2005 Papa Bear Awards - Nominated
I got the idea for this story when I was reading a MASH/Hogan’s Heroes crossover story written by Diane Maher. I started thinking, what would it be like if Hogan met Hawkeye. Both characters have some similar qualities, even though there are some definite differences. Both are dominant personalities, have a good sense of humor, and like to play up to the ladies. Hogan would do anything to complete his mission, and Hawkeye would do anything to save a human life.
So what would happen if Hawkeye met Hogan? Here is my take on it. As you read this, you may be asking yourself, Why would an Air Force General be inspecting an Army Surgical Hospital? And you probably came up with the same answer I did – he probably wouldn’t! But for the purposes of this story, try to imagine that there would have been a good reason.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Captain Hawkeye Pierce strolled into Colonel Potter’s office with Captain B.J. Hunnicutt, and headed straight for the liquor cabinet. Hunnicutt took a seat by Major Margaret Houlihan and took the glass Pierce offered him.
“I don’t see why H.Q. has to send another inspector,” Hawkeye complained. “They think that we have nothing better to do than to line up our tongue depressors for some desk-bound inspector.”
“Pierce, quit complaining,” Margaret said. “You just don’t like having to cut out all your fooling around.”
Hawkeye raised his glass and grinned a little schoolboy grin. “Not all of it, Margaret,” he said. “I still have time for you later.”
Flustered, Margaret said, “Oh Pierce, you are incorrigible!”
Hawkeye straightened and held his head high. “I’ll have you know that I am very corrigible,” he said smugly.
“That’s true,” B.J. said laughing. “I encourage him all the time.”
“You two act like children,” an exasperated Margaret said.
“Do not,” Hawkeye said in a childish manner. He then stuck out his tongue at Margaret.
At that moment, the door opened and Colonel Sherman Potter entered, followed by a dark haired General. Seeing Pierce with his tongue sticking out, Potter quipped, “That’s enough, Pierce. Keep your tongue to yourself.”
Seeing a General enter the room, Margaret jumped out of her chair and stood at attention, snapping a very military salute. Hawkeye, leaning against the wall by the liquor cabinet, raised his hand as if to salute, and waggled his fingers in a wave.
The General returned the salute, and stared at Hawkeye, sizing him up. “Nice bathrobe,” the General said with a smile.
“You like it?” Hawkeye asked. “I can get you one just like it … wholesale.”
“Can it, Pierce,” Potter said sternly. “Let’s get down to business.”
“I was doing business, Colonel,” Hawkeye replied.
Potter glared at Pierce without responding. Hawkeye relented, and opened the door to the liquor cabinet as Potter began talking.
“This is General Robert Hogan, United States Air Force,” he said.
At the mention of the name, Margaret let out a little gasp. “General Hogan,” she gasped. “What an honor to meet you!” Margaret beamed. “Imagine, meeting the famous Papa Bear himself! Leader of a group that operated out of a prison camp in Germany.”
Hawkeye handed a filled glass to Colonel Potter and offered one to the General. “Papa Bear,” he said, “I’m afraid we are all out of porridge. Will this do?”
Hogan took the glass he was offered. “Perfectly,” he replied. “I only eat porridge at home with Mama Bear. I save the good stuff for when I’m on the road searching for Goldilocks.”
Hawkeye gave one of his sarcastic laughs. He was not used to having someone else compete with him with the jokes.
Hoping to get back to the point, Potter said, “General Hogan is here to observe and inspect.”
“Come to make sure our bedpans are spit shined?” Hawkeye asked sarcastically.
Hogan took a sip from his glass. “Is that your job, Captain?” he asked with a smile.
B.J. snorted into his drink, trying to keep from laughing. “One point for the General,” he said.
“Ha, ha, ha,” Hawkeye retorted.
“Face it, Pierce,” Margaret said smiling. “He got you that time!”
Colonel Potter was about to put a stop to the banter when Radar stuck his head into the office and said, “Choppers, sir – lots of them. It looks like it’s going to be a bad one.”
“Damn,” Potter replied as he rose from his chair. The rest of the group began scrambling as the Colonel began giving orders. “Margaret, set up triage. Pierce, Hunnicutt, get to the pad and meet those choppers.” He looked at Hogan and said, “I’m sorry General, but we need all the hands we can get.”
“I’ll do what I can,” Hogan replied.
“It won’t be like sitting in your cushy office in the Pentagon,” Hawkeye commented as he walked by.
“Gee, I hope not,” replied Hogan. “I’d hate to have my hemorrhoids flare up again.”
B.J. slapped Hawkeye on the back. “Another point for the General,” he said.
