Jerry’s Coming

I’ve been reading The Battle of Britain by James Holland. It’s a very good book. Perhaps the best one I’ve ever read about it. So I’ve had my head filled with Spitfires and Stukas and so on over the past few days. It set me wondering what Britain might have been like back then if it’d been swarming with health-obsessed, risk-averse doctors. The scene and the story gradually took shape…

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“Jerry’s late today.”

Edward ‘Biffo’ Bentham spoke to nobody in particular, as he sat back in his wicker chair in the dispersal, cradling a mug of cocoa in his hands. The sun was shining brightly, and the riggers and fitters were busy working on the Spitfires on the grass in front of him. A petrol bowser trundled by.

“Cloud over St Omer,” the C.O. said. “They’ll be here in about half an hour.” He twirled his handlebar moustache absent-mindedly with his forefinger.

Andrew ‘Boozy’ Bagshawe leaned forward. “I gather the new M.O. has arrived. Have they cleared up the bits of the last one yet?” he asked from his leather armchair in front of the mess office, as he leafed through an old copy of the Daily Sketch.

The C.O. pulled thoughtfully on his pipe. “We’ll probably find out in a few minutes.”

The telephone rang. The C.O. answered it, listened carefully, and then hung up.

“Scramble, chaps,” he called out. “Jerry’s coming.”

The pilots sprinted to their planes, started the engines, and as the ground crews pulled the chocks from their wheels, began rolling across the grass towards the runway. ‘Boozy’ Bagshawe was the first to turn onto it, with the other planes lining up behind him. He’d just opened the throttle of the Merlin engine, and begun to accelerate, when he noticed a figure standing by a car parked on the runway ahead, waving a white scarf.

He sighed and cut the engine and rolled to a stop beside the figure. The squadron behind him stopped too. He jumped out of his cockpit onto the wing, slid down onto the ground, and found himself in front of Doc Adams, the new M.O..

“What’s up, Doc?” Boozy asked.

“I can’t allow it,” Doc Adams replied, his voice shaking. “I can’t allow you young lads to put your health at risk like this. You could die. You could die premature deaths.”

“Bleeding heck, Doc,” shouted ‘Leggy’ Allsop, who’d come running up. “Jerry’s coming. We’ve got to get into the air.” The other pilots soon arrived, panting and unbuttoning their flying jackets.

With raised hands, Doc Adams signalled for silence. “Now listen to me. I’ve spent my whole life trying to save the lives of bloody fools like you lot. Fools who keep putting their lives needlessly at risk. And it’s got to stop. And prevention is better than cure.”

“Life is a precious thing,” he went on. “It’s the most precious thing we have. It’s really all we’ve got. It’s more important than king or country, god or money, freedom or democracy. Those things are all illusions. They’re unreal. It’s only this that’s real,” he said, jabbing a finger into Biffo’s chest. “This real, living, flesh and blood man.”

“I hadn’t looked at it that way before, sir,” Biffo said, staring hard at the ground. Yes, the bits of the last one had been cleared away.

“You’ve got your whole lives before you,” Doc continued, climbing up onto the bonnet of his Sunbeam, and gazing down on the men with a fatherly eye. “Don’t throw them away needlessly. Your body is a temple. Look after it. And don’t pollute it with tobacco or alcohol.”

“And Jerry’s life is precious too,” Doc Adams declared,  sounding more and more like an evangelical preacher warming to a sermon. “All life is precious. The birds are precious. The trees are precious. The grass beneath your feet is precious.”

Biffo stared even harder at the grass between his feet. Perhaps there were still a few traces of blood after all.

“What about slugs?” Phil ‘Airfix’ Williams asked from the back.

“They’re precious too,” Doc Adams replied. “The whole earth is precious. The earth is itself a living thing. If you could see it from outer space, it would look like… like…”

“A little blue droplet of life?” Charlie ‘Buster’ Jones suggested helpfully.

“Yes, exactly,” Doc Adams replied. “My, my.  That is very remarkable. You seem to know some of this already!”

The C.O. pulled up in his staff car. “What the hell’s going on?” he said as he jumped out.

“It’s Doc Adams, sir,” Charles ‘Jumbo’ Wilkins muttered. “He’s been telling us that our lives are precious. He doesn’t want us to get hurt or killed or anything.”

