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Third Year Chicago Story

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Considering it doesn't take any brains to be on the show FEAR FACTOR, and the fact the guys would probably win, we decided against using that as a theme to our story.  Jo, our fearless leader, decided we could better serve the list if we went on a QUEST for knowledge..and for good measure.. add a little bit of truth, justice and the American way!  I'm not quiet sure if we can promise Jo that we will stay out of trouble on this trip but we could give it our best shot...NOT! <G>  What a better place for our field trip then the windy city of Chicago.  It's gonna be mighty cold up there folks so pack your insulated underwear.  The story will begin with me making sure all our ducks are in a row and that you're totally prepared for this trip.  We will all meet over at Don's place.  Remember, once we leave, there is no going back for anything you forget!
Sing along now...everybody...Chicao, Chicago, that traveling town
VWF GOES TO CHICAGO!

(THE PLACE WILL NEVER BE THE SAME )

Oh Don.. we can't thank you enough for building this neat
TELEPORTER for our travel arrangements It was so clever of
you to design it with an emergency battery pack. What makes
it even better is the fact it runs on energizer batteries!
...bunnies included I hope. Do you have enough carrots to
feed them? It will take a "bunch" to keep them going and
going! Just kidding, Thank God we have you, Don to keep a
close eye on the weather for us. Remember, we're going
North and weather conditions can be a factor. Shall I
drive? Oh, ok, guess not. Are you sure of the co-ordinates
to get us there? Look! , Here comes some of our group now!.
Good grief.. looks like Pam has packed enough food for all
of us! She did say she made plenty of that Applesauce Nut
Bread. Oh good.here comes Jeff, Danny and Tibbo.they kind
of look like the three musketeer's don't they? Where are
Pearl, Lynn and Marci? Oh my gosh.the guys have the gals
carrying their suitcases up the hill!. I just can't believe
that! Oh my.. the shame of it all!!...WELL.just for that...
No window seats for them! (Bev tapping her stick) Okay
everyone.. loosen up and pay attention! Jo, our social
director, will be filling us in on the sites we plan to
visit in Chicago. Remember... our journey is to improve our
knowledge beyond the limits of cyber space. My job is to
make sure you all mind your P's and Q's. First.. keep you
hands inside the teleporter...no jumping up and down on the
seats.no making out in back seat! Do we have a back seat
Don? One potty stop for every 50 miles. And if anyone asks
"Are we there yet?" that will be grounds to be immediately
be thrown off the teleporter! Let me remind you.. we hope
to return from this adventure.. wiser than we left. Jo,
where are you?? Come on fellas!!! PAY ATTENTION!! Okay
Jo... take it away girlfriend!

Well it looks like everyone has arrived so let's get
started....ah, Bev this is not a balloon...we won't need
food or extra clothes since our source of travel will get
us there and back in just a little more than a FLASH!! We
will materialize at our destination in about 5 minutes. We
will not be making any stops until we have arrived at the
Chicago Museum of Natural Arts and Science. Well, Danny, I
know that is not your idea of fun, or adventure...but there
will be time for that later, I promise! Don, have you fed
those rabbits yet? Good then let's all step inside the
teleporter so we can leave...beam us up Don!!! ETA 5
minutes more or less! Now that's for sure "a long way to go
and a short time to get there" Yikes! Where are we?? What
happened? Well it figures, I'm afraid the co-ordinates may
have been off just a little bit. Tibb, would you mind
lending a hand ...we were not suppose to all end up in a
telephone booth for Pete's Sake! Help! get us out of here!
Oh my that was a trip!! Look, we're downtown
Chicago!...there's the museum, let's go inside and look
around. I want to see the those Egyptian vases closer. How
beautiful! Is everybody here now?....please let's stay
together and check out some of these novel art forms. NO!
Bev...don't pick up that vase...you might...oh no.."does
anyone have some elmer's glue"?? What is that smell? It
must have come from that vase. Pam tells Jo that is not a
vase...it's an urn! and now you have done it, Bev. Done
what Bev asks! I can see I broke it, I'll fix it or buy
another one from the dollar store and replace it and no one
will be the wiser. Right? While Bev, Jo and Pam and trying
to figure out how to put that urn back together ashes have
fallen from it and suddenly out of the corner of his eye,
Jeff saw something very peculiar. He moves closer to have a
look and we watched him as his disappeared through the
wall. Marci was hysterical by then. Jeff, Jeff, where are
you? come back here! Oh no...somebody help me find Jeff. We
all moved in closer to search for a hidden button to open
an entry to what must be a secret passage. With ashes still
on her hands Bev wrote something on the table where the urn
had been. She could not speak and this seemed to be
hieroglyphics or some foreign code she wrote....what did it
say?
Kat wrote
"I have never seen the likes of that either" mutters Ron
and Kat, what is it? and where did Jeff go to? please Bev
snap out of it and Pam just because we landed by a phone
doesn`t make you super woman take the big S off of your
chest.... Oh My god that smell those ashes must have been
from a Mummy (Yes Pam we know you are a Mummy too) we are
in the Egyptian part of the museum, bet now we all under
some kind of a spell. " I think I know" Kat yells making
every one jump and making Bev come fully awake those signs
are how to get where Jeff disappeared to, but how to read
them, just then Bev sneezes and blows all the dust off of
the table and all over every thing now the message is gone,
what do we do now? Marci it will be okay we will find Jeff
, (Dudley stop crying we will find Daddy for you) PJ and
the others go back to the wall pushing it in different
places trying to find where Jeff went. "If every one keeps
disappearing how are we going to learn any thing" say`s Jo
"after all this is a quest for knowledge"...Just then part
of the wall opens we all shrink back, out of the shadows is
a low groaning sound as we creep closer we see a figure
wrapped in some kind of cloth, what is it? Kat screams Bev
Pam right behind her, Jo and PJ and all the guys being
braver then the other three move closer to the figure Jo
snickers and say`s "it`s ....


