In a previous Notary story, a Notary who was stationed in Vietnam had to go with Johnny, a hardened warrior on an undercover mission to a prisoner of war camp to do a POA for a POW. Wish them luck.
JOHNNY: “Okay, men. Now this mission is dangerous, and it will take twenty days on foot to get where we are going. Any questions?”
HARRY (The Notary): “Several things. First of all, is there a Baskin Robbins on the way and second, you behave like an ape in the morning.
JOHNNY: “I’m a Guerilla, not an ape. I learned to fight from the finest of Vietcong soldiers… before I killed them. I killed 120 soldiers in my career — most of them with my bare hands or by carving their heart out of their chest with my knife.
SIMON: “Sounds charming. Do you have any objections to just shooting someone with a semi like the rest of us?”
JOHNNY: “I have nothing against it. I would do it if I had to. I just prefer doing it with my hands. It’s amazingly theraputic.”
JURATSTITUTE: “Hi, guys. You need Notary? I do for you. $5, notarize you long time. You like.”
JOHNNY: “Maybe another time. We’re on a mission. Okay men. Now, remember, the prison camp is not called ‘The Trang’, nor is it located in De Trang which orally sounds similar to The Trang. We are going to a remote village in the hills West of Danang.”
JURATSTITUTE: “Oh, I have friend in Danang, she specialize in Affirmations. You want to look her up?”
HARRY: “I’ll do the affirmations for now. But, thanks anyway. And, I like the word The Trang. It sounds like a place where you go to the bathroom — turn out the lights if you use The Trang.. Or maybe a jungle prison camp where they torture people with bamboo slits and other gruesome methods.”
JOHNNY: “Okay, as a decorated soldier in the United States Military, I now officially pronounce that we will call the location we are going to — The Trang, even though it is not normally called that. I am agreeing with Harry even though he is an idtiot, because the name sounds cool. That way I can tell all my buddies back home what it was like to be locked up in The Trang, before I escaped and killed all the guards with my bare hands, and the help of a few poisonous snakes I found outside who were a real help.
SIMON: “I like the fact that you give snakes credit when credit is due.”
HARRY: “I think that Jeremy at 123notary.com would like to know if you acknowledge, state, swear or affirm that we will call this location The Trang?”
JOHNNY: “What difference does it make?”
SIMON: “To us, no difference, but Jeremy is a stickler for semantics and diction.”
JOHNNY: “Well, I’ve never thought of myself as anti-semantic. I love the Jewish people. Their culture is the bedrock that our society is built on. The belief in one God, rules of conduct, the ten commandments.”
SIMON: “No, not anti-semitic, anti-semantic. Never mind.”
—– (the next day) ——
JOHNNY: “Okay men. Now we are on day two of our trip. We need to set up the booby trap for the night. We don’t want anyone sneaking up on us while we sleep. Happens all the time around here.”
HARRY: “Why don’t we make them swear to an Affidavit that they won’t sneak up on us… Aren’t you being a bit like the Vietcong?”
JOHNNY: “My motto is when in Rome, do as the Romans do. I learned from the best snipers, booby trap makers, and hand to hand combaticians in the business. In fact, I don’t stop there. I meditate on the consciousness of the best Vietcong soldiers because they have 25 years of jungle war experience while Americans want to solve their problems by carpet bombing. Such a lack of commitment cannot win a war. You have to mean it. But, my whole skill set changed dramatically one year ago.”
SIMON: “What earthshaking event happened one year ago where you learned some sudden skill?”
JOHNNY: “I was reading a book about the Sioux, the Mayans and some of the other indiginous peoples who were known for their excellent war skills. Every tribe I read about said that you should either wear the skin or horns of the type of animal you want to be more like to enhance your hunting or fighting skills. However, you can also eat part of the animal. So, one day, I ate part of the brain of one of the most talented Vietcong soldiers I ever had the pleasure and honor of killing. I would have eaten more, except I’m watching my cholesterol.”
HARRY: “I’m a little worried. We are a little short of food for a twenty day journey. What are we going to do?”
JOHNNY: “We’re going to have kung pao tonight. If our booby trap yields us any results, we’ll have more meat than we can handle. Plus, I can hang the body in the trail to scare the other Vietcong. I call it — psychological warfare.”
SIMON: “I call it being psycho. But, I’ve heard that stuff really works. They have recurring nightmares because of that type of stuff.”
JOHNNY: “If you can mess up their minds enough for several weeks before battle, you gain an edge in the battle men. Now it’s time for sleep. Don’t step on any pungi sticks — they’ll cut right through you.”
HARRY: “How will I know where they are?”
JOHNNY: “They are hidden under banana leaves beneath the surface. Just step slowly and see if the ground holds you — or better yet — don’t move!”
(the next day)
HARRY: “I guess no kung pao for us.”
JOHNNY: “We’ll just have to pray for some tomorrow. We need something to give to the prisoners to rejuvinate them. They only get half a bowl of rice per day. And we have to notarize a POA for the POW to have his motorcycle released so his wife can sell it — and also let the wife know that Sam is still alive.
(a week later)
JOHNNY: “Don’t move… I hear rustling. There might be an explosion. Don’t budge a nanometer.” (boom — crash, crash, bullet sounds, firecrackers, boom, pow, silence…”Gentlemen, it looks like we will be having kung pao — finally. Let’s see if he is already cooked or if we have to cook him.”
