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Savage Survival

 

Darrell Bain's Monthly Blog - July, August 2012

The contents of this Blog may be copied and sent to both friends and enemies with the stipulation that the source www.darrellbain.com is noted and included.

Bainstorming: Darrell's Bain's Monthly Blog.
Copyright © July, August 2012, By Darrell Bain
http://www.darrellbain.com

Responses to subjects brought up by this blog are welcome. I can be contacted by e-mailing me from my website.

Subjects this month:Reproductive rights and birth control, Climate Control, Coming soon Rogue Program, Climate Control, Book Reviews, For Adventure Enthusiasts, State of America Series: The Everlasting Housing Boondoggle, Threads, Testing in Schools, Good Intentions, Betty’s Desert Cookbook and articles/muses, Correlations, Fan Letters, Politicians scare me, The Story on Coffee, Desk Dictionary, Complete Toppers, Excerpt from Complete Toppers.

Reproductive Rights and Birth Control

Have you noticed how many laws, regulations, edicts, proselytizing and so on concerning birth control and abortion are made by men, not women? This is idiotic. Women are the ones who have the body that does the functions and in my opinion they are the ones who should decide whether or not they want to practice birth control, abortion and all other aspects of the issues. Instead, it’s men making the laws and telling women what they can or can’t do with their bodies. I’m a man. I know for damn sure I don’t want anyone (other than my wife) telling me whether or not to practice birth control by vasectomy, use of condoms or any other method, nor do I want anyone making decisions about my prostate gland, circumcision  (as an adult) or penis, whether to take testosterone shots or Viagra, etc. I’m perfectly capable of deciding those issues myself, in consultation with my doctor and my wife. I can hardly imagine a legislature dominated by women deciding for me and I’m sure women feel just about the same way having men decide how they use their body. Of course my wife and I are past the need of birth control but before we were it was our decision and no one else’s. I think if I were a woman I would be highly upset with the way it’s done these days in many places, including Texas. Does anyone else think this way?

Climate Control

In the end, I believe there are only a few ways to abate climate warming (and without debating over how much is caused by humans and how much by natural cycles over ages) and the biggest one is birth control. The best way of achieving this is allow women everywhere to control the conception.

Pollution is also a cause and simply trying to recycle and clean up our messes would help. We’re throwing way, way too much plastic into the environment. Also, there needs to be much more research on nanotechnology, both its use, as a possible method of cleaning up some pollution and the possibility of it polluting the environment.

If every concerned person would quit shouting at each other and agree that some of climate change is caused by man and some by the natural cycles of earth we’d be much better off. Who else thinks so?

Coming soon, Rogue Program by Darrell Bain

I’m working on the last edit of a book I’ve wanted to do for a long time finally got to it. It is dedicated to all the Fans of Savage Survival who wrote me and asked, “What happened next?” This book answers the question and more because I’ve done an extensive revision and expansion of Savage Survival and then added the sequel and combined them both into one great big book, tentatively titled Rogue Program. Watch my web site because Rogue Program should be out soon!

Book Reviews

I’ve read a number of books since the last Bainstorming but not many I want to recommend. Patrick Lee is an exception, a new author whose first three books comprise a trilogy. They are, in order, Breach, Ghost Country and Deep Sky. The stories involve a breach from some future that is kept a deep dark secret by the government. Travis Chase and Paige Campbell become deeply involved in Tangent, the program supervising the breach and find that there are forces loose in the world whose aims are different than the original purpose of Tangent. Narrow escapes, love story and plotting so intricate it is hard to keep up with. A very enjoyable trio for Adventure and science fiction fans. Or anyone, really.

Freedom, by Daniel Suarez finishes up the story begun in Daemon which I reported on in the last Bainstorming. Suarez is one of the best new writers in town. His two books involved the internet and all the mischief (wow!) one person can cause with enough knowledge of how it works. Highly recommended.

The rest of my time was spent on some mostly forgettable books or re-reads I’ve reported on previously.

Mostly I’ve been writing and editing the revision/expansion and sequel of Savage Survival, coming soon all in one big book. Tentative title is Rogue Program.

For Adventure Enthusiasts

Anyone who is interested in adventure and/or filming adventures should try the web site www.videoexplorers.com There are lots of good stories and film/photos there and an opportunity to tell about your own adventures.

State of America: The everlasting housing boondoggle.

