Ensign Jack De Vries

From behind De Vries, someone said, “I trust you’ve seen the VD films, Ensign?”  Jack recognized the voice of his immediate superior, Commander Gephardt.

“Yes Sir, absolutely,” said Jack, saluting, “I did see the VD films they show at indoctrination.  And I can’t remember when I enjoyed the cinema so much.  Granted, the acting was a little wooden; but the film’s inspiring message was spot-on.  I went back for a second viewing, as a matter of fact.  Why does the Commander ask?”

Gephardt scowled.  “Word’s going around that you’re in an illicit relationship with a Filipino.  You need to watch it.”

“Sir, I assure you, President Quezon and I are just friends.”

“Knock it off, De Vries, you know damn well I’m talking about your robbing the cradle with some Filipino tart.”

“I ask the Commander’s pardon—but if I were in an illicit relationship, wouldn’t robbing the cradle be the best way to avoid the French pox?”  Gephardt screwed up his face, so Jack clarified.  “Venereal disease, I mean, Sir.”

“You’re being insubordinate, De Vries.  Again.”

“No, definitely not, Sir.  I’m sure that if I was, I’d be aware of it.  It seems to me insubordination requires intentionality, and—”

“Shut up, De Vries.  I’m telling you:  If you want to stay out of trouble, stay away from the tarts.”