?’ Doc Daneeka looked at Yossarian blankly. ‘Saint Anthony?’ he asked with astonishment. ‘Who’s Saint Anthony?’
   ‘How should I know?’ answered Chief White Halfoat, staggering inside the tent just then with a bottle of whiskey cradled in his arm and sitting himself down pugnaciously between the two of them.
   Doc Daneeka rose without a word and moved his chair outside the tent, his back bowed by the compact kit of injustices that was his perpetual burden. He could not bear the company of his roommate.
   Chief White Halfoat thought he was crazy. ‘I don’t know what’s the matter with that guy,’ he observed reproachfully. ‘He’s got no brains, that’s what’s the matter with him. If he had any brains he’d grab a shovel and start digging. Right here in the tent, he’d start digging, right under my cot. He’d strike oil in no time. Don’t he know how that enlisted man struck oil with a shovel back in the States? Didn’t he ever hear what happened to that kid—what was the name of that rotten rat bastard pimp of a snotnose back in Colorado?’
   ‘Wintergreen.’
   ‘Wintergreen.’
   ‘He’s afraid,’ Yossarian explained.
   ‘Oh, no. Not Wintergreen.’ Chief White Halfoat shook his head with undisguised admiration. ‘That stinking little punk wise-guy son of a bitch ain’t afraid of nobody.’
   ‘Doc Daneeka’s afraid. That’s what’s the matter with him.’
   ‘What’s he afraid of?’
   ‘He’s afraid of you,’ Yossarian said. ‘He’s afraid you’re going to die of pneumonia.’
   ‘He’d better be afraid,’ Chief White Halfoat said. A deep, low laugh rumbled through his massive chest. ‘I will, too, the first chance I get. You just wait and see.’ Chief White Halfoat was a handsome, swarthy Indian from Oklahoma with a heavy, hard-boned face and tousled black hair, a half-blooded Cree from Enid who, for occult reasons of his own, had made up his mind to die of pneumonia. He was a glowering, vengeful, disillusioned Indian who hated foreigners with names like Cathcart, Korn, Black and Havermeyer and wished they’d all go back to where their lousy ancestors had come from.
   ‘You wouldn’t believe it, Yossarian,’ he ruminated, raising his voice deliberately to bait Doc Daneeka, ‘but this used to be a pretty good country to live in before they loused it up with their goddam piety.’ Chief White Halfoat was out to revenge himself upon the white man. He could barely read or write and had been assigned to Captain Black as assistant intelligence officer.
   ‘How could I learn to read or write?’ Chief White Halfoat demanded with simulated belligerence, raising his voice again so that Doc Daneeka would hear. ‘Every place we pitched our tent, they sank an oil well. Every time they sank a well, they hit oil. And every time they hit oil, they made us pack up our tent and go someplace else. We were human divining rods. Our whole family had a natural affinity for petroleum deposits, and soon every oil company in the world had technicians chasing us around. We were always on the move. It was one hell of a way to bring a child up, I can tell you. I don’t think I ever spent more than a week in one place.’ His earliest memory was of a geologist.
   ‘Every time another White Halfoat was born,’ he continued, ‘the stock market turned bullish. Soon whole drilling crews were following us around with all their equipment just to get the jump on each other. Companies began to merge just so they could cut down on the number of people they had to assign to us. But the crowd in back of us kept growing. We never got a good night’s sleep. When we stopped, they stopped. When we moved, they moved, chuckwagons, bulldozers, derricks, generators. We were a walking business boom, and we began to receive invitations from some of the best hotels just for the amount of business we would drag into town with us. Some of those invitations were mighty generous, but we couldn’t accept any because we were Indians and all the best hotels that were inviting us wouldn’t accept Indians as guests. Racial prejudice is a terrible thing, Yossarian. It really is. It’s a terrible thing to treat a decent, loyal Indian like a nigger, kike, wop or spic.’ Chief White Halfoat nodded slowly with conviction.
   ‘Then, Yossarian, it finally happened—the beginning of the end. They began to follow us around from in front. They would try to guess where we were going to stop next and would begin drilling before we even got there, so we couldn’t stop. As soon as we’d begin to unroll our blankets, they would kick us off. They had confidence in us. They wouldn’t even wait to strike oil before they kicked us off. We were so tired we almost didn’t care the day our time ran out. One morning we found ourselves completely surrounded by oilmen waiting for us to come their way so they could kick us off. Everywhere you looked there was an oilman on a ridge, waiting there like Indians getting ready to attack. It was the end. We couldn’t stay where we were because we had just been kicked off. And there was no place left for us to go. Only the Army saved me. Luckily, the war broke out just in the nick of time, and a draft board picked me right up out of the middle and put me down safely in Lowery Field, Colorado. I was the only survivor.’ Yossarian knew he was lying, but did not interrupt as Chief White Halfoat went on to claim that he had never heard from his parents again. That didn’t bother him too much, though, for he had only their word for it that they were his parents, and since they had lied to him about so many other things, they could just as well have been lying to him about that too. He was much better acquainted with the fate of a tribe of first cousins who had wandered away north in a diversionary movement and pushed inadvertently into Canada. When they tried to return, they were stopped at the border by American immigration authorities who would not let them back into the country. They could not come back in because they were red.
   It was a horrible joke, but Doc Daneeka didn’t laugh until Yossarian came to him one mission later and pleaded again, without any real expectation of success, to be grounded. Doc Daneeka snickered once and was soon immersed in problems of his own, which included Chief White Halfoat, who had been challenging him all that morning to Indian wrestle, and Yossarian, who decided right then and there to go crazy.
   ‘You’re wasting your time,’ Doc Daneeka was forced to tell him.
   ‘Can’t you ground someone who’s crazy?’
   ‘Oh, sure. I have to. There’s a rule saying I have to ground anyone who’s crazy.’
   ‘Then why don’t you ground me? I’m crazy. Ask Clevinger.’
   ‘Clevinger? Where is Clevinger? You find Clevinger and I’ll ask him.’
   ‘Then ask any of the others. They’ll tell you how crazy I am.’
   ‘They’re crazy.’
   ‘Then why don’t you ground them?’
   ‘Why don’t they ask me to ground them?’
   ‘Because they’re crazy, that’s why.’
   ‘Of course they’re crazy,’ Doc Daneeka replied. ‘I just told you they’re crazy, didn’t I? And you can’t let crazy people decide whether you’re crazy or not, can you?’ Yossarian looked at him soberly and tried another approach. ‘Is Orr crazy?’
   ‘He sure is,’ Doc Daneeka said.
   ‘Can you ground him?’
   ‘I sure can. But first he has to ask me to. That’s part of the rule.’
   ‘Then why doesn’t he ask you to?’
   ‘Because he’s crazy,’ Doc Daneeka said. ‘He has to be crazy to keep flying combat missions after all the close calls he’s had. Sure, I can ground Orr. But first he has to ask me to.’
   ‘That’s all he has to do to be grounded?’
   ‘That’s all. Let him ask me.’
   ‘And then you can ground him?’ Yossarian asked.
   ‘No. Then I can’t ground him.’
   ‘You mean there’s a catch?’
   ‘Sure there’s a catch,’ Doc Daneeka replied. ‘Catch-22. Anyone who wants to get out of combat duty isn’t really crazy.’ There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one’s own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn’t, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn’t have to; but if he didn’t want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.
   ‘That’s some catch, that Catch-22,’ he observed.
   ‘It’s the best there is,’ Doc Daneeka agreed.
   Yossarian saw it clearly in all its spinning reasonableness. There was an elliptical precision about its perfect pairs of parts that was graceful and shocking, like good modern art, and at times Yossarian wasn’t quite sure that he saw it at all, just the way he was never quite sure about good modern art or about the flies Orr saw in Appleby’s eyes. He had Orr’s word to take for the flies in Appleby’s eyes.
   ‘Oh, they’re there, all right,’ Orr had assured him about the flies in Appleby’s eyes after Yossarian’s fist fight with Appleby in the officers’ club, ‘although he probably doesn’t even know it. That’s why he can’t see things as they really are.’
   ‘How come he doesn’t know it?’ inquired Yossarian.
   ‘Because he’s got flies in his eyes,’ Orr explained with exaggerated patience. ‘How can he see he’s got flies in his eyes if he’s got flies in his eyes?’ It made as much sense as anything else, and Yossarian was willing to give Orr the benefit of the doubt because Orr was from the wilderness outside New York City and knew so much more about wildlife than Yossarian did, and because Orr, unlike Yossarian’s mother, father, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, in-law, teacher, spiritual leader, legislator, neighbor and newspaper, had never lied to him about anything crucial before. Yossarian had mulled his newfound knowledge about Appleby over in private for a day or two and then decided, as a good deed, to pass the word along to Appleby himself.
   ‘Appleby, you’ve got flies in your eyes,’ he whispered helpfully as they passed by each other in the doorway of the parachute tent on the day of the weekly milk run to Parma.
   ‘What?’ Appleby responded sharply, thrown into confusion by the fact that Yossarian had spoken to him at all.
   ‘You’ve got flies in your eyes,’ Yossarian repeated. ‘That’s probably why you can’t see them.’ Appleby retreated from Yossarian with a look of loathing bewilderment and sulked in silence until he was in the jeep with Havermeyer riding down the long, straight road to the briefing room, where Major Danby, the fidgeting group operations officer, was waiting to conduct the preliminary briefing with all the lead pilots, bombardiers and navigators. Appleby spoke in a soft voice so that he would not be heard by the driver or by Captain Black, who was stretched out with his eyes closed in the front seat of the jeep.
   ‘Havermeyer,’ he asked hesitantly. ‘Have I got flies in my eyes?’ Havermeyer blinked quizzically. ‘Sties?’ he asked.
   ‘No, flies,’ he was told.
   Havermeyer blinked again. ‘Flies?’
   ‘In my eyes.’
   ‘You must be crazy,’ Havermeyer said.
   ‘No, I’m not crazy. Yossarian’s crazy. Just tell me if I’ve got flies in my eyes or not. Go ahead. I can take it.’ Havermeyer popped another piece of peanut brittle into his mouth and peered very closely into Appleby’s eyes.
   ‘I don’t see any,’ he announced.
   Appleby heaved an immense sigh of relief. Havermeyer had tiny bits of peanut brittle adhering to his lips, chin and cheeks.
   ‘You’ve got peanut brittle crumbs on your face,’ Appleby remarked to him.
   ‘I’d rather have peanut brittle crumbs on my face than flies in my eyes,’ Havermeyer retorted.
   The officers of the other five planes in each flight arrived in trucks for the general briefing that took place thirty minutes later. The three enlisted men in each crew were not briefed at all, but were carried directly out on the airfield to the separate planes in which they were scheduled to fly that day, where they waited around with the ground crew until the officers with whom they had been scheduled to fly swung off the rattling tailgates of the trucks delivering them and it was time to climb aboard and start up. Engines rolled over disgruntedly on lollipop-shaped hardstands, resisting first, then idling smoothly awhile, and then the planes lumbered around and nosed forward lamely over the pebbled ground like sightless, stupid, crippled things until they taxied into the line at the foot of the landing strip and took off swiftly, one behind the other, in a zooming, rising roar, banking slowly into formation over mottled treetops, and circling the field at even speed until all the flights of six had been formed and then setting course over cerulean water on the first leg of the journey to the target in northern Italy or France. The planes gained altitude steadily and were above nine thousand feet by the time they crossed into enemy territory. One of the surprising things always was the sense of calm and utter silence, broken only by the test rounds fired from the machine guns, by an occasional toneless, terse remark over the intercom, and, at last, by the sobering pronouncement of the bombardier in each plane that they were at the I.P. and about to turn toward the target. There was always sunshine, always a tiny sticking in the throat from the rarefied air.
   The B-25s they flew in were stable, dependable, dull-green ships with twin rudders and engines and wide wings. Their single fault, from where Yossarian sat as a bombardier, was the tight crawlway separating the bombardier’s compartment in the plexiglass nose from the nearest escape hatch. The crawlway was a narrow, square, cold tunnel hollowed out beneath the flight controls, and a large man like Yossarian could squeeze through only with difficulty. A chubby, moon-faced navigator with little reptilian eyes and a pipe like Aarfy’s had trouble, too, and Yossarian used to chase him back from the nose as they turned toward the target, now minutes away. There was a time of tension then, a time of waiting with nothing to hear and nothing to see and nothing to do but wait as the antiaircraft guns below took aim and made ready to knock them all sprawling into infinite sleep if they could.
   The crawlway was Yossarian’s lifeline to outside from a plane about to fall, but Yossarian swore at it with seething antagonism, reviled it as an obstacle put there by providence as part of the plot that would destroy him. There was room for an additional escape hatch right there in the nose of a B-25, but there was no escape hatch. Instead there was the crawlway, and since the mess on the mission over Avignon he had learned to detest every mammoth inch of it, for it slung him seconds and seconds away from his parachute, which was too bulky to be taken up front with him, and seconds and seconds more after that away from the escape hatch on the floor between the rear of the elevated flight deck and the feet of the faceless top turret gunner mounted high above. Yossarian longed to be where Aarfy could be once Yossarian had chased him back from the nose; Yossarian longed to sit on the floor in a huddled ball right on top of the escape hatch inside a sheltering igloo of extra flak suits that he would have been happy to carry along with him, his parachute already hooked to his harness where it belonged, one fist clenching the red-handled rip cord, one fist gripping the emergency hatch release that would spill him earthward into the air at the first dreadful squeal of destruction. That was where he wanted to be if he had to be there at all, instead of hung out there in front like some goddam cantilevered goldfish in some goddam cantilevered goldfish bowl while the goddam foul black tiers of flak were bursting and booming and billowing all around and above and below him in a climbing, cracking, staggered, banging, phantasmagorical, cosmological wickedness that jarred and tossed and shivered, clattered and pierced, and threatened to annihilate them all in one splinter of a second in one vast flash of fire.
   Aarfy had been no use to Yossarian as a navigator or as anything else, and Yossarian drove him back from the nose vehemently each time so that they would not clutter up each other’s way if they had to scramble suddenly for safety. Once Yossarian had driven him back from the nose, Aarfy was free to cower on the floor where Yossarian longed to cower, but he stood bolt upright instead with his stumpy arms resting comfortably on the backs of the pilot’s and co-pilot’s seats, pipe in hand, making affable small talk to McWatt and whoever happened to be co-pilot and pointing out amusing trivia in the sky to the two men, who were too busy to be interested. McWatt was too busy responding at the controls to Yossarian’s strident instructions as Yossarian slipped the plane in on the bomb run and then whipped them all away violently around the ravenous pillars of exploding shells with curt, shrill, obscene commands to McWatt that were much like the anguished, entreating nightmare yelpings of Hungry Joe in the dark. Aarfy would puff reflectively on his pipe throughout the whole chaotic clash, gazing with unruffled curiosity at the war through McWatt’s window as though it were a remote disturbance that could not affect him. Aarfy was a dedicated fraternity man who loved cheerleading and class reunions and did not have brains enough to be afraid. Yossarian did have brains enough and was, and the only thing that stopped him from abandoning his post under fire and scurrying back through the crawlway like a yellow-bellied rat was his unwillingness to entrust the evasive action out of the target area to anybody else. There was nobody else in the world he would honor with so great a responsibility. There was nobody else he knew who was as big a coward. Yossarian was the best man in the group at evasive action, but had no idea why.