The Everlasting Housing Boondoggle

At the time of this writing, we are still in the midst of a housing crisis, meltdown, boondoggle or whatever you want to call it. It is probably all of these and more. I keep reading where the banks were to blame. Actually, it wasn’t caused so much by banks as by government policy on housing. What in hell is the government doing in the housing business anyway? If our ever-helpful government hadn’t been the major provider and/or guarantor of mortgages there wouldn’t have been all those bonds based on mortgages that anyone with half a brain knew were going to go bad. The banks bundled the mortgages into bonds which were then sold and resold so many times no one, including the traders, had any idea at all or their worth. Crazy, huh? Right now most of the mortgages in the country are financed by Freddie Mae and Freddie Mac, quasi-government agencies that both wrote all kinds of mortgages by directive of the government so that poor people who couldn’t afford it could “buy” a house. What nonsense. Government agencies or banks either one have no business lending money to people or organizations when they know there’s little chance of the loans being repaid and they knew it! They didn’t care, though, because they could package all those sorry loans into a bundle, call them “bonds” and sell them to suckers like pension funds, individuals, other banks, investors, etc. We all know where that led, don’t we? But are we doing anything to change it? Listen to the deafening silence of inaction.
          I believe one of the worst things caused by the government giving out cheap loans to people who had no business buying a house is that it denigrated the idea of saving for a down payment on a home. That may have hurt us worse than the debacle that actually happened.
          I’ll ask again. What is the government dong in the housing business? From what I’ve read, somewhere way long time ago our ever-helpful government decided it would be good policy if every family owned their own homes. I agree that owning a home is nice if you can afford it and don’t move around a lot, but getting the government involved only disrupts the normal way to buy a house: save up for a down payment and let a bank finance it with the property as collateral. Many people buy homes because of the mortgage deduction. Now I fail to see why home owners should get a big deduction on their mortgage payments while renters get nothing. Zilch! Go back to my chapter on our stupid tax codes if your memory needs enhancing. All the government has done is to create a gigantic ponzi scheme that banks took advantage of, then when it collapsed, as those things always do, the little people took the beating while the bank managers got bonuses.
          Here’s another stupidity. Government housing projects. I have yet to read of a government housing project that didn’t ultimately turn into a gigantic slum. Usually a segregated one where drugs and violence are rampant and honest tenants are scared to let their kids play outside. Besides, why should someone making forty thousand a year pay taxes to provide cheap housing for someone making twenty thousand? Because some do-gooders said it was good policy, I suppose.  I can’t think of any other reason. We grew up in the very poorest section of town but were glad to get the house, ramshackle as it was. Mother never asked for government housing nor even government help and those were the days when she could have made more money by staying home and drawing the Aid to Mothers With Dependents payments. She didn’t. She worked like hell because she didn’t think anyone owed her a cheap house or apartment. Where has that attitude gone? It probably went with the giant government complexes that rapidly became worse than the most awful private slums like the one we lived in until Mother could do better.
          Generally speaking, when housing is privately owned, whether it be lived in by the owners or rented, it is taken care of by the occupants, at least minimally. Anyone renting a house they own isn’t going to let it go completely to pot or there won’t be anyone to rent it. And anyone owning the home they live in is likely to take care of it. So why is the government involved? The congress critters who made all the laws for public housing projects and for the two Freddies may have had good intentions but we all know what the road to hell is paved with, don’t we? Good intentions. Once a government institution is created neither heaven nor hell seems able to rid us of it. In fact, we can’t even keep it from growing  and plundering tax money. So let’s get the government out of this business and let the finance companies and banks take care of lending the money--without government guarantees. That way, there will still be foreclosures but they will be reduced to the bare minimum. People will save for their down payment on a home and buy what they can afford. The great recession of 2008 was created in large part by laxness with giving mortgages, many of them so fundamentally dumb-headed an idiot should have known better but what the hell--the initial mortgages were bundled into groups as bonds and sold over and over until God himself can’t figure out who owns what anymore.
          Let’s try to learn by this debacle. Is that too much to ask of our leaders? To realize what monsters they created with their guaranteed loans and phase the government out of the housing business for good. Forever!
          Just a little added note: Rent control isn’t a good idea either. If you don’t’ believe me, take a look at the state of housing in New York City!

Threads

I’m always open to threads of interest being included on my blog, so long as it is kept short and polite. Write me from my web site if you’d like to start one. Remember, I only publish once per month at the most.

