The Papa Bear Awards 2010
The Mission Briefing
Wilson and his medical bag came barreling through the door of Barracks Two. “What’s the emergency?” He was out of breath and panting. “It’s the colonel, isn’t it?” He looked around the room. Yep, Hogan was missing. “What is it? Shot? Stabbed? Drugged? Amnesia? Male pattern baldness?”
Kinch approached the medic. “He’s locked himself in his office, Joe. Won’t come out. Won’t talk.” He shook his head. “Nothing.”
“I think it has something to do with the package we picked up tonight.” LeBeau handed Wilson a cup of coffee. “Said…” He hushed his tone: "Top secret…"
The medic took a swig and put the mug down. He walked over to the door and knocked. “Colonel, it’s Wilson. Can we talk?” He waited a few moments, then knocked again. “Colonel, the boys out here are worried about you. Open the door!” He jiggled the knob. “Colonel!” This time he knocked hard. “Newkirk, can you open the door?”
“Can I open the door?” The Englishman looked insulted. “Of course, mate, but not without orders. The guv’nor would have my guts for garters, he would, if I broke in.”
“Newkirk, as the medical officer, I’m ordering you to break in.”
“Well, I can’t disobey an order, can I, gentlemen?” Newkirk was pleased.
“Go for it, buddy. It will be a piece of pie.”
“Cake, Carter, cake!” Newkirk grabbed some tools and within seconds the door swung open.
“Stay back,” Wilson warned them. “I’ll go in first.” He walked in and found Hogan seated at the table, staring into space. In front of him, the contents of the package dropped earlier that evening.
“Sir?” Wilson waved his hand in front of Hogan and got no reaction. He gave the officer a small shove and again got no reaction. The medic decided to glance at the first page in the stack of paper that had been plopped on the desk. “Uh huh,” he said and headed towards the door. “Carter, get me a bucket of water.” Grabbing the bucket, which was now filled with cold water, Wilson tiptoed over to the colonel and poured the entire contents over Hogan’s head.
Hogan began sputtering and coughing and now soaking wet, leapt up from the chair. “What the hell did you do that for?”
“Got you up, didn’t it? Sir.”
“Get me a towel.”
One of the men in the barracks threw one into the office. Wilson caught it and handed it to Hogan.
“How would you like a court-martial and a demotion?”
“Threats don’t work on me, Sir. You should know that by now. Don’t you think we should let them know what caused you to, um, lose it, Colonel?”
“Yeah, Sir, are you all right; what is it?? Are we shutting down?” Kinch asked.
“Suicide mission. I bet that’s it,” Carter stated.
“No, no!” Hogan grabbed the top sheet of paper off of the enormous pile. “Hang on.” He walked out into the common room. “I figured this would all be over and done with after the trial, but I’m afraid they’re back.”
“No, not the...”
“Yes, Newkirk. I have in my hand, direct from London, a new mission briefing.” He started to read to the now depressed group of prisoners.
“Your mission and you WILL accept it.”
“Hey,” Olsen interrupted, “I thought we had a choice.”
“No, Olsen, that’s another show,” Hogan continued. “The 2010 Papa Bear Awards. Now accepting nominations for stories completed in 2009.” The crew of prisoners let out a huge groan.
“Yeah, yeah, I know. Award them for putting us through hell. But orders are orders.”
“Hey,” LeBeau poked Kinch. “Now that the boys from barracks two have an account, we should stuff the ballot box.”
“Not kosher, LeBeau.” Hogan gave him a stern look.
“Sorry, mon colonel,”
“Okay, everyone listen up! Looks like we have some changes and new categories.”
“First, authors may not nominate their own work, with one exception. This year, authors may nominate their own quotes, up to three, as well as quotes from other works if they choose, again up to three.”
“Sounds reasonable, sir. You may recall the stories, but not have time to reread all 67 chapters of your favorite, to pick out quotes.”
"But hey, here´s something new! There were so many stories this year, that they´ve decided to add an additional category that will account for story length. So we’ll have the short story.”
“Under 5000 words,” everyone said in unison.
“Medium size 5000 – 15,000 for comedy and 5000 – 35,000 for drama.”
"Boy, they´re making this complicated…" Carter sighed.
"Must be to make more or less equal groups, I suppose," Kinch commented. "And, Colonel, I take it that the long ones are 15,000 words or more for comedies, and 35,000 or more for the drama section?"
Hogan nodded. "And then of course there are the poems and songs in a separate category. And the best story of all."
