See, Do

by Kyle SUNDBY
 

The fucker’s eating the whole orange—he didn’t even try peeling it. He’ll be hating his impatience any time now. Lance Corporal Snow is pinching the remaining tobacco from the can while he waits to see what happens next.

He tosses the empty can into the Dumpster and the reflection of the sun off the metal lid draws the monkey’s attention. If the monkey would have noticed the can earlier and considered the hole punched into the orange before he devoured it, he might have saved himself some grief and embarrassment. But he’s a monkey and a noisy and stupid little shit of a monkey at that.

Lance Corporal Watson and PFC Williams come out of the Quonset hut and join Lance Corporal Snow to have a smoke and see what’s happening. Some more monkeys pop out of the jungle to get in on the handouts, which are few and far between now that their platoon has been in the Philippines for a couple of weeks. Bastards were cute the first couple of days, but now…

Lance Corporal Snow tells Watson and Williams what he devised. Laughing and watching, they call out a few more of their buddies from the shade of the temporary structure, erected at least 20 years ago, that serves as their barracks. The monkeys become excited by the appearance of so many people and chirp and scream and shake branches and demonstrate that it does not take size to make a shitload of noise. They’re split between jockeying for positions close to the Marines and moving toward the monkey finishing the fat, juicy, and cleverly juiced orange.

“I’m not wasting another can on the rest of you cocksuckers,” Lance Corporal Snow tells the monkeys. Or maybe he’s telling his fellow enlisted men. “You can’t get any good Copenhagen over here - just that shit in the plastic cans.”

The monkey that swallowed the orange and with it two days worth of snuff, falls from his perch to the jungle floor without so much as a gag or wretch. He’s out cold about ten feet back from the tree line. The monkeys and Marines go apeshit, laughing, swearing, chatting, whatever.

“Is it dead?” Williams or Watson asks.

“Dude, how much chew did you put in that thing?” asks the one who didn’t just ask.

Lance Corporal Snow spits a mahogany stream toward the brush where the witless victim of the prank lays. “Fuckin’ monkeys.”

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