Testing in Schools

Teachers in Texas are slowly but surely building a consensus on WAY, WAY (and yes, I’m shouting) too much testing in schools. Fully a quarter of the time in our schools now is taken up in either preparing for tests or doing the testing or closing down other classes so those teachers can be used as monitors or help in other ways with the classes being tested. Everyone remember: We sent a man to the moon with no government interference in elementary or high school other than encouraging studies in math and science. In the last forty years or so the government has spent about a trillion bucks on education below college level and test scores remain almost exactly the same. What does that tell you?

Let’s go back to letting the teachers run the classrooms and teach and determine passing grades and send kids who are unable to benefit from inclusion in regular classes to special schools. And stop the damned second language instruction other than first year immersion classes in English. Kids
Will learn a language much faster than adults if they are thrown into it for total immersion for however long it takes.

Good Intentions

Anyone reading this blog must know I’m very leery of good intentions. All too often they make problems worse. It is almost always best to try small test programs first to see if they are beneficial.

Betty’s Cookbook

Just a reminder: if anyone is interested in Betty Bain’s dessert cookbook interspersed with some of her articles and muses, please buy it from lulu.com instead of Amazon. I have no idea why they put a price tag of 27 dollars on it when at lulu.com you can get it for less than half that!

Articles, Muses and Delicious Diet-Breaking Desert Recipes by Betty Bain is also available as an ebook just about everywhere.

Correlations

I frequently see reports of correlations between this and that claiming this or that is a fact when correlations aren’t facts, they are simply relationships that may or may not mean anything. Be careful when you see stuff like that. How many times recently have you read about Medical “Knowledge” that was based on a correlation which turned out to wrong? Quite a few if you pay close attention to the subject. And of course it’s not just in medicine. Correlations are reported everywhere then the relationship stated as fact. Be careful when you read stuff like that and take time to think. For example: Men like the color red. Men also like Smart Phones. Therefore, men who like the color red must also like Smart Phones. That’s not a fact, is it? Or if it is, the correlation has nothing to do with it.

Fan Letters

I get quite a bit of fan mail. This is just a note to let everyone know that I do appreciate my readers of both this blog and my books letting me know when they like something or not or just want to comment on a particular subject. And I always answer my mail, no matter what’s said.

Politicians Scare Me

It has reached the point that I’m actually scared of seeing any politician elected because they have become absolutely shameless. They will do or say anything, tell any kind of lie and conceal any of their actions, all to get elected. And once in office they continue their mendacious ways. Very few members of Congress will make their tax returns available. They pass laws then make sure they are exempted form them. They are absolutely shameless in what they will do or say to get elected. I don’t think I could live with myself if I did anything even remotely comparable. And remember, these men and women aren’t teenagers who may have an excuse that their brains aren’t fully developed yet. They are adults, or call themselves adults anyway. Have they always been like this or am I just now seeing it?

The Story On Coffee

For years now I’ve been wondering why coffee bought at supermarkets has been tasting worse and worse. At last I’ve found out. Here’s what has been happening. There are two types of coffee beans, Arabica and Robusta. Arabica is the more flavorful, aromatic and much better tasting coffee. Robusta has a bitter taste and an aroma of burnt rubber. However, Robusta beans are much cheaper than Arabica. For years now, the major manufacturers of the coffee we buy at stores and supermarkets have been gradually adding more and more Robusta beans to the coffee they sell, whereas brands like Folgers and such used to be made from almost all Arabica beans, but no more. Now those brands have lots and lots of the cheaper, bitter tasting and nasty-odored Robusta beans added to the coffee they produce because they can make it cheaper than using all or mostly Arabica beans. Now that is the true story. For any of you coffee lovers like me who drink most of your coffee at home, the only solutions is to research the % of Robusta beans in the brand you drink. Don’t think it will be easy, though. The manufacturers won’t tell you this. You have to go about it another way. And even that probably won’t help. Until enough people complain to those companies, they will keep adding a higher and higher percentage of Robusta beans to their product. When I was young and idealistic I used to trust businesses to put out a good product at a reasonable price. No more. In this case I would gladly pay to get better coffee if I could find it, but apparently the coffee companies don’t give a damn. Until enough of us raise hell, they’ll go right on making money for their stockholders and pee on us poor consumers.

