MASH 14 MASH goes to Moscow

MASH 14 MASH goes to Moscow by Richard Hooker+William Butterworth

Book: MASH 14 MASH goes to Moscow by Richard Hooker+William Butterworth Read Free Book Online
Authors: Richard Hooker+William Butterworth
lopsided vote that the phrase “humiliating defeat” was a gross understatement.)
    “How are you, Senator?” Jim-Boy said. “Come in and set a spell. Have a boiled peanut?”
    “Your emissary, sir,” Senator Kamikaze said, “led me to believe I was summoned to render such assistance as I might be capable of providing in a matter of great importance to the republic.”
    “What did he say, Cy-Boy?” Jim-Boy asked. “All I understood was that part about Republicans, and you know we don’t use language like that in here.”
    “He said Lester told him it was important,” the Secretary of State said.
    “It is, Senator, it is,” Jim-Boy said. “But watch your language.”
    “Language, sir, was my profession before I agreed, as my clear patriotic duty, to assume the less important duties I am now endeavoring to perform.”
    “What did he say, Cy-Boy?”
    “He said he used to be an English teacher,” the Secretary of State said.
    “I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for schoolteachers,” Jim-Boy said. “Sit down, Senator. Take off that plaid beret.”
    “My headgear, sir, is a tam-o’-shanter, not a beret. A beret is a rather common means of covering the head in France. A tam-o’-shanter, on the other hand, is essentially Anglo-Saxon, specifically, Scottish, in origin. Moreover, a tam-o’-shanter has a tassel and a beret does not. I trust that I have detailed the most obvious differences between the two with sufficient clarity?”
    “Yeah, sure,” Jim-Boy said. “You know the Secretary of State, Senator? And the Admiral?”
    “I have that somewhat dubious privilege,” Senator Kamikaze replied.
    “We’ve been sitting around talking about that speech you made, Senator,” Jim-Boy said.
    “To which speech do you refer?”
    “The one where you said that you regard my election as the greatest threat to our form of government in the history of the republic,” Jim-Boy said.
    “I am delighted that it has been brought to your attention,” Senator Kamikaze said. “And I should welcome the opportunity to convince you of the validity of my objective conclusion.”
    “What did he say, Cy?” Jim-Boy asked.
    “He said he meant every word of it,” the Secretary of State translated.
    “But in the same speech, Senator,” Jim-Boy went on, “you also said that you would put your personal loathing behind you and do whatever you could to get the country through what you said was certain to be the worst four years it has ever experienced. You said that, didn’t you?”
    “That is a rough synopsis of my comments, yes,” Senator Kamikaze replied.
    “What did he say, Cy?”
    “He said he said that,” the Secretary of State replied.
    “In that case, Senator, welcome to the team!”
    “Let us not leap to a premature conclusion,” the senator replied. “What, exactly, is the nature of the national crisis, toward the solution of which you seek my advice and/or practical assistance?”
    “What did he say?”
    “He said what do you want from him and why,” the Secretary of State translated.
    “Senator,” Jim-Boy said dramatically, “your country needs you!”
    “Yes, I know,” the senator said. “But what does that have to do with you and me?”
    “Tell me, Senator, does the name Boris Alexandrovich Korsky-Rimsakov mean anything to you?”
    “He is the world’s greatest opera singer,” the senator said. “I have been privileged to hear him sing on many occasions.”
    “See? I told you he was the kind of guy who would know,” Jim-Boy said to the Admiral and the Secretary. He turned back to the senator. “The Russian ambassador was just in here to see me, Senator. He wants to make a little deal.”
    “I hope you didn’t loan him any additional funds,” the senator replied.
    “Not a dime,” Jim-Boy said proudly. “Not a lousy dime. What he wants is for us to send this singer to Moscow. If we do, he’ll stop moving his armored divisions around Poland and East Germany, and, to sweeten

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