Betty shaking her head smiling hands Bev and Dudley a
hankie and gives Marci a reassuring pat on the shoulder.
A look of fear and determination is on all their faces as
the wall opens before them. A soft groaning sound can be
heard from within the darkness. Jo and PJ and all the guys
inch forward toward the sound. Jo very nervously
snickering. In the shadowy light they see Jeff wrapped in
what appears to be a sheet. Jo and PJ hollar out, "Its
Jeff!" They all rush forward heedless of what might be in
the recesses of the dark corners. In all the commotion they
surround Jeff and begin to check him out to see if he is
alright. Unbeknown to them the wall behind them silently
closes.....

Marci
What Dudley? What did you say? What do you mean that is not
Jeff?? Ofcourse it is.  I would know Jeff anywhere.Just then...

 PJ, 

Bev and Jo looked like they saw a ghost... their mouths are
open but no sound is coming out.. Dudley roars and
Marci yells Do not touch that man, everyone turns and looks
at Marci like she is nuts until they notice Jeff is
standing right next to her. They all look back and there
is Jeff coming at them...Jo yells!!!!!
"HOW CAN THIS BE
HAPPENING???"

Two Jeff's?? Danny says.." Jo, They have cloned Jeff!! "
Just then Bev and Jo simultaneously screamed "Who or what
is
THEY?".
Pam very quietly is talking to Tibbs and Don in the corner
and trying to figure out what has happened here..

Meanwhile, there is a creaking noise coming from behind
the walls..

I think them is THEY says don as he point across the room,
as all look to where don is pointing, they quickly look
back to don and ask
WHAT?  WHAT? WHERE ?
I don't see anyone Bev says.
Oh come now, Look RIGHT THERE and points to empty space..

I know I did not do that many cheap drugs as a child.  Look
see RIGHT THERE ??

You got to see them ...TIBBO please!!
UH OH HERE THEY COME!!
as Don dives for the floor and disappears in a puff of
smoke...

When the smoke clears....laying on the floor in Don's place
is Melissa..." what? How did I get here?  Hey
guys, haven't seen ya'll in what a year?. Bev, Jo,
Marci?  What the heck is going on?  I was just at home on
my porch in that swing Bev made me when I was
pregnant, oh and thanks for that by the way...it has come

in real handy....
Marci what is wrong? You look like you are about to pass
out. Bev you all look like you have seen a ghost!  Talk to me!  What's going on?
PJ takes melissa aside and fills her in on everything that
has happened so far while everyone else starts trying to
figure out a way out of the room that we're in....when
Tibbo yells at everyone to stop moving.  Look! The figure in
the sheet has started to follow PJ around the room
and...
PJ's thinking to herself "I shoulda stayed at home!!!
They all think I'm scared, but it's just a combination of
that Chicago Pizza I had while the others were trying to
un-squeeze themselves out of the phone booth, that's what it is and besides that its these
weird people I'm associating myself with!!! Why is it that
old drunks, dogs and spooks are attracted to me!??  I

