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‘Nam – Episode 109

Posted in erbooker by erbooker on 06/01/2011

PFC’s Pete Hormel and Ziggy Riley — wrongly accused of being war criminals — are on the run through the jungles of Vietnam, accompanied by RN Annabeth Bisch and ex-Viet Cong Haht Dung..

Episode 109 – Kháng chiến chống Mỹ

Hormel:  C’mon, Ziggy. We’re gonna be late.

Riley:  Hold on, this looks cool.

(Pete Hormel follows Ziggy Riley into a dark, curtained storefront and they enter a room full of faintly-lit candles. An elderly Vietnamese woman sits at a table in the center of the room..)

The:  Come! Come into Madame The’s lair and all will be revealed.

Hormel:  (whispering)  This is bullshit, let’s go. The General’s gonna be pissed.

The:  You are not a believer!

Hormel:  Not particularly, no. Sorry.

The:  You are a child of logic and science. The mysticisms of the past do not interest you in the slightest.

Riley:  (eyes bulge)  Whoa. She’s readin’ you like a book, Pete. You are a child of logic and science!

The:  (pointing dramatically)  Your name is Pete!

Riley:  (gasps)

Hormel:  Alright, this is all very remarkable. Can you just read my friend’s fortune? We have a war to catch.

(Ziggy sits down across from Madame The with rapt attention..)

The:  You are about to face many struggles.

Riley:  (gasps again, turns to Pete, pointing at the fortuneteller)

Hormel:  Yeah, it’s a war. There might be a few struggles.

The:  So much death. It surrounds you!

Riley:  Oh no!

The:  But you will survive. Because the answer has been in your pocket the whole time.

Hormel:  (frowns)  Well, that’s awfully…specific.

Riley:  Is it a hand grenade? That’s where I usually keep ’em.

Hormel:  You shouldn’t do that, man.

The:  No, it is something much more explosive.

Riley:  A landmine? I’d have to have awfully big pockets..

The:  You will know when to use it. And it will set you free.

Riley:  Seriously, ’cause a landmine’s about as big as a frisbee. You ever try to stuff a frisbee in your pocket?


(Six months later, Pete, Ziggy, Annabeth, Wellington, Stockton and Peterson are in a small jail cell at a nearby Saigon police house that has been taken over by US Armed Forces for holding POW’s..)

Riley:  So bored!

Hormel:  You know, we wouldn’t be on the chopping block right now if you hadn’t had to get all up in Private Peterson’s face in that club.

Riley:  Oh, so it’s my fault now!

Hormel:  Pretty much.

Peterson:  I shouldn’t even be here! I’m the one who caught you guys. Now that Lt. Toole is gonna get promoted up the  line.

Riley:  Whoa. That’s racist, bro. Black guy can’t get a promotion?

Peterson:  That’s not what I said!

Riley:  Yeah it is, ya dirty bigot.  (hollering down the hallway)  Peterson’s a racist!

(A voice hollers back..)

Voice:  Quiet down in there!

Bisch:  There’s got to be something we can do. Mr. Stockton, how much of that article have you written? Maybe you can make a call and have them print what you’ve got so far.

Stockton:  So far? I’ve got the title. I’m gonna call it, “Tainted Meat”.

Wellington:  Aw, I like that. We could use that picture I took of the dead cow covered in Agent Orange in the Da Nang farmfield.

Bisch:  Lovely.


(Lt. Toole is speaking with Gen. Kennedy at the front desk of the Saigon police station as he fills out the paperwork on the arrests..)

Toole:  Gen. Kennedy, I assure you that if you give me a little more time I can prove that Hormel and Riley are innocent. It is of my belief that the Hormel canned meat that was delivered to Company D had gone bad well before it was served by the privates.

Kennedy:  Lt. Toole, as far as I’m concerned this is an open and shut case.

Riley:  (from down the hall)  Peterson’s a racist!

