The Game's A Flatfoot
Margaret Bryan, Patti Hutchins

Papa Bear Awards 20042004 Papa Bear Awards - Second Place
Best Comedy

Papa Bear Awards 20042004 Papa Bear Awards - First Place
Best Challenge - Spork, Mushroom, Platypus, Pirate Challenge

Papa Bear Awards 20042004 Papa Bear Awards - Nominated
Best Portrayal of a Canon Character - Hogan

Papa Bear Awards 20042004 Papa Bear Awards - Third Place
Most Unique Story

This Game was written in response to, shall we say, a new kind of challenge from the HH Smartgroups list we belong too. This challenge was offered by, the one and only, Kits. And we just couldn't resist. The official (slightly-edited for content) challenge is listed below, just so you don't think that we are completely nuts… as we are, admittedly, only a little crazy.


This story will also constitute our Halloween effort, in an attempt to keep our Holiday Fan Fiction stories alive and well. We again do not make any claims on the original Hogan's Heroes' characters. All other characters are ours.  But again, those characters are free for anyone to use, if you so choose. 


Our rating for this story would be PG.  Enjoy!


The Challenge from Kits...


A. This is the first requirement! The story must include...

Mushrooms in some way, a Spork, and a Platypus (go you Aussies!)


B. A situation bit to even things out...

One of the guys needs to be bonked on the head and think he's a reincarnation of a pirate... the nice kind that you meet in Disney. Or even the cursed kind you meet in Disney. Just no bloodthirsty rated R kind, ok?


C. Finally, the story can be any length, and any rating...

Though since strictly speaking I'm not allowed to read R's, do me a favor, eh?


D. Have fun, enjoy!


Will do Kits! Thanks for the inspiration! And now let this Game begin...



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *




Main Entry: platy·pus

Pronunciation: 'pla-ti-p&s, -"pus

Function: noun

Inflected Form(s): plural platy·pus·es also platy·pi /-"pI, -"pE/

Etymology: New Latin, from Greek platypous flat-footed, from platys broad, flat + pous foot


Etymology as taken from the Merriam Webster online Dictionary


Hammelburg, Germany, Luft Stalag 13, Barracks Two,

Morning of General Albert Burkhaulter’s Surprise 50th Birthday Party

October 31, 1943, 1010 Hours,



Colonel Robert Hogan stood leaning against the doorframe of his quarters, drinking coffee, and surveying the members of his motley crew, who were standing around the center table of barracks two, in the midst of an animated discussion. He couldn’t help but smirk at the site of Newkirk, LeBeau, and Kinch modeling their pirate costumes to one another. He himself had steadfastly refused to put his on until it was time for the Klink’s costume party this evening, or more to the point, Hogan’s costume party this evening.  I can’t believe I convinced Klink to celebrate General Burkhaulter’s birthday with a costume party here at Stalag 13.  I still amaze myself sometimes…  And I just can’t believe that the General’s birthday actually falls on Halloween!


Well as always, we take what we can get…


Then of all things… Klink wanted to be a pirate, which made us his pirate crew, as we’ll be the wait staff for the party. Hopefully everything will work out tonight and we can get Spangler, Printz, Oberholtzer, Rohrig, and Kehl safely out of Germany, without getting ourselves killed, that is. 


Not that I’m superstitious or anything… but it’s kinda creepy taking this mission on, on Halloween, a day that honors the dead.  


As Hogan tried to clear his head of such thoughts, Andrew Carter burst through the door of barracks two, startling everyone. “Hey you guys!” he hollered excitedly. “Did you guys know that the male platypus is poisonous!”


There was dead-silence in response to Carter’s pronouncement, until Newkirk shaking his head blurted out, “Blimey Andrew! What in heaven’s name has that got to do with anything?”


“Oh,” Carter offered quietly, his enthusiasm rapidly diminishing. “I was checking in with Marcus, Craig, Belvedere, Worthington, and Devon. Making sure they were all set for tonight.” He turned to the Colonel as if remembering something, “Oh, they’re ready Colonel. No worries, according to Sergeant Devon.”


