The legend of the bean bag baby

 
Written by Murray Hill |
Published on:

In the armoured corps a drivers licence is an essential item, you need one to drive things. Obviously, this is part of the cunning ploy by Soviet-era Russians, Al Queda, the Taliban, Inland Revenue and other enemies of civilisation to render the armoured mobility of her majesties infantry moot through the tactical deployment of traffic cops. Therefore losing one’s licence through being found to be intoxicated could be regarded as a “bad thing”. The example for us all was one soldier who lost his licence for 6 months to a DIC, then got pinged for another 6 months the day after that ran out as a result of his “I got my licence back party”, then followed this up by getting pinged for an additional 9 months the day BEFORE he got his licence back. Having been put in the admin troop to count shit for the duration of the suspension was a non-productive use of a trooper which strained the temper of our Squadron 2IC. The third suspension was the 3-ton bag-o-anvils that broke the camels back.

Trooper “S” was cordially invited to change the colour of his beret to green (infantry) as his services in the armoured corps were no longer required. He elected to catch flight 717 and return to Australia where his record turned out to be considered more of a recommendation than a hindrance, but he is now not part of our story. The rest of us considered that losing our licences to be “bad” as I mentioned, but to not drink was a clear violation of a soldiers rights and/or religious beliefs!

Consequently, we considered the best option was to find somewhere safer to drink… preferably with a patsy driver just in case. We found a handy collection of patsies in the form of Bravo and Charlie Companies 2/1RNZIR. After Exercise Trojan Horse where the Grunts had mistaken the Regular Force drivers for Territorials and made a habit of running up the front of the wagon to butt stroke them, there had been a period of “err yeah.. sorry bout that” and the Regular cabbage heads had been making a special effort to be nice to us. Like not randomly smacking troopers in the head at the baggies bar and such like. It was a time of extreme cuddliness, As a consequence, we acquired a system of getting rides to the West Melton pub with grunt drivers. The West Melton being cunningly located on back roads between Burnham camp and nowhere. Obviously, no cop would even bother being on that road because there was no one using it… cept soldiers looking to get home from the West Melton.

The cops were happily bagging a fair haul of infantry drivers who didn’t give a crap because A. There was a lot of them and B. you didn’t need a licence to frikken walk anyway. However, there was one guy we got a ride with one night with a guy who had interest in being grounded thanks very much. We figured he was different when we piled into his Holden the size and apparently speed of the NC1701 as we spotted an apparent baby in the back seat in the blanket. It turned out to be a bean bag baby with plastic head and hands, complete with little booties and blanket. He told us not to worry about it and he’d let us know if we’d need it on the trip home. Glances were exchanged, followed by shrugs as we headed for West Melton at Warp 4. Mr Sulu was an odd chap but the proximity to beer was diminished with speed so who cared.

Our mission to get faceless was achieved in due course and we piled back into the Enterprise for the trip home. This time at a light bending Warp 6 we headed back with all the windows open. We got a clue that it wasn’t going to be a perfect 6 parsecs run when the car was illuminated with a festive red flashing light. After a few moments of collective highbrow discussion, we arrived at the agreement that we might have run afoul of the resident constabulary. We commiserated with a diver who for some reason was noticeable not slowing down… odd once more. Discussion was held and a deputation questioned our pilot as to what the deal was. He was Han Soloesque in his not slowing downess and consternation and alarm were gathering amongst the roughly 10 or so troopers who were his now unwilling shipmates.

Don’t worry he informed us, I have a plan! Being armoured corps we were naturally sceptical about ANYONE who claimed to have a plan. We’d seen plans, plans were things not conducive to a good nights sleep or health come to that. We all felt that things were in a state of bad and travelling towards shithouse at high speed when announced it was ok, he didn’t have rear plates. We were less than impressed because he seemed to have overlooked the obvious factor of the high-speed appendage of the law being Dyna-bolted to our bumper.

“Ok… you got that bean bag baby?”

“Err what… yeah I guess… why?”

“Right… throw it out the window!”

Light dawned, out went the bean bag baby and I have to say its little arms flailed most convincingly when it hit the road and spun. The headlights of justice receded in a most satisfactory manner and our return to camp was achieved with much hysteria.

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Author: Murray Hill
I live in New Zealand where I spent 12 years in the army which greatly prepared me for a life of sitting down and writing. I have already spent several years sitting down and writing to get an MA in History I am contracted to write feedback on academic assignments and I have written several short books.
My External Website (External Website Opens in New Window)

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