   There was no established procedure for evasive action. All you needed was fear, and Yossarian had plenty of that, more fear than Orr or Hungry Joe, more fear than Dunbar, who had resigned himself submissively to the idea that he must die someday. Yossarian had not resigned himself to that idea, and he bolted for his life wildly on each mission the instant his bombs were away, hollering, ‘Hard, hard, hard, hard, you bastard, hard!’ at McWatt and hating McWatt viciously all the time as though McWatt were to blame for their being up there at all to be rubbed out by strangers, and everybody else in the plane kept off the intercom, except for the pitiful time of the mess on the mission to Avignon when Dobbs went crazy in mid-air and began weeping pathetically for help.
   ‘Help him, help him,’ Dobbs sobbed. ‘Help him, help him.’
   ‘Help who? Help who?’ called back Yossarian, once he had plugged his headset back into the intercom system, after it had been jerked out when Dobbs wrested the controls away from Huple and hurled them all down suddenly into the deafening, paralyzing, horrifying dive which had plastered Yossarian helplessly to the ceiling of the plane by the top of his head and from which Huple had rescued them just in time by seizing the controls back from Dobbs and leveling the ship out almost as suddenly right back in the middle of the buffeting layer of cacophonous flak from which they had escaped successfully only a moment before. Oh, God! Oh, God, oh, God, Yossarian had been pleading wordlessly as he dangled from the ceiling of the nose of the ship by the top of his head, unable to move.
   ‘The bombardier, the bombardier,’ Dobbs answered in a cry when Yossarian spoke. ‘He doesn’t answer, he doesn’t answer. Help the bombardier, help the bombardier.’
   ‘I’m the bombardier,’ Yossarian cried back at him. ‘I’m the bombardier. I’m all right. I’m all right.’
   ‘Then help him, help him,’ Dobbs begged. ‘Help him, help him.’ And Snowden lay dying in back.
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Hungry Joe

   Hungry Joe did have fifty missions, but they were no help. He had his bags packed and was waiting again to go home. At night he had eerie, ear-splitting nightmares that kept everyone in the squadron awake but Huple, the fifteen-year-old pilot who had lied about his age to get into the Army and lived with his pet cat in the same tent with Hungry Joe. Huple was a light sleeper, but claimed he never heard Hungry Joe scream. Hungry Joe was sick.
   ‘So what?’ Doc Daneeka snarled resentfully. ‘I had it made, I tell you. Fifty grand a year I was knocking down, and almost all of it tax-free, since I made my customers pay me in cash. I had the strongest trade association in the world backing me up. And look what happened. Just when I was all set to really start stashing it away, they had to manufacture fascism and start a war horrible enough to affect even me. I gotta laugh when I hear someone like Hungry Joe screaming his brains out every night. I really gotta laugh. He’s sick? How does he think I feel?’ Hungry Joe was too firmly embedded in calamities of his own to care how Doc Daneeka felt. There were the noises, for instance. Small ones enraged him and he hollered himself hoarse at Aarfy for the wet, sucking sounds he made puffing on his pipe, at Orr for tinkering, at McWatt for the explosive snap he gave each card he turned over when he dealt at blackjack or poker, at Dobbs for letting his teeth chatter as he went blundering clumsily about bumping into things. Hungry Joe was a throbbing, ragged mass of motile irritability. The steady ticking of a watch in a quiet room crashed like torture against his unshielded brain.
   ‘Listen, kid,’ he explained harshly to Huple very late one evening, ‘if you want to live in this tent, you’ve got to do like I do. You’ve got to roll your wrist watch up in a pair of wool socks every night and keep it on the bottom of your foot locker on the other side of the room.’ Huple thrust his jaw out defiantly to let Hungry Joe know he couldn’t be pushed around and then did exactly as he had been told.
   Hungry Joe was a jumpy, emaciated wretch with a fleshless face of dingy skin and bone and twitching veins squirming subcutaneously in the blackened hollows behind his eyes like severed sections of snake. It was a desolate, cratered face, sooty with care like an abandoned mining town. Hungry Joe ate voraciously, gnawed incessantly at the tips of his fingers, stammered, choked, itched, sweated, salivated, and sprang from spot to spot fanatically with an intricate black camera with which he was always trying to take pictures of naked girls. They never came out. He was always forgetting to put film in the camera or turn on lights or remove the cover from the lens opening. It wasn’t easy persuading naked girls to pose, but Hungry Joe had the knack.
   ‘Me big man,’ he would shout. ‘Me big photographer from Life magazine. Big picture on heap big cover. Si, si, si! Hollywood star. Multi dinero. Multi divorces. Multi ficky-fick all day long.’ Few women anywhere could resist such wily cajolery, and prostitutes would spring to their feet eagerly and hurl themselves into whatever fantastic poses he requested for them. Women killed Hungry Joe. His response to them as sexual beings was one of frenzied worship and idolatry. They were lovely, satisfying, maddening manifestations of the miraculous, instruments of pleasure too powerful to be measured, too keen to be endured, and too exquisite to be intended for employment by base, unworthy man. He could interpret their naked presence in his hands only as a cosmic oversight destined to be rectified speedily, and he was driven always to make what carnal use of them he could in the fleeting moment or two he felt he had before Someone caught wise and whisked them away. He could never decide whether to furgle them or photograph them, for he had found it impossible to do both simultaneously. In fact, he was finding it almost impossible to do either, so scrambled were his powers of performance by the compulsive need for haste that invariably possessed him. The pictures never came out, and Hungry Joe never got in. The odd thing was that in civilian life Hungry Joe really had been a photographer for Life magazine.
   He was a hero now, the biggest hero the Air Force had, Yossarian felt, for he had flown more combat tours of duty than any other hero the Air Force had. He had flown six combat tours of duty. Hungry Joe had finished flying his first combat tour of duty when twenty-five missions were all that were necessary for him to pack his bags, write happy letters home and begin hounding Sergeant Towser humorously for the arrival of the orders rotating him back to the States. While he waited, he spent each day shuffling rhythmically around the entrance of the operations tent, making boisterous wisecracks to everybody who came by and jocosely calling Sergeant Towser a lousy son of a bitch every time Sergeant Towser popped out of the orderly room.
   Hungry Joe had finished flying his first twenty-five missions during the week of the Salerno beachhead, when Yossarian was laid up in the hospital with a burst of clap he had caught on a low-level mission over a Wac in bushes on a supply flight to Marrakech. Yossarian did his best to catch up with Hungry Joe and almost did, flying six missions in six days, but his twenty-third mission was to Arezzo, where Colonel Nevers was killed, and that was as close as he had ever been able to come to going home. The next day Colonel Cathcart was there, brimming with tough pride in his new outfit and celebrating his assumption of command by raising the number of missions required from twenty-five to thirty. Hungry Joe unpacked his bags and rewrote the happy letters home. He stopped hounding Sergeant Towser humorously. He began hating Sergeant Towser, focusing all blame upon him venomously, even though he knew Sergeant Towser had nothing to do with the arrival of Colonel Cathcart or the delay in the processing of shipping orders that might have rescued him seven days earlier and five times since.
   Hungry Joe could no longer stand the strain of waiting for shipping orders and crumbled promptly into ruin every time he finished another tour of duty. Each time he was taken off combat status, he gave a big party for the little circle of friends he had. He broke out the bottles of bourbon he had managed to buy on his four-day weekly circuits with the courier plane and laughed, sang, shuffled and shouted in a festival of inebriated ecstasy until he could no longer keep awake and receded peacefully into slumber. As soon as Yossarian, Nately and Dunbar put him to bed he began screaming in his sleep. In the morning he stepped from his tent looking haggard, fearful and guilt-ridden, an eaten shell of a human building rocking perilously on the brink of collapse.
   The nightmares appeared to Hungry Joe with celestial punctuality every single night he spent in the squadron throughout the whole harrowing ordeal when he was not flying combat missions and was waiting once again for the orders sending him home that never came. Impressionable men in the squadron like Dobbs and Captain Flume were so deeply disturbed by Hungry Joe’s shrieking nightmares that they would begin to have shrieking nightmares of their own, and the piercing obscenities they flung into the air every night from their separate places in the squadron rang against each other in the darkness romantically like the mating calls of songbirds with filthy minds. Colonel Korn acted decisively to arrest what seemed to him to be the beginning of an unwholesome trend in Major Major’s squadron. The solution he provided was to have Hungry Joe fly the courier ship once a week, removing him from the squadron for four nights, and the remedy, like all Colonel Korn’s remedies, was successful.
   Every time Colonel Cathcart increased the number of missions and returned Hungry Joe to combat duty, the nightmares stopped and Hungry Joe settled down into a normal state of terror with a smile of relief. Yossarian read Hungry Joe’s shrunken face like a headline. It was good when Hungry Joe looked bad and terrible when Hungry Joe looked good. Hungry Joe’s inverted set of responses was a curious phenomenon to everyone but Hungry Joe, who denied the whole thing stubbornly.
   ‘Who dreams?’ he answered, when Yossarian asked him what he dreamed about.
   ‘Joe, why don’t you go see Doc Daneeka?’ Yossarian advised.
   ‘Why should I go see Doc Daneeka? I’m not sick.’
   ‘What about your nightmares?’
   ‘I don’t have nightmares,’ Hungry Joe lied.
   ‘Maybe he can do something about them.’
   ‘There’s nothing wrong with nightmares,’ Hungry Joe answered. ‘Everybody has nightmares.’ Yossarian thought he had him. ‘Every night?’ he asked.
   ‘Why not every night?’ Hungry Joe demanded.
   And suddenly it all made sense. Why not every night, indeed? It made sense to cry out in pain every night. It made more sense than Appleby, who was a stickler for regulations and had ordered Kraft to order Yossarian to take his Atabrine tablets on the flight overseas after Yossarian and Appleby had stopped talking to each other. Hungry Joe made more sense than Kraft, too, who was dead, dumped unceremoniously into doom over Ferrara by an exploding engine after Yossarian took his flight of six planes in over the target a second time. The group had missed the bridge at Ferrara again for the seventh straight day with the bombsight that could put bombs into a pickle barrel at forty thousand feet, and one whole week had already passed since Colonel Cathcart had volunteered to have his men destroy the bridge in twenty-four hours. Kraft was a skinny, harmless kid from Pennsylvania who wanted only to be liked, and was destined to be disappointed in even so humble and degrading an ambition. Instead of being liked, he was dead, a bleeding cinder on the barbarous pile whom nobody had heard in those last precious moments while the plane with one wing plummeted. He had lived innocuously for a little while and then had gone down in flame over Ferrara on the seventh day, while God was resting, when McWatt turned and Yossarian guided him in over the target on a second bomb run because Aarfy was confused and Yossarian had been unable to drop his bombs the first time.
   ‘I guess we do have to go back again, don’t we?’ McWatt had said somberly over the intercom.
   ‘I guess we do,’ said Yossarian.
   ‘Do we?’ said McWatt.
   ‘Yeah.’
   ‘Oh, well,’ sang McWatt, ‘what the hell.’ And back they had gone while the planes in the other flights circled safely off in the distance and every crashing cannon in the Hermann Goering Division below was busy crashing shells this time only at them.
   Colonel Cathcart had courage and never hesitated to volunteer his men for any target available. No target was too dangerous for his group to attack, just as no shot was too difficult for Appleby to handle on the ping-pong table. Appleby was a good pilot and a superhuman ping-pong player with flies in his eyes who never lost a point. Twenty-one serves were all it ever took for Appleby to disgrace another opponent. His prowess on the ping-pong table was legendary, and Appleby won every game he started until the night Orr got tipsy on gin and juice and smashed open Appleby’s forehead with his paddle after Appleby had smashed back each of Orr’s first five serves. Orr leaped on top of the table after hurling his paddle and came sailing off the other end in a running broad jump with both feet planted squarely in Appleby’s face. Pandemonium broke loose. It took almost a full minute for Appleby to disentangle himself from Orr’s flailing arms and legs and grope his way to his feet, with Orr held off the ground before him by the shirt front in one hand and his other arm drawn back in a fist to smite him dead, and at that moment Yossarian stepped forward and took Orr away from him. It was a night of surprises for Appleby, who was as large as Yossarian and as strong and who swung at Yossarian as hard as he could with a punch that flooded Chief White Halfoat with such joyous excitement that he turned and busted Colonel Moodus in the nose with a punch that filled General Dreedle with such mellow gratification that he had Colonel Cathcart throw the chaplain out of the officers’ club and ordered Chief White Halfoat moved into Doc Daneeka’s tent, where he could be under a doctor’s care twenty-four hours a day and be kept in good enough physical condition to bust Colonel Moodus in the nose again whenever General Dreedle wanted him to. Sometimes General Dreedle made special trips down from Wing Headquarters with Colonel Moodus and his nurse just to have Chief White Halfoat bust his son-in-law in the nose.
   Chief White Halfoat would much rather have remained in the trailer he shared with Captain Flume, the silent, haunted squadron public-relations officer who spent most of each evening developing the pictures he took during the day to be sent out with his publicity releases. Captain Flume spent as much of each evening as he could working in his darkroom and then lay down on his cot with his fingers crossed and a rabbit’s foot around his neck and tried with all his might to stay awake. He lived in mortal fear of Chief White Halfoat. Captain Flume was obsessed with the idea that Chief White Halfoat would tiptoe up to his cot one night when he was sound asleep and slit his throat open for him from ear to ear. Captain Flume had obtained this idea from Chief White Halfoat himself, who did tiptoe up to his cot one night as he was dozing off, to hiss portentously that one night when he, Captain Flume, was sound asleep he, Chief White Halfoat, was going to slit his throat open for him from ear to ear.
   Captain Flume turned to ice, his eyes, flung open wide, staring directly up into Chief White Halfoat’s, glinting drunkenly only inches away.
   ‘Why?’ Captain Flume managed to croak finally.
   ‘Why not?’ was Chief White Halfoat’s answer.
   Each night after that, Captain Flume forced himself to keep awake as long as possible. He was aided immeasurably by Hungry Joe’s nightmares. Listening so intently to Hungry Joe’s maniacal howling night after night, Captain Flume grew to hate him and began wishing that Chief White Halfoat would tiptoe up to his cot one night and slit his throat open for him from ear to ear. Actually, Captain Flume slept like a log most nights and merely dreamed he was awake. So convincing were these dreams of lying awake that he woke from them each morning in complete exhaustion and fell right back to sleep.
   Chief White Halfoat had grown almost fond of Captain Flume since his amazing metamorphosis. Captain Flume had entered his bed that night a buoyant extrovert and left it the next morning a brooding introvert, and Chief White Halfoat proudly regarded the new Captain Flume as his own creation. He had never intended to slit Captain Flume’s throat open for him from ear to ear. Threatening to do so was merely his idea of a joke, like dying of pneumonia, busting Colonel Moodus in the nose or challenging Doc Daneeka to Indian wrestle. All Chief White Halfoat wanted to do when he staggered in drunk each night was go right to sleep, and Hungry Joe often made that impossible. Hungry Joe’s nightmares gave Chief White Halfoat the heebie-jeebies, and he often wished that someone would tiptoe into Hungry Joe’s tent, lift Huple’s cat off his face and slit his throat open for him from ear to ear, so that everybody in the squadron but Captain Flume could get a good night’s sleep.
   Even though Chief White Halfoat kept busting Colonel Moodus in the nose for General Dreedle’s benefit, he was still outside the pale. Also outside the pale was Major Major, the squadron commander, who had found that out the same time he found out that he was squadron commander from Colonel Cathcart, who came blasting into the squadron in his hopped-up jeep the day after Major Duluth was killed over Perugia. Colonel Cathcart slammed to a screeching stop inches short of the railroad ditch separating the nose of his jeep from the lopsided basketball court on the other side, from which Major Major was eventually driven by the kicks and shoves and stones and punches of the men who had almost become his friends.