don't know who this dude is in the sheet.  Are the KKK
even in Chi-town??  I'll duck into this pretty
mummy case and try to lose this creep! All I have to do is
move this pile of moldy wrappings out of my
way. Phew!!  They stink!! Oh well, I won't think about
that. I'll just think of my friends and mumble to myself.
Can't take Bev anywhere!! She's either pushin' buttons,
breakin' antiquities, sneezin' a mummy's ashes all over the
place or losin' Jeff!!! Sheesh!!!! Then there's Don,
who's obviously had more of those funny mushroom things and
is hallucinating again: Jo wringing her hands and crying
"Oh, why can't I control these maniacs????"; Marci who's
grilling Jeff on where he went without her and WHY!! (I'm
wonderin' if he's going to tell her that he snuck off to
check out Cleopatra's charms!! For shame, Jeff!); Kat,
who's hanging at the back of the group, trying to look as
though she doesn't know these people at all (wise move!!);
and Brother Danny is busy sneaking around behind everyone
yelling "BOO!!" and pinching people.  Pam  giggles
herself silly and says "I gotta go NOW!!", Bev to jump and
scream "SNAKES, O-my God, Snakes!! Let me out of here!!!", Jo shakes her head and say "Why me?" Don was sitting there on a sarcophagaus with a goofy grin on his face.  Now Kat is 
blushing as she hangs her head at all these antics.

I'll bet Melissa found that sheet and thought she'd help
Danny scare us all! They're all being so noisy out there;
now what's going on? Think I'll peek through the crack and
see.  OH OH....here comes the curator of the museum,
with a whole herd of armed guards......

Bev
Okay Danny.. I'm so thankful you're with me in Spirit cause
I'm not sure if I have the .b..lls to face all these armed
guards. (<G> that's a fact!) They sure don't look like
their on OUR side..I think we're in big trouble friends!
(quack!) Say what Danny?.. there are guns in the box next
to the fu fu box PJ is in?.. (quack) "Yes Bev!" But it's
the curator of the museum!.. "NOT!.. trust me on this one
Bev".. Okay guys, heads up, *put up or shut up* I need help
and I need it now! Don...will you please get your head out
of the twilight zone and help us out here! (quack!) Don
replies "SAY WHAT?". Danny. says he thinks these are bad guys and they're afraid we're going to find something they want!"Yup think you're right Bev.. but when in doubt.. empty the magazine." Is that the clippy thing that goes in this M-16?
" YES! " Oh.. Jeff will do it...I can't deal with guns!
(quack!) What was that blasted sound? (quack!) "I don't
know Bev, but it came from under that sheet, that was
following PJ around, and sure scared all the bad guys
away!" (quack!) I know I've heard that sound before
Danny. I just can't place where? Look guys.. Jeff is over
there.. still looking at his cloned self.. NOT realizing
he's looking into a mirror! Guess what he (Jeff) doesn't
know won't hurt him Tibbo says. LOL Marci, figuring it out,
is laughing herself silly in the corner where Pam, excused
herself, to use the ladies room...gotta go...gotta go..
gotta go right now.. gotta go gotta go gota go! ALRIGHT
ALREADY GO!!! Rumor has it Jo is, safe for now,
taking a nap on the transporter! Where is our leader when
we need her? She better zip right back to this fantasy when
she wakes up! (quack!) Dare it is again folks..you hear it?
Deb comes running into the room...I know..I know.. what and
who it is! It's the Aflac duck! Deb says "yup...it's a
diversion...we stumbled upon a secret commercial being made
in the museum for Mr. Duck to be aired during our invasion
of Iraq". Deb are you serious? You mean we all panicked for
nothing? "Afraid so Bev...you guys always tend to over
react and I'm here to get you back on the right track". Not
sure what we'd do without you Deb..but who were the bad
guys? "It was a group representing the *sheeps* who make
the mattress commercials...they wanted to steal some of the
Aflac ducks material." Oh, I know those sheep...Dave's an 80
and I'm a 90. <G> Okay Deb where are we going to go next?..What about going to see Oprah??? whatcha think
Deb....can we..can we??
(ps) this will teach Jo to trust me to take Danny's part
again!
Deb
"Well, it's a sure bet that Oprah can't be any crazier than
this placehas been tonight! <Grin> unless she's doing an
anti-spanking show,in which case someone will have to restrain PJ!" 