Hogan only nodded, bemused that Carter had actually given him the right information. He had been waiting for a long diatribe on the platypus, expecting to have to do what he’s always done… steer Carter back in the right direction. To his surprise though, it was LeBeau who chimed in when Carter fell silent after making his report.


“Platypus Andrew,” LeBeau reminded him. “We were discussing platypus.”


“Oh yeah, sorry,” Carter began. “When I caught up to Sergeant Devon, he was showing the guys in barrack seven a picture of his little girl, Jessica, back in Sydney. His wife had sent him a picture of her dressed up like a platypus for Halloween. Very cute. Devon said his wife had wanted to get the picture here in time, so he could have something to envision tonight, as Jessica made her way around their neighborhood, trick or treating.”


Carter paused as his heart sank, remembering the sadness that had appeared in the Aussie Sergeant’s eyes while showing off the picture.  Sighing and now no longer wanting to continue with the discussion, Carter quickly sat at the center table. “So anyway, the conversation turned to platypus. That’s all,” he said quietly and then picked up an eye patch from the center table. “Is this mine?”


“Yeah Carter,” Newkirk, LeBeau, and Kinch agreed almost simultaneously, knowing full well why Andrew had changed the subject.  It was never easy thinking about family, and especially not easy thinking about all those holidays you could be spending with your family, instead of living in a hellhole in the middle of Germany.


Colonel Hogan, having watched his men’s mood deteriorate, quickly and silently disappeared into his quarters, knowing there was nothing he could say that would make it any easier on them. Besides they’re all here because of me.  And I just can’t change a thing.


Hammelburg, Germany, Luft Stalag 13, Guard’s Mess Hall,

Where preparations for General Albert Burkhaulter’s Birthday Party were talking place,

October 31, 1943, 1730 Hours,



Colonel Hogan stood off to the side of the main door to the guard’s mess hall taking in all the activity. He could see that LeBeau and his group were busily making headway with the food preparations. Hogan certainly felt better listening in as LeBeau kept muttering French accolades about the state of the stuffed mushrooms, and most everything else, that he had prepared for the party. All is right with this scheme so far…  at least in the food preparation sense


Hogan then turned his attention to the rest of his men, of whom five were to be his ‘imposters’ this evening. They were all busy decorating the hall for the party. The next biggest step for his team was getting the guest list from Shultz, for even though the underground had given them detailed descriptions of the five scientists; they hadn’t been able to supply the type of costumes the men would be wearing. I’m just thankful General Burkhaulter’s paranoid and has that all accounted for on the guest list.


 So… as long as we can get the costumes from the list, the switch should happen relatively easily. Five men should be easy to replace, especially with close to 100 guests expected.  I’m just glad they are all planning to arrive together, as it wouldn’t go well if we have multiple people show up in similar costumes.  We’d never find the right people, without blowing the whole scenario.


Hogan’s attention was drawn to Sergeant Carter, as he went about fussing over the table clothes. The Colonel couldn’t help but overhear Carter repeating something that sounded like SPORK over and over again. Hogan followed after him worried that Carter might get distracted from his real mission here, which was to get the guest list from Shultz and memorize the costumes for each scientist, after Hogan distracted the big German Sergeant. Hogan had been worried, as always, about Carter’s memory, but he knew that Carter had shown his real ability in the past. So Hogan had planned to let Carter do what he had to without comment, as he also knew that putting pressure on Andrew was the sure way to make him forget.


But as it was now, he had no idea what Carter was up to. “Carter,” Hogan interrupted the young Sergeant’s murmurings. “What’s this SPORK thing you keep whispering about? You know you need to keep your mind on business.”


“Oh, my mind’s on business Colonel. Don’t worry,” Carter assured his commanding officer with a smile of confidence. “SPORK is just my way of remembering the scientists names, S-Spangler, P-Printz, O-Oberholtzer, R-Rohrig, and K for Kehl. S. P. O. R. K., spork. So, everything’s under control Colonel. Whenever you’re ready… I’ll be.”