“Get back in your planes, and take off immediately.” the C.O. ordered. “Jerry’ll be here any minute now.”

The pilots climbed back into their Spitfires and began to accelerate down the runway again. As the last one lifted off, the C.O. turned and looked up at Doc Adams, still standing on the bonnet of his car.

“You’d better explain all that to Jerry too, Doc. Here he comes now. Give him a wave with that scarf of yours.”

The sound of an engine began to fill the air. The anti-aircraft guns began firing. On the horizon, a lone Messerschmitt 109 appeared, flying very low, straight towards them.

Doc Adams turned to face the approaching plane, and began waving his white scarf, as the C.O. jumped nimbly into a sand bunker beside the runway.

As the 109 howled across the airfield towards them, the grass around the Sunbeam began to erupt as machine gun bullets tore into it. The car shuddered under the impact, and when the first cannon shells began striking,  the resulting explosion engulfed Doc Adams.

As the 109 thundered past just above the flaming wreck, Jerry leaned out of its cockpit, grinning broadly and giving a thumbs up. And the C.O. stood up and waved back. He counted all of 16 stethoscopes stencilled under the cockpit hatch. There’d be another one added tonight.

And already the ground crews were coming in a truck to clear up the bits.

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And goodbye Whitney.

About Frank Davis

smoker
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18 Responses to Jerry’s Coming

  1. Tim Paton says:

    haha Frank, especially the little private joke which crept in, that only the chosen ones would understand, ““What about slugs?” Phil ‘Airfix’ Williams asked from the back.” haha still laughing

  2. Heehee… Airman Phil to the rescue indeed! :>

    Nice one Frank!

    :>
    MJM

  3. Pete says:

    Brilliant Frank

  4. Junican says:

    And prevention is better than cure.”
    Nicely comical, Frank, but typical of Tobacco Control.
    According to ASH ET AL, you can prevent lung cancer by abolishing tobacco. But the stukas and Messerschmidts are already overhead – they cannot be prevented. They come from an unknown place – which is much the same as saying that the causes of lung cancer are unknown.

    Strange things keep coming to light. Did you know that the vast majority of people only actually experience influenza ONCE, or, at worst, TWICE in their whole lives? Even doctors (presumably for convenience) are ‘economical with the truth’ when it comes to signing sick notes.

    • brigitteschulze@hotmail.com says:

      “And prevention is better than cure.”
      Nicely comical, Frank, but typical of Tobacco Control.
      According to ASH ET AL, you can prevent lung cancer by abolishing tobacco.

      Would ASH et al care to explain just one little thing? Have they taken into account ANY of the governments lamenting the ever growing number of OLD AGE PENSIONERS? And, aren’t those old age pensioners not of the “happy-hippie-marlborough-generation”?
      How come that there are so many people living (and happily smoking!) through decades of SHS almost EVERYWHERE still (currently not so happily) alive?
      What is wrong with these paranoid “youngsters” who think that SHS will kill them? Does this mean – from an evolutionary aspect – the human race is no longer viable as it cannot survive imaginary danger, let alone real danger….
      Looking forward to Debbie Arnott’s explanation…..

      • brigitteschulze@hotmail.com says:

        Frank, please delete the post – or change my name back to beobrigitte!!! Thank you!! (I had to wipe my pc and reinstall …. some anti got my old ip address)

  5. harleyrider1978 says:

    Frank go and rent the ”battle of britain” the movie and excellent flick!

  6. harleyrider1978 says:

    Pilot to Bombadier,pilot to bomabadier………whitehouse target approach sited! Take over bombadier……check pilot…….bombay doors opening…………whats that sir another HIROSHIMA!

  7. garyk30 says:

    “Pre-mature death”

    If you do not die, you will live longer; so, ALL deaths are ‘pre-mature’ and the term has no real meaning.

    If the term has no real meaning; then, the concept of ‘pre-mature death’ does not exist.

    The Doc in the story seems to have been not aware of the possible results of his actions.
    He would possibily ‘save’ the lives of a few pilots and let the bombs fall and cause the deaths of dozens of civilians.