 Looking around "Where is PJ anyway?"  Bev: <helpfully points> "Last I saw her she was ducking into that
sarcophagus over there>"
Marci looks at Jeff and " Come on hero, help me pry her out
of this thing." as she strains to reopen the sarcophagus in
question.
Jo asks  "Have we learned what we wanted in this section?"
Pj, coughing: "Yeah, these things STINK!"
Tibbo interjects: "Am I the only one to notice that it's
gotten terribly quiet here all of a sudden?"as the lights go out.
Bob and Jo
Well one thing's for sure.it's time to get ourselves out of
this place!   It's just to spooky for me says, Jo.  So are
we all present and accounted for?   Will the "real Jeff"
please step forward??  Oh wouldn't you just know it?  Now
what??  Dudley has just gathered a Jeff under each arm.
Marci it Looks like we will have to take them both with us
until we can figure out which one is the clone and which
one is Jeff!! 
Marci is snickering and I won't even ask why!!!  ...and
mutters," leave it to me, I bet I can interrogate them
both in short order.  I'll ask a couple of questions that
only the Real Jeff will know!  Where's Pam and PJ??  Bob
says, PJ is still trying to get that stink off and I don't
know where Pam is or Danny.   Wait now.Where did Danny and
the rest of the guys go asks Betty?   Alright now let's
find them and get out of this place. oh Look there they are
by the WW2 artifacts.  I see Danny climbing into the tank
and Tibb is checking out the "Spirit of St. Louis".    All
of the sudden we hear a shrill coming from Bev.Hey guys
come on.There's  a  German U-boat over here..let's have a
look!   Hurry, says Don.. let's catch up to them.  This
looks interesting.  They are getting onboard.  We may as
well join them. Bev...enters the Sub followed by Danny and
the rest of the group with Pam now bringing up the rear.
Jo is frantically counting heads and lets out a sigh of
relief now that our group is all present and once again
accounted for.   Bev is very excited and her attention is
drawn to the many switches and flashing lights on the
bulkhead.  Danny, reminds Bev to not touch anything..Bev,
says Oh Danny I just want to take a closer look.   Jo is
getting nervous ..(I wonder why).  Just then the top hatch
slams shut..a loud roar is heard ...sounds like the diesels
 coming to life, Bob says.   Bev, what have YOU done now??
 Bev says...I didn't do it!!  It must have been the duck!!!
  Sure Bev..blame the duck!   PJ says well blaming is not
going to get us out of this fix.  Jeff says, alright guys
time to do what we've been trained to do.  We can do this!!
 Can I help, says Bev???    
Jeff Next
"Sure Bev, you can help...I want you to sit right here in
this chair" says Jeff.  Bev says "Sit in this chair?? Buddy
if you think I'm just going to sit
 right there....Oh look, a steering wheel !!!!  "Oh no, no, no,
no, I'm not driving this thing!"  "Oh lookey, more
buttons!"  At this time for some reason Bob feels it is an  appropriate time to give Bev a few pointers on submarine driving while PJ is still mumbling about a smell that would knock a buzzard off a dung wagon at 50 paces. Marci continues to pace the control tower, wringing her hands together and talking about going postal on everyone if someone doesn't open that hatch and I mean right now too!. Don tries to reassure Marci by saying.."Come on Marci, it's not that bad..See this little
ol' dial right here, and that arrow that's pointing to the
200? That means we're only 200 meters underwater!"  About
that time Marci grabs Don by the collar and says."Don, you
better get this little ol' submarine back to the top of the
water, or I promise, you've made your last weather
forecast!" Pam, Deb, PJ and Jo all step in and pry Marci
from Dons collar and try to console her, and it seems to be
working. Unabated, Danny and Tibbo are looking at the
chart, trying to figure out where we are. Suddenly Tibbo
yells.." I've got it Mates, I know where we are!"  Danny
says "Oh really Tibbs, and how did you figure that out?"
Tibbo points to the chart and says.."It was really quite
easy Mate, see the red arrow that says YOU ARE HERE?" Danny tilts his hat back, scratches his head and  looks at the
chart, then yells the way only someone from West Virginia
can..."The Persian Gulf!!!!"  "What the hell are we doing
in the Persian Gulf?"  Bev promptly excuses herself from
her driving duties and exclaims..."The Persian Gulf...then
that means Saddam..can I push the missile button Bob?" Bob
says, "Bev, this is a WWII sub, no missiles here."  Then
Bev informs Bob."Then why does that blinking sign above
your head say" Missiles armed and Ready..Push this button?
Bev!! No.  Pam tells Bev to leave that button alone, it doesn't
have anything to do with Fu Fu. Bev's eyes light up, and