   ‘You’re the new squadron commander,’ Colonel Cathcart had bellowed across the ditch at him. ‘But don’t think it means anything, because it doesn’t. All it means is that you’re the new squadron commander.’ And Colonel Cathcart had roared away as abruptly as he’d come, whipping the jeep around with a vicious spinning of wheels that sent a spray of fine grit blowing into Major Major’s face. Major Major was immobilized by the news. He stood speechless, lanky and gawking, with a scuffed basketball in his long hands as the seeds of rancor sown so swiftly by Colonel Cathcart took root in the soldiers around him who had been playing basketball with him and who had let him come as close to making friends with them as anyone had ever let him come before. The whites of his moony eyes grew large and misty as his mouth struggled yearningly and lost against the familiar, impregnable loneliness drifting in around him again like suffocating fog.
   Like all the other officers at Group Headquarters except Major Danby, Colonel Cathcart was infused with the democratic spirit: he believed that all men were created equal, and he therefore spurned all men outside Group Headquarters with equal fervor. Nevertheless, he believed in his men. As he told them frequently in the briefing room, he believed they were at least ten missions better than any other outfit and felt that any who did not share this confidence he had placed in them could get the hell out. The only way they could get the hell out, though, as Yossarian learned when he flew to visit ex-P.F.C. Wintergreen, was by flying the extra ten missions.
   ‘I still don’t get it,’ Yossarian protested. ‘Is Doc Daneeka right or isn’t he?’
   ‘How many did he say?’
   ‘Forty.’
   ‘Daneeka was telling the truth,’ ex-P.F.C. Wintergreen admitted. ‘Forty missions is all you have to fly as far as Twenty-seventh Air Force Headquarters is concerned.’ Yossarian was jubilant. ‘Then I can go home, right? I’ve got forty-eight.’
   ‘No, you can’t go home,’ ex-P.F.C. Wintergreen corrected him. ‘Are you crazy or something?’
   ‘Why not?’
   ‘Catch-22.’
   ‘Catch-22?’ Yossarian was stunned. ‘What the hell has Catch-22 got to do with it?’
   ‘Catch-22,’ Doc Daneeka answered patiently, when Hungry Joe had flown Yossarian back to Pianosa, ‘says you’ve always got to do what your commanding officer tells you to.’
   ‘But Twenty-seventh Air Force says I can go home with forty missions.’
   ‘But they don’t say you have to go home. And regulations do say you have to obey every order. That’s the catch. Even if the colonel were disobeying a Twenty-seventh Air Force order by making you fly more missions, you’d still have to fly them, or you’d be guilty of disobeying an order of his. And then Twenty-seventh Air Force Headquarters would really jump on you.’ Yossarian slumped with disappointment. ‘Then I really have to fly the fifty missions, don’t I?’ he grieved.
   ‘The fifty-five,’ Doc Daneeka corrected him.
   ‘What fifty-five?’
   ‘The fifty-five missions the colonel now wants all of you to fly.’ Hungry Joe heaved a huge sigh of relief when he heard Doc Daneeka and broke into a grin. Yossarian grabbed Hungry Joe by the neck and made him fly them both right back to ex-P.F.C. Wintergreen.
   ‘What would they do to me,’ he asked in confidential tones, ‘if I refused to fly them?’
   ‘We’d probably shoot you,’ ex-P.F.C. Wintergreen replied.
   ‘We?’ Yossarian cried in surprise. ‘What do you mean, we? Since when are you on their side?’
   ‘If you’re going to be shot, whose side do you expect me to be on?’ ex-P.F.C. Wintergreen retorted.
   Yossarian winced. Colonel Cathcart had raised him again.
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Zodijak Gemini
Pol Muškarac
Poruke Odustao od brojanja
Zastava 44°49′N - 20°29′E
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McWatt

   Ordinarily, Yossarian’s pilot was McWatt, who, shaving in loud red, clean pajamas outside his tent each morning, was one of the odd, ironic, incomprehensible things surrounding Yossarian. McWatt was the craziest combat man of them all probably, because he was perfectly sane and still did not mind the war. He was a short-legged, wide-shouldered, smiling young soul who whistled bouncy show tunes continuously and turned over cards with sharp snaps when he dealt at blackjack or poker until Hungry Joe disintegrated into quaking despair finally beneath their cumulative impact and began ranting at him to stop snapping the cards.
   ‘You son of a bitch, you only do it because it hurts me,’ Hungry Joe would yell furiously, as Yossarian held him back soothingly with one hand. ‘That’s the only reason he does it, because he likes to hear me scream—you goddam son of a bitch!’ McWatt crinkled his fine, freckled nose apologetically and vowed not to snap the cards any more, but always forgot. McWatt wore fleecy bedroom slippers with his red pajamas and slept between freshly pressed colored bedsheets like the one Milo had retrieved half of for him from the grinning thief with the sweet tooth in exchange for none of the pitted dates Milo had borrowed from Yossarian. McWatt was deeply impressed with Milo, who, to the amusement of Corporal Snark, his mess sergeant, was already buying eggs for seven cents apiece and selling them for five cents. But McWatt was never as impressed with Milo as Milo had been with the letter Yossarian had obtained for his liver from Doc Daneeka.
   ‘What’s this?’ Milo had cried out in alarm, when he came upon the enormous corrugated carton filled with packages of dried fruit and cans of fruit juices and desserts that two of the Italian laborers Major—de Coverley had kidnaped for his kitchen were about to carry off to Yossarian’s tent.
   ‘This is Captain Yossarian, sir,’ said Corporal Snark with a superior smirk. Corporal Snark was an intellectual snob who felt he was twenty years ahead of his time and did not enjoy cooking down to the masses. ‘He has a letter from Doc Daneeka entitling him to all the fruit and fruit juices he wants.’
   ‘What’s this?’ cried out Yossarian, as Milo went white and began to sway.
   ‘This is Lieutenant Milo Minderbinder, sir,’ said Corporal Snark with a derisive wink. ‘One of our new pilots. He became mess officer while you were in the hospital this last time.’
   ‘What’s this?’ cried out McWatt, late in the afternoon, as Milo handed him half his bedsheet.
   ‘It’s half of the bedsheet that was stolen from your tent this morning,’ Milo explained with nervous self-satisfaction, his rusty mustache twitching rapidly. ‘I’ll bet you didn’t even know it was stolen.’
   ‘Why should anyone want to steal half a bedsheet?’ Yossarian asked.
   Milo grew flustered. ‘You don’t understand,’ he protested.
   And Yossarian also did not understand why Milo needed so desperately to invest in the letter from Doc Daneeka, which came right to the point. ‘Give Yossarian all the dried fruit and fruit juices he wants,’ Doc Daneeka had written. ‘He says he has a liver condition.’
   ‘A letter like this,’ Milo mumbled despondently, ‘could ruin any mess officer in the world.’ Milo had come to Yossarian’s tent just to read the letter again, following his carton of lost provisions across the squadron like a mourner. ‘I have to give you as much as you ask for. Why, the letter doesn’t even say you have to eat all of it yourself.’
   ‘And it’s a good thing it doesn’t,’ Yossarian told him, ‘because I never eat any of it. I have a liver condition.’
   ‘Oh, yes, I forgot,’ said Milo, in a voice lowered deferentially. ‘Is it bad?’
   ‘Just bad enough,’ Yossarian answered cheerfully.
   ‘I see,’ said Milo. ‘What does that mean?’
   ‘It means that it couldn’t be better…’
   ‘I don’t think I understand.’
   ‘…without being worse. Now do you see?’
   ‘Yes, now I see. But I still don’t think I understand.’
   ‘Well, don’t let it trouble you. Let it trouble me. You see, I don’t really have a liver condition. I’ve just got the symptoms. I have a Garnett-Fleischaker syndrome.’
   ‘I see,’ said Milo. ‘And what is a Garnett-Fleischaker syndrome?’
   ‘A liver condition.’
   ‘I see,’ said Milo, and began massaging his black eyebrows together wearily with an expression of interior pain, as though waiting for some stinging discomfort he was experiencing to go away. ‘In that case,’ he continued finally, ‘I suppose you do have to be very careful about what you eat, don’t you?.
   ‘Very careful indeed,’ Yossarian told him. ‘A good Garnett-Fleischaker syndrome isn’t easy to come by, and I don’t want to ruin mine. That’s why I never eat any fruit.’
   ‘Now I do see,’ said Milo. ‘Fruit is bad for your liver?’
   ‘No, fruit is good for my liver. That’s why I never eat any.’
   ‘Then what do you do with it?’ demanded Milo, plodding along doggedly through his mounting confusion to fling out the question burning on his lips. ‘Do you sell it?’
   ‘I give it away.’
   ‘To who?’ cried Milo, in a voice cracking with dismay.
   ‘To anyone who wants it,’ Yossarian shouted back.
   Milo let out a long, melancholy wail and staggered back, beads of perspiration popping out suddenly all over his ashen face. He tugged on his unfortunate mustache absently, his whole body trembling.
   ‘I give a great deal of it to Dunbar,’ Yossarian went on.
   ‘ Dunbar?’ Milo echoed numbly.
   ‘Yes. Dunbar can eat all the fruit he wants and it won’t do him a damned bit of good. I just leave the carton right out there in the open for anyone who wants any to come and help himself. Aarfy comes here to get prunes because he says he never gets enough prunes in the mess hall. You might look into that when you’ve got some time because it’s no fun having Aarfy hanging around here. Whenever the supply runs low I just have Corporal Snark fill me up again. Nately always takes a whole load of fruit along with him whenever he goes to Rome. He’s in love with a whore there who hates me and isn’t at all interested in him. She’s got a kid sister who never leaves them alone in bed together, and they live in an apartment with an old man and woman and a bunch of other girls with nice fat thighs who are always kidding around also. Nately brings them a whole cartonful every time he goes.’
   ‘Does he sell it to them?’
   ‘No, he gives it to them.’ Milo frowned. ‘Well, I suppose that’s very generous of him,’ he remarked with no enthusiasm.
   ‘Yes, very generous,’ Yossarian agreed.
   ‘And I’m sure it’s perfectly legal,’ said Milo, ‘since the food is yours once you get it from me. I suppose that with conditions as hard as they are, these people are very glad to get it.’
   ‘Yes, very glad,’ Yossarian assured him. ‘The two girls sell it all on the black market and use the money to buy flashy costume jewelry and cheap perfume.’ Milo perked up. ‘Costume jewelry!’ he exclaimed. ‘I didn’t know that. How much are they paying for cheap perfume?’
   ‘The old man uses his share to buy raw whiskey and dirty pictures. He’s a lecher.’
   ‘A lecher?’
   ‘You’d be surprised.’
   ‘Is there much of a market in Rome for dirty pictures?’ Milo asked.
   ‘You’d be surprised. Take Aarfy, for instance. Knowing him, you’d never suspect, would you?’
   ‘That he’s a lecher?’
   ‘No, that he’s a navigator. You know Captain Aardvaark, don’t you? He’s that nice guy who came up to you your first day in the squadron and said, "Aardvaark’s my name, and navigation is my game." He wore a pipe in his face and probably asked you what college you went to. Do you know him?’ Milo was paying no attention. ‘Let me be your partner,’ he blurted out imploringly.
   Yossarian turned him down, even though he had no doubt that the truckloads of fruit would be theirs to dispose of any way they saw fit once Yossarian had requisitioned them from the mess hall with Doc Daneeka’s letter. Milo was crestfallen, but from that moment on he trusted Yossarian with every secret but one, reasoning shrewdly that anyone who would not steal from the country he loved would not steal from anybody. Milo trusted Yossarian with every secret but the location of the holes in the hills in which he began burying his money once he returned from Smyrna with his planeload of figs and learned from Yossarian that a C.I.D. man had come to the hospital. To Milo, who had been gullible enough to volunteer for it, the position of mess officer was a sacred trust.
   ‘I didn’t even realize we weren’t serving enough prunes,’ he had admitted that first day. ‘I suppose it’s because I’m still so new. I’ll raise the question with my first chef.’ Yossarian eyed him sharply. ‘What first chef?’ he demanded. ‘You don’t have a first chef.’
   ‘Corporal Snark,’ Milo explained, looking away a little guiltily. ‘He’s the only chef I have, so he really is my first chef, although I hope to move him over to the administrative side. Corporal Snark tends to be a little too creative, I feel. He thinks being a mess sergeant is some sort of art form and is always complaining about having to prostitute his talents. Nobody is asking him to do any such thing! Incidentally, do you happen to know why he was busted to private and is only a corporal now?’
   ‘Yes,’ said Yossarian. ‘He poisoned the squadron.’ Milo went pale again. ‘He did what?’
   ‘He mashed hundreds of cakes of GI soap into the sweet potatoes just to show that people have the taste of Philistines and don’t know the difference between good and bad. Every man in the squadron was sick. Missions were canceled.’
   ‘Well!’ Milo exclaimed, with thin-upped disapproval. ‘He certainly found out how wrong he was, didn’t he?’
   ‘On the contrary,’ Yossarian corrected. ‘He found out how right he was. We packed it away by the plateful and clamored for more. We all knew we were sick, but we had no idea we’d been poisoned.’ Milo sniffed in consternation twice, like a shaggy brown hare. ‘In that case, I certainly do want to get him over to the administrative side. I don’t want anything like that happening while I’m in charge. You see,’ he confided earnestly, ‘what I hope to do is give the men in this squadron the best meals in the whole world. That’s really something to shoot at, isn’t it? If a mess officer aims at anything less, it seems to me, he has no right being mess officer. Don’t you agree?’ Yossarian turned slowly to gaze at Milo with probing distrust. He saw a simple, sincere face that was incapable of subtlety or guile, an honest, frank face with disunited large eyes, rusty hair, black eyebrows and an unfortunate reddish-brown mustache. Milo had a long, thin nose with sniffing, damp nostrils heading sharply off to the right, always pointing away from where the rest of him was looking. It was the face of a man of hardened integrity who could no more consciously violate the moral principles on which his virtue rested than he could transform himself into a despicable toad. One of these moral principles was that it was never a sin to charge as much as the traffic would bear. He was capable of mighty paroxysms of righteous indignation, and he was indignant as could be when he learned that a C.I.D. man was in the area looking for him.
   ‘He’s not looking for you,’ Yossarian said, trying to placate him. ‘He’s looking for someone up in the hospital who’s been signing Washington Irving’s name to the letters he’s been censoring.’
   ‘I never signed Washington Irving’s name to any letters,’ Milo declared.
   ‘Of course not.’
   ‘But that’s just a trick to get me to confess I’ve been making money in the black market.’ Milo hauled violently at a disheveled hunk of his off-colored mustache. ‘I don’t like guys like that. Always snooping around people like us. Why doesn’t the government get after ex-P.F.C. Wintergreen, if it wants to do some good? He’s got no respect for rules and regulations and keeps cutting prices on me.’ Milo ’s mustache was unfortunate because the separated halves never matched. They were like Milo ’s disunited eyes, which never looked at the same thing at the same time. Milo could see more things than most people, but he could see none of them too distinctly. In contrast to his reaction to news of the C.I.D. man, he learned with calm courage from Yossarian that Colonel Cathcart had raised the number of missions to fifty-five.