Desk Dictionary

Back before I owned a computer that could get on-line, I often needed or wanted to check a fact or find out something but at the time we couldn’t afford a set of Encyclopedias. I finally did break down and spend about forty bucks on a Desk dictionary. Soon after that I finally did buy a computer and subscribe to a dial up internet service over the phone. Wow, what a revelation. Now I could find out anything at the touch of a keyboard. But that forty bucks wasn’t completely wasted. It now resides on my bedside table where it is used to set my lamp on to make it higher and easier to read by. See, you can find a use for almost anything that’s obsolescent if you think about it hard enough!

Complete Toppers

I met Will Stafford when we ran across each other on the internet as I was trying to get sales started for my first published book, Medics Wild. What happened after that kept Betty and I laughing happily for the next two years.

The first volume of our correspondence was published years ago and the second volume finally reached print last year.

The two installments, Toppers and More Toppers, are still available. Both books are composed of correspondence between me and Will Stafford, mostly Will and most of it is humorous. We both swear every story we tell each other is the complete, unvarnished truth. You can believe as much of that as you want to but it’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

The Complete Toppers includes both books and has done better than I expected although it’s not on the best seller list yet. Nevertheless, anyone who likes to laugh should buy this book, either in print or ebook editions. I still remember how much Betty and I laughed during the two years we wrote back and forth, sometimes so much that our ribs were sore (TINS).

Below is an excerpt I selected at random from the first book. I doubt that it matters which section it came from since Will is such a naturally gifted humorous story teller that any part of our correspondence will make you laugh, if not actually howl with laughter. So buy the Complete Toppers by Darrell Bain and Will Stafford then settle down and enjoy yourself reading these stories of our time in Vietnam and our childhoods and other episodes of our lives. You won’t regret it, I promise.


           
Excerpt from Complete Toppers By Darrell Bain and Will Stafford

        There were a few days when we were shut up tight and couldn't get beer then we sent boxes of soap home with mama-san in exchange for some booze. One day she brought back Root Wine for God's sake, guaranteed to peel the hair off your scalp (in case you never ran across root wine, it is simply wine made from a big root in a jar, fermented there and dispensed with all the sediment, impurities, etc. left right in the bottle. Only desperate soldiers ever drank the stuff. I did. Once.) We traded soap for souvenirs, gave it to kids in exchange for washing our jeep and ambulance and deuce and a half. We disposed of it every way we could think of and still couldn't get rid of it as fast as it was coming in. This went on for months. Where there were return addresses, I wrote to thank the kindly souls and assured them that we now had enough soap and please don't tell their friends and neighbors to send any more. And when I rotated home, that soap was still arriving and spilling out the conexes. I have no idea what ever happened to it after I left. You sounded impatient so I told this story first. Now I'll go finish reading about the Human hairball--

Will replied,

            --excellent! I can hardly wait for Medics Wild to arrive and I definitely want to be on the list for book number two.

            Gosh. A sale already! And my second novel hadn’t even been published yet! Will was definitely my kind of people. I left the computer long enough to grab the sheets of paper from my wife and finish reading about the attempted fratricide on Andrew then rushed back to the computer. Our correspondence went like this:

Dear Will--
            Please don't do that to me again for at least the next 24 hours. I laughed so hard that Betty thought I was going into convulsions. And Betty did the same. She said, "He reminds me of Gordon". She also just said, "Girls don't manufacture as much spit as boys, and besides mother would have slapped what spit I had right out of my head if I had ever tried spitting between my teeth or any other way." Gordon, BTW, is my eccentric, weird, genius-level friend who has a degree in Nursing and Engineering and uses his computer to make a living at dog races since he retired. Same age as me. He retired three years ago and hasn't cut his hair since although he does shave every few months. We met him and his wife Marsha in Saudi Arabia. He was already there and had his whole house rigged up with a still to make White Lightning and had set up antennas and warning devices everywhere since alcohol is illegal over there. Something went wrong with the antennas one day while he was at work and Marsha was home by herself. Somehow, the microwaves or radio waves or whatever in hell Gordon had rigged up got mixed in with the reception/receiving of the security communications at the military base we were working at.
            Poor Marsha. One minute she was peacefully cooking dinner and the next a whole company of Saudi security guards were swarming over her house, roof and walls, tearing down antennas, telephone lines and any piece of wire that looked suspicious, including her clothesline (we didn't have clothes dryers). She tried calling Gordon at work, sure that at any moment the security detail was going to break in and discover the illegal still. They had cut the telephone lines, though and she couldn't get through. She met the security officers at the door and, shivering inside but speaking innocently, asked them what in hell they were doing. Since none of them spoke English, she just spoke louder and finally started screaming at them. Since she's a big blond woman I guess she scared them off, trailing their wires and her clothesline and no more was heard of it. However, after that Gordon and I conspired to "requisition" 10 imperial gallons of 95% ethyl alcohol in two five gallon metal drums, which when mixed with juice wasn't all that bad, though it did have sort of a metallic flavor. That lasted us the rest of the time I was there, but some of my misadventures since then can probably be blamed on metal poisoning of what few brain cells I still possessed. I know I don't have many or I would never have tried making a living growing Christmas trees or earn money from writing.

