The 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital is stuck in the middle of the Korean War. With little help from the circumstances, in which they find themselves, they are forced to make their own fun. Fond of practical jokes and revenge, the doctors, nurses, administrators, and soldiers often find ways of making wartime life bearable. Nevertheless, the war goes on.Written by
Murray Chapman <email@example.com>
... that day in 1975, when we were watching our favourite TV show, "M*A*S*H", "we" being big brother -- that's me! -- and little brother. "M*A*S*H" had always been our favourite, probably because it seemed so grown-up, but also because it was so irreverent (a word we wouldn't have used back then) and smart-alecky (a word we would have). And so funny. It was tough to say which was the top episode. The one with the wounded Luxembourg soldier? (And the crazy Turk, of course.) One of the ones mentioning our very own Canadian troops? Maybe the one about Capt. Tuttle, graduate of the Berlinisches Polyteschnicum, and the best friend Maj. Frank Burns had ever had? Or possibly any episode even alluding to the wacked-out Col. Flagg?
Anyway, this was an important day because Col. Henry Blake had received orders to ship back home to the States. We were feeling pretty sad; we really loved Henry. Hawkeye and Trapper were always putting things over on poor Henry, but Henry always took it with good humour. And probably a little wisdom, and common sense. So Henry had been sent home. The show went to commercial. We were both feeling a little glum. We were sitting quite close to the television; you had to adjust the controls by hand in those days. The show came back from commercial. Radar came into the operating room. "The plane containing Col. Henry Blake", if I may paraphrase from memory, "was shot down over the Sea of Japan. There were no survivors." My brother was to my left. We just sat there with our mouths open. Then we ran to tell our parents what had just happened. I can still get a little choked up thinking about it 25 years later. That was the first death I ever experienced in my "family"; the show seemed that real to us at the time.
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