   ‘We’re at war,’ he said. ‘And there’s no use complaining about the number of missions we have to fly. If the colonel says we have to fly fifty-five missions, we have to fly them.’
   ‘Well, I don’t have to fly them,’ Yossarian vowed. ‘I’ll go see Major Major.’
   ‘How can you? Major Major never sees anybody.’
   ‘Then I’ll go back into the hospital.’
   ‘You just came out of the hospital ten days ago,’ Milo reminded him reprovingly. ‘You can’t keep running into the hospital every time something happens you don’t like. No, the best thing to do is fly the missions. It’s our duty.’ Milo had rigid scruples that would not even allow him to borrow a package of pitted dates from the mess hall that day of McWatt’s stolen bedsheet, for the food at the mess hall was all still the property of the government.
   ‘But I can borrow it from you,’ he explained to Yossarian, ‘since all this fruit is yours once you get it from me with Doctor Daneeka’s letter. You can do whatever you want to with it, even sell it at a high profit instead of giving it away free. Wouldn’t you want to do that together?’
   ‘No.’ Milo gave up. ‘Then lend me one package of pitted dates,’ he requested. ‘I’ll give it back to you. I swear I will, and there’ll be a little something extra for you.’ Milo proved good as his word and handed Yossarian a quarter of McWatt’s yellow bedsheet when he returned with the unopened package of dates and with the grinning thief with the sweet tooth who had stolen the bedsheet from McWatt’s tent. The piece of bedsheet now belonged to Yossarian. He had earned it while napping, although he did not understand how. Neither did McWatt.
   ‘What’s this?’ cried McWatt, staring in mystification at the ripped half of his bedsheet.
   ‘It’s half of the bedsheet that was stolen from your tent this morning,’ Milo explained. ‘I’ll bet you didn’t even know it was stolen.’
   ‘Why should anyone want to steal half a bedsheet?’ Yossarian asked.
   Milo grew flustered. ‘You don’t understand,’ he protested. ‘He stole the whole bedsheet, and I got it back with the package of pitted dates you invested. That’s why the quarter of the bedsheet is yours. You made a very handsome return on your investment, particularly since you’ve gotten back every pitted date you gave me.’ Milo next addressed himself to McWatt. ‘Half the bedsheet is yours because it was all yours to begin with, and I really don’t understand what you’re complaining about, since you wouldn’t have any part of it if Captain Yossarian and I hadn’t intervened in your behalf.’
   ‘Who’s complaining?’ McWatt exclaimed. ‘I’m just trying to figure out what I can do with half a bedsheet.’
   ‘There are lots of things you can do with half a bedsheet,’ Milo assured him. ‘The remaining quarter of the bedsheet I’ve set aside for myself as a reward for my enterprise, work and initiative. It’s not for myself, you understand, but for the syndicate. That’s something you might do with half the bedsheet. You can leave it in the syndicate and watch it grow.’
   ‘What syndicate?’
   ‘The syndicate I’d like to form someday so that I can give you men the good food you deserve.’
   ‘You want to form a syndicate?’
   ‘Yes, I do. No, a mart. Do you know what a mart is?’
   ‘It’s a place where you buy things, isn’t it?’
   ‘And sell things,’ corrected Milo.
   ‘And sell things.’
   ‘All my life I’ve wanted a mart. You can do lots of things if you’ve got a mart. But you’ve got to have a mart.’
   ‘You want a mart?’
   ‘And every man will have a share.’ Yossarian was still puzzled, for it was a business matter, and there was much about business matters that always puzzled him.
   ‘Let me try to explain it again,’ Milo offered with growing weariness and exasperation, jerking his thumb toward the thief with the sweet tooth, still grinning beside him. ‘I knew he wanted the dates more than the bedsheet. Since he doesn’t understand a word of English, I made it a point to conduct the whole transaction in English.’
   ‘Why didn’t you just hit him over the head and take the bedsheet away from him?’ Yossarian asked.
   Pressing his lips together with dignity, Milo shook his head. ‘That would have been most unjust,’ he scolded firmly. ‘Force is wrong, and two wrongs never make a right. It was much better my way. When I held the dates out to him and reached for the bedsheet, he probably thought I was offering to trade.’
   ‘What were you doing?’
   ‘Actually, I was offering to trade, but since he doesn’t understand English, I can always deny it.’
   ‘Suppose he gets angry and wants the dates?’
   ‘Why, we’ll just hit him over the head and take them away from him,’ Milo answered without hesitation. He looked from Yossarian to McWatt and back again. ‘I really can’t see what everyone is complaining about. We’re all much better off than before. Everybody is happy but this thief, and there’s no sense worrying about him, since he doesn’t even speak our language and deserves whatever he gets. Don’t you understand?’ But Yossarian still didn’t understand either how Milo could buy eggs in Malta for seven cents apiece and sell them at a profit in Pianosa for five cents.
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Zodijak Gemini
Pol Muškarac
Poruke Odustao od brojanja
Zastava 44°49′N - 20°29′E
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Apple iPhone 6s
Lieutenant Scheisskopf

   Not even Clevinger understood how Milo could do that, and Clevinger knew everything. Clevinger knew everything about the war except why Yossarian had to die while Corporal Snark was allowed to live, or why Corporal Snark had to die while Yossarian was allowed to live. It was a vile and muddy war, and Yossarian could have lived without it—lived forever, perhaps. Only a fraction of his countrymen would give up their lives to win it, and it was not his ambition to be among them. To die or not to die, that was the question, and Clevinger grew limp trying to answer it. History did not demand Yossarian’s premature demise, justice could be satisfied without it, progress did not hinge upon it, victory did not depend on it. That men would die was a matter of necessity; which men would die, though, was a matter of circumstance, and Yossarian was willing to be the victim of anything but circumstance. But that was war. Just about all he could find in its favor was that it paid well and liberated children from the pernicious influence of their parents.
   Clevinger knew so much because Clevinger was a genius with a pounding heart and blanching face. He was a gangling, gawky, feverish, famish-eyed brain. As a Harvard undergraduate he had won prizes in scholarship for just about everything, and the only reason he had not won prizes in scholarship for everything else was that he was too busy signing petitions, circulating petitions and challenging petitions, joining discussion groups and resigning from discussion groups, attending youth congresses, picketing other youth congresses and organizing student committees in defense of dismissed faculty members. Everyone agreed that Clevinger was certain to go far in the academic world. In short, Clevinger was one of those people with lots of intelligence and no brains, and everyone knew it except those who soon found it out.
   In short, he was a dope. He often looked to Yossarian like one of those people hanging around modern museums with both eyes together on one side of a face. It was an illusion, of course, generated by Clevinger’s predilection for staring fixedly at one side of a question and never seeing the other side at all. Politically, he was a humanitarian who did know right from left and was trapped uncomfortably between the two. He was constantly defending his Communist friends to his right-wing enemies and his right-wing friends to his Communist enemies, and he was thoroughly detested by both groups, who never defended him to anyone because they thought he was a dope.
   He was a very serious, very earnest and very conscientious dope. It was impossible to go to a movie with him without getting involved afterwards in a discussion on empathy, Aristotle, universals, messages and the obligations of the cinema as an art form in a materialistic society. Girls he took to the theater had to wait until the first intermission to find out from him whether or not they were seeing a good or a bad play, and then found out at once. He was a militant idealist who crusaded against racial bigotry by growing faint in its presence. He knew everything about literature except how to enjoy it.
   Yossarian tried to help him. ‘Don’t be a dope,’ he had counseled Clevinger when they were both at cadet school in Santa Ana, California.
   ‘I’m going to tell him,’ Clevinger insisted, as the two of them sat high in the reviewing stands looking down on the auxiliary paradeground at Lieutenant Scheisskopf raging back and forth like a beardless Lear.
   ‘Why me?’ Lieutenant Scheisskopf wailed.
   ‘Keep still, idiot,’ Yossarian advised Clevinger avuncularly.
   ‘You don’t know what you’re talking about,’ Clevinger objected.
   ‘I know enough to keep still, idiot.’ Lieutenant Scheisskopf tore his hair and gnashed his teeth. His rubbery cheeks shook with gusts of anguish. His problem was a squadron of aviation cadets with low morale who marched atrociously in the parade competition that took place every Sunday afternoon. Their morale was low because they did not want to march in parades every Sunday afternoon and because Lieutenant Scheisskopf had appointed cadet officers from their ranks instead of permitting them to elect their own.
   ‘I want someone to tell me,’ Lieutenant Scheisskopf beseeched them all prayerfully. ‘If any of it is my fault, I want to be told.’
   ‘He wants someone to tell him,’ Clevinger said.
   ‘He wants everyone to keep still, idiot,’ Yossarian answered.
   ‘Didn’t you hear him?’ Clevinger argued.
   ‘I heard him,’ Yossarian replied. ‘I heard him say very loudly and very distinctly that he wants every one of us to keep our mouths shut if we know what’s good for us.’
   ‘I won’t punish you,’ Lieutenant Scheisskopf swore.
   ‘He says he won’t punish me,’ said Clevinger.
   ‘He’ll castrate you,’ said Yossarian.
   ‘I swear I won’t punish you,’ said Lieutenant Scheisskopf. ‘I’ll be grateful to the man who tells me the truth.’
   ‘He’ll hate you,’ said Yossarian. ‘To his dying day he’ll hate you.’ Lieutenant Scheisskopf was an R.O.T.C. graduate who was rather glad that war had broken out, since it gave him an opportunity to wear an officer’s uniform every day and say ‘Men’ in a clipped, military voice to the bunches of kids who fell into his clutches every eight weeks on their way to the butcher’s block. He was an ambitious and humorless Lieutenant Scheisskopf, who confronted his responsibilities soberly and smiled only when some rival officer at the Santa Ana Army Air Force Base came down with a lingering disease. He had poor eyesight and chronic sinus trouble, which made war especially exciting for him, since he was in no danger of going overseas. The best thing about him was his wife and the best thing about his wife was a girl friend named Dori Duz who did whenever she could and had a Wac uniform that Lieutenant Scheisskopf’s wife put on every weekend and took off every weekend for every cadet in her husband’s squadron who wanted to creep into her.
   Dori Duz was a lively little tart of copper-green and gold who loved doing it best in toolsheds, phone booths, field houses and bus kiosks. There was little she hadn’t tried and less she wouldn’t. She was shameless, slim, nineteen and aggressive. She destroyed egos by the score and made men hate themselves in the morning for the way she found them, used them and tossed them aside. Yossarian loved her. She was a marvelous piece of ass who found him only fair. He loved the feel of springy muscle beneath her skin everywhere he touched her the only time she’d let him. Yossarian loved Dori Duz so much that he couldn’t help flinging himself down passionately on top of Lieutenant Scheisskopf’s wife every week to revenge himself upon Lieutenant Scheisskopf for the way Lieutenant Scheisskopf was revenging himself upon Clevinger.
   Lieutenant Scheisskopf’s wife was revenging herself upon Lieutenant Scheisskopf for some unforgettable crime of his she couldn’t recall. She was a plump, pink, sluggish girl who read good books and kept urging Yossarian not to be so bourgeois without the r. She was never without a good book close by, not even when she was lying in bed with nothing on her but Yossarian and Dori Duz’s dog tags. She bored Yossarian, but he was in love with her, too. She was a crazy mathematics major from the Wharton School of Business who could not count to twenty-eight each month without getting into trouble.
   ‘Darling, we’re going to have a baby again,’ she would say to Yossarian every month.
   ‘You’re out of your goddam head,’ he would reply.
   ‘I mean it, baby,’ she insisted.
   ‘So do I.’
   ‘Darling, we’re going to have a baby again,’ she would say to her husband.
   ‘I haven’t the time,’ Lieutenant Scheisskopf would grumble petulantly. ‘Don’t you know there’s a parade going on?’ Lieutenant Scheisskopf cared very deeply about winning parades and about bringing Clevinger up on charges before the Action Board for conspiring to advocate the overthrow of the cadet officers Lieutenant Scheisskopf had appointed. Clevinger was a troublemaker and a wise guy. Lieutenant Scheisskopf knew that Clevinger might cause even more trouble if he wasn’t watched. Yesterday it was the cadet officers; tomorrow it might be the world. Clevinger had a mind, and Lieutenant Scheisskopf had noticed that people with minds tended to get pretty smart at times. Such men were dangerous, and even the new cadet officers whom Clevinger had helped into office were eager to give damning testimony against him. The case against Clevinger was open and shut. The only thing missing was something to charge him with.
   It could not be anything to do with parades, for Clevinger took the parades almost as seriously as Lieutenant Scheisskopf himself. The men fell out for the parades early each Sunday afternoon and groped their way into ranks of twelve outside the barracks. Groaning with hangovers, they limped in step to their station on the main paradeground, where they stood motionless in the heat for an hour or two with the men from the sixty or seventy other cadet squadrons until enough of them had collapsed to call it a day. On the edge of the field stood a row of ambulances and teams of trained stretcher bearers with walkie-talkies. On the roofs of the ambulances were spotters with binoculars. A tally clerk kept score. Supervising this entire phase of the operation was a medical officer with a flair for accounting who okayed pulses and checked the figures of the tally clerk. As soon as enough unconscious men had been collected in the ambulances, the medical officer signaled the bandmaster to strike up the band and end the parade. One behind the other, the squadrons marched up the field, executed a cumbersome turn around the reviewing stand and marched down the field and back to their barracks.
   Each of the parading squadrons was graded as it marched past the reviewing stand, where a bloated colonel with a big fat mustache sat with the other officers. The best squadron in each wing won a yellow pennant on a pole that was utterly worthless. The best squadron on the base won a red pennant on a longer pole that was worth even less, since the pole was heavier and was that much more of a nuisance to lug around all week until some other squadron won it the following Sunday. To Yossarian, the idea of pennants as prizes was absurd. No money went with them, no class privileges. Like Olympic medals and tennis trophies, all they signified was that the owner had done something of no benefit to anyone more capably than everyone else.
   The parades themselves seemed equally absurd. Yossarian hated a parade. Parades were so martial. He hated hearing them, hated seeing them, hated being tied up in traffic by them. He hated being made to take part in them. It was bad enough being an aviation cadet without having to act like a soldier in the blistering heat every Sunday afternoon. It was bad enough being an aviation cadet because it was obvious now that the war would not be over before he had finished his training. That was the only reason he had volunteered for cadet training in the first place. As a soldier who had qualified for aviation cadet training, he had weeks and weeks of waiting for assignment to a class, weeks and weeks more to become a bombardier-navigator, weeks and weeks more of operational training after that to prepare him for overseas duty. It seemed inconceivable then that the war could last that long, for God was on his side, he had been told, and God, he had also been told, could do whatever He wanted to. But the war was not nearly over, and his training was almost complete.
   Lieutenant Scheisskopf longed desperately to win parades and sat up half the night working on it while his wife waited amorously for him in bed thumbing through Krafft-Ebing to her favorite passages. He read books on marching. He manipulated boxes of chocolate soldiers until they melted in his hands and then maneuvered in ranks of twelve a set of plastic cowboys he had bought from a mail-order house under an assumed name and kept locked away from everyone’s eyes during the day. Leonardo’s exercises in anatomy proved indispensable. One evening he felt the need for a live model and directed his wife to march around the room.
   ‘Naked?’ she asked hopefully.
   Lieutenant Scheisskopf smacked his hands over his eyes in exasperation. It was the despair of Lieutenant Scheisskopf’s life to be chained to a woman who was incapable of looking beyond her own dirty, sexual desires to the titanic struggles for the unattainable in which noble man could become heroically engaged.
