The Signal of CorpsE
The howling winds woke me up at 5:30 am. I perused the world with a haggard eye. CBC said the wind chill was -16 C. F@*k! I stumbled to the kitchen and made some breakfast. It wasn't much of a breakfast; buttered toast with strawberry jam. My gut agreed. Actually, it rebelled violently. Simultaneous vomiting and diarrhea left me weak and hungry. I drank lots of water. I needed it. It was time to head out for food. The fridge was empty and edible food was still frozen.
I put on long jeans, woolen socks and extra sweaters. F@*k, it was a cold walk to the bus stop. At least, the bus was on time. The bus wasn't very warm and by the time I got to Buster's hypothermia was settling in. I staggered in and cried pitifully for HOT coffee. It didn't come because there was a large table with eleven old farts having a hearty breakfast. The coffee finally came and I inhaled the first cup. "More!" I cried, "More!"
The coffee didn't help. I began to shake involuntarily. I mean, shake as in Cerebral Palsy. I could barely hold the cup. My meal arrived once the lads had been served. I shook like a Malaria patient. I looked at the plate. I couldn't face the food. I called for more coffee. My remaining neurons suggested that I, at least, should try to absorb the eggs. I missed the fork three times thanks to the shaking. Once gripped, I could not spear the eggs. The fork bounce off the toast, bacon and home fries like Philae. I tried to find the plate. My fork hit it hard ... "Ting Ting Ting ... Tang Tang Tang ... Ting Ting Ting." Suddenly, eleven chairs scraped the wooden floor and the old lads stood up. Each held a spoon. They began hitting the sides of their water glasses. Dimly, I began to detect a pattern. They were replying to my inadvertent S.O.S with the proper Morse Code response. I stood up and gave them a proper salute, swaying slightly.
It turns out they were former members of various Signal Corps from around the world, here for their annual reunion. What a wonderful moment. I watched as they filed out, waving to me. The waitress came by and whispered, "We don't normally do this but they insisted." She put a glass on the table. It contained single-malt Scotch. Holy F@*k! I had common tears in my eyes and angel tears on my tongue.
Submitted by Jean Brasseur, 24 October 2014