I don't know which came first - my interest in medicine or the TV series MASH. I don't know if it drew me in because I inately love medicine, or if watching it made me love medicine.
When I watch it now I realize that a lot of what passed as humor was blatent sexual harrassment. The guys were constantly propositioning any female in their vicinity. MASH the movie features or horrendous scene where the whole camp gathered to watch as the shower tent collapses revealing a nude Margaret Houlihan. It was supposed to be funny, but if I were to put myself in her place, the event would have been very traumatic.
But I don't mean to get up on my feminist soapbox. If I were to think it over, it depicts situations as they were in the 1950's when there was no such thing as sexual harrassment. Men could say and do whatever they wanted to women and it was supposed to be viewed as flattery.
What I liked best about the show was it had some of the best writing on television. I tried finding the actual dialogue for the episodes I liked best, but frankly I don't have that kind of time.
Below are some of my favorite lines from the show. They aren't verbatim but hopefully close enough for you to appreciate them.
The scene: Hawkeye and BJ are riding in a jeep. They turn too sharply and the jeep rolls over on it's side. BJ suggests that they could rock the jeep and turn it upright again. Hawkeye and BJ rock the jeep and it turns completely upside down. They both look at the jeep as the reality of their situation sinks in.
Hawkeye: So what are you waiting for? Get in.
The scene: Hawkeye and BJ are sitting together in the mess tent. Hawkeye is smelling the food and making suggestions about what it could be - smelly socks, old cheese. He offers the food for BJ to smell.
BJ: I don't want to smell your food. It's disgusting.
Hawkeye: This from a man who drinks lime Kool-Aid with strips of balony in it.
The scene: Colonel Flag has come to the camp looking for communist sympathizers. He is bragging about his ability to move about without being discovered.
Colonel Flag: I am the wind.
Hawkeye: I told you he was the wind. You said he was the moon.
BJ: You said he was the moon. I said he was the stars.
The scene:Trapper John and Hawkeye are lounging around The Swamp. An announcement comes over the PA announcing that cockroach races will be held later that evening.
Trapper: Are you going to the cockroach races?
Hawkeye: Are you kidding? People just go to those things to see a cockroach crash.
The scene:Radar and Colonel Potter are in the office making a phone call. Potter studies Radar for a moment.
Colonel Potter: How can you see anything through those filthy glasses?
Radar: I know where everything is, sir.