   ‘Why don’t you ever whip me?’ she pouted one night.
   ‘Because I haven’t the time,’ he snapped at her impatiently. ‘I haven’t the time. Don’t you know there’s a parade going on?’ And he really did not have the time. There it was Sunday already, with only seven days left in the week to get ready for the next parade. He had no idea where the hours went. Finishing last in three successive parades had given Lieutenant Scheisskopf an unsavory reputation, and he considered every means of improvement, even nailing the twelve men in each rank to a long two-by-four beam of seasoned oak to keep them in line. The plan was not feasible, for making a ninety-degree turn would have been impossible without nickel-alloy swivels inserted in the small of every man’s back, and Lieutenant Scheisskopf was not sanguine at all about obtaining that many nickel-alloy swivels from Quartermaster or enlisting the cooperation of the surgeons at the hospital.
   The week after Lieutenant Scheisskopf followed Clevinger’s recommendation and let the men elect their own cadet officers, the squadron won the yellow pennant. Lieutenant Scheisskopf was so elated by his unexpected achievement that he gave his wife a sharp crack over the head with the pole when she tried to drag him into bed to celebrate by showing their contempt for the sexual mores of the lower middle classes in Western civilization. The next week the squadron won the red flag, and Lieutenant Scheisskopf was beside himself with rapture. And the week after that his squadron made history by winning the red pennant two weeks in a row! Now Lieutenant Scheisskopf had confidence enough in his powers to spring his big surprise. Lieutenant Scheisskopf had discovered in his extensive research that the hands of marchers, instead of swinging freely, as was then the popular fashion, ought never to be moved more than three inches from the center of the thigh, which meant, in effect, that they were scarcely to be swung at all.
   Lieutenant Scheisskopf’s preparations were elaborate and clandestine. All the cadets in his squadron were sworn to secrecy and rehearsed in the dead of night on the auxiliary parade-ground. They marched in darkness that was pitch and bumped into each other blindly, but they did not panic, and they were learning to march without swinging their hands. Lieutenant Scheisskopf’s first thought had been to have a friend of his in the sheet metal shop sink pegs of nickel alloy into each man’s thighbones and link them to the wrists by strands of copper wire with exactly three inches of play, but there wasn’t time—there was never enough time—and good copper wire was hard to come by in wartime. He remembered also that the men, so hampered, would be unable to fall properly during the impressive fainting ceremony preceding the marching and that an inability to faint properly might affect the unit’s rating as a whole.
   And all week long he chortled with repressed delight at the officers’ club. Speculation grew rampant among his closest friends.
   ‘I wonder what that Shithead is up to,’ Lieutenant Engle said.
   Lieutenant Scheisskopf responded with a knowing smile to the queries of his colleagues. ‘You’ll find out Sunday,’ he promised. ‘You’ll find out.’ Lieutenant Scheisskopf unveiled his epochal surprise that Sunday with all the aplomb of an experienced impresario. He said nothing while the other squadrons ambled past the reviewing stand crookedly in their customary manner. He gave no sign even when the first ranks of his own squadron hove into sight with their swingless marching and the first stricken gasps of alarm were hissing from his startled fellow officers. He held back even then until the bloated colonel with the big fat mustache whirled upon him savagely with a purpling face, and then he offered the explanation that made him immortal.
   ‘Look, Colonel,’ he announced. ‘No hands.’ And to an audience stilled with awe, he distributed certified photostatic copies of the obscure regulation on which he had built his unforgettable triumph. This was Lieutenant Scheisskopf’s finest hour. He won the parade, of course, hands down, obtaining permanent possession of the red pennant and ending the Sunday parades altogether, since good red pennants were as hard to come by in wartime as good copper wire. Lieutenant Scheisskopf was made First Lieutenant Scheisskopf on the spot and began his rapid rise through the ranks. There were few who did not hail him as a true military genius for his important discovery.
   ‘That Lieutenant Scheisskopf,’ Lieutenant Travels remarked. ‘He’s a military genius.’
   ‘Yes, he really is,’ Lieutenant Engle agreed. ‘It’s a pity the schmuck won’t whip his wife.’
   ‘I don’t see what that has to do with it,’ Lieutenant Travers answered coolly.
   ‘Lieutenant Bemis whips Mrs. Bemis beautifully every time they have sexual intercourse, and he isn’t worth a farthing at parades.’
   ‘I’m talking about flagellation,’ Lieutenant Engle retorted. ‘Who gives a damn about parades?’ Actually, no one but Lieutenant Scheisskopf really gave a damn about the parades, least of all the bloated colonel with the big fat mustache, who was chairman of the Action Board and began bellowing at Clevinger the moment Clevinger stepped gingerly into the room to plead innocent to the charges Lieutenant Scheisskopf had lodged against him. The colonel beat his fist down upon the table and hurt his hand and became so further enraged with Clevinger that he beat his fist down upon the table even harder and hurt his hand some more. Lieutenant Scheisskopf glared at Clevinger with tight lips, mortified by the poor impression Clevinger was making.
   ‘In sixty days you’ll be fighting Billy Petrolle,’ the colonel with the big fat mustache roared. ‘And you think it’s a big fat joke.’
   ‘I don’t think it’s a joke, sir,’ Clevinger replied.
   ‘Don’t interrupt.’
   ‘Yes, sir.’
   ‘And say "sir" when you do,’ ordered Major Metcalf.
   ‘Yes, sir.’
   ‘Weren’t you just ordered not to interrupt?’ Major Metcalf inquired coldly.
   ‘But I didn’t interrupt, sir,’ Clevinger protested.
   ‘No. And you didn’t say "sir," either. Add that to the charges against him,’ Major Metcalf directed the corporal who could take shorthand. ‘Failure to say "sir" to superior officers when not interrupting them.’
   ‘Metcalf,’ said the colonel, ‘you’re a goddam fool. Do you know that?’ Major Metcalf swallowed with difficulty. ‘Yes, Sir.’
   ‘Then keep your goddam mouth shut. You don’t make sense.’ There were three members of the Action Board, the bloated colonel with the big fat mustache, Lieutenant Scheisskopf and Major Metcalf, who was trying to develop a steely gaze. As a member of the Action Board, Lieutenant Scheisskopf was one of the judges who would weigh the merits of the case against Clevinger as presented by the prosecutor. Lieutenant Scheisskopf was also the prosecutor. Clevinger had an officer defending him. The officer defending him was Lieutenant Scheisskopf It was all very confusing to Clevinger, who began vibrating in terror as the colonel surged to his feet like a gigantic belch and threatened to rip his stinking, cowardly body apart limb from limb. One day he had stumbled while marching to class; the next day he was formally charged with ‘breaking ranks while in formation, felonious assault, indiscriminate behavior, mopery, high treason, provoking, being a smart guy, listening to classical music and so on’. In short, they threw the book at him, and there he was, standing in dread before the bloated colonel, who roared once more that in sixty days he would be fighting Billy Petrolle and demanded to know how the hell he would like being washed out and shipped to the Solomon Islands to bury bodies. Clevinger replied with courtesy that he would not like it; he was a dope who would rather be a corpse than bury one. The colonel sat down and settled back, calm and cagey suddenly, and ingratiatingly polite.
   ‘What did you mean,’ he inquired slowly, ‘when you said we couldn’t punish you?’
   ‘When, sir?’
   ‘I’m asking the questions. You’re answering them.’
   ‘Yes, sir. I—’
   ‘Did you think we brought you here to ask questions and for me to answer them?’
   ‘No, sir. I—’
   ‘What did we bring you here for?’
   ‘To answer questions.’
   ‘You’re goddam right,’ roared the colonel. ‘Now suppose you start answering some before I break your goddam head. Just what the hell did you mean, you bastard, when you said we couldn’t punish you?’
   ‘I don’t think I ever made that statement, sir.’
   ‘Will you speak up, please? I couldn’t hear you.’
   ‘Yes, sir. I—’
   ‘Will you speak up, please? He couldn’t hear you.’
   ‘Yes, sir. I—’
   ‘Metcalf.’
   ‘Sir?’
   ‘Didn’t I tell you to keep your stupid mouth shut?’
   ‘Yes, sir.’
   ‘Then keep your stupid mouth shut when I tell you to keep your stupid mouth shut. Do you understand? Will you speak up, please? I couldn’t hear you.’
   ‘Yes, sir. I—’
   ‘Metcalf, is that your foot I’m stepping on?’
   ‘No, sir. It must be Lieutenant Scheisskopf’s foot.’
   ‘It isn’t my foot,’ said Lieutenant Scheisskopf.
   ‘Then maybe it is my foot after all,’ said Major Metcalf.
   ‘Move it.’
   ‘Yes, sir. You’ll have to move your foot first, colonel. It’s on top of mine.’
   ‘Are you telling me to move my foot?’
   ‘No, sir. Oh, no, sir.’
   ‘Then move your foot and keep your stupid mouth shut. Will you speak up, please? I still couldn’t hear you.’
   ‘Yes, sir. I said that I didn’t say that you couldn’t punish me.’
   ‘Just what the hell are you talking about?’
   ‘I’m answering your question, sir.’
   ‘What question?’
   ‘ "Just what the hell did you mean, you bastard, when you said we couldn’t punish you?" ‘ said the corporal who could take shorthand, reading from his steno pad.
   ‘All right,’ said the colonel. ‘Just what the hell did you mean?’
   ‘I didn’t say you couldn’t punish me, sir.’
   ‘When?’ asked the colonel.
   ‘When what, sir?’
   ‘Now you’re asking me questions again.’
   ‘I’m sorry, sir. I’m afraid I don’t understand your question.’
   ‘When didn’t you say we couldn’t punish you? Don’t you understand my question?’
   ‘No, sir. I don’t understand.’
   ‘You’ve just told us that. Now suppose you answer my question.’
   ‘But how can I answer it?’
   ‘That’s another question you’re asking me.’
   ‘I’m sorry, sir. But I don’t know how to answer it. I never said you couldn’t punish me.’
   ‘Now you’re telling us when you did say it. I’m asking you to tell us when you didn’t say it.’ Clevinger took a deep breath. ‘I always didn’t say you couldn’t punish me, sir.’
   ‘That’s much better, Mr. Clevinger, even though it is a barefaced lie. Last night in the latrine. Didn’t you whisper that we couldn’t punish you to that other dirty son of a bitch we don’t like? What’s his name?’
   ‘Yossarian, sir,’ Lieutenant Scheisskopf said.
   ‘Yes, Yossarian. That’s right. Yossarian. Yossarian? Is that his name? Yossarian? What the hell kind of a name is Yossarian?’ Lieutenant Scheisskopf had the facts at his fingertips. ‘It’s Yossarian’s name, sir,’ he explained.
   ‘Yes, I suppose it is. Didn’t you whisper to Yossarian that we couldn’t punish you?’
   ‘Oh, no, sir. I whispered to him that you couldn’t find me guilty—’
   ‘I may be stupid,’ interrupted the colonel, ‘but the distinction escapes me. I guess I am pretty stupid, because the distinction escapes me.’
   ‘W—’
   ‘You’re a windy son of a bitch, aren’t you? Nobody asked you for clarification and you’re giving me clarification. I was making a statement, not asking for clarification. You are a windy son of a bitch, aren’t you?’
   ‘No, Sir.’
   ‘No, sir? Are you calling me a goddam liar?’
   ‘Oh, no, sir.’
   ‘Then you’re a windy son of a bitch, aren’t you?’
   ‘No, sir.’
   ‘Are you a windy son of a bitch?’
   ‘No, sir.’
   ‘Goddammit, you are trying to pick a fight with me. For two stinking cents I’d jump over this big fat table and rip your stinking, cowardly body apart limb from limb.’
   ‘Do it! Do it!’ cried Major Metcalf ‘Metcalf, you stinking son of a bitch. Didn’t I tell you to keep your stinking, cowardly, stupid mouth shut?’
   ‘Yes, sir. I’m sorry, sir.’
   ‘Then suppose you do it.’
   ‘I was only trying to learn, sir. The only way a person can learn is by trying.’
   ‘Who says so?’
   ‘Everybody says so, sir. Even Lieutenant Scheisskopf says so.’
   ‘Do you say so?’
   ‘Yes, sir,’ said Lieutenant Scheisskopf. ‘But everybody says so.’
   ‘Well, Metcalf, suppose you try keeping that stupid mouth of yours shut, and maybe that’s the way you’ll learn how. Now, where were we? Read me back the last line.’
   ‘ "Read me back the last line," ‘ read back the corporal who could take shorthand.
   ‘Not my last line, stupid!’ the colonel shouted. ‘Somebody else’s.’
   ‘ "Read me back the last line," ‘ read back the corporal.
   ‘That’s my last line again!’ shrieked the colonel, turning purple with anger.
   ‘Oh, no, sir,’ corrected the corporal. ‘That’s my last line. I read it to you just a moment ago. Don’t you remember, sir? It was only a moment ago.’
   ‘Oh, my God! Read me back his last line, stupid. Say, what the hell’s your name, anyway?’
   ‘Popinjay, sir.’
   ‘Well, you’re next, Popinjay. As soon as his trial ends, your trial begins. Get it?’
   ‘Yes, sir. What will I be charged with?’
   ‘What the hell difference does that make? Did you hear what he asked me? You’re going to learn, Popinjay—the minute we finish with Clevinger you’re going to learn. Cadet Clevinger, what did—You are Cadet Clevinger, aren’t you, and not Popinjay?’
   ‘Yes, sir.’
   ‘Good. What did—’
   ‘I’m Popinjay, sir.’
   ‘Popinjay, is your father a millionaire, or a member of the Senate?’
   ‘No, sir.’
   ‘Then you’re up shit creek, Popinjay, without a paddle. He’s not a general or a high-ranking member of the Administration, is he?’
   ‘No, sir.’
   ‘That’s good. What does your father do?’
   ‘He’s dead, sir.’
   ‘That’s very good. You really are up the creek, Popinjay. Is Popinjay really your name? Just what the hell kind of a name is Popinjay anyway? I don’t like it.’
   ‘It’s Popinjay’s name, sir,’ Lieutenant Scheisskopf explained.
   ‘Well, I don’t like it, Popinjay, and I just can’t wait to rip your stinking, cowardly body apart limb from limb. Cadet Clevinger, will you please repeat what the hell it was you did or didn’t whisper to Yossarian late last night in the latrine?’
   ‘Yes, sir. I said that you couldn’t find me guilty—’
   ‘We’ll take it from there. Precisely what did you mean, Cadet Clevinger, when you said we couldn’t find you guilty?’

   ‘I didn’t say you couldn’t find me guilty, sir.’
   ‘When?’
   ‘When what, sir?’
   ‘Goddammit, are you going to start pumping me again?’
   ‘No, sir. I’m sorry, sir.’
   ‘Then answer the question. When didn’t you say we couldn’t find you guilty?’
   ‘Late last night in the latrine, sir.’
   ‘Is that the only time you didn’t say it?’
   ‘No, sir. I always didn’t say you couldn’t find me guilty, sir. What I did say to Yossarian was—’
   ‘Nobody asked you what you did say to Yossarian. We asked you what you didn’t say to him. We’re not at all interested in what you did say to Yossarian. Is that clear?’
   ‘Yes, sir.’
   ‘Then we’ll go on. What did you say to Yossarian?’
   ‘I said to him, sir, that you couldn’t find me guilty of the offense with which I am charged and still be faithful to the cause of…’
   ‘Of what? You’re mumbling.’