* * * * * * *
The O.R. was busy when Hogan walked in. He had scrubbed and donned the surgical whites so that he would be able to observe the procedures of the surgical teams in action. It was something that he wasn’t looking forward to, but he knew that it was something that he had to do.
He stayed along the outside wall, trying to keep out of the way. He watched as the surgeons worked on the injured soldiers that were brought in. As soon as one was carried out, another replaced him on the operating table. He watched the banter between the surgeons, and the teamwork with the nurses they were working with.
Suddenly he heard Hawkeye call out, “Damn, I’ve got an arterial bleeder here. I need another pair of hands!”
“I’m hip deep in this boy’s abdomen, is anyone free?” Colonel Potter asked.
Hogan looked over at Hawkeye’s table. Blood was spurting from the body on the table, staining his gown. Hawkeye was feverishly working to try to stem the flow, barking at the nurse for suction. Taking a deep breath, Hogan said, “I’m free, if there’s something I can do.”
Hawkeye looked over at Hogan, a surprised look on his face. Hogan could tell that he didn’t expect a desk-bound General to want to get his hands dirty.
Hawkeye nodded. “Somebody get him some gloves,” he ordered.
A nurse came over and put the gloves on Hogan’s hands, and he hurried over to the table. When he got there, Hawkeye said, “Give me your hand.” Hogan held out a hand, and Hawkeye guided it into the body on the table, placing Hogan’s fingers on the punctured artery. “Here, press down as hard as you can to stop the blood flow. Margaret, I need all the suction you can give me.”
“Yes doctor,” Margaret replied, placing the suction hose into the wound.
“Well General,” Hawkeye said as he worked to repair the gash in the artery. “I hope you’ll be able to handle this.”
Hogan was a little uncomfortable. He had never really been squeamish about blood, but he also had never had a desire to handle someone’s internal parts. He looked over at Hawkeye and said, “I think I can handle this better than you can handle a salute.”
Margaret laughed. “He got you again, Pierce,” she said.
From the next table, B.J. said, “General Hogan three, Hawkeye yet to score.”
“4-O Silk, Margaret,” Hawkeye said. “Speaking of scoring, General…”
“Pierce, I don’t think we need to hear this,” Margaret said, handing the threaded needle to him.
“Now Major Houlihan,” Hogan interjected. “If the doctor would like some tips, I’d be glad to give him some.”
“Ha, ha,” mocked Hawkeye. “I can’t imagine that you had many opportunities when you were stuck in that prison camp in the last war.”
Hogan chuckled. “Actually, I lost count of the number of opportunities,” he said.
Hawkeye looked up from his suturing. “Oh?” he asked curiously.
“There was this one French Underground agent,” Hogan said. “Code name Tiger.”
Hawkeye tied off the last suture and straightened up. “You can let up now, General,” he said. “Let’s see how that holds.”
Hogan slowly lifted his fingers from the artery. Nothing spurted out from the neatly sutured wound. “Nice work doctor,” he praised.
“Thank you,” Hawkeye replied. “Now, about this French Underground agent…”
* * * * * * *
Hogan sat with Colonel Potter in the Officer’s Club, sipping on a scotch and reflecting on the forty-eight hour operating session that had just ended, when Hawkeye and B.J. walked in. The two surgeons walked up to the bar.
“Kwang, two of your driest martinis,” Hawkeye said to the man behind the bar. While they were waiting, Hawkeye turned to face Hogan. “So General, have you finished your inspection tour?” he asked.
“Hawk,” B.J. warned.
“No, no,” Hawkeye replied. “I want to hear what he thinks about us.”
Hogan looked at Hawkeye as he took a sip of his scotch. He knew what Hawkeye was expecting to hear from him.
As Hawkeye picked up his martini and took a sip, Hogan began to speak. “Well Captain, since you really want to know, I’ll tell you,” he said.
“Here it comes,” Hawkeye quipped.
“Since I have been here, I have seen a complete lack of military discipline,” Hogan said slowly. He watched Hawkeye for the reaction that he expected to get. “I see officers walking around out of uniform,” Hogan continued, pointing his glass towards Hawkeye, who was clad in his flowered Hawaiian shirt. “And a lack of military courtesy.”
Hogan paused and took another drink. He saw that Hawkeye was simmering, itching to respond. But so far he was holding his tongue. Hogan smirked a little, and continued with what he figured would be enough to push him over the edge. “And I see a head surgeon with a big ego and a big mouth, who overestimates his sense of humor.”
Hawkeye moved away from the bar towards the table where Hogan was sitting with Potter. “Wait a minute,” he said angrily. “Where do you get off making personal comments?”
“Pierce,” cautioned Colonel Potter. He had talked to Hogan before and knew the General’s real opinion of the camp. He knew that Hogan was trying to rile up his chief surgeon.
