He was a serious man
but difficult to take seriously.
He was an intelligent man
who looked stupid.
He was diligent and shy
both were confounding – seemed wrong
as if he had appropriated another’s character.
His gait was rolling, almost clumsy
it would have been
if he had been his look-alike – Fred Flintstone.
He was in charge for winter
living at the edge of the world
sustained by engineered umbilicals.
It could blow anywhere- any time
then 200 would have to take to the trenches
it weighed on him – What if?
Whenever he rang
and worry catalysed frequent phone calls
“yabba a dabba doo,” would ring out in the background
the recipient communicating
in laughter suppressed gulps
y . . . esss sir. . . n. . . oo. . .I’ll g. . . .ett onnn t. . . oo . . . . it.
It was called CAP.
No one could remember the precise translation
the old timers said it was an acronym
that it stood for Command Advance Programme.
It was for exemplary actions – not uncommon in the military
instant promotion –“ just add water,” the old hands said.
Winter Over was a command
each command entitled to one CAP
no questions asked – Commanding Officer’s discretion
use or lose
the CO did – to promote himself.
Perhaps he really was Fred Flintstone.
For the back story click Backstage