            Will answered,

Darrell--
            OK. No more humor for awhile. Gordon sounds like a good guy with at least two honest professions: Nursing and dog racing. As a working engineer I know this profession skirts the fringes of honest labor, ranking only half a rung above lawyering and two rungs below hooking. It was, however, the only profession after retiring from the Army where I could use my terrific mathematical skills. Skills which I had bribed a number of professors to say I had--

            At this point I suddenly remembered that Will had mentioned he was from Arkansas, a state my forebears occupied and where I had lived for a while. Curious, I wrote back,

Will--
            Arkansas? From where? All my folks are from Mena, about halfway up and near the Oklahoma border. Betty says you write like a combination of Gordon and Mark Twain, though she says you write sneakier than Gordon--he's more direct, though just as rib-tickling.
            I’ll tell you about my brothers next letter--

            And Will said,

Darrell--
            Tell Betty I appreciate the comment about Gordon, especially the sneaky part.
            I was closer to the Oklahoma border. We used to play Basketball against Mena--

            That was pretty close to home. I told him so.

Will--
            You probably played basketball against a lot of my cousins if you played, or saw them if you watched.
            My next youngest brother was hardly any trouble at all--until I turned 12 or 13 and he was two years younger. However, he had a husky build, was a handsome devil even then, with a shit-eating grin and a line of blarney I could only envy. That's the age when he started stealing my girlfriends and we had a falling out. I could always whip him up until I went into the service and was gone two years. He was bigger than me when I came home and feeling his Wheaties and suggested that we have a real boxing match instead of just sparring around like we used to. I tried to talk him out of it but he wouldn't listen. Little did he know that I had joined the boxing team in Bermuda. He took his black eye and swollen ear with good grace, I have to admit. We've been the best of friends ever since, especially after he went into the marines and we started arranging our leaves together when we could--though Shreveport was a little the worse for wear afterwards, especially after our youngest brother joined the Navy and all three of us started carousing together. I got together twice with my brother Gary (the marine) in Vietnam. The first time I went up to Chu Lai where he was, the excuse for granting me a
three day pass was as a special courier for the Colonel. I carried a bunch of letters to various officials up there and collected the answers. Unfortunately, we got so drunk and happy those three days that I lost all the replies somewhere--heck, I may have used them for toilet paper for all I remember. Right after that I cried on the Chaplain's shoulder and got a five day leave to Hong Kong to see Michael, my other brother, whose ship was docking there. Unfortunately, by the time I got there, he had in the meantime jumped ship in the Philippines. Having nothing else to do for five days, I received a very special education from the Hong Kong bar girls. I was broke in two days with not even a penny to eat on. One of the girls was a real angel, though. She told me to send for a hundred dollars and she would take care of me, hoping it would arrive before my plane left. It did, just barely. The CO didn't have much use for me after that and granted my request for a transfer to Da Nang to be near Gary soon afterward--

            That wound up our conversation for a few days. Will wrote,

Darrell--
            I’ll be off the computer a couple of days except for work (I hate that word). Sorry. Take care--

            Well, shucks. Having to break communications with Will left Betty and me feeling as if we had been watching a TV Series that was to be continued right as it was getting really, really good. Time does pass, though. First thing Monday, I e-mailed Will again, taking time off when I should have been working. Thanksgiving Day was the following Thursday, opening day of the selling season at our Christmas tree farm and we were really pressing to be ready. Nevertheless, I wrote,
           

