Land of the Rising Spam
Date: Mon, 25 Mar 96 14:16:49 -0800
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Subject: Land of the Rising Spam
Forwarded-by: email@example.com (Bob Stein)
LAND OF THE RISING SPAM
by Earl C. Woodruff, USMC RET. (copyright 1993) from THE NOSE magazine,
Dateline Honolulu. Here I am, strolling down Kapiolani Boulevard.
Looking for the Marine recruiting office. The warm breeze carries the odor
of Marines. Marines! God love 'em. There they are!
"It's Earl C. Woodruff Master Sergeant, USMC retired," I shout. They
look at me. I look at them. It's an emotional moment. Nothing makes a
young Marine weep like seein' an old Marine. I holler, "Where would an old
Marine go to get some chow before he heads off to Pearl to weep?"
The young buck behind the desk knows instinctively what I want. He says
"Next door, sergeant. The Pancake House." Fine. Let me get some food in
my gut and I'll come back and wrestle you to the ground.
We salute, eyes blazin'.
Ah, get some food, take a bus out to Pearl and get mad at the Japanese
all over again. Oh boy, it's gonna be a good day!
I set my butt down in the Original Pancake House, peruse the menu. My
eyeballs zero in like a Flying Tiger on Spam... eggs... Spam and eggs.
Spam... Is there anything better on a cool autumn morning in the DMZ
than lapping up a good ol' American pork product out of a can with my old
Marine tongue? You just can't hurt an old Marine's tongue. Write that
down. Put it in your wallet.
The waitress comes. Omelette du fromage? Not today, amigo. "Spam and
eggs!" I shout. "Eggs up! Yahoo!"
I wait. I'm gonna go over to Pearl and be rude to some Japanese.
Yessir! Hope they're still there. Maybe they never left. Maybe they never
landed. Maybe it's all in my mind. Gotta find out. Write that down. The
waitress drops a plate in front of me. There's Spam. There's eggs. And
a great big ball of white rice.
Rice! What the hell? Who won the goddamn war? Where's my potatoes?
Then all of a sudden a thought fills my brain. Hey, Earl, this must be a
symbol. Spam, a Marine's best friend. Rice, best friend of the Japanese.
Together on the same plate. World War Two's over. It's time to forgive.
I scratch my head. Forgive who? My thinking can't go any farther. Who am
I supposed to get mad at? What's the point?
I take a spoonful of rice. Forkful of Spam. I shovel 'em both in my
mouth at the same time. I chew. The tears come. I can't stop. I'm
"Give me coffee and tea," I sob. I drink them both at the same time.
I'm blubbering. The waitress is blubbering. The other patrons start
blubbering. The Marines come over from next door. They're blubbering.
Meaning fills the air.
I cry, "I'm going to Pearl. Who's going with me?" We all catch a bus
on Ala Moana Boulevard. The driver opens the door.
"We're full of Spam and rice and we're goin' to Pearl!" He starts
weeping. He looks Oriental. I forgive him!
We arrive at Pearl Harbor. A two-hour wait, standing in the stinky hot
sun. Everyone's going boo-hoo-hoo. A busload of tourists pulls up.
"Don't be afraid," I shout. I run up and hug 'em. "There'll be no
killin' today. I'm full of Spam and rice, and I forgive you bastards." They
take my picture.
There's a moral here. Maybe Spam's the key to world peace. Chop up
Spam, throw it in borscht, forgive the Russians. Chop it up in sauerbraten,
forgive the Germans. Chop it up with cilantro and pine nuts, forgive the
Californians. Spam, world peace, it's all tied together. I know it is!
God bless canned meat!
There. I said it.
---Earl C. Woodruff is an old mess cook, just holding up his end.
The Original Pancake House
1221 Kapiolani Blvd., Suite 103
Honolulu, HI 96814
Span and eggs over rice, $5.50
6 a.m. - 2 p.m., seven days a week
USMC Recruiting Office
1221 Kapiolani Blvd., Suite 107 Honolulu, HI 96814
© 1996 Peter Langston