   ‘Stop mumbling.’
   ‘Yes, sir.’
   ‘And mumble "sir" when you do.’
   ‘Metcalf, you bastard!’
   ‘Yes, sir,’ mumbled Clevinger. ‘Of justice, sir. That you couldn’t find—’
   ‘Justice?’ The colonel was astounded. ‘What is justice?’
   ‘Justice, sir—’
   ‘That’s not what justice is,’ the colonel jeered, and began pounding the table again with his big fat hand. ‘That’s what Karl Marx is. I’ll tell you what justice is. Justice is a knee in the gut from the floor on the chin at night sneaky with a knife brought up down on the magazine of a battleship sandbagged underhanded in the dark without a word of warning. Garroting. That’s what justice is when we’ve all got to be tough enough and rough enough to fight Billy Petrolle. From the hip. Get it?’
   ‘No, sir.’
   ‘Don’t sir me!’
   ‘Yes, sir.’
   ‘And say "sir" when you don’t,’ ordered Major Metcalf.
   Clevinger was guilty, of course, or he would not have been accused, and since the only way to prove it was to find him guilty, it was their patriotic duty to do so. He was sentenced to walk fifty-seven punishment tours. Popinjay was locked up to be taught a lesson, and Major Metcalf was shipped to the Solomon Islands to bury bodies. A punishment tour for Clevinger was fifty minutes of a weekend hour spent pacing back and forth before the provost marshal’s building with a ton of an unloaded rifle on his shoulder.
   It was all very confusing to Clevinger. There were many strange things taking place, but the strangest of all, to Clevinger, was the hatred, the brutal, uncloaked, inexorable hatred of the members of the Action Board, glazing their unforgiving expressions with a hard, vindictive surface, glowing in their narrowed eyes malignantly like inextinguishable coals. Clevinger was stunned to discover it. They would have lynched him if they could. They were three grown men and he was a boy, and they hated him and wished him dead. They had hated him before he came, hated him while he was there, hated him after he left, carried their hatred for him away malignantly like some pampered treasure after they separated from each other and went to their solitude.
   Yossarian had done his best to warn him the night before. ‘You haven’t got a chance, kid,’ he told him glumly. ‘They hate Jews.’
   ‘But I’m not Jewish,’ answered Clevinger.
   ‘It will make no difference,’ Yossarian promised, and Yossarian was right. ‘They’re after everybody.’ Clevinger recoiled from their hatred as though from a blinding light. These three men who hated him spoke his language and wore his uniform, but he saw their loveless faces set immutably into cramped, mean lines of hostility and understood instantly that nowhere in the world, not in all the fascist tanks or planes or submarines, not in the bunkers behind the machine guns or mortars or behind the blowing flame throwers, not even among all the expert gunners of the crack Hermann Goering Antiaircraft Division or among the grisly connivers in all the beer halls in Munich and everywhere else, were there men who hated him more.
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Major Major Major Major

   Major Major Major Major had had a difficult time from the start.
   Like Minniver Cheevy, he had been born too late—exactly thirty-six hours too late for the physical well-being of his mother, a gentle, ailing woman who, after a full day and a half’s agony in the rigors of childbirth, was depleted of all resolve to pursue further the argument over the new child’s name. In the hospital corridor, her husband moved ahead with the unsmiling determination of someone who knew what he was about. Major Major’s father was a towering, gaunt man in heavy shoes and a black woolen suit. He filled out the birth certificate without faltering, betraying no emotion at all as he handed the completed form to the floor nurse. The nurse took it from him without comment and padded out of sight. He watched her go, wondering what she had on underneath.
   Back in the ward, he found his wife lying vanquished beneath the blankets like a desiccated old vegetable, wrinkled, dry and white, her enfeebled tissues absolutely still. Her bed was at the very end of the ward, near a cracked window thickened with grime. Rain splashed from a moiling sky and the day was dreary and cold. In other parts of the hospital chalky people with aged, blue lips were dying on time. The man stood erect beside the bed and gazed down at the woman a long time.
   ‘I have named the boy Caleb,’ he announced to her finally in a soft voice. ‘In accordance with your wishes.’ The woman made no answer, and slowly the man smiled. He had planned it all perfectly, for his wife was asleep and would never know that he had lied to her as she lay on her sickbed in the poor ward of the county hospital.
   From this meager beginning had sprung the ineffectual squadron commander who was now spending the better part of each working day in Pianosa forging Washington Irving’s name to official documents. Major Major forged diligently with his left hand to elude identification, insulated against intrusion by his own undesired authority and camouflaged in his false mustache and dark glasses as an additional safeguard against detection by anyone chancing to peer in through the dowdy celluloid window from which some thief had carved out a slice. In between these two low points of his birth and his success lay thirty-one dismal years of loneliness and frustration.
   Major Major had been born too late and too mediocre. Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them. With Major Major it had been all three. Even among men lacking all distinction he inevitably stood out as a man lacking more distinction than all the rest, and people who met him were always impressed by how unimpressive he was.
   Major Major had three strikes on him from the beginning—his mother, his father and Henry Fonda, to whom he bore a sickly resemblance almost from the moment of his birth. Long before he even suspected who Henry Fonda was, he found himself the subject of unflattering comparisons everywhere he went. Total strangers saw fit to deprecate him, with the result that he was stricken early with a guilty fear of people and an obsequious impulse to apologize to society for the fact that he was not Henry Fonda. It was not an easy task for him to go through life looking something like Henry Fonda, but he never once thought of quitting, having inherited his perseverance from his father, a lanky man with a good sense of humor.
   Major Major’s father was a sober God-fearing man whose idea of a good joke was to lie about his age. He was a long-limbed farmer, a God-fearing, freedom-loving, law-abiding rugged individualist who held that federal aid to anyone but farmers was creeping socialism. He advocated thrift and hard work and disapproved of loose women who turned him down. His specialty was alfalfa, and he made a good thing out of not growing any. The government paid him well for every bushel of alfalfa he did not grow. The more alfalfa he did not grow, the more money the government gave him, and he spent every penny he didn’t earn on new land to increase the amount of alfalfa he did not produce. Major Major’s father worked without rest at not growing alfalfa. On long winter evenings he remained indoors and did not mend harness, and he sprang out of bed at the crack of noon every day just to make certain that the chores would not be done. He invested in land wisely and soon was not growing more alfalfa than any other man in the county. Neighbors sought him out for advice on all subjects, for he had made much money and was therefore wise. ‘As ye sow, so shall ye reap,’ he counseled one and all, and everyone said, ‘Amen.’ Major Major’s father was an outspoken champion of economy in government, provided it did not interfere with the sacred duty of government to pay farmers as much as they could get for all the alfalfa they produced that no one else wanted or for not producing any alfalfa at all. He was a proud and independent man who was opposed to unemployment insurance and never hesitated to whine, whimper, wheedle, and extort for as much as he could get from whomever he could. He was a devout man whose pulpit was everywhere.
   ‘The Lord gave us good farmers two strong hands so that we could take as much as we could grab with both of them,’ he preached with ardor on the courthouse steps or in front of the A&P as he waited for the bad-tempered gum-chewing young cashier he was after to step outside and give him a nasty look. ‘If the Lord didn’t want us to take as much as we could get,’ he preached, ‘He wouldn’t have given us two good hands to take it with.’ And the others murmured, ‘Amen.’ Major Major’s father had a Calvinist’s faith in predestination and could perceive distinctly how everyone’s misfortunes but his own were expressions of God’s will. He smoked cigarettes and drank whiskey, and he thrived on good wit and stimulating intellectual conversation, particularly his own when he was lying about his age or telling that good one about God and his wife’s difficulties in delivering Major Major. The good one about God and his wife’s difficulties had to do with the fact that it had taken God only six days to produce the whole world, whereas his wife had spent a full day and a half in labor just to produce Major Major. A lesser man might have wavered that day in the hospital corridor, a weaker man might have compromised on such excellent substitutes as Drum Major, Minor Major, Sergeant Major, or C. Sharp Major, but Major Major’s father had waited fourteen years for just such an opportunity, and he was not a person to waste it. Major Major’s father had a good joke about opportunity. ‘ Opportunity only knocks once in this world,’ he would say. Major Major’s father repeated this good joke at every opportunity.
   Being born with a sickly resemblance to Henry Fonda was the first of along series of practical jokes of which destiny was to make Major Major the unhappy victim throughout his joyless life. Being born Major Major Major was the second. The fact that he had been born Major Major Major was a secret known only to his father. Not until Major Major was enrolling in kindergarten was the discovery of his real name made, and then the effects were disastrous. The news killed his mother, who just lost her will to live and wasted away and died, which was just fine with his father, who had decided to marry the bad-tempered girl at the A&P if he had to and who had not been optimistic about his chances of getting his wife off the land without paying her some money or flogging her.
   On Major Major himself the consequences were only slightly less severe. It was a harsh and stunning realization that was forced upon him at so tender an age, the realization that he was not, as he had always been led to believe, Caleb Major, but instead was some total stranger named Major Major Major about whom he knew absolutely nothing and about whom nobody else had ever heard before. What playmates he had withdrew from him and never returned, disposed, as they were, to distrust all strangers, especially one who had already deceived them by pretending to be someone they had known for years. Nobody would have anything to do with him. He began to drop things and to trip. He had a shy and hopeful manner in each new contact, and he was always disappointed. Because he needed a friend so desperately, he never found one. He grew awkwardly into a tall, strange, dreamy boy with fragile eyes and a very delicate mouth whose tentative, groping smile collapsed instantly into hurt disorder at every fresh rebuff.
   He was polite to his elders, who disliked him. Whatever his elders told him to do, he did. They told him to look before he leaped, and he always looked before he leaped. They told him never to put off until the next day what he could do the day before, and he never did. He was told to honor his father and his mother, and he honored his father and his mother. He was told that he should not kill, and he did not kill, until he got into the Army. Then he was told to kill, and he killed. He turned the other cheek on every occasion and always did unto others exactly as he would have had others do unto him. When he gave to charity, his left hand never knew what his right hand was doing. He never once took the name of the Lord his God in vain, committed adultery or coveted his neighbor’s ass. In fact, he loved his neighbor and never even bore false witness against him. Major Major’s elders disliked him because he was such a flagrant nonconformist.
   Since he had nothing better to do well in, he did well in school. At the state university he took his studies so seriously that he was suspected by the homosexuals of being a Communist and suspected by the Communists of being a homosexual. He majored in English history, which was a mistake.
   ‘English history!’ roared the silver-maned senior Senator from his state indignantly. ‘What’s the matter with American history? American history is as good as any history in the world!’ Major Major switched immediately to American literature, but not before the F.B.I. had opened a file on him. There were six people and a Scotch terrier inhabiting the remote farmhouse Major Major called home, and five of them and the Scotch terrier turned out to be agents for the F.B.I. Soon they had enough derogatory information on Major Major to do whatever they wanted to with him. The only thing they could find to do with him, however, was take him into the Army as a private and make him a major four days later so that Congressmen with nothing else on their minds could go trotting back and forth through the streets of Washington, D.C., chanting, ‘Who promoted Major Major? Who promoted Major Major?’ Actually, Major Major had been promoted by an I.B.M. machine with a sense of humor almost as keen as his father’s. When war broke out, he was still docile and compliant. They told him to enlist, and he enlisted. They told him to apply for aviation cadet training, and he applied for aviation cadet training, and the very next night found himself standing barefoot in icy mud at three o’clock in the morning before a tough and belligerent sergeant from the Southwest who told them he could beat hell out of any man in his outfit and was ready to prove it. The recruits in his squadron had all been shaken roughly awake only minutes before by the sergeant’s corporals and told to assemble in front of the administration tent. It was still raining on Major Major. They fell into ranks in the civilian clothes they had brought into the Army with them three days before. Those who had lingered to put shoes and socks on were sent back to their cold, wet, dark tents to remove them, and they were all barefoot in the mud as the sergeant ran his stony eyes over their faces and told them he could beat hell out of any man in his outfit. No one was inclined to dispute him.
   Major Major’s unexpected promotion to major the next day plunged the belligerent sergeant into a bottomless gloom, for he was no longer able to boast that he could beat hell out of any man in his outfit. He brooded for hours in his tent like Saul, receiving no visitors, while his elite guard of corporals stood discouraged watch outside. At three o’clock in the morning he found his solution, and Major Major and the other recruits were again shaken roughly awake and ordered to assemble barefoot in the drizzly glare at the administration tent, where the sergeant was already waiting, his fists clenched on his hips cockily, so eager to speak that he could hardly wait for them to arrive.
   ‘Me and Major Major,’ he boasted, in the same tough, clipped tones of the night before, ‘can beat hell out of any man in my outfit.’ The officers on the base took action on the Major Major problem later that same day. How could they cope with a major like Major Major? To demean him personally would be to demean all other officers of equal or lesser rank. To treat him with courtesy, on the other hand, was unthinkable. Fortunately, Major Major had applied for aviation cadet training. Orders transferring him away were sent to the mimeograph room late in the afternoon, and at three o’clock in the morning Major Major was again shaken roughly awake, bidden Godspeed by the sergeant and placed aboard a plane heading west.
   Lieutenant Scheisskopf turned white as a sheet when Major Major reported to him in California with bare feet and mudcaked toes. Major Major had taken it for granted that he was being shaken roughly awake again to stand barefoot in the mud and had left his shoes and socks in the tent. The civilian clothing in which he reported for duty to Lieutenant Scheisskopf was rumpled and dirty. Lieutenant Scheisskopf, who had not yet made his reputation as a parader, shuddered violently at the picture Major Major would make marching barefoot in his squadron that coming Sunday.
   ‘Go to the hospital quickly,’ he mumbled, when he had recovered sufficiently to speak, ‘and tell them you’re sick. Stay there until your allowance for uniforms catches up with you and you have some money to buy some clothes. And some shoes. Buy some shoes.’
   ‘Yes, sir.’
   ‘I don’t think you have to call me "sir," sir,’ Lieutenant Scheisskopf pointed out. ‘You outrank me.’
   ‘Yes, sir. I may outrank you, sir, but you’re still my commanding officer.’
   ‘Yes, sir, that’s right,’ Lieutenant Scheisskopf agreed. ‘You may outrank me, sir, but I’m still your commanding officer. So you better do what I tell you, sir, or you’ll get into trouble. Go to the hospital and tell them you’re sick, sir. Stay there until your uniform allowance catches up with you and you have some money to buy some uniforms.’
   ‘Yes, sir.’
   ‘And some shoes, sir. Buy some shoes the first chance you get, sir.’
   ‘Yes, sir. I will, sir.’
   ‘Thank you, sir.’ Life in cadet school for Major Major was no different than life had been for him all along. Whoever he was with always wanted him to be with someone else. His instructors gave him preferred treatment at every stage in order to push him along quickly and be rid of him. In almost no time he had his pilot’s wings and found himself overseas, where things began suddenly to improve. All his life, Major Major had longed for but one thing, to be absorbed, and in Pianosa, for a while, he finally was. Rank meant little to the men on combat duty, and relations between officers and enlisted men were relaxed and informal. Men whose names he didn’t even know said ‘Hi’ and invited him to go swimming or play basketball. His ripest hours were spent in the day-long basketball games no one gave a damn about winning. Score was never kept, and the number of players might vary from one to thirty-five. Major Major had never played basketball or any other game before, but his great, bobbing height and rapturous enthusiasm helped make up for his innate clumsiness and lack of experience. Major Major found true happiness there on the lopsided basketball court with the officers and enlisted men who were almost his friends. If there were no winners, there were no losers, and Major Major enjoyed every gamboling moment right up till the day Colonel Cathcart roared up in his jeep after Major Duluth was killed and made it impossible for him ever to enjoy playing basketball there again.