she replies.."That's what this place needs, MORE FU FU!!!!"
and starts opening cabinets along the bulkhead searching
for anything resembling fu fu. Bob takes Bevs place at the
diving controls and murmurs to himself something in Navy
speak..then proclaims "Jo, if you ever I swear.you and
this..ohhh hell, whats the use!" Jeff asks the crew.."Has
anyone seen Dud lately?"  As if on command, Dud appears and
informs all he has shoved the Jeff clone into a forward
torpedo tube, and in his best Godfather accent tells the
crew.."Now he sleeps with the fishes!" Dud also
explains."This is a German sub, must be some German beer
here somewhere." And disappears down the corridor.  Just
then Pam yells."SHHHHH...Everybody be quiet!!  LISTEN!!!
What is that clicking sound????  It's coming from outside
the sub!!!!"
   Pam 
As Bev slowly removes her hand from the launch lever we
feel the bounce of the submarine as it hits the surface of
Lake Michigan!  As old as the tub is it's still in fine
condition.  Danny and Bob start checking all the gauges and
fiddling with controls to stablize the sub.  Bob shot an
order to Tibbo!  Place our sweet Bev in confinement or put
her in the brig...we cannot have her touching any of the
controls.  Tibb takes Bev to the mess and asks her to make
some of her delicious Monkey bread and coffee.  Bev rolls
up her sleeves and starts to work.  Soon the sweet smell of
baked goods wafts through the corridors.  Meanwhile, Pam
and PJ have made a discovery they have found a hatch that
won't open.  Ever quick with a tool, PJ pulls a hammer and
chisel out of her purse.  I knew when I left yesterday I
might be needing these!  Just about then, a loud siren goes
off!  The lights come on and the voice of the Navy Pier
officer in charge comes over the intercom, "to your right
if you look out the porthole you will see the harbor
lighthouse", as he points.."on your left you will see that
we are headed back to the Navy pier and you can just pick
out the Ferris Wheel if you look at the horizon.   Now the
tour is over and if you will all leave in a single file and
Mam?? Please leave that Monkey bread right there, Yes, on
the counter."  As we disembark from our boat tour around
the small section of Lake Michigan by the Golden Triangle,
we see the Shedd's Aquarium that we didn't get into because
Bev was afraid they might make her eat a fish.  We can just
make out the museum, where we began this journey.  Kat
says, "Beverly, you did such a good job of cleaning up the
dust from that urn when Jo broke it!  I think the curator
will let us all come for another visit!"  Jo stands up and
says," Kat, I did find the sticky cloth to wrap the shards
in, and put it inside the REAL sarcophagaus!  Anyway, PJ
was hiding in what she thought was a sarcophagaus, but it
was the door to the restrooms.  She sure kept us all out of
a much needed room!'  Danny says to Gus, "I think the guys
coming at us in uniforms was a bit much!"  Gus agreed
saying,"the curator could have warned us that he was
starting our tour with the new hands on 'Egyptian dig' for
children." A loud and mournful "QUACK!" comes at Gus'
feet..."and, Bev, please pick up this duck.  We have to get
him back to the duck pond at the Aquarium.  Tibbo and Pearl
are busy snapping photos of everything as fast as they can.
 It isn't everyday that we get to see a city the size of
Chicago...do the people ever stop?  They move and speak so
very fast!   Tibb, this is a Saturday and of
course the people ARE moving slower and talking a bit
slower, Pam said.  You should hear them on Monday morning!
 Marci all smiles and happiness stands hand in hand with
the real live Jeff .  Poor Dudley just wants to go home
where silly humans won't take him to confusing places for a
long while.  He looks longingly at a calendar and figures
if Dad and Mom get him home soon enough he has a few more
weeks he can hibernate...and with that thought he gives a
bonecracking YAAWWNNNNN........Time to head home.
  Pam sighs and says, "Why is it everytime we go on a mini
trip with this group we forget what is really happening?"
Mike looks her in the eye and says, "I don't know but they
sure know how to have a good time!  I sure liked being here
this year!"   As we all head for the parking lot and our
cars we hug each other and wish each other a safe trip
home.  Tibbo and his wife get into the back seat of Jo's
car so they can go to  O'Hare Airport  to catch their
flight back home to Oz.  Tibbo says,"Say Mates, Let's
celebrate this birthday thing again next year!  Maybe you
can all come to my neck of the woods.  It would be such
fun!"  YES!!!  Was the hew and cry of all who came this
time around. A quick wave and with that we were all homeward bound. 
HAPPY BIRTHDAY VETERANS, WIVES AND FAMILIES!!!!

The End

 

ŠJBrandt2004