Arky to Frenchy to Augie by Walter Bjorkman

“Vaughan, Bordagaray or Galan. Arky, Frenchy or Augie, that is better, da.” The guard tower was just ahead and Boris couldn’t have been better prepared for his mission behind enemy lines.

The KGB espionage revealed that after all the papers were checked the final test would be the question “Who played third base for the Brooklyn Dodgers during the war?”

But which one? Vaughan played the most games at third, but he left for the military himself in 1944. Bordagaray then mostly took over, but Galan was planted there on V-E Day. Boris decided to go with Arky, more likely known to a guy from Iowa, where he was supposed to be from. Use nicknames, Americans big on them. Boris decided to throw in the last name, not be so familial. Igor, his partner in the spy game was on his own, as he was supposed to be from Philadelphia.

Both were whisked through the papers part – had access to the best forgers in Europe. The moment of truth was at hand, Boris first.

“Who played third base for the Brooklyn Dodgers during the war?”

“Arky Vaughan”, Boris put on an immaculate midwest accent.

Truncheons appeared and battered him into a pulp as the Sarge said “I’m from Joisy an I dint know dat. Gotta be a commie.”

And you . . . ? looking suspiciously at Igor, the supposed Philly lieutenant.

“Aw, dem bums suck lemons!”

“Pass right on through, Sir!” The guard snapped to attention.


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Filed under Walter Bjorkman

10 responses to “Arky to Frenchy to Augie by Walter Bjorkman

  1. Al McDermid

    “I’m from Joisy an I dint know dat. Gotta be a commie.” Hilarious! Have to know not only the right answer, but how to answer. Fun story.

  2. guy

    Fun take on old movie/comic book clichés.

    Then there was Moe Berg, the big league catcher who was an American agent.

    • Walter

      yeah, guy – I see an american version of Schultz as the interrogator. Maybe Bud & Lou as the russian spies.

      • guy

        They had Moe Berg go up and take pictures of Tokyo from a tall building on a big league tour of Japan in ’34. What’s ridiculous is that Japanese movies of the time often had panoramic views from atop tall Tokyo buildings. Ironically, all they had to do was watch the movies and the spywork would have been done.

        • Walter

          you refreshed my memory of Berg – and I had to refresh it – wiki – born in Harlem, NY – Jewish – won a game show with answers about greek & latin derivations. Stengel(!) called him “the strangest man in baseball from one who knew strange. Maybe if they asked him, he would’ve told them about the movie shots. Played as a kid for a Methodist team as “Runt Wolfe”. A smart & street-wise hustler plying the “tools of ignorance” – catcher’s gear. But just a back-up skill level. What a character – couldn’t create him. Wish I did.

  3. Too funny! Good work, Walter.

  4. great voice here, walter. love ‘ah dem bums suck lemons’. peace…

  5. Great use of the theme, and the harkening back to those old movies. And thanks for using my surname. Sometimes life is stranger than fiction.

  6. Pingback: Week #39 – Password | 52|250 A Year of Flash

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