“No, Colonel,” Hawkeye responded angrily. “I think it’s high time that someone told this desk-bound General what it’s like up here.”
“He’s been here the last three days,” Potter replied. “I think he knows.”
“Sherm,” Hogan said. “Let him talk.” Hogan looked at Hawkeye. “Go ahead, tell me.”
Hawkeye laughed. “You think you know what it’s like up here because you’ve been here for three days?” Hogan asked. “General, you don’t know what it’s like to spend day after day in this dump, standing knee deep in the blood and mud. The casualties keep on coming because Generals like you have to take another hill. And excuse me, General, if we don’t salute, or don’t walk around with nice shiny boots. We’re just trying to keep what little sanity we have left and hope that we make it home in one piece.”
Hogan started laughing. “Are you through yet?”
Hawkeye nodded nonchalantly. “Oh yeah, I’m done,” he said, sitting down at the table. He leaned forward, resting his chin on his hand. “So when do the M.P.s come to take me away for insubordination?” he asked mockingly.
Hogan drained his glass and motioned for a refill. “Probably when you insult one of those Generals whose shorts are too tight,” he said as he started laughing. “Doctor Pierce…”
“Uh, Captain Pierce,” Hawkeye said, flashing the bars on his collar at Hogan.
Hogan shook his head. “No, not you,” he said, accepting the drink that Kwang had brought over for him. “You are a doctor first, and a Captain because you are stuck in this cesspool.”
Hawkeye straightened. This was not the reaction he had expected from Hogan.
Seeing his reaction, Hogan chuckled again. “Doctor Pierce,” he said. “When I was a Colonel, I had no use for Generals. Now that I am one, I have even less use for them.”
“So what was all of this?” Hawkeye asked.
“I was giving you what you expected,” Hogan replied, and then grinned like a schoolboy. “And I wanted a little entertainment, so I decided to see how far I could push you.”
B.J. burst out laughing. “Game, set and match to General Hogan!” he said breathlessly. “Face it, Hawk, you’re overmatched!”
Hawkeye was laughing now. “You sly devil,” he said to Hogan.
Hogan gave a non-committal shrug, but a small smile remained on his face. “Now I’ll tell you what I really think after being here for three days,” he said. “Part of what I said is true – this place lacks military discipline, you are always out of uniform, and face it, you do overestimate your sense of humor!” Beside him, Hogan heard Colonel Potter snort and try to keep a straight face.
“But what I noticed the most, was that this place is staffed with doctors, nurses and corpsman who care about the wounded, and care about each other,” Hogan continued. “I see a head surgeon who doesn’t give a damn about any procedure, unless it will save the life of one the countless casualties that stream through here.”
“So I guess this means that I won’t get that all expense paid trip to Leavenworth.” Hawkeye commented lightly.
Hogan chuckled. “Not from me,” he replied. “And I have a gut feeling that if I offered you a way to get out of here, you wouldn’t want to take it.”
“Try me,” Hawkeye shot back.
Hogan shook his head. “Not me,” he replied. “Try to con someone else. But from what I can see, we are a lot alike.” He paused while he took a sip of his drink. “But I do have a better sense of humor!” he said with a smile.
Hawkeye looked at Hogan without speaking. He picked up his martini glass and raised it towards him with a warm smile on his face. “General, I misjudged you.”
* * * * * * *
Everyone was sitting around the table in the Officer’s Club listening to Hogan talk about the exploits of the “gang at Stalag 13.” There was laughter as he recounted the tales of outwitting the Germans.
“You mean that this Major Hochstetter allowed these four underground leaders to leave the camp because he thought the war was over?” B.J. asked, laughing so hard he could hardly breathe.
Hogan nodded. “And I even talked him into giving them his car,” he said. The laughter around the table grew. “Imagine the look on his face when he found out the war wasn’t over!”
Hawkeye was laughing so hard that tears were running down his face. “That’s better than the one where you had the Germans blow up their own bridge when they thought you were making a movie!” he exclaimed.
Hogan stood up and raised his glass in the air. Shouting so that he could be heard above the laughter he said, “I’d like to propose a toast.” He waited until it quieted down and continued, “In the last war, they said that my group of men were the Unsung Heroes. For my money, all of you here are Unsung Heroes yourselves.” He clinked many of the glasses, then sat down and began telling the story of when they convinced the Germans that Sergeant Schultz could predict where the Allies would bomb next.
Text and original characters copyright 2004 by Jeff Evans
This copyright covers only original material and characters, and in no way intends to infringe upon the privileges of the holders of the copyrights, trademarks, or other legal rights, for the Hogan's Heroes universe.