“Sorry Carter,” Hogan offered bemused. Spork? “Good work. I never should have doubted you.” The Colonel patted Carter on the shoulder and said, “I’ll signal you when it’s time.” Hogan started to walk back to his vantage point by the door after getting Carter’s nod, but before the Colonel got to the door… Sergeant Matthews bolted through that door in a panic.


“Colonel! Colonel!” Matthews hollered as he came, or tried to come, to a sliding halt in front of his commanding officer.


Hogan caught Matthews by the shoulders to steady the man before he knocked them both over. “Whoa. Whoa, Matthews. What’s the matter?”


“Sorry Colonel,” Matthews began out of breath. ‘It’s Newkirk sir.  He’s unconscious,” the Sergeant said having to take another deep breath, even though he could see the anxiousness building within Colonel Hogan. “Wilson’s with him now.  He’s got a serious bump on his head. Wilson thinks he’ll be okay. Just needs rest. They’re moving him back to the barracks now.” Matthews sighed after rushing to get that all out.


“What the hell happened!” Hogan bellowed, not really knowing what else to say.  Newkirk was only supposed to be helping Klink put the finishing touches on his costume. How could he get whacked on the head? And hard enough to knock him out cold?


“Well,” Matthews began sheepishly this time, but was never able to continue as Kommandant Klink in full pirate regalia came rushing into the hall.


“Colonel Hogan,” Klink offered after reaching the American officer. “I must explain to you. It was not my intention to harm Corporal Newkirk. Believe me. I had only been testing my long forgotten fencing skills. He and I collided. I am told by your Sergeant Wilson that he will be okay.” Klink fell silent briefly, obviously very worried about what Hogan was going to say.  But before Hogan could respond he continued anxiously, “I’m truly sorry Colonel. I hope you won’t hold this against me, especially with my guests coming this evening. If there is something I can do to make it up to you?” Klink asked hoping that Hogan was in a mood for making deals. I just can’t have my superiors think that I’ve taken to beating my prisoners.


Hogan sighed as too many wild ideas were flashing through his mind because of Klink’s offer. Finally settling on one he said, “Well Kommandant, I accept your apology.  And thankfully Newkirk will be okay. As to your offer… how about a nice home cooked meal for all the men helping out here tonight. LeBeau has certainly made enough to feed an army. I can have them stay out back in the kitchen and eat, so none of your guest will be any the wiser.” And I can have an even better excuse to keep my imposters out in the open, instead of hidden.


Klink sighed in relief, “Certainly Colonel, that can be easily arranged.” Klink turned and called to Shultz, making sure the Sergeant knew of his deal with Hogan. And then as his anxiousness faded, Klink made a quick inspection of the mess hall, offering suggestions to Hogan’s men along the way. Finally satisfied, Klink returned to his quarters to finish getting ready to greet his guests.


After the Kommandant left, Shultz wandered away from his post and toward Colonel Hogan. “I’m glad Newkirk is going to be okay Colonel,” Shultz offered.


“Thanks Shultz,” Hogan said patting the German on the shoulder, glad that Shultz just made getting to the list even easier. He’d seen that Carter had already started to work his way over to the table by the door, where the list now sat unattended.  Hogan gave Carter the real go-ahead signal, a silent ‘OK’ with his fingers behind Shultz back. “So,” Hogan continued innocently. “My, my. You look a little peeked Shultz, why don’t we go talk to LeBeau about remedying that situation.”


“Oh, that’s so nice of you Colonel,” Shultz said letting himself be lead across the hall and into the kitchen area.


Whew, thought Hogan. Let’s hope the rest of the evening goes as easily.