“Do we still have those special and unique stories, sir?”
“Let’s see. Yes. Best general story. That covers stories that aren’t quite comedy, but not overly dramatic either. Most unique story, best story based on a challenge, crossovers, based on an episode… Hey, this is a new one!"
"A category for the best single scene or the best self-contained chapter!"
"Um… what´s that?" Baker wondered.
"A single scene is like an incomplete story, isn´t it, Sir?" Kinch ventured. "You´re dumped in the middle of an interesting situation, but you never get to know how people got there, and how it´s going to end."
Hogan nodded. "Exactly. And those self-contained chapters… It appears there have been some well-received tales that were comprised of multiple chapters, but each chapter was actually an independent story all by itself. With no real connection to the other chapters.”
“Like what, Sir?”
“Um,” Hogan put on his thinking cap. “The one where Hochstetter was killed in multiple ways for example."
Carter chuckled. "Yeah, I liked that one."
"And the one with all those funny missing scenes from the series," LeBeau added with a grin.
"Yes, that´s the idea. So there you can nominate by the chapter; you don´t nominate the entire story. Next. Okay,” Hogan grabbed a chair and sat down. Wilson, get me an aspirin. No, a drink."
"What is it?"
“A new category.” Hogan downed the shot of whiskey that had mysteriously appeared. “Best tear jerker. Oh, man.” The glass was just as mysteriously refilled.
“How could they?”
“I still say we should rig the voting.”
A mischievous grin appeared on Hogan´s face. He folded the paper right over the offensive category, and as the faces around him covered a full spectrum from curious to worried, he carefully spilled the rest of his whiskey down the fold. "Oh my, look what I´ve done!"
"Are you allright, sir?" Kinch inquired cautiously.
"He´s gone round the bend!" Newkirk stated with some fear for the future in his eyes.
Meanwhile, Hogan shook out the paper and brushed the last of the fluid off with his sleeve. "Look at that. Can´t read it, can you?" He peered at the smudgy line. "What category was that again? Can´t remember. Oh well, never mind. They won´t miss it."
Carter sniggered, but Wilson grabbed hold of Hogan´s wrist to take his pulse. "Are you sure you´re allright, Colonel?"
“You need a break, Sir. I can read the rest,” Kinch offered.
“No.” Hogan waved them off. “What am I, a brittle old man? It’s my job. I’ll do it. But there will be no you-know-what category. London can go to... Never mind.” He took a deep breath and continued. “Ah, now this I agree with...”
That caught the interest of everyone.
“In addition to the category for best OC, otherwise known as an original character not seen in the television series, we have a new category. Wilson, Olsen, guys from the top bunks: you’ll like this one... Best portrayal of an extra!”
“I’m not an extra!” Olsen complained.
“Cool!” Wilson said.
“Not bad for someone with thirty seconds of air time, mate.” Newkirk slapped the medic on the back.
“Hey, that would fit Langenscheidt and Klink’s beautiful secretaries, as well. And Captain Gruber, and all those nasty villains that always invade our camp, and the guy who showed up here in no less than seven different roles…” Baker was starting to take notes.
"And my Marya." LeBeau drooled at mentioning the name alone. But Hogan winced at the mere sound of it.
Still: “I’m not an extra,” Olsen protested stubbornly.
“Well, you’re not a lead, either,” Hogan pointed out.
“Yes, sir.” Olsen went over to his bunk, sat down and pouted.
"And then there´s the usual basic stuff: best teaser, best quote… Oh, I already mentioned that one. And then of course there is the slash.” Hogan slurred the last word.
“What was that?”
“Oh.” Newkirk’s face turned red.
“Wow.” Hogan slammed down the sheet. “These people.” He shook his head. “Can you believe this? They want a new category for best testimony in the trial. Can be most effective, unique or funny!”
“They really think a lot of themselves, don’t they? What nerve!” Wilson really hated those authors, even if he did now have his own category.
“Nothing we can do about it.” Hogan glanced at the orders, and then put down the sheet. “The rest is the usual stuff. Where to send the info. And guys, start passing these out. Time to start reading.”
Carter jumped forward. "I´m first for the comedies!"
"Well, here you go." And with that, Hogan dumped about half the pile in Carter´s outstretched arms. The poor guy nearly toppled over.
"Sacré chat, Colonel, so many?!"
Hogan grinned. "Seems to me we did scare them a fair bit with our trials. So apparently they decided to let us have quite some fun this year. At least that´s something to be grateful for, isn´t it?"