Hi Will--
            Hope you're recovered from your weekend of work. I Don't think we have yet.  We've been cranking out wreaths and wrestling with trees the last few days.  Wreaths are tedious and time consuming to make and not the least bit  stimulating, intellectually. I don't know what two great brains like Betty and I are  doing manual labor for. Maybe we aren't as smart as we think we are.
             My first and only experience with school sports occurred in the eighth grade as a member of the relay team. It was in the big gym with the whole school watching. I was so concerned about catching the stick (I forget what  the damned thing is really called) from the guy behind me and didn't watch where I was going. I got off the track and plowed into spectators, coaches and opposing teams, leaving us all in a tangled mess of legs, arms and heads. By the time we sorted out who belonged to which appendage, the race was over. I'm sure glad we moved away soon afterwards. The embarrassment was terrible--

            Will wrote from work,

Darrell--
            Oh how well I know the feeling. My athletic misadventure was also in front of a packed house.  We were at the State basketball tournament and had managed to get about a zillion points ahead of the other team.  Coach decided to put the scrubs in.  Well the other team began to immediately put points on the board but with a zillion point lead and less than two minutes to go there was no worry.  Things were going pretty good until some idiot threw me the ball.  At first I was confused but managed to gather my wits and drove for the basket but got fouled.  I stepped to the foul line and my first attempt fell about three feet short of the goal.  There was a smattering of laughter and a few boos.  I decided, that wasn't going to happen again.  So I really let loose with the next shot.  Not only do I get it there, I get it clear over the backboard and it stuck in the framework.  It takes the referee a couple of minutes throwing other balls at it until he finally gets the ball down.  Everyone is laughing now.  OK, the other team brings the ball in, they tromp down the court and score.  Instead of going into a full court press, the other team runs back to a zone defense at the other end of the court.  The same idiot that threw me the ball before does it again.  Now I've got to dribble the ball almost the length of the court.  There is absolutely no one around me, I start down the court and out of now where, trip over my own feet and fall flat on my face.  Coach has had enough and yanks me. I get a standing ovation but lose my cheerleader girlfriend, my one true love, actually my only love at that point which I have been cultivating for over eight months.  Love may be an over statement since we'd just gotten to the level of swapping spit regularly.........she'd actually put her tongue in my mouth once.  That was pretty neat but it also nearly scared the crap out of me since I wasn't expecting it.  I mean up to now, kissing was just sort of banging lips together and rubbing around.  I'd tried to put my hand on her breast and she nearly broke one of my fingers, so yea, I guess you could say it was true love. Do you have Hairball brothers, too?--

            I answered truthfully,

Hi Will--
            Nope, neither of my brothers turned out to be hairballs. At least not very  big ones, and not at all after we were grown. They remain my best friends and confidants and their lives have provided me with a wealth of material  for writing.  Soon as I have time, I'll tell you about my brother's last (and final, I'm sure--they're happy) marriage where I told his new wife, Barbara, that living with Gary might be many things but it would never be dull. I had occasion to remind her of that later. 
            Gary (my next younger brother) and Barb met on a diving boat he was captaining in the Caymans. A year or so after they were married, Gary got a contract to take a brand new diving boat to Truk in the Pacific and operate it for a year. They got halfway there and the rudder fell off, leaving them stranded in the middle of the Pacific. When Barb asked him what he was going to do he said, "Well, can't go anywhere. May as well fish for a while." A day or so later sharks started circling the drifting boat and Barb finally convinced Gary that she was scared to death (I don't think anything ever scares Gary--he’s so filled with shithouse luck that he’s convinced by now that he’s going to live forever). So, he gave up his fishing and somehow rigged the boat so that he could drive it--but only backwards. They headed back home like that, very slow as you can imagine. Eventually he made contact with the coast guard and got a tow the last thousand miles. The first thing Barb said the next time I talked to her was, "You said life with Gary wouldn't be dull, but this is ridiculous!"  Little did she know she was in for another life-threatening adventure in British Columbia in the near future.

            Will agreed with my brotherly sentiments. He wrote,

Darrell--
            Now that's my idea of a really great brother. The Hairball should take lessons--

            About this time Will happened to mention that he had also been to Hong Kong and managed to stay celibate the whole five days. I was amazed.

Will--
            After telling me you spent time in Hong Kong sleeping alone, I conclude that you must be a paragon of virtue, having also remained celibate in Vietnam. I did the same for the first five months, until I had gone four months without a letter. After that I figured my soon to be ex-wife wasn't thinking much about what I was doing and succumbed to the charms of several very nice (comparatively) girls.

Darrell Bain
Shepherd, Texas
August 2012

 

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