    Besides; if you believe in a God, you only die when It decides your time has come. There can be no ‘pre-mature death’; because, you will die when when your God has decided you must.

    Thus; if you believe in a God, there are NO preventable deaths.

  8. garyk30 says:

    “The earth is itself a living thing.”

    All the greenies seem to think that.

    I will believe it when the Earth starts paying taxes like the rest of us living things!!!

    • garyk30 says:

      Come to think of it,our govts do spend a lot of tax money on the Earth/environment.

      Maybe the Earth is alive, it is just a lazy, do nothing entitlement whore!

  9. Lou says:

    O/T. Probably a non-starter, however I believe you have an interest in Spain. It’s dated 1/2/12

    http://www.benidorm-spotlight.com/news/2012/smoke_ban.htm

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Ya that ended up being a pipe dream because the EU bent spain over a barrel on a bailout if they didnt leave their communist ban in place! WTF else could the man do……..

  10. harleyrider1978 says:

    Smoking drop may leave state on hook for bonds
    Fewer smokers is bad news for California’s budget. A major bond rating agency sounded an alarm this month, saying the state may have borrowed more than $4 billion against settlement money that might never materialize.
    A little more than a decade ago, 46 state attorneys general reached a settlement with the four biggest tobacco companies. The companies agreed to pay an estimated $246 billion over a 25-year period to compensate states for tobacco-related health care costs. But there is one quirk: The settlement payments are not fixed, but linked to tobacco sales.
    Rather than waiting for annual payments, the state and some local governments decided to borrow money against their anticipated future revenue. All told, they’ve issued $16 billion in bonds since 2001.
    Major bond rating agencies and some municipal finance experts have warned for years that the number of smokers was decreasing more rapidly than expected.
    In December, California had to dip into its reserves to cover bond payments. Dick Larkin, director of credit analysis at Herbert J. Sims & Co., said there were two reasons: fewer smokers and a dispute with the tobacco companies that has resulted in delayed payments.
    As the state’s finances worsened, officials went back to investors. In 2007, California issued $4.4 billion in tobacco bonds. In order to pay back investors by 2047, it assumes that cigarette consumption will decline by about 1.8 percent per year, according to bond filings. But in the midst of increased taxes and antismoking laws, sales have dropped more quickly than predicted. As a result of the decline and the ongoing dispute with the tobacco companies, annual payments have been less than expected since the settlement was signed in 1998, according to Larkin.
    If the bonds default, it wouldn’t be bad just for investors. California is one of only a few states that guaranteed a portion of its bonds with general fund revenue. If tobacco settlement money does not cover the debt, the state will have to pick up some of the tab. There are currently $2.9 billion in bonds outstanding that are backed by a state guarantee, according to the state treasurer’s office.
    Although that payment would be subject to legislative approval, it’s unlikely it wouldn’t be approved.
    “No one would trust California anymore,” Larkin said. “Their name would be mud in the market.”
    Unlike most other states, California split its settlement revenue between the state and local agencies – counties and four major cities, including Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose and San Francisco. Local governments receive about half of the state’s settlement payments.
    Some local officials have elected to borrow against expected future payments but haven’t guaranteed to cover their debt with general fund revenue. While this could be bad news for investors, it might actually be good news for communities.
    “The investor really has a slightly different view on everything,” said Peter Bianchini, senior municipal strategist at Mesirow Financial. Local governments aren’t on the hook if the tobacco settlement revenue doesn’t come through, so they may have been able to borrow more than they would have received if they had waited for the annual payments, he said.

    http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/feb/20/as-tobacco-sales-fall-state-budget-suffers/

  11. magnetic01 says:

    O/T
    There’s a move afoot in a number of Australian states to ban smoking outdoors. This is the latest:
    Add www. to heraldsun.com.au/news/more-news/victoria-primed-to-ban-outdoor-smoking/story-fn7x8me2-1226276366000
    (feel free to vote)

    This is only a few months after the last attempt:
    Add www. to heraldsun.com.au/news/more-news/push-to-ban-all-outdoor-smoking-in-dining-areas/story-fn7x8me2-1226183936381

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Its good they are Mag,it shows everyone just how radical these nazis truly are and gives us a stage to challenge their shs junk science even more. Glad to see ya out there fighting you have a gift!

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