   ‘You’re the new squadron commander,’ Colonel Cathcart had shouted rudely across the railroad ditch to him. ‘But don’t think it means anything, because it doesn’t. All it means is that you’re the new squadron commander.’ Colonel Cathcart had nursed an implacable grudge against Major Major for a long time. A superfluous major on his rolls meant an untidy table of organization and gave ammunition to the men at Twenty-seventh Air Force Headquarters who Colonel Cathcart was positive were his enemies and rivals. Colonel Cathcart had been praying for just some stroke of good luck like Major Duluth’s death. He had been plagued by one extra major; he now had an opening for one major. He appointed Major Major squadron commander and roared away in his jeep as abruptly as he had come.
   For Major Major, it meant the end of the game. His face flushed with discomfort, and he was rooted to the spot in disbelief as the rain clouds gathered above him again. When he turned to his teammates, he encountered a reef of curious, reflective faces all gazing at him woodenly with morose and inscrutable animosity. He shivered with shame. When the game resumed, it was not good any longer. When he dribbled, no one tried to stop him; when he called for a pass, whoever had the ball passed it; and when he missed a basket, no one raced him for the rebound. The only voice was his own. The next day was the same, and the day after that he did not come back.
   Almost on cue, everyone in the squadron stopped talking to him and started staring at him. He walked through life self-consciously with downcast eyes and burning cheeks, the object of contempt, envy, suspicion, resentment and malicious innuendo everywhere he went. People who had hardly noticed his resemblance to Henry Fonda before now never ceased discussing it, and there were even those who hinted sinisterly that Major Major had been elevated to squadron commander because he resembled Henry Fonda. Captain Black, who had aspired to the position himself, maintained that Major Major really was Henry Fonda but was too chickenshit to admit it.
   Major Major floundered bewilderedly from one embarrassing catastrophe to another. Without consulting him, Sergeant Towser had his belongings moved into the roomy trailer Major Duluth had occupied alone, and when Major Major came rushing breathlessly into the orderly room to report the theft of his things, the young corporal there scared him half out of his wits by leaping to his feet and shouting ‘Attention!’ the moment he appeared. Major Major snapped to attention with all the rest in the orderly room, wondering what important personage had entered behind him. Minutes passed in rigid silence, and the whole lot of them might have stood there at attention till doomsday if Major Danby had not dropped by from Group to congratulate Major Major twenty minutes later and put them all at ease.
   Major Major fared even more lamentably at the mess hall, where Milo, his face fluttery with smiles, was waiting to usher him proudly to a small table he had set up in front and decorated with an embroidered tablecloth and a nosegay of posies in a pink cut-glass vase. Major Major hung back with horror, but he was not bold enough to resist with all the others watching. Even Havermeyer had lifted his head from his plate to gape at him with his heavy, pendulous jaw. Major Major submitted meekly to Milo ’s tugging and cowered in disgrace at his private table throughout the whole meal. The food was ashes in his mouth, but he swallowed every mouthful rather than risk offending any of the men connected with its preparation. Alone with Milo later, Major Major felt protest stir for the first time and said he would prefer to continue eating with the other officers. Milo told him it wouldn’t work.
   ‘I don’t see what there is to work,’ Major Major argued. ‘Nothing ever happened before.’
   ‘You were never the squadron commander before.’
   ‘Major Duluth was the squadron commander and he always ate at the same table with the rest of the men.’
   ‘It was different with Major Duluth, Sir.’
   ‘In what way was it different with Major Duluth?’
   ‘I wish you wouldn’t ask me that, sir,’ said Milo.
   ‘Is it because I look like Henry Fonda?’ Major Major mustered the courage to demand.
   ‘Some people say you are Henry Fonda,’ Milo answered.
   ‘Well, I’m not Henry Fonda,’ Major Major exclaimed, in a voice quavering with exasperation. ‘And I don’t look the least bit like him. And even if I do look like Henry Fonda, what difference does that make?’
   ‘It doesn’t make any difference. That’s what I’m trying to tell you, sir. It’s just not the same with you as it was with Major Duluth.’ And it just wasn’t the same, for when Major Major, at the next meal, stepped from the food counter to sit with the others at the regular tables, he was frozen in his tracks by the impenetrable wall of antagonism thrown up by their faces and stood petrified with his tray quivering in his hands until Milo glided forward wordlessly to rescue him, by leading him tamely to his private table. Major Major gave up after that and always ate at his table alone with his back to the others. He was certain they resented him because he seemed too good to eat with them now that he was squadron commander. There was never any conversation in the mess tent when Major Major was present. He was conscious that other officers tried to avoid eating at the same time, and everyone was greatly relieved when he stopped coming there altogether and began taking his meals in his trailer.
   Major Major began forging Washington Irving’s name to official documents the day after the first C.I.D. man showed up to interrogate him about somebody at the hospital who had been doing it and gave him the idea. He had been bored and dissatisfied in his new position. He had been made squadron commander but had no idea what he was supposed to do as squadron commander, unless all he was supposed to do was forge Washington Irving’s name to official documents and listen to the isolated clinks and thumps of Major—de Coverley’s horseshoes falling to the ground outside the window of his small office in the rear of the orderly-room tent. He was hounded incessantly by an impression of vital duties left unfulfilled and waited in vain for his responsibilities to overtake him. He seldom went out unless it was absolutely necessary, for he could not get used to being stared at. Occasionally, the monotony was broken by some officer or enlisted man Sergeant Towser referred to him on some matter that Major Major was unable to cope with and referred right back to Sergeant Towser for sensible disposition. Whatever he was supposed to get done as squadron commander apparently was getting done without any assistance from him. He grew moody and depressed. At times he thought seriously of going with all his sorrows to see the chaplain, but the chaplain seemed so overburdened with miseries of his own that Major Major shrank from adding to his troubles. Besides, he was not quite sure if chaplains were for squadron commanders.
   He had never been quite sure about Major—de Coverley, either, who, when he was not away renting apartments or kidnaping foreign laborers, had nothing more pressing to do than pitch horseshoes. Major Major often paid strict attention to the horseshoes falling softly against the earth or riding down around the small steel pegs in the ground. He peeked out at Major—de Coverley for hours and marveled that someone so august had nothing more important to do. He was often tempted to join Major—de Coverley, but pitching horseshoes all day long seemed almost as dull as signing ‘Major Major Major’ to official documents, and Major– de Coverley’s countenance was so forbidding that Major Major was in awe of approaching him.
   Major Major wondered about his relationship to Major—de Coverley and about Major—de Coverley’s relationship to him. He knew that Major—de Coverley was his executive officer, but he did not know what that meant, and he could not decide whether in Major—de Coverley he was blessed with a lenient superior or cursed with a delinquent subordinate. He did not want to ask Sergeant Towser, of whom he was secretly afraid, and there was no one else he could ask, least of all Major—de Coverley. Few people ever dared approach Major—de Coverley about anything and the only officer foolish enough to pitch one of his horseshoes was stricken the very next day with the worst case of Pianosan crud that Gus or Wes or even Doc Daneeka had ever seen or even heard about. Everyone was positive the disease had been inflicted upon the poor officer in retribution by Major—de Coverley, although no one was sure how.
   Most of the official documents that came to Major Major’s desk did not concern him at all. The vast majority consisted of allusions to prior communications which Major Major had never seen or heard of. There was never any need to look them up, for the instructions were invariably to disregard. In the space of a single productive minute, therefore, he might endorse twenty separate documents each advising him to pay absolutely no attention to any of the others. From General Peckem’s office on the mainland came prolix bulletins each day headed by such cheery homilies as ‘Procrastination is the Thief of Time’ and ‘Cleanliness is Next to Godliness.’ General Peckem’s communications about cleanliness and procrastination made Major Major feel like a filthy procrastinator, and he always got those out of the way as quickly as he could. The only official documents that interested him were those occasional ones pertaining to the unfortunate second lieutenant who had been killed on the mission over Orvieto less than two hours after he arrived on Pianosa and whose partly unpacked belongings were still in Yossarian’s tent. Since the unfortunate lieutenant had reported to the operations tent instead of to the orderly room, Sergeant Towser had decided that it would be safest to report him as never having reported to the squadron at all, and the occasional documents relating to him dealt with the fact that he seemed to have vanished into thin air, which, in one way, was exactly what did happen to him. In the long run, Major Major was grateful for the official documents that came to his desk, for sitting in his office signing them all day long was a lot better than sitting in his office all day long not signing them. They gave him something to do.
   Inevitably, every document he signed came back with a fresh page added for a new signature by him after intervals of from two to ten days. They were always much thicker than formerly, for in between the sheet bearing his last endorsement and the sheet added for his new endorsement were the sheets bearing the most recent endorsements of all the other officers in scattered locations who were also occupied in signing their names to that same official document. Major Major grew despondent as he watched simple communications swell prodigiously into huge manuscripts. No matter how many times he signed one, it always came back for still another signature, and he began to despair of ever being free of any of them. One day—it was the day after the C.I.D. man’s first visit—Major Major signed Washington Irving’s name to one of the documents instead of his own, just to see how it would feel. He liked it. He liked it so much that for the rest of that afternoon he did the same with all the official documents. It was an act of impulsive frivolity and rebellion for which he knew afterward he would be punished severely. The next morning he entered his office in trepidation and waited to see what would happen. Nothing happened.
   He had sinned, and it was good, for none of the documents to which he had signed Washington Irving’s name ever came back! Here, at last, was progress, and Major Major threw himself into his new career with uninhibited gusto. Signing Washington Irving’s name to official documents was not much of a career, perhaps, but it was less monotonous than signing ‘Major Major Major.’ When Washington Irving did grow monotonous, he could reverse the order and sign Irving Washington until that grew monotonous. And he was getting something done, for none of the documents signed with either of these names ever came back to the squadron.
   What did come back, eventually, was a second C.I.D. man, masquerading as a pilot. The men knew he was a C.I.D. man because he confided to them he was and urged each of them not to reveal his true identity to any of the other men to whom he had already confided that he was a C.I.D. man.
   ‘You’re the only one in the squadron who knows I’m a C.I.D. man,’ he confided to Major Major, ‘and it’s absolutely essential that it remain a secret so that my efficiency won’t be impaired. Do you understand?’
   ‘Sergeant Towser knows.’
   ‘Yes, I know. I had to tell him in order to get in to see you. But I know he won’t tell a soul under any circumstances.’
   ‘He told me,’ said Major Major. ‘He told me there was a C.I.D. man outside to see me.’
   ‘That bastard. I’ll have to throw a security check on him. I wouldn’t leave any top-secret documents lying around here if I were you. At least not until I make my report.’
   ‘I don’t get any top-secret documents,’ said Major Major.
   ‘That’s the kind I mean. Lock them in your cabinet where Sergeant Towser can’t get his hands on them.’
   ‘Sergeant Towser has the only key to the cabinet.’
   ‘I’m afraid we’re wasting time,’ said the second C.I.D. man rather stiffly. He was a brisk, pudgy, high-strung person whose movements were swift and certain. He took a number of photostats out of a large red expansion envelope he had been hiding conspicuously beneath a leather flight jacket painted garishly with pictures of airplanes flying through orange bursts of flak and with orderly rows of little bombs signifying fifty-five combat missions flown. ‘Have you ever seen any of these?’ Major Major looked with a blank expression at copies of personal correspondence from the hospital on which the censoring officer had written ‘Washington Irving’ or ‘Irving Washington.’
   ‘No.’
   ‘How about these?’ Major Major gazed next at copies of official documents addressed to him to which he had been signing the same signatures.
   ‘No.’
   ‘Is the man who signed these names in your squadron?’
   ‘Which one? There are two names here.’
   ‘Either one. We figure that Washington Irving and Irving Washington are one man and that he’s using two names just to throw us off the track. That’s done very often you know.’
   ‘I don’t think there’s a man with either of those names in my squadron.’ A look of disappointment crossed the second C.I.D. man’s face. ‘He’s a lot cleverer than we thought,’ he observed. ‘He’s using a third name and posing as someone else. And I think… yes, I think I know what that third name is.’ With excitement and inspiration, he held another photostat out for Major Major to study. ‘How about this?’ Major Major bent forward slightly and saw a copy of the piece of V mail from which Yossarian had blacked out everything but the name Mary and on which he had written, ‘I yearn for you tragically. R. O. Shipman, Chaplain, U.S. Army.’ Major Major shook his head.
   ‘I’ve never seen it before.’
   ‘Do you know who R. O. Shipman is?’
   ‘He’s the group chaplain.’
   ‘That locks it up,’ said the second C.I.D. man. ‘Washington Irving is the group chaplain.’ Major Major felt a twinge of alarm. ‘R. O. Shipman is the group chaplain,’ he corrected.
   ‘Are you sure?’
   ‘Yes.’
   ‘Why should the group chaplain write this on a letter?’
   ‘Perhaps somebody else wrote it and forged his name.’
   ‘Why should somebody want to forge the group chaplain’s name?’
   ‘To escape detection.’
   ‘You may be right,’ the second C.I.D. man decided after an instant’s hesitation, and smacked his lips crisply. ‘Maybe we’re confronted with a gang, with two men working together who just happen to have opposite names. Yes, I’m sure that’s it. One of them here in the squadron, one of them up at the hospital and one of them with the chaplain. That makes three men, doesn’t it? Are you absolutely sure you never saw any of these official documents before?’
   ‘I would have signed them if I had.’
   ‘With whose name?’ asked the second C.I.D. man cunningly. ‘Yours or Washington Irving’s?’
   ‘With my own name,’ Major Major told him. ‘I don’t even know Washington Irving’s name.’ The second C.I.D. man broke into a smile.
   ‘Major, I’m glad you’re in the clear. It means we’ll be able to work together, and I’m going to need every man I can get. Somewhere in the European theater of operations is a man who’s getting his hands on communications addressed to you. Have you any idea who it can be?’
   ‘No.’
   ‘Well, I have a pretty good idea,’ said the second C.I.D. man, and leaned forward to whisper confidentially. ‘That bastard Towser. Why else would he go around shooting his mouth off about me? Now, you keep your eyes open and let me know the minute you hear anyone even talking about Washington Irving. I’ll throw a security check on the chaplain and everyone else around here.’ The moment he was gone, the first C.I.D. man jumped into Major Major’s office through the window and wanted to know who the second C.I.D. man was. Major Major barely recognized him.
   ‘He was a C.I.D. man,’ Major Major told him.
   ‘Like hell he was,’ said the first C.I.D. man. ‘I’m the C.I.D. man around here.’ Major Major barely recognized him because he was wearing a faded maroon corduroy bathrobe with open seams under both arms, linty flannel pajamas, and worn house slippers with one flapping sole. This was regulation hospital dress, Major Major recalled. The man had added about twenty pounds and seemed bursting with good health.
   ‘I’m really a very sick man,’ he whined. ‘I caught cold in the hospital from a fighter pilot and came down with a very serious case of pneumonia.’
   ‘I’m very sorry,’ Major Major said.
   ‘A lot of good that does me,’ the C.I.D. man sniveled. ‘I don’t want your sympathy. I just want you to know what I’m going through. I came down to warn you that Washington Irving seems to have shifted his base of operations from the hospital to your squadron. You haven’t heard anyone around here talking about Washington Irving, have you?’