Kennedy:   Quiet down in there!

Toole:  With all due respect sir, I think there are a lot more questions here than there are answers.

Kennedy:  It’s simple, Toole. Hormel hated America. He poisoned his daddy’s meat and took out his entire company. Thought he’d wipe his hands clean of this whole nasty war business.

Toole:  Yes, sir. But where is your proof?

Kennedy:  Proof is in the pudding, son.

Talcum:  I don’t think they served pudding, General.


(Back at the fortuneteller’s..)

Riley:  So the answer is in my pocket? K, think I got it.

The:  One more thing.

Riley:  (leans closer)

The:  That’ll be thirty dollars.

Riley:  Right.

(Ziggy pays the fortuneteller and the two race out of her storefront and down to the San Diego docks, where a ship is waiting to take them to Vietnam..)


(That evening, Annabeth is asleep on Pete’s shoulder. Peterson and the Rolling Stone duo are passed out on the far side of the cell. Ziggy is staring bleakly at the gray wall across from him..)

Riley:  Maybe this really is all my fault.

Hormel:  Aw, nah Zig. I was just in a bad mood. I really thought I had a chance to get us all out of this. I screwed up.

Riley:  I think you did a damn good job, bro. You got us all the way from that hellhole in Camp Cleveland to Saigon. You were thinkin’ quick on your feet. You got us out of that bamboo cage. You got us away from that weird redneck Chinese rice farmer. You outsmarted that boat captain, two Russian officers and the biggest crime boss in ‘Nam. You put on one helluva show, Pete.

Hormel:  Wasn’t just me, Zig. It was all of us. You, Annabeth. Heck, even Dung turned out to be valuable. We all chipped in together.

Riley:  (nods)  Kinda like the Communists. Maybe they’re onto something with all this sharing crap.

Hormel:  Just wish I coulda had one more day. Felt like I was so close.

Riley:  (kicks his feet up on the bench)  Yeah, well. Ya win some, ya lose some.

(Ziggy fishes around in his Army jacket pocket and pulls out a small tin box, handing it to Pete..)

Riley:  Spam?


(Pete stares in disbelief..)

Hormel:  Ziggy, how long have you had this?

Riley:  (shrugs)  Since Camp Cleveland. Never know when you’re gonna have a hankerin’ for some ham…kerin’. Spamkerin’.

(Pete snatches the Spam tin, turns it over and reads the expiration date..)

Hormel:  February 1968. Ziggy, this is almost a year ago.

Riley:  (nods)  That’s probably why everybody got sick and stuff.

Hormel:  (beaming)  Zig, don’t you see? This is our proof! This is our ticket out!

(Pete bounds off the prison cell bench, knocking Annabeth off his shoulder and starts banging on the prison bars with the Spam tin. Lt. Toole and Gen. Kennedy come around the corner..)

Kennedy:  What the devil has gotten into you, boy?

(Pete thrusts the tin into the General’s face..)

Hormel:  Read it and weep, General.

Toole:  (glances at the expiration date)  February. Why sir, this exonerates them entirely!

Kennedy:  (dons his glasses, takes the tin)  Yes, I suppose it does. Hmm.

Toole:  (grinning)  I’ll go start the paperwork at once.

(The General returns to his office with the Spam and Pete hugs a groggy Annabeth..)

Bisch:  What’s going on?

Hormel:  We’re free! They’re going to drop all charges. Ziggy saved us all!

Bisch:  Ziggy!

(Annabeth leaps into Ziggy’s arms as he grins sheepishly..)

Riley:  Turns out that San Diego fortuneteller was right all along. The answer was in my pocket and the answer was Spam! And to think I spent my whole first day out here trying to cram this stupid landmine in my pants..

(Ziggy pats the side of his pants and they emit a metal clang..)


(A loud explosion rocks the Saigon Police Department and Gen. Kennedy pours himself a scotch, tossing the Spam tin in the trashcan.)

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