Letters form the Front Line — Day 186

My Dearest Mr. Daquano,

It is being called the Fracas for The Frat House! Our names will go down in newsroom lore! Books will be written about how four men drove the demon 7th Division with its parfumed stronghold on our home base.

For our heroic rescue of Forward Operating Base Frat House, we have all been promoted!

Private Slappy is now Private First Class Slappy. His certificate of commendation reads like litany of war atrocities. But I must quote one of the more gentile passages for you. “And for bravery in the face of aerosol hair spray and flailing hair brushes; therefore be it resolved that Private Slappy be promoted to the rank of Private First Class.”

Lance Corporal Houston has been meritoriously promoted to the rank of Corporal for behavior unbecoming a hairdo. You see, my crusty croissant, it is most uncouth, for one of his rank and beauty to use one’s hair as a weapon. But in this case it was for good, and not evil. Add to that the fact that it almost single-handedly thwarted a second assault, and General News had no choice but to promote Houston to Corporal.

You know how I detest a braggart, but at this moment, I must also mention my own promotion. For ingenious and novel uses of a microphone cord, leading the battle, and returning Frat House to its original odor, I have been promoted to Staff Sergeant.

Captain Crank deserved promotion as well, but for alliteration sake, he will remain a Captain.

Warmest personal regards,

SSgt T. Polisher

1st News Division

9th Battalion

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Letters from the Front Line — Day 179

My Dearest Mr. Daquano,

It is with great trepidation that I write this letter. I fear it will trouble your fragile state of mind. That is the furthest from my intention, however, you have always urged me to never sugar-coat the truth.

Lance Corporal Houston and I fought valiantly against the fury of Laura. Our reportage won great honor for the 1st News Division. As others fled in fear or shivered in their quarters, we stared into Laura’s eye, undaunted, and poked it with the proverbial stick.

We fully expected to be greeted as conquering heroes, but that was not to be. There were still more battles to be fought.

We returned only to find Forward Operating Base Frat House had been overrun by troops in full retreat from the storm. Private Slappy tried to warn us, but he was unceremoniously driven from Frat House by a horde of multimedia journalists, their rainsuits damp with perspiration rather than precipitation.

As badly as he needs rebuke for abandoning his post, I can hardly fault the lad. Captain Crank was MIA, having fallen victim to the wretched virus that has separated us so. Pvt Slappy gave his best, but the sheer number of blow-dried hairdos was too much to overcome. Better for him to retreat and await reinforcements.

Today, the Lance and I arrived, and with Pvt Slappy and a healthy Capt. Crank, unleashed an assault of FOB Frat House that will go down in the annals of Newsroom lore.

I took the lead, fashioning a lash out of a discarded microphone cord and sent the horde scurrying from the Frat House main hall like the our Lord and Savior chasing money changers from the temple.

The sight of LCpl Houston’s pompadour, in all its radiant glory, further frightened the hairdos so, they hastened their pace, leaving without their storm provisions or face coverings. Pvt Slappy rounded up the stragglers and forced them out with the threat of a dirty baby diaper which he procured from his very own domicile.

Capt. Crank stood outside the doors reciting tales of yore to ensure they did not return.

Together, we planted our flag back atop the shanty we call home. It was a glorious victory for the men of Frat House. Now, I must take leave.

The horde left our premises defiled with the scent of perfume, hair spray, and latte. The lads and I are about to commence the ceremonial fumigation to return Frat House to its original glory.

Warmest personal regards,

Sgt. T. Polisher

1st News Division

9th Battalion

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Mail Call — Day 177

Sgt. T. Polisher,

It is with much regret I write to inform you Forward Operating Base Frat House has been overrun, and I am in full retreat.

Captain Crank is MIA. Lance Corporal Good Hair on the front lines of hurricane coverage with yourself, leaving myself the only defender of the homeland.

The invading forces of the 7th Battalion were too much, and I am too few. The smell of perfume burns my lungs like mustard gas, and the reckless abandon of those not much younger than Good Hair proved to be to much for me to handle. 

Even the comfortable confines of sales and all of its creature comforts not afforded to us grunts have started to crumble. In fact, I believe I just heard to call for retreat once more. Laura and her vengeance seem to be ruthless. 

I have to leave now before we are overrun again. Tomorrow I shall try to infiltrate the ranks of the invaders but I fear what will happen if I am caught. 

God speed,
Private Slappy

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Letters from the Front Line — Day 171


Dearest Mr. Daquano,

 I hope this missive finds you.

Things are not well outside the wire. There is havoc in the streets. Mayhem on the air. Gas lines at every station. And electricity is at a premium.

The windy wench Laura has done her best to blow most of Southwest Louisiana off of the map. But I am happy to report, the pompadour survived! One hundred fifty mile-per-hour winds could not waft a single hair out of place.

In the face of howling winds and whipping rains, Lance Corporal Houston acquitted himself with aplomb and professionalism. He danced and dodged inside Laura’s evil eye wall, and I did all I could to keep him in the frame.

We both laughed at her pale attempt to shoo us away with her rain that stung like BBs on our skin.

