Here be monsters !
The weather forecaster said there was a cold front coming. The news interrupted my thoughts of all the Shit Creek monster situations I had encountered during my life. I seem to have had more than my fair share of these tough situations and my thoughts turned to memories of warmer times. For some daft reason (how else?), I remembered my encounter with ‘Jungle Feet’ all these years ago in the Far East, a place where it was always sunny and warm.
Here is an excerpt from My Army Daze where I recalled my magical meeting with ‘Jungle Feet’.
‘Still beaming, he let go my toe and, with a great flourish, opened the doctors bag, I fix jungle feet, he repeated confidently, showing me a tin of some unidentified sticky paste which he quickly smeared on my affected toe. I started to object but he dismissed my muttered complaint with a quick professional motion of his hand while the other hand delved again into the magic bag, produced a roll of cotton wool from which he tore a small piece and stuck the cotton to the sticky stuff on my toe.
Somehow The Great McBain and his conjuring tricks came to mind as I stared at the decorations on my foot. What happens now I said, I suppose you set fire to it.?
I was so busy looking at my foot and failed to notice he was still in action over the bag, quick as a flash he had produced a box of matches, lit one and rapidly applied it to my toe where a huge sheet of flame shot towards the ceiling. I also shot up, cursing at Jungle Feet who was standing back, still beaming, the spent match in his fingers, well pleased with himself.
It is difficult to look aggressive and threatening from the horizontal position, with a smoking foot, when clad only in a green army towel. To be perfectly honest, I was not actually feeling any pain either, only my cool had been disturbed but Jungle Feet was standing at the foot of my bed, still beaming, confidentally expecting some reward for his professional services. To be fair, when I inspected my toe there was no trace of the little round corn which had been there a few minutes ago, to tell the truth I never did see it again, neither then or ever since.
Just like The Great McBain, Jungle Feet appeared to be a great magician, as usual, I could not explain how it was done, this was the mysterious east so I could only conclude it must be magic. I fumbled in my pants pocket draped over my locker, gave him the two Straits dollars he requested, still beaming he wandered out of my life and away down the stairs to become another strange, but memorable, little episode in my Army Daze memories.’
You can read about ‘Jungle Feet’ and other army stories in My Army Daze by Andrew Wishart. Just follow the link below for details of other tales of My Early Daze and My Rock ‘n Roll Daze;