Vietnam Absurdity

June 10, 2017

Gunshots, the shouts of pain and agony, a musty smell lingering over the entire front. Ah, yes, the second Indochina War. I take it all in as I step out of my mom's car. Those gunshots? Pre-recorded. The shouting is more like prepubescent screeching. And that smell is because I simply forgot to put on deodorant this morning. Yet this is the closest I'll ever get to Vietnam. Civil war battle reenactments are for historians and ex-confederates and yankees. As a hardcore war buff, modern wars quench my battlefield-fanatic thirst.
After five months of research and six thousand dollars, I got everybody together for a Vietnam War reenactment. I have model accurate battle armaments, I can see the tops of worn helmets march across the field and the hot summer weather feels like the battle of Dong Xoai, close enough at least. My gun is made of light, brittle balsa wood, I can feel the spray paint flake off my 'camo’ pants, and I don't quite remember a large parking lot being in Vietnam. But ignoring that, I charge into the forest, meet up with my platoon, and prepare myself. I'm ready to kill some of those dastardly...
What’s this, a pinecone? Suddenly, off in the distance, I hear someone shout, “Pinecones are grenades!”
Oh bother.
“KABROSH!” I onomatopoeia with my mouth.
Later, I struggled to spell a mouthed explosion and verbalize both ‘verb’ and ‘onomatopoeia.’ But unconventional literary use aside, a powerful knockback from a close-range explosive device throws me to the ground, metal fragments of shrapnel pierce my delicate flesh. I fold up my legs, they've been blown off.
Darn, blown up by a naughty Vietnamese farmer. Oh well, I’m dead, forced to witness the fighting action. This reenactment is more awkward and absurd than I expected. I hope I don’t get PRSD, or post-reenactment stress disorder, or offend anyone by bringing to light a very sensitive conflict that people still suffer from.

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