Biloxi Blues

by Neil Simon

I was in the latrine alone. I spent four hours cleaning it, on my hands and knees. It looked better than my mother*s bathroom at home. Then these two non-coins come in, one was the cook, that three hundred pound guy and some other slob, with cigar butts in their mouths and reeking from beer. . . They come in to pee only instead of using the urinal, they use one of the johns, both peeing in the same one, making circles, figure-eights. Then they start to walk out and I say, “Hey, I just cleaned that. Please flush the johns.” And the bigone, the cook, says to me, “Up your ass, rookie,” or some other really clever remark . . And I block the doorway and I say, “There*s a printed order on the wall signed by Captain Landon stating the regulations that all facilities must be flushed after using” . . . And I*m requesting that they follow regulations, since I was left in charge, and to please flush the facility.. . And the big one says to me, “Suppose you flush it, New York Jew Kike,” and I said my ethnic heritage notwithstanding, please flush the facility. . . They look at each other, this half a ton of brainless beef and suddenly rush me, turn me upside down, grab my ankles and — and — and they lowered me by my feet with my head in the toilet, in their filth, their poison . . . all the way until I couldn*t breathe.. . then they pulled off my belt and tied my feet on to the ceiling pipes with my head still in their foul waste and tied my hands behind my back with dirty rags, and they left me there, hanging like a pig that was going to be slaughtered . . . I wasn*t strong enough to fight back. I couldn*t do it alone. No one came to help me… Then the pipe broke and I fell to the ground.. . It took me twenty minutes to get myself untied… Twenty minutes! . . . But it will take me the rest of my life to wash off my humiliation. I was degraded. I lost my dignity. If I stay, Gene, if they put a gun in my hands, one night, I swear to God, I*ll kill them both. .. I*m not a murderer. I don’t want to disgrace my family…But I have to get out of here….Now do you understand?

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