HARRY: “Don’t you feel sorry for the families of the Vietcong you have killed?”
JOHNNY: “I know, what about their husbands and kids. Oh, and some of them are male soldiers too who might have wives. I almost forgot. The way I look at it is that my tactics might be brutal, but my way of fighting removes the necessity for bombing sprees in areas that have civilians making my way of fighting highly moral. No little children get burned my way — only bad guys, and a few low flying birds, and a monkey once (delicious) and a few squirrels.
HARRY: “A point well made. Speaking of points, where did you bury the pungi sticks?”
JOHNNY: “They are near the trail… tread lightly. Now let’s cook this guy. Would you prefer a leg or a wing? And let’s leave some leftovers in a bowl to freak out other VC guys who come wandering around here later. We’ll put the bowl under the hanging body. It’s sort of a — you mess with us, this is what happens to you type of a not so subtle message.”
(another week later)
SIMON: “I think this meat we have is holding up. The salt really preserves it. We need to strengthen the guys out if we are to walk twenty days with them.”
JOHNNY: “There is no time for that unless you want to camp out and feed them every night, sneaking in and risking our lives. It is easier to just kill all the guards and make a clean break. We’ll be at The Trang in one hour. I’ve walked this trail many times before and obviously lived to tell about it.”
HARRY: “The question is, do we subdue the guards with poisoned darts, spiders, snakes, hand to hand combat, or just shoot them?”
JOHNNY: “I like the way you think. Or maybe the guards will need something notarized too. If we throw a tarantula at the guards, they will be focused on the spider, and not us, so we can do our thing without too much opposition. Or maybe the spider will finish them off.”
HARRY: “How do you know which spiders are poisonous? Did you read up on spiders at the base or take a nature walk while your commander taught you about each one?”
JOHNNY: “If only I had a commander like that. Only the VC’s teach them men real fighting skills like that. If only we lived in a perfect world we would learn that. Once again, I had to learn on my own. Okay, we’re here. Let’s round up the spiders and put them in this case. Good. Okay. You guys wait here. I might not come out alive. This is a profession with a high attrition rate due mainly to decapitation, incareration in POW camps, loss of limbs, and sometimes spider bites — knock on wood. If I don’t come back — drink this.”
HARRY: “And what is this?”
JOHNNY: “Spider venom. It will kill you fast. No pain. You’ll never survive around here without me.”
SIMON: “Ummm.. Thanks… I guess.”
JOHNNY: “That’s the biggest favor anyone ever did for you. Otherwise you would die slowly in a prison camp. The only reason I lived was because of my impenetrable will to live — and also my will to kill more enemy soldiers with my hands — so theraputic! Men… I’m going in.
Johnny hid in a tree. A guard came close. Johnny dropped from the tree, slit the VC guys throat and never saw it coming and never felt a thing. Johnny threw a throwing star at another guard’s throat. Then he went in and threw spiders at everyone, took cover, and shot all the guards one by one. The whole operation took only six minutes. Going out, he had to disable a few wires that would have spelled death for his escape. Then he went in and got what was left of Sam the POW. He was so skinny.
JOHNNY: “We are leaving The Trang now. Let’s get you to where our guys are camped out and then we’ll notarize you.”
SAM: “The what? this place is not called The Trang. How did you know I needed a Notary?”
JOHNNY: “Well we call it The Trang. It’s Harry’s idea. We heard from some other guy who was released and was on TV back at the base in South Caroline. He announced you were still alive and needed a Notary. So, I brought Harry.
SAM: “Oh, thanks, but I already got my paper notarized by someone yesterday who I found on 123notary.com.”
JOHNNY: “You mean I travelled twenty days on foot, killed six people in cold blood — which I enjoyed immensely, and risked getting blown to shreds in a booby trap or too, and you have already been Notarized?”
SAM: “I’m just puling your leg. There is no 123notary.com in Danang. At least not yet.”
JOHNNY: “So, you look a little skinny. Have some kung pao Thuy. I know it’s Thuy because I checked the ID and took a fingerprint.”
HARRY: “You took a fingerprint. Well where is the finger right now?”
JOHNNY: “You probably don’t want to know. The left finger is still in the jungle probably. The right finger. Well, let’s not point fingers…”
SIMON: “We’re cannibals! Mmm. This is really good! These prints look so artistic. Have you heard of the artist formerly known as prints?”
JOHNNY: I don’t think that guy will come into being until the 90’s with that name. At least that’s what I picked up in a meditation while I was meditating on the consciousness of a wild puma. I’d love to have a puma paw right about now. And some Baskin Robbins.
HARRY: “Now you’re talking. By the way, before we forget. Sam… Please sign here.”
SAM: “I’m so weak I can only sign with an X. Do you have two subscribing witnesses?”
HARRY: “Two what? No just kidding. I read Jeremy’s course so I know exactly what you mean. They have to sign the journal which by the way has mold on it from the trip. But, I kept it in a waterproof binder. Oh, you were just kidding. You can sign just fine. Sign my journal too please… Great. I will affix my stamp here. Done. You are notarized. You can die of exhaustion now and your wife will get to sell your bike.
SAM: “Just what I wanted. But, after this kung pao, I feel a sense of envigoration. Let’s walk 400 miles.”
SIMON: “Just for the record, we calculate distance in kilometers. We are in Vietnam now.”