Wednesday, August 10, 2005


This is the 6th part of the story the 1970 tank accident that I began on July 26 and continued on July 28, 29, 31, and August 8.

I had been dreaming of a steak and lobster dinner. It looked good, but in this dream I couldn’t get a fork-full into my mouth. Suddenly I felt as though someone was sticking a fork into my left leg. That’s when I stirred and opened my eyes.

I looked around me. I was in one of six beds in a large hospital room. All of the other beds were empty. I was confused, until that “fork” in my leg turned into what felt like a half-dozen red hot nails digging into my flesh. Then I remembered: I was in the officers’ ward at Wurzburg Army Hospital. And my “breakfast”—those two magic pills the nurse had given me—had worn off.

I also began to remember the short orientation the nurse had given me when they rolled me into the room. To my left was a cord I was to pull to summon the nurse. I pulled the cord. Nothing happened. Of course, I had no idea what was supposed to happen. So I waited. Then I pulled the cord again. No response. So I waited.

Finally, with the pain increasing to the point that I forgot that I had had no food in more than twenty-four hours, I climbed out of the hospital bed and hopped on my right (good) leg to the door of the room. I looked up and down the hallway outside my room and decided that assistance had to be toward the left. That’s the direction I hopped.

And that’s where I found the nurse’s desk and a nurse admonishing me that I should not be out of bed. I said, “I hurt.”

She said, “You should have rung for me.”

I said, “I did. No one came.”

She put me into a wheelchair and rolled me back to the ward. There we discovered that I had been in the only bed of the six in the room where the bell to call of a nurse didn’t work. My luck? Or just the fiasco of this entire misadventure?

After getting me back into the bed, the nurse left the room. A few minutes later she returned and handed me two pills in a small paper cup along with a cup of water in the same size paper cup.

I took the pills and returned to dreaming of steak and lobster as my empty stomach growled for anything more than a delusion.

More is coming: the story is far from over.


  1. I am glad to know the story has more to come. I am really enjoying it and your writing.

  2. This is the worst vacation story I have ever read.

    Did you get your money back? Always call the manager and complain, drugs or no drugs.

  3. I told Uncle Sam I wanted to leave Germany and go home, but the only alternative he offered was Vietnam.

  4. Vietnam was before I was born. My brother is now in Iraq. I wish he was home.

  5. Jody, I wish your brother were home, too. May he return safely to you.