But just a short time later…


“What do you mean… the Lone Ranger and Tonto!?” Hogan bellowed under his breath after Carter had replaced Shultz in the kitchen. “A Clown, a Knight in Shining Armor, and the Hunchback of Notre Dame, I can understand. Even the Lone Ranger will do… but Tonto?!?!” Hogan paced the kitchen, all his worst fears about this evening’s mission emerging. The men he had chosen to impersonate the scientists were all hand-picked because of their similar physiques to each of the scientists, as well as their ability to speak German. But the whole mission hinged on the men being able to change costumes with the scientists. It had been the underground’s responsibility to make sure the scientists knew they needed costumes that would require masks, so his men’s faces would be covered after the switch. Now one of them is coming with no mask at all!  Damn. What were they thinking? “How are we suppose to switch Devon for Spangler now?” Hogan asked of the ceiling. “Tonto doesn’t even wear face paint! And even if Spangler does, we still have to make sure we can paint the exact pattern on Devon -- quickly.”


“Tom Sullivan can do it,” Carter said trying to offer ‘something’ to the Colonel. “I’ve seen him work. He’s fast Colonel, really.”


Hogan stopped his pacing at the kitchen door. “Good idea Carter. Thanks,” Hogan said acknowledging his young Sergeant. “Kinch, Devon,” Hogan yelled to his men through kitchen door and into the main hall. “LeBeau needs a little more help with organizing the food trays.” Hogan then quickly offered an “Only for a minute Shultz” to keep the German from following his two men into the kitchen.


After his men arrived, Hogan explained the new plan for Spangler and Devon. He told them that he’d contact Sullivan about the face painting when he went back to the barracks to get changed. He also told them that if Spangler showed without makeup, that they’d just switch Devon with him last, and have Devon appear ‘sick’ from drinking too much. So legitimately, the man could be in the bathroom for good portion of the evening. Then he could be helped, after passing out that is, by his four companions… out of the Mess Hall and hopefully out of Stalag 13.


I only hope this works.


Hammelburg, Germany, Luft Stalag 13, Mess Hall,

Late into General Albert Burkhaulter’s Birthday Party,

October 31, 1943, 2330 Hours,



Things had progressed even better than Colonel Hogan had anticipated; only he had anticipated the worst possible scenario. At this point though, three of the scientists had been switched, and were hiding in the mess’s kitchen with the rest of his men. Even his imposters were hunkered down together at a table in the back of the mess hall. With everyone at the party fairly inebriated, Hogan wasn’t even really worried about them being discovered.


Only now, there was a major obstacle in the way of switching the last two scientists. A Baron Dr. Ferdinand Von Sporkinstein had them trapped, and was in the midst of an overly animated discussion with those two scientists.


Hogan had noticed that the Baron had been a royal pain in the ass all evening… cornering everyone who’d give him the time of day. Only no one in the room was really listening, and everyone Sporkinstein had come in contact with, had been trying to escape the Baron’s obsessive personality.  From what Hogan had overheard… Sporkinstein was doing research for the German military, something about creating an eating utensil that would be a combination of a spoon and fork. 


Hogan, momentarily distracted, had to shake his head in amusement, as listening to the Baron was certainly amusing, as long as you weren’t the center of his attention. I guess the Germans are trying to lesson the burden on the supply depots. Except in listening to the Baron, you’d think his utensil was going to change the world!  As his mind snapped back to the business at hand, Hogan asked himself, “So now what do I do? How can I get Spangler and Kehl away from Sporkinstein?”


When an idea finally came to him, Hogan searched the mess hall for Kommandant Klink. He hurried across the hall after seeing the Kommandant walk away from one of his guests and head toward the makeshift bar.  “Kommandant Klink,” Hogan called out as he came up behind the German Colonel. “The party seems to be a great success sir. Congratulations!”


“Thank you Hogan!” Klink said in a relaxed alcohol-induced tone, while patting the American on the shoulder. “General Burkhaulter does seem to be enjoying himself.”


“Yes sir, that’s true,” Hogan agreed as he glanced over to where he had seen Burkhaulter all evening, sitting with a few very voluptuous females catering to his every whim. I bet he’s glad he left his wife at home.


“Was that all you wanted Hogan? This isn’t about Newkirk, is it?” Klink asked.


