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A friend of mine, at the time of this story a member of the Australian SAS, was at an undisclosed location in Vietnam taking part in a joint operation with some US Special Forces.

It was a typical case of army "hurry up and wait" that found him and about 12 other guys seeking the dubious pleasures of the mess. This particular mess was fairly well known for its large collection of board games, including Monopoly, Risk, and at least two varieties of American Civil War. And as their ready status got steadily downgraded from "ready at a moment's notice" to "24 hour notice", they naturally gravitated from card games that could be packed up in an instant to longer, more ambitious gaming. Apparently one group decided to play Monopoly "properly" with an auctioneer and everything!

My friend was content to catch up on his reading until a shadow was cast across his book by an extremely large "southern gentleman". You'll have to do the drawl in your own minds as you read this, because I am assured it was notable for both its depth and sonorous qualities. Let's call him "Bubba" and my friend "the Aussie".

FADE IN:

INT. US ARMY MESS IN VIETNAM        DAY

The massive shadow of BUBBA blocks the reading light that THE AUSSIE is using. BUBBA is carrying a BOARD GAME.

BUBBA
Why you readin' fer? Wanna play a game?

BUBBA looks like very few people say "No!" to him...

THE AUSSIE
(looks at box)
Sure, mate! But you'll have to teach me how to play "Civil War"!

BUBBA
Uh-huh. But you'll play, right?

THE AUSSIE
(glancing around)
What about that table over there?

BUBBA carefully arranges the BOARD so that he is playing THE SOUTH. They begin to play CIVIL WAR. BUBBA's teaching methods leave something to be desired. BUBBA WINS.

BUBBA
(shouting)
Woooohoooo! The South will riiiise again! (beat) Another game?

THE AUSSIE
(confidently, thinks he's got the hang of this)
Sure!

They play again. This time it is a close game, but THE AUSSIE narrowly WINS.

BUBBA
(not angry but on his way there)
You wanna play again, mister?

THE AUSSIE
(getting the hang of this)
Not a problem mate!

They play again. This time it is not a close game at all. THE AUSSIE WINS very convincingly.

BUBBA
(halfway between tears and rage)
You better play me again.

THE AUSSIE
(swallows)
Yeah, righto.

BUBBA takes the BOARD and slides it around until he is playing THE NORTH for the first time. They play. It's a tough game, but THE AUSSIE (as THE SOUTH) WINS.

BUBBA
(exultant)
Woooohoooo! The South will riiiise again!

FADE OUT:

And that, my friends, is a true story.

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