While attending St. Mark’s Sunday Field services for deer hunters, a fond memory came back to me from SEA. No, we didn’t go deerhunting. I was recalling Buddhist priests who required a tithe once a week to keep bad spirits out of our aircraft.
About 5 days after arriving up country in 1970, a Buddhist monk and his three little acolytes in training walked onto the flightline apron. This was all new to me. No guards. No Security. We regularly transported them up to other Lima Sites, but never in FAC aircraft. Apparently they performed a weekly service for us that no other could. There are lots of ghosts in SEA and they require banishment (evil) and appeasement(good). They were called Phee. If they were evil incarnate, they were called phee-lock. You had to hire the Buddhist Ghostbusters to do this. They charged about 60 kip and would give the aircraft a real going over-especially the engine and ailerons. They would also bless your “Laong Pau” or Buddhist medals you wore around your neck. These were de rigeur and made you bulletproof. One simply didn’t venture into dangerous situations without blessing them regularly. With five 0-1s to bless, this dude had a goldmine. I’m pretty sure he was hitting up all the AirAm pilots too.
Phee were everywhere. They resided in trees and streams, rivers and houses and of course, airplanes. One didn’t talk about them either. That would piss them off, I guess. There were a lot of Phee rules so it paid to hire good looking women to explain it to you in the evening after a long day of flying. Adult beverages were in order because they greatly increased your understanding and comprehension of all things Phee.
Here we are 40 years later and I wonder if there are Phee in America? Having learned the trick of attending church closer to God in his outdoor temple, I don’t feel their spirits the way I did back then. I think its due to this HCV disease process and I’m debating filing for it and some others as secondary to the Hepatitis. My list is growing and I’m thinking of filing for all of them. The VSO said it will sure get their attention down at the VARO. So far, in addition to having lost the ability to sense Phee, I have bunions, hemorrhoids, acne vulgaris, Major Depressive Disorder with Narcissistic Tendencies, Gulf War Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lip Herpes, ingrown toenails (bilateral), uncontrolled shivering when it’s cold outside, excessive sweating disorder (summer only), hammer toes, bushy eyebrow and ear hair syndrome (bilateral), varicose veins, antisocial personality with passive aggressive tendencies, halitosis, itching and deteriorating vision. Sometimes I pee my pants a little bit when I laugh or sneeze, but I think that is due to old age rather than the Hep.
I guess my main worry is going to be the nexus letter. Maybe I should do what my Service Officer suggested and make VA supply it. He said they are required to do so by law. He is soooo smart. I love that guy. I bet he was a Buddhist Monk in a former incarnation.
Mark your calendars and don’t forget Tuesday in two weeks is voting day. Oat Willie needs your support. If any races on your ballots have only one candidate running without opposition, I advocate Oat Willie as a write-in contender. He deserves your support. I understand he has a more conservative bent now and is an unofficial member of the TEA party movement. I registered my dog Molly to vote this year on an absentee ballot. It was easy. She’s 42 in dog years and with it being politically incorrect to check on anyone’s legitimacy, she sailed right through.