“No. I’m sure he’s fine Kommandant,” Hogan replied. “But I did have a question.”


“Yes?” Klink offered in an inquisitive haze. “What question?”


“I was just curious as to what Baron Von Sporkinstein has been so excited about all evening,” Hogan supposed. “Of course, if it’s a military secret… you don’t have to tell me sir.”


“Oh him,” Klink sighed. “He’s been talking about creating some kind of foolish combined fork/spoon utensil. I’m so glad I got rid of him earlier in the evening.”


“Wow, really sir!” Hogan replied excited. “What an amazing thing that could be sir. Think about the burden that would be taken away from the supply depots, only needing to store & ship one utensil instead of two. Boy what I’d give to be in on that research!”


“Really Hogan?” Klink asked surprised. “You actually think it would be worth it? The Baron asked me earlier if he could test his prototypes here at Stalag 13. With my captured audience and all. No offense Hogan.”


“None taken sir,” Hogan supplied politely. “I’m sure the men would so excited to be involved sir. Why don’t you talk to him sir? I’d make the deal now before anyone else steals it from under you.”


“Hmm,” Klink murmured and was gone from Hogan’s side almost immediately.


Hogan stood and watched self satisfied, as Klink took the Baron by the shoulder and spirited him away from the two scientists. Whew. The guys are probably gonna kill me, but at least now we can get this show back on the road. Hogan signaled to the Spangler and Kehl and watched as both men casually made their way to the area in front of the kitchen, where his men would complete the transfer, face painting and all.


And then, just fifteen minutes later…


Hogan gratefully watched as his imposters made their way from the party. Their jobs now, to transfer their automobile to the underground, lose the costumes in the process and return to camp. The underground were to dump the car, some 15 miles away. The scientists would just disappear, no trace to be found, except for the discarded costumes.


The scientist themselves would be returned to the barracks with his men after the party cleanup detail. It would only be Shultz on duty with them and Hogan knew they could be easily hidden. Then all that needed to happen was to start the moving process. 


Whew.  Mission accomplished!




It was very late, when everyone was returned to barracks two after the cleanup. Sadly for everyone though, Newkirk was still out cold. Although Wilson seemed to think he was just now only sleeping. Hogan had requested of Kommandant Klink, through Shultz, that the lights in the barracks stayed on. That way, Wilson could keep a better eye on their injured companion. As time passed though, not only was Wilson still awake, but also everyone else in the barracks as well. Even Colonel Hogan had planted himself at the center table to watch Newkirk.


Newkirk for his part remained quiet.


It wasn’t until the wee hours of the morning that the English Corporal started rocking back and forth, clearly in the midst of bad dream. Wilson originally had wanted to let the dream play itself out, but as the anxiety in the barracks escalated, he decided to try and calm Newkirk down.


Wilson reached out to put his hands on Newkirk’s shoulders, planning just to gently shake the Corporal awake. But to his, and everyone else’s surprise, Newkirk sat bolt upright in bed grabbed Wilson by the front his uniform and yelled, “Arr me hardies! Yo Ho! Avast you landlubber! Heave hoe the main sail!”


Wilson was so startled he did nothing to stop Newkirk’s ramblings. It wasn’t until Hogan and Kinch rushed the bunk to help extricate Wilson from Newkirk’s grasp that Newkirk’s eyes seemed to take in his surroundings.


“Newkirk!” Hogan yelled as he grabbed onto his Corporal. “Are you all right?”


“Huh?” Newkirk said clearly confused.


“You got a nasty bump on the head,” Wilson explained after recovering from the surprise attack. “Can you remember anything?”


Newkirk sat quietly for a moment, “Oh blimey! Kommandant Klink and his sword. Bloody hell. I saw it coming, but couldn’t get out of his way.”


“You got conked pretty good Newkirk,” Hogan offered. “Had us all a little worried.”


“Thanks guv’nor,” Newkirk offered. “I’m okay. Just a little tired.”


