Pepsi Please! by Jim Masencup

One of the A.C.s while I was a P.P. was “Juicer”. Juicer didn’t talk much but when he did you could be sure his dark sense of humor would shine. He was country, from Oklahoma if remember, and he loved his chew.

The story as I remember it was the Crew Chiefs got together and explained that they were tired of being hit with his secretions all day and then having to use the fire truck to wash the left side of their aircraft after a day of flying with him. By the time I got in country Juicer was using a can for his secretions. He kept it on the floor and used it when necessary.

One day a couple of our birds were working for the 22nd ARVN. We had shut down near the CP in the village on the east side of the highway across from Phu Cat AFB awaiting something to happen. Our LZ was the football field next to the local school.

I found the kids in Vietnam to be great as a lot. For the most part shy, they would stand around in groups and just watch, point and laugh at our antics. Sometimes you would get one bold enough to beg. Candy, Coke, a little money, anything would be a treat.

Well this day as we sat in the shade of a tree, aircraft doors open and ready for action, I noticed one kid slip away from the rest, edging his way toward Juicer’s open door. His can of choice that day was Coke. When I pointed the kid out Juicer just said let him go, with a chuckle. When the kid thought the coast was clear he raced the last few feet, grabbed the can and took off. When he reached the far end of the field he stopped and raised the can and began to drink.

To this day I’m sure that kid has never asked for another can of Coke. I know I can’t drink one without remembering the look on his face and the sound of Juicer’s chuckle.

Copyright © 2001 by Jim Masencup, All Rights Reserved