While the Weather Channel team, in their shiny slickers, used well-equipped tanks, and army of video minions and assistants to bring Laura into living rooms around the country, and the networks sent an entire platoon to bring back pictures after her fury had passed, the Lance and I supplied all of the Gray nation with minute-by-minute smotherage of the carnage.

Though Laura is gone, sadly, my work here is not done. I must remain behind enemy lines to ensure that the 7th News Division remains on air.

In my absence, I trust that Private Slappy and Captain Crank can defend Forward Operating Base Frat House against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

Warmest personal regards,

Sgt. T. Polisher
1st News Division
9th Battalion

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Letters from the Front Line — Day 162

+_7975e0902bad8576c9220e6c8714cf21My Dearest Mr. Daquano,

Over the weekend, General News ordered me to put my affects in order. I shall be working outside the wire for an extended period. It is not certain that I will return.

In the most 2020 thing that has happened this year, two maelstroms are destined to ravage the Louisiana coastline at once. The duty of hyping them falls to myself, and Lance Corporal Houston.

Therefore, in the event that I am blown out to sea, or impaled by a sailing STOP sign,  bequeath all my turdpolish to you.

I am afraid, in the famous words of Detective Murtaugh, “I’m getting too old for this shit.”

I have faced raging drizzles before. But never two at once. Mayhaps this two-fisted cyclone will blow this wretched contagion from our land, and we may be reunited at long last. I hear his royal highness, the governor, has ordered Laura and Marco to remain at least six feet apart to reduce the spread the pestilence that has torn us from each other’s arms.

Please do not trouble yourself to worry on my behalf. I am sure you will face your own peril swaddled in the governor’s meeting room noshing on the finest finger foods while swilling chilled beverages.

In the event that you are assigned Boot Duhe, remember, the Boot is young. Treat him gingerly, and please rip that golden map to shreds.

Know that LCpl Houston and I will be drenched to the bone with only a single tube of Boudreaux’s Butt Paste between us. We shall dine on only the rankest of potted meat spread with a rusty Leatherman onto stale saltines. And wash it down with whatever floodwaters we can scoop into the used tin.

But cry not for us. for we knew the dangers involved in the life of a newshound when we signed up for this shitshow.

As grim as it sounds, I am looking forward to experience the pompadour in all its luster. I shall take copious notes on his care for it, and report back how it sustains itself in hurricane-force winds.

Warmest personal regards,

Sgt. T. Polisher
1st News Division
9th Battalion

Post Script: Private Slappy volunteered for storm duty, but General News was worried the dullard would look toward the sky, and his nose would fill with storm water and drown the poor lad.

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Letters from the Front Line — Day 156


My Dearest Mr. Daquano,

Word has reached Forward Operating Base Frat House that we have let pass unnoticed, a most auspicious occasion. We, the staff here convey our deepest, most heart-felt apologies for the oversight.

To that end, we would like to invite you to a night of frivolity and celebration of your 25 years in the most noble, and thankless profession of television packmule.

We promise to share stiff drink and swap tawdry war stories from a time before beancounters and houseboys sucked the fun out of this industry. We have invited some of your old comrades, to regale us with tales of your misspent novitiate year, and more recent colleagues to bandy about current anecdotes of your senility.

We shall also endeavor to test your field acumen with photo-gamesmanship. There will be contests in cable-spooling, backwards walking, phlegm avoidance, and desk hide and seek (though no one can beat reigning champion Captain Crank.)

Pleases wear your Sunday best, for the night may also include a trip to church. As this will be a gathering of photogs, there have been strict instructions to leave all image-gathering paraphernalia behind. We remember all too well what happened last time the Senator stepped foot inside the sanctuary and lost his belt to a be-glittered siren in nothing more than her unmentionables.

It is our most fervent hope that you will be able to attend.

Warmest personal regards,

Sgt. T. Polisher
1st News Division
9th Battalion

Post Script: Boot Duhe has agreed to sing karaoke.

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Letters from the Front Line — Day 150

117393057_10220392041924017_823388481510097720_nMy Dearest Mr. Daquano,

General News has ordered me from my position languishing behind the lens. Manpower is such that beginning last night, I am to appear in front of the camera. Desperate times, I am afraid, call for desperate measures.

With the constant COVIDity spilling across the screen, and the addition of another 30 minutes of hype to fill, the general, in his infinite wisdom, has deemed it necessary to add a little levity to the newscast. Enter the trained monkey.

Besides the obvious trauma to the viewing public, I am afraid my promotion will also negatively impact you and the Senator. In my absence from Forward Operating Base Frat House, you may be tasked with aiding the dullard.

To that end, I have compiled this

List for the Care and Feeding of Private Slappy.