“Okay. Get some rest then,” Hogan ordered. “Everyone else to bed, now. Wilson maybe you should stay just in case?” Hogan asked a little worried, his voice raised in question.


“Yeah Colonel, I will. No problem,” Wilson assured as he watched the barracks complement head back to their respective bunks. Turning back to Newkirk and lightly patting him of the chest he said, “That was some dream you had… want to tell me what it was about?”


Newkirk sighed, “As long as you promise not to tell anyone. Okay?”


“Sure,” Wilson assured.


“Well,” Newkirk began embarrassed. “We, all of us, were pirates. After having escaped from Stalag 13, we stole an old sailing ship and were heading to Australia. Hell I woke up just as we were fighting off a giant platypus that had attacked us…” Newkirk’s explanation trailed off as he looked into the expression on Wilson’s face.


A giant platypus, huh? “Why don’t you just get some rest Newkirk,” Wilson suggested, amiably. “I won’t tell anyone.”


The End


Author's Note One:


What is a Platypus?


The platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus), with its duck bill and webbed feet, is a unique Australian animal. It and the two species of echidna are the only monotremes or egg-laying mammals to be found on earth. The marsupials (mammals with pouches, e.g. kangaroos) and eutherians (placental mammals that give birth to well developed young, e.g. humans) both give birth to live young. The monotremes have lower body temperatures than other mammals and have legs, which extend out, then vertically below them. These features together with their egg-laying are more like that of a lizard than a mammal.


Platypus are readily identified by their streamlined body, webbed feet, broad tail and characteristic muzzle or bill which is soft and pliable. An adult platypus is from 45 cm to 60 cm in length and may weigh up to 2.7 kg, with females generally smaller than males. Its usual colouration is deep brown on the back and sides of the head, body and upper surfaces of the limbs. The underside is a golden colour although silky grey is not uncommon. They have two layers of fur - a dense waterproof outercoat and a grey woolly underfur to provide much needed insulation. The fur on the broad flat tail is coarse and bristly. They have a smooth swimming action together with a low body profile and no visible ears, making them easily recognisable in the water. It could only be mistaken for a water rat, but these have a long thin tail with a white tip.


The webbed fore-paw is used for swimming, and on land, the skin, which extends beyond the long claws, is folded back to enable the animal to walk or burrow. The webbing on the hind foot does not extend beyond the bases of the claws and this foot is used mainly for steering and to tread water. The tail acts as a powerful rudder when swimming and also aids the animal when diving.


The male has a spur on the inner side of each hind limb, which is connected by means of a hollow groove to a poison gland. This spur is used to inflict wounds on natural enemies and other males, and may possibly play some part in mating. The poison is capable of inflicting a very painful injury to humans.


Excerpted from


Author’s Note Two:


The History of Halloween


Halloween's origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.


To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities. During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other's fortunes. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.


The American tradition of "trick-or-treating" probably dates back to the early All Souls' Day parades in England. During the festivities, poor citizens would beg for food and families would give them pastries called "soul cakes" in return for their promise to pray for the family's dead relatives. The distribution of soul cakes was encouraged by the church as a way to replace the ancient practice of leaving food and wine for roaming spirits. The practice, which was referred to as "going a-souling" was eventually taken up by children who would visit the houses in their neighborhood and be given ale, food, and money.


The tradition of dressing in costume for Halloween has both European and Celtic roots. Hundreds of years ago, winter was an uncertain and frightening time. Food supplies often ran low and, for the many people afraid of the dark, the short days of winter were full of constant worry. On Halloween, when it was believed that ghosts came back to the earthly world, people thought that they would encounter ghosts if they left their homes. To avoid being recognized by these ghosts, people would wear masks when they left their homes after dark so that the ghosts would mistake them for fellow spirits. On Halloween, to keep ghosts away from their houses, people would place bowls of food outside their homes to appease the ghosts and prevent them from attempting to enter.