   ‘As a matter of fact, I have,’ Major Major answered. ‘That man who was just in here. He was talking about Washington Irving.’
   ‘Was he really?’ the first C.I.D. man cried with delight. ‘This might be just what we needed to crack the case wide open! You keep him under surveillance twenty-four hours a day while I rush back to the hospital and write my superiors for further instructions.’ The C.I.D. man jumped out of Major Major’s office through the window and was gone.
   A minute later, the flap separating Major Major’s office from the orderly room flew open and the second C.I.D. man was back, puffing frantically in haste. Gasping for breath, he shouted, ‘I just saw a man in red pajamas jumping out of your window and go running up the road! Didn’t you see him?’
   ‘He was here talking to me,’ Major Major answered.
   ‘I thought that looked mighty suspicious, a man jumping out the window in red pajamas.’ The man paced about the small office in vigorous circles. ‘At first I thought it was you, hightailing it for Mexico. But now I see it wasn’t you. He didn’t say anything about Washington Irving, did he?’
   ‘As a matter of fact,’ said Major Major, ‘he did.’
   ‘He did?’ cried the second C.I.D. man. ‘That’s fine! This might be just the break we needed to crack the case wide open. Do you know where we can find him?’
   ‘At the hospital. He’s really a very sick man.’
   ‘That’s great!’ exclaimed the second C.I.D. man. ‘I’ll go right up there after him. It would be best if I went incognito. I’ll go explain the situation at the medical tent and have them send me there as a patient.’
   ‘They won’t send me to the hospital as a patient unless I’m sick,’ he reported back to Major Major. ‘Actually, I am pretty sick. I’ve been meaning to turn myself in for a checkup, and this will be a good opportunity. I’ll go back to the medical tent and tell them I’m sick, and I’ll get sent to the hospital that way.’
   ‘Look what they did to me,’ he reported back to Major Major with purple gums. His distress was inconsolable. He carried his shoes and socks in his hands, and his toes had been painted with gentian-violet solution, too. ‘Who ever heard of a C.I.D. man with purple gums?’ he moaned.
   He walked away from the orderly room with his head down and tumbled into a slit trench and broke his nose. His temperature was still normal, but Gus and Wes made an exception of him and sent him to the hospital in an ambulance.
   Major Major had lied, and it was good. He was not really surprised that it was good, for he had observed that people who did lie were, on the whole, more resourceful and ambitious and successful than people who did not lie. Had he told the truth to the second C.I.D. man, he would have found himself in trouble. Instead he had lied and he was free to continue his work.
   He became more circumspect in his work as a result of the visit from the second C.I.D. man. He did all his signing with his left hand and only while wearing the dark glasses and false mustache he had used unsuccessfully to help him begin playing basketball again. As an additional precaution, he made a happy switch from Washington Irving to John Milton. John Milton was supple and concise. Like Washington Irving, he could be reversed with good effect whenever he grew monotonous. Furthermore, he enabled Major Major to double his output, for John Milton was so much shorter than either his own name or Washington Irving’s and took so much less time to write. John Milton proved fruitful in still one more respect. He was versatile, and Major Major soon found himself incorporating the signature in fragments of imaginary dialogues. Thus, typical endorsements on the official documents might read, ‘John Milton is a sadist’ or ‘Have you seen Milton, John?’ One signature of which he was especially proud read, ‘Is anybody in the John, Milton?’ John Milton threw open whole new vistas filled with charming, inexhaustible possibilities that promised to ward off monotony forever. Major Major went back to Washington Irving when John Milton grew monotonous.
   Major Major had bought the dark glasses and false mustache in Rome in a final, futile attempt to save himself from the swampy degradation into which he was steadily sinking. First there had been the awful humiliation of the Great Loyalty Oath Crusade, when not one of the thirty or forty people circulating competitive loyalty oaths would even allow him to sign. Then, just when that was blowing over, there was the matter of Clevinger’s plane disappearing so mysteriously in thin air with every member of the crew, and blame for the strange mishap centering balefully on him because he had never signed any of the loyalty oaths.
   The dark glasses had large magenta rims. The false black mustache was a flamboyant organ-grinder’s, and he wore them both to the basketball game one day when he felt he could endure his loneliness no longer. He affected an air of jaunty familiarity as he sauntered to the court and prayed silently that he would not be recognized. The others pretended not to recognize him, and he began to have fun. Just as he finished congratulating himself on his innocent ruse he was bumped hard by one of his opponents and knocked to his knees. Soon he was bumped hard again, and it dawned on him that they did recognize him and that they were using his disguise as a license to elbow, trip and maul him. They did not want him at all. And just as he did realize this, the players on his team fused instinctively with the players on the other team into a single, howling, bloodthirsty mob that descended upon him from all sides with foul curses and swinging fists. They knocked him to the ground, kicked him while he was on the ground, attacked him again after he had struggled blindly to his feet. He covered his face with his hands and could not see. They swarmed all over each other in their frenzied compulsion to bludgeon him, kick him, gouge him, trample him. He was pummeled spinning to the edge of the ditch and sent slithering down on his head and shoulders. At the bottom he found his footing, clambered up the other wall and staggered away beneath the hail of hoots and stones with which they pelted him until he lurched into shelter around a corner of the orderly room tent. His paramount concern throughout the entire assault was to keep his dark glasses and false mustache in place so that he might continue pretending he was somebody else and be spared the dreaded necessity of having to confront them with his authority.
   Back in his office, he wept; and when he finished weeping he washed the blood from his mouth and nose, scrubbed the dirt from the abrasions on his cheek and forehead, and summoned Sergeant Towser.
   ‘From now on,’ he said, ‘I don’t want anyone to come in to see me while I’m here. Is that clear?’
   ‘Yes, sir,’ said Sergeant Towser. ‘Does that include me?’
   ‘Yes.’
   ‘I see. Will that be all?’
   ‘Yes.’
   ‘What shall I say to the people who do come to see you while you’re here?’
   ‘Tell them I’m in and ask them to wait.’
   ‘Yes, sir. For how long?’
   ‘Until I’ve left.’
   ‘And then what shall I do with them?’
   ‘I don’t care.’
   ‘May I send them in to see you after you’ve left?’
   ‘Yes.’
   ‘But you won’t be here then, will you?’
   ‘No.’
   ‘Yes, sir. Will that be all?’
   ‘Yes.’
   ‘Yes, sir.’
   ‘From now on,’ Major Major said to the middle-aged enlisted man who took care of his trailer, ‘I don’t want you to come here while I’m here to ask me if there’s anything you can do for me. Is that clear?’
   ‘Yes, sir,’ said the orderly. ‘When should I come here to find out if there’s anything you want me to do for you?’
   ‘When I’m not here.’
   ‘Yes, sir. And what should I do?’
   ‘Whatever I tell you to.’
   ‘But you won’t be here to tell me. Will you?’
   ‘No.’
   ‘Then what should I do?’
   ‘Whatever has to be done.’
   ‘Yes, sir.’
   ‘That will be all,’ said Major Major.
   ‘Yes, sir,’ said the orderly. ‘Will that be all?’
   ‘No,’ said Major Major. ‘Don’t come in to clean, either. Don’t come in for anything unless you’re sure I’m not here.’
   ‘Yes, sir. But how can I always be sure?’
   ‘If you’re not sure, just assume that I am here and go away until you are sure. Is that clear?’
   ‘Yes, sir.’
   ‘I’m sorry to have to talk to you in this way, but I have to. Goodbye.’
   ‘Goodbye, sir.’
   ‘And thank you. For everything.’
   ‘Yes, sir.’
   ‘From now on,’ Major Major said to Milo Minderbinder, ‘I’m not going to come to the mess hall any more. I’ll have all my meals brought to me in my trailer.’
   ‘I think that’s a good idea, sir,’ Milo answered. ‘Now I’ll be able to serve you special dishes that the others will never know about. I’m sure you’ll enjoy them. Colonel Cathcart always does.’
   ‘I don’t want any special dishes. I want exactly what you serve all the other officers. Just have whoever brings it knock once on my door and leave the tray on the step. Is that clear?’
   ‘Yes, sir,’ said Milo. ‘That’s very clear. I’ve got some live Maine lobsters hidden away that I can serve you tonight with an excellent Roquefort salad and two frozen éclairs that were smuggled out of Paris only yesterday together with an important member of the French underground. Will that do for a start?’
   ‘No.’
   ‘Yes, sir. I understand.’ For dinner that night Milo served him broiled Maine lobster with excellent Roquefort salad and two frozen éclairs. Major Major was annoyed. If he sent it back, though, it would only go to waste or to somebody else, and Major Major had a weakness for broiled lobster. He ate with a guilty conscience. The next day for lunch there was terrapin Maryland with a whole quart of Dom Pérignon 1937, and Major Major gulped it down without a thought.
   After Milo, there remained only the men in the orderly room, and Major Major avoided them by entering and leaving every time through the dingy celluloid window of his office. The window unbuttoned and was low and large and easy to jump through from either side. He managed the distance between the orderly room and his trailer by darting around the corner of the tent when the coast was clear, leaping down into the railroad ditch and dashing along with head bowed until he attained the sanctuary of the forest. Abreast of his trailer, he left the ditch and wove his way speedily toward home through the dense underbrush, in which the only person he ever encountered was Captain Flume, who, drawn and ghostly, frightened him half to death one twilight by materializing without warning out of a patch of dewberry bushes to complain that Chief White Halfoat had threatened to slit his throat open from ear to ear.
   ‘If you ever frighten me like that again,’ Major Major told him, ‘I’ll slit your throat open from ear to ear.’ Captain Flume gasped and dissolved right back into the patch of dewberry bushes, and Major Major never set eyes on him again.
   When Major Major looked back on what he had accomplished, he was pleased. In the midst of a few foreign acres teeming with more than two hundred people, he had succeeded in becoming a recluse. With a little ingenuity and vision, he had made it all but impossible for anyone in the squadron to talk to him, which was just fine with everyone, he noticed, since no one wanted to talk to him anyway. No one, it turned out, but that madman Yossarian, who brought him down with a flying tackle one day as he was scooting along the bottom of the ditch to his trailer for lunch.
   The last person in the squadron Major Major wanted to be brought down with a flying tackle by was Yossarian. There was something inherently disreputable about Yossarian, always carrying on so disgracefully about that dead man in his tent who wasn’t even there and then taking off all his clothes after the Avignon mission and going around without them right up to the day General Dreedle stepped up to pin a medal on him for his heroism over Ferrara and found him standing in formation stark naked. No one in the world had the power to remove the dead man’s disorganized effects from Yossarian’s tent. Major Major had forfeited the authority when he permitted Sergeant Towser to report the lieutenant who had been killed over Orvieto less than two hours after he arrived in the squadron as never having arrived in the squadron at all. The only one with any right to remove his belongings from Yossarian’s tent, it seemed to Major Major, was Yossarian himself, and Yossarian, it seemed to Major Major, had no right.
   Major Major groaned after Yossarian brought him down with a flying tackle, and tried to wiggle to his feet. Yossarian wouldn’t let him.
   ‘Captain Yossarian,’ Yossarian said, ‘requests permission to speak to the major at once about a matter of life or death.’
   ‘Let me up, please,’ Major Major bid him in cranky discomfort. ‘I can’t return your salute while I’m lying on my arm.’ Yossarian released him. They stood up slowly. Yossarian saluted again and repeated his request.
   ‘Let’s go to my office,’ Major Major said. ‘I don’t think this is the best place to talk.’
   ‘Yes, sir,’ answered Yossarian.
   They smacked the gravel from their clothing and walked in constrained silence to the entrance of the orderly room.
   ‘Give me a minute or two to put some mercurochrome on these cuts. Then have Sergeant Towser send you in.’
   ‘Yes, sir.’ Major Major strode with dignity to the rear of the orderly room without glancing at any of the clerks and typists working at the desks and filing cabinets. He let the flap leading to his office fall closed behind him. As soon as he was alone in his office, he raced across the room to the window and jumped outside to dash away. He found Yossarian blocking his path. Yossarian was waiting at attention and saluted again.
   ‘Captain Yossarian requests permission to speak to the major at once about a matter of life or death,’ he repeated determinedly.
   ‘Permission denied,’ Major Major snapped.
   ‘That won’t do it.’ Major Major gave in. ‘All right,’ he conceded wearily. ‘I’ll talk to you. Please jump inside my office.’
   ‘After you.’ They jumped inside the office. Major Major sat down, and Yossarian moved around in front of his desk and told him that he did not want to fly any more combat missions. What could he do? Major Major asked himself. All he could do was what he had been instructed to do by Colonel Korn and hope for the best.
   ‘Why not?’ he asked.
   ‘I’m afraid.’
   ‘That’s nothing to be ashamed of,’ Major Major counseled him kindly. ‘We’re all afraid.’
   ‘I’m not ashamed,’ Yossarian said. ‘I’m just afraid.’
   ‘You wouldn’t be normal if you were never afraid. Even the bravest men experience fear. One of the biggest jobs we all face in combat is to overcome our fear.’
   ‘Oh, come on, Major. Can’t we do without that horseshit?’ Major Major lowered his gaze sheepishly and fiddled with his fingers. ‘What do you want me to tell you?’
   ‘That I’ve flown enough missions and can go home.’
   ‘How many have you flown?’
   ‘Fifty-one.’
   ‘You’ve only got four more to fly.’
   ‘He’ll raise them. Every time I get close he raises them.’
   ‘Perhaps he won’t this time.’
   ‘He never sends anyone home, anyway. He just keeps them around waiting for rotation orders until he doesn’t have enough men left for the crews, and then raises the number of missions and throws them all back on combat status. He’s been doing that ever since he got here.’
   ‘You mustn’t blame Colonel Cathcart for any delay with the orders,’ Major Major advised. ‘It’s Twenty-seventh Air Force’s responsibility to process the orders promptly once they get them from us.’
   ‘He could still ask for replacements and send us home when the orders did come back. Anyway, I’ve been told that Twenty-seventh Air Force wants only forty missions and that it’s only his own idea to get us to fly fifty-five.’
   ‘I wouldn’t know anything about that,’ Major Major answered. ‘Colonel Cathcart is our commanding officer and we must obey him. Why don’t you fly the four more missions and see what happens?’
   ‘I don’t want to.’ What could you do? Major Major asked himself again. What could you do with a man who looked you squarely in the eye and said he would rather die than be killed in combat, a man who was at least as mature and intelligent as you were and who you had to pretend was not? What could you say to him?
   ‘Suppose we let you pick your missions and fly milk runs,’ Major Major said. ‘That way you can fly the four missions and not run any risks.’
   ‘I don’t want to fly milk runs. I don’t want to be in the war any more.’
   ‘Would you like to see our country lose?’ Major Major asked.
   ‘We won’t lose. We’ve got more men, more money and more material. There are ten million men in uniform who could replace me. Some people are getting killed and a lot more are making money and having fun. Let somebody else get killed.’
   ‘But suppose everybody on our side felt that way.’
   ‘Then I’d certainly be a damned fool to feel any other way. Wouldn’t I?’ What could you possibly say to him? Major Major wondered forlornly. One thing he could not say was that there was nothing he could do. To say there was nothing he could do would suggest he would do something if he could and imply the existence of an error of injustice in Colonel Korn’s policy. Colonel Korn had been most explicit about that. He must never say there was nothing he could do.
   ‘I’m sorry,’ he said. ‘But there’s nothing I can do.’
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