  1. Don’t let him near your camera. He loves pressing buttons and flipping switches irregardless of his understanding of their function. (The radio mystifies him as well.)
  2. Try not to mention his rumpled uniform. The lad always appears to have slept in his dress blues. It seems to be a point of great pride.
  3. Ask him about Caroline’s gas. This will encourage hours of raucous banter about his child’s latest bowel movement, and the stains it left on his upholstery. It may, however, cause you to yearn for the days when you, I, and Prime Minister Meeks sat in the kitchen swapping stories of Tupperware and right field fences.
  4. Never mention Bar-B-Que. Pvt. Slappy is a savant. At the slightest reference to pecan smoke, he will regail you with tales of briskets and ribs, and the inferiority of Louisiana grilling. While comprehensive, his knowledge is not nearly so entertaining as that of Mr. No-Hustle.
  5. Remember, his script is but a suggestion. The poor oaf knows not what he writes.
  6. If you venture into Frat House, avoid Captain Crank. It’s been a while since he’s seen you, but his war stories have not gotten any better.
  7. Never stare directly into Lance Corporal Houston’s pompadour. It’s luster is blinding, and it’s bounty, a siren’s call.

I hope this will aid you in your new assignment.

Warmest personal regards,

Sgt. T. Polisher
1st news Division
9th Battalion

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Letters from the Front Line — Day 144

117122618_10216626036659034_3010917977776456694_nMy Dearest Mr. Daquano,

Well, I have completed another trip around the sun, and my body is certainly worse for the wear.

I blame this cursed contagion. It has been a full gross of sunrises since the governor has ordered us to eliminate all contact in order to stave off the ravages of COVID-19. The lack of companionship and purpose has been deleterious to my will to bathe, much less endeavor to write.

Simple hygiene has become an arduous task. I haven’t shaved in weeks. Were I to appear on camera like this, General News would certainly call a court martial.

The governor’s mask mandate has pushed physical training to the back seat. Now, my days are consumed with drinking warm ale and choking down confections, jerky, and the canned meat in our mess kit. I have grown particularly fond of the snot that drips from the tiny, canned sausages that are so bountiful during hurricane season.

In my current state, I could not lift myself over the first wall of a Spartan Race, much less scale the ruins of Dixie or Mall City.

Life in Forward Operating Base Frat House is no better. Lance Corporal Houston’s lustrous pompadour has grown so shaggy that it has collapsed under its own weight. Captain Crank has grown so despondent, he barely utters a word about his two sons. And I have been here so long, that I sometimes understand Private Slappy.

The one bright spot is that Boot Duhe rarely darkens our threshold. When he does, he is usually overexposed, and slightly out of focus.

It is my fervent hope that this anniversary of my birth will inspire me to become, once again, the trim lad you remember scaling storm debris and swing from ropes like your sweet simian, but alas, I am afraid this depressing holiday will only goad me into increasing my girth.

Warmest personal regards,

Sgt. T. Polisher
1st News Division
9th Battalion

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Mail Call — Day 142

116601474_10216605582387690_5531949343441618689_nDearest Rick,

As the paterfamilias I’d like to thank you for your thoughtful queries about my youngest son’s potty training endeavors. I have shown him some tried and true techniques past down from our forefathers.

You can alert the Retired Queen Almighty Zimmerman that he did in fact soil the carpet last week but has since been steadfast in dropping it into the big boy potty. Please let her know it didn’t require a closed door meeting, I knew it was merely accidental.

I’m am so ready to see lil soilder boy’s face when he sees you for the first time, he’s sure to scream and demand to be put back from whence he came. Be sure Ms Gail holds him first as to not ruin his first impressions of his grandparents.

I may have a solution for your lack of running motivation. FaceTime me while you gingerly trot and I can make chicken noises and laugh at your deformed physique. I can ask you if that’s your legs or are you riding a chicken, that one never gets old.

I must go now my minuscule minion, I think I heard Willie D grunting, I hope he’s hovering over his baby pot and not my freshly vacuumed carpet.

Warm regards,

Left eye Daquano
2nd Regime
69th Battalion

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Letters from the Front Line — Day 138

IMG_1346My Dearest Mr. Daquno,

Kudos to you on your niblet’s latest milestone. Though I find it hard to believe that one as ill-housebroken as yourself could train anyone to deposit his waste anywhere but his own pants. Keep me posted on Willie D’s progress. Should he crap on the carpet, I shall notify Retired General Zimmerman of the irony post haste.

The general has also, once again, banished Private Slappy and I to our separate corners. Languishing at the Turdpolisher Ranch has it’s own charm, but I miss the bawdy gossip of Boot Duhe’s latest escapades, and Lance Corporal Houston’s Pompadour. Captain Crank, not so much.

As for my own dearth of communication, I must confess to my own pre-occupation. My daughter-in-law has been on leave from the land of granola and wingnuts, so the Missus and I have been preoccupied with pampering her and the little soldier growing inside her.

You will be happy to know that my training is progressing. I am up to two miles at a jaunt. Sadly, my pace is somewhere between a gimpy penguin and a tranquilized sloth.

Moreover, I find motivation difficult without your constant tomfoolery over my avian drumsticks. To that end, I bought new training socks to remind me of your wisecrackery. It makes my pace no more expeditious, but it causes others on my route smile.

Warmest personal regards,

Sgt. T. Polisher
1st News Division
9th Battalion

Post Script. Maybe the tale of your adventures in right field would inspire the niblet to crap in the pot rather than on the carpet.

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