As European immigrants came to America, they brought their varied Halloween customs with them. Because of the rigid Protestant belief systems that characterized early New England, celebration of Halloween in colonial times was extremely limited there. It was much more common in Maryland and the southern colonies. As the beliefs and customs of different European ethnic groups, as well as the American Indians, meshed, a distinctly American version of Halloween began to emerge. The first celebrations included "play parties," public events held to celebrate the harvest, where neighbors would share stories of the dead, tell each other's fortunes, dance, and sing. Colonial Halloween festivities also featured the telling of ghost stories and mischief-making of all kinds. By the middle of the nineteenth century, annual autumn festivities were common, but Halloween was not yet celebrated everywhere in the country.


In the late 1800s, there was a move in America to mold Halloween into a holiday more about community and neighborly get-togethers, than about ghosts, pranks, and witchcraft. At the turn of the century, Halloween parties for both children and adults became the most common way to celebrate the day. Parties focused on games, foods of the season, and festive costumes. Parents were encouraged by newspapers and community leaders to take anything "frightening" or "grotesque" out of Halloween celebrations. Because of their efforts, Halloween lost most of its superstitious and religious overtones by the beginning of the twentieth century.


Excerpted from


Author’s Note Three:

As far as we know… (and please don’t yell at us, if we’re wrong)

This is the true history of the SPORK.


What is a SPORK?


A spork is an unusual dining implement that is part spoon, part fork. Basically, it is a spoon with tines on the end, suitable for using as a fork, while still having a spoon portion. It is the utensil of choice for eating cole slaw, potato salad, and many other take-out foods.  Please don't confuse sporks with woons, those wooden planks you get with ice cream and "malts" at the ballgame/fairs/etc. Woons are not sporks, and are in fact just a cheap rip-off of a spoon.

A Brief History of the SPORK...

The spork was invented not in the '60s, but in the 40's, when the US army occupied Japan after the war, Gen McArthur (who wanted Truman to enthrone him as emperor of Japan) decreed that the use of chopsticks was uncivilized, and the conquered foe should use forks and spoons like the rest of the 'civilized' world. But fearing that the Japanese might rise up and retake their country with their forks, he and the US army invented the 'spork,' which was then introduced into the public schools. The army, which had taken over all government enterprises and the schools, enforced the use of the 'spork,' and made the use of chopsticks in the schools a punishable offense. This is a bit of spork history that's absolutely true, but not very funny.

In more contemporary times, the spork has obtained the status of an urban legend. Sometime in the 1960's, they started appearing at fast food restaurants, the first being Kentucky Fried Chicken. Later, other chains had sporks, including Taco Bell, and even a few McDonald's stores. It has been suggested that the disappearance of sporks at KFC and Taco Bell may have something to do with Pepsico's buyout of these companies.



Excerpted from

Author’s Note Four:

And we are pretty sure… that this is NOT the true history of the SPORK,

but was too funny a piece to pass up as we went about writing this game.


Ghosts'  Spork History

The Spork is the most dastardly and insidious utensil of them all. Its eeeeeevil nature should be obvious since it is neither a true Fork, nor a Spoon. I know the truth about this demonic utensil, and I'll enlighten you all!

A mad scientist named Baron Dr. Ferdinand Von Sporkinstein created the Spork. He first started experiments to create the 'ultimate' utensil in the mid 1930's, and they went mostly unnoticed, until the Nazi party came to power. During the early years of the Second World War he was commissioned by the German command to create a better utensil for their military troops. His early utensils such as the Chop-Stoon, and the Knivork left much to be desired by the German High Command.

The mad doctor searched through many ancient and occult documents before stumbling across a prophecy about a utensil that was better than any other, the mythical Foon. The Foon was allegedly a gift from God, and it was rumored to have been used by Jesus at the last supper for both his soup and salad. Its power was said to be unmatchable by any other utensil. It was said to have been lost shortly after the meal however, it was accidentally dropped in the trash by a careless waitress, who was complaining that she had just been 'stiffed' by the rather large party, and it seemed that one of them had taken a cup.

