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War Story
by Gus Edwards

WILSON: I never go to the movies. And I'll tell you why. Movies are a waste of time. They never show you about life. Always some goddam lie. That's all they're good for. Telling lies...Last picture I seen was a war picture. That was some years ago. Never was any war like that. That was just a load of bullshit. Bunch of boys running around with rifles and shouting out and shooting. War wasn't like that. I was in the war, Second World War, I know.
    Let me tell you a story about the Second World War, see if you ever see anything like that in the movies.
    I was in the infantry. All the colored boys anybody knew was in the infantry. One day when the Army made their roundup, they was taking everybody in sight. Didn't care who. Long as you was young and strong, they took you in...
    Now, at that time on the block, there was a sissy boy named Vance. Everybody know'd all about him. Vance didn't try to keep nothing secret. He used to walk all over Harlem with his ass high and rolling, talking in this voice like he was some kind of woman. Now, if there was a person you'd guess the Army would refuse, this fellow Vance woulda been the one. But you would be guessing wrong. They took him in just like everybody else. Put him through basic training and sent him overseas.
Now, I didn't see that sissy boy all through the war years. Didn't even think about him, for that matter. Then one day when it was all over, and we was all mustered out, I was walking down the street here in Harlem and who do I see, walking proud, looking healthy and still wearing his Army uniform. Good old Vance. But on his chest was all kinds of ribbons and medals and I don't know what else.
    "Goddamn, Vance," I said to him, "look like you went on to be some kind of hero."
    "Baby," he answered back, still talking in that high, woman voice, "Mother was a sergeant in charge of her little chickadees. One day the German Army surrounded Mother's chicks and had them trapped so bad they couldn't get out. Well, when Mother heard this, she couldn't let that be. Some a them little goslings were part of Mama's special flock. If you know what I mean. So I took a submachine gun and went in for my birds. All of them...and in the process I had to shoot me a whole lot of German soldiers. But God was with me and I succeeded in my mission. And when I come out, all my little birds was with me...All the other men and officers looked at me like I was some kind of miracle. They started shouting and clapping. And saying that I should get some kind of medal. And they didn't just give me one. They gave me a whole bunch...But what I did wasn't nothing special. Just a mother hen protecting her little chicks."
    Now tell me, you ever see anything like that in the movies? Just lies. And more lies. That's all they ever show up on that screen.

*Note: This monologue is actually from the play MOODY'S CAFE, but it was never produced, so if you're looking for the whole play, look for that.

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