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From the Desk of 
Thomas H. Chippering  

My dear beleaguered Captain,    

Birds of a feather must stick together. Therefore, in this era of epidemic peeping-Tomism, I pause to compose a letter of encouragement, consolation and wise counsel.

     Consider me a fan!

     Buck up!

     Granted, you and I have taken our public lumps of late. The wolves have pounced. We are being gnawed upon like a pair of felled, frazzle-eyed antelopes. From sea to sea, all across the Republic, we are under assault by a veritable army of prissy, nosy, holier-than-thou guardians of bedroom rectitude. They denounce our indefatigable masculinity. They condemn our ardent (and nonpartisan) “skirt-chasing,” (skirts, evening gowns—are we really that particular?). They point accusing fingers at our equivocations and justifications and moral hair-splittings. (“You just don’t get it,” our critics carp, to whom we hotly reply: “We get plenty.”)

     Both of us, Mr. President, are men of the world. We do our sit-ups. Women notice. Through thick and thin, dogged as the sun, we endure the fawning attention of the (wholly) opposite sex, squaring our shoulders, plodding onward, faithful to our ancient duty.

     As you are no doubt aware, my heroic doppelganger, I am the subject of a recent muckracking “novel” entitled Tomcat in Love, a shiny exposé that recounts my private behavior in most humiliating detail.
    And thus I can sympathize with your own embarrassment at the publication of Mr. Kenneth Starr’s lurid best seller, Tomcat in Trouble. (The man is a plagiarist. My attorneys contemplate legal action). In any case, dear Captain, I am sure that both of us now regret our decision to cooperate (however provisionally) with the authors of these one-sided, demagogic and altogether misleading potboilers. We should have remained mute; we should have defended with absolute silence our inalienable right to privacy. Alas, we talked. We blabbed. We fine-tuned the truth. And now, inevitably, the two of us lie weeping on the floors of our respective offices (mine rectangular, yours oval), driveshafts idle, libidos backfiring on grief.

     Understandably, both of us are aghast at becoming objects of incessant ridicule and tasteless humor. What a nightmare. (Like you, I am a man of high station, noble calling, and conspicuous majesty.) And yes, I suspect we also share a sense of outrage at the nation’s insatiable appetite for rumor and innuendo and salacious scandal. Has no one in
America picked up a copy of Madame Bovary? Or Anna Karenina? Where is the news, for God’s sake, in a convenient humidor?

     In this hour of trial, my long-lost twin, I trust that you will find comfort in the knowledge that you are not alone. I understand, as you do, that it takes two to tango; at least a baker’s dozen to perform a respectable bunny hop. I also understand what it means to be hounded, to be threatened with censure and outright impeachment.
Q uite recently, in fact, I was compelled to tender my resignation as a full professor at a certain Midwestern institution of higher learning—merely for quoting a line of Shakespeare to a favored young coed named Toni. (Short for Antonia. Short for mouthwatering.) Did I deserve this fate? I did not. It was a harmless snippet of poetry: “So come and kiss me, sweet and twenty.”

What a world.
Yours in awe,

Thomas H. Chippering
Professor of Linguistics (Emeritus)

P.S. I now reside on an island south of Tampa, north of Venezuela, in a small parish town that for security reasons must go undisclosed. If at some point you should wish to join me, do no hesitate to make contact through my attorneys. We shall exchange horror stories. We shall slowly mend ourselves. (There is a thriving Club Med nearby.)

 (This pastiche was written by Tim O'Brien)

Let Me Do Your Website!



Do you know someone in the service?

See www.BlueStarServiceFlags.com

My Vietnam Related Websites:
Women in Vietnam ~ Read about ALL the women who served . . .
Dusty's Home Page ~ Poetry and prose by a woman who was a nurse in Vietnam
The Irish on the Wall ~ An effort to locate the Irish who died in Vietnam
Tim O'Brien's Home Page ~ National Book Award Winner and Americal Vet
Emily's Poetry ~ By a Red Cross Donut Dolly
Shrapnel in the Heart ~ The most moving book you will read on Vietnam
All About Vietnam    ~ An annotated bibliography of books about Vietnam for sale thru Amazon Worldwide!
Battle Dressing ~ The Journey of a Nurse in Vietnam
Project Hearts and Minds ~ Help put Viet Nam back together
Photos from a Holts' Military History Tour ~ My trip to Vietnam, February 1998

My Other Websites:
Maybe Later . . . ~ My Creative Nonfiction
Irish in Korea ~ Irish men and women who gave their lives in the Korean War
Literature of the Korean War ~ Don't let the literature be forgotten
Samuel Pepys ~ One of my favorite authors
Chicago Theatre Z - A ~ This is the best theater town in the country!
Soccer Literature ~ I'm a fan and I read
O'Leary Lantern ~ Fire! Fire! Fire!
Gil Thorp ~ THE Coach (apologies to The General!)
Norwich Terriers Rule! ~ Mine even have their own webcam!!!!
Poetry of the First World War ~ Owen, Hardy and others
Chi-COW-go ~ Cowz plus Commentary (this used to be a cow town)
Graham Fulton, Scottish Poet ~ Charles Manson Auditions for the Monkees
My Flag ~ My September 11 tribute

Other Important Websites:
The Truth About Caroline ~ a  really good Young Adult book by my niece, Stacey M. Lane Grosh
Remember Oklahoma City ~  The Civil Service and Military will NEVER forget!
Milton L. Olive III ~ Posthumous Medal of Honor Recipient


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Page last updated August 29, 2004