Unfortunately the war against Germany was coming to and end, and it seemed a case of too little to late. Baron Dr. Von Sporkinstein's research in Germany came to an end with the defeat of the Nazi party. He was quickly secreted away by the United States Department of Agriculture, Utensil Division. The US Government's own experiments to create an 'ultimate' utensil had come to a standstill.

Baron Dr. Von Sporkinstein was granted asylum and given orders to continue his nefarious utensil experiments under a veil of secrecy. He was brought to the Government's Utensil Depository in southern Kentucky, under the command of a Col. Sanders, who also happened to run a small fried chicken restaurant.

By the end of the 1960's the casualties were mounting, and the lack of results were infuriating to the Government agents in charge. Finally there was a breakthrough, a combination Spoon and Fork. It had the ability to be used as both, but was truly neither. In honor of its creator Baron Dr. Ferdinand Von Sporkinstein, it was dubbed the Spork.

It was discovered by British spies in the Soviet Union that the Russians were quickly on their way to developing a spork of their own. This news is what started what is now known as the 'Spork War'. The Americans and Soviets were rushing headlong into unknown waters with their spork research.

The mid seventies saw a switch in direction away from Spork stockpiling, and toward an arms race instead. The Spork research was cut off. Devastated by the loss of funding, Baron Dr. Von Sporkinstein left the Utensil Division. Col. Sanders retired a short time later to his restaurant.

Baron Dr. Von Sporkinstein continued his research alone, until he was killed in a mysterious Cole-Slaw accident. Soon after, the Spork was patented and began to show up in restaurants across the country. It was thought that Col. Sanders was behind both of these events, but no evidence has ever been found against him.

In recent years some of the government's highly classified files from what is now known as 'Operation Spork' have come to light. It is not clear at the moment what the Government and Col. Sanders had hoped to gain by creating this 'ultimate' utensil.

One of the theories is that the government hopes to 'phase-out' the fork and spoon worldwide so that it will have a corner on the international utensil market. The current plastic Sporks are typically very lightweight and flimsy, and cause food to be spilled on the user's clothes. This dastardly scheme would cause an enormous jump in dry cleaning, and the ones who control the dry cleaning are none other than the government.

Another theory, is that the Spork is an Alien utensil, and it is being used to help these Aliens integrate into society, before they take over the world.  Whatever is true, the Spork is a very unnatural and eeeeeevil thing, they must be destroyed, and all trace of them wiped out for our own safety!

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Author’s Note Five:


The Lone Ranger and Tonto


Fans of the Lone Ranger and Tonto fondly remember Clayton Moore, John Hart and Jay Silverheels from the TV series. And some even recall the original radio series starring Brace Beemer. However, few people realize the Masked Man and Tonto were well portrayed in several significant celluloid efforts prior to World War II.


In the late 1930s, the American public had basically two forms of entertainment --- radio and movies. The Lone Ranger, that daring and resourceful masked rider of the plains, had become a favorite of radio audiences, young and old.


Republic Pictures recognized the value of this hero, and in 1938, released THE LONE RANGER, a cliffhanger that ran for fifteen nail biting episodes at the Saturday movie matinee. The serial used an interesting twist to keep the audience guessing, and returning next week after week --- five Texas Rangers shared hero duties, but only one of them would be revealed as the Lone Ranger.


So popular was the first serial, a sequel was completed and released in 1939, and was aptly titled THE LONE RANGER RIDES AGAIN.


Bringing radio heroes to the screen was a normal occurrence during this period, and serials were often the vehicles. In addition to the Lone Ranger above, some examples of this include Columbia's THE SHADOW and Universal's two GREEN HORNET serials.


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A final note… has been notorious about automatically removing the URL’s to our Author’s Notes of late.  If this has occurred again, please know that it was unintentional on our part, as we certainly don’t want to take credit for someone else’s work.  If you are interested in looking up the websites we used for our Author’s Notes, please email us and we will gladly supply you with those URL’s.


Thanks for Reading!

Patti and Marg


Text and original characters copyright 2003 by Margaret Bryan, Patti Hutchins

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.