Sky Hook

by on July 21st, 2010
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“All right, you maggots! Listen up, and listen up good!! By 1800 hours I want each and every one of you lousy pieces of worm puke to report back here to the flagpole with the following items: 1,000 feet of Canadian shoreline, a left-handed monkey wrench, a box of headless screws, and-are you ready for this?”

Eagle Patrol was ready and willing.

So Senior Patrol Leader Chip Masterson sucked all the air out of the atmosphere into his barrel of a chest, waited five eternal seconds, and added: “And the last item, the one absolutely essential for survival out here in the wilds of the untamed Michigan wilderness, is a sky hook. You got that-a sky hook!”

Oh, the five frightened tenderfeet of Eagle Patrol got it all right, and they spent the rest of that afternoon in the sizzling summer of 1967 looking for just such a sky hook as well as the other improbable items on the supercilious Senior Patrol Leader’s to-get list.

They found not a single inch of Canadian shoreline, because none existed in the State of Michigan. Oh sure, there was plenty of it across lakes Erie, Huron, and Superior to be had, but it was neither cheap nor portable.

So, no Canadian shoreline, and no left-handed monkey wrench, and certainly no box of headless screws.

Wasn’t going to happen.

But sky hooks, well, sky hooks could and would if they were sought, and the desperate members of Eagle Patrol were prepared to pay any price to get the evil Senior Patrol Leader off their collective back.

So they went deep into the forest and communed with certain animal sages there and made a certain arrangement with a wise old badger named Burt. They were thus able to report back at 1800 hours at the flagpole that they had at least been able to procure a sky hook for Senior Patrol Leader Masterson’s pleasure.

Well, it was not pleasure so much as pure terror at 1800 hours when the power-made martinet made the members of Eagle Patrol “drop and give me 20 for failing to get all the items necessary for survival in the-“

“But we really got you a sky hook,” they chorused.

Chip Masterson stopped swaggering long enough sneer. “Right! Show me!”

Oh, they showed him all right. They showed him by sitting back on their haunches and watching as a great hook appeared in the sky over the 17-year-old who would be a military hero, swooped down and hooked him by the polished leather belt he was wearing and hauled him off to be severely rebuked in a metaphysical side of the forest not unlike that place of purification and remedial correction the Catholic scouts called purgatory.


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