Even London Bridge Has Fallen Down; Now I Know Why

When I was working in Basra, my gig allowed two weeks R&R every two months or so. Sounds like a deal, eh? Well, yes it was. Be aware however, we worked seven days a week, ten hours a day. NO days off. So do the math; we earned it. And of course we were getting shelled and rocketed and mortared regularly.

Anyhow, I had a stateside girlfriend back then. Actually more friend than girl. Rather platonic relationship, but we were ‘Buds’ and I loved her dearly. (Still do) And we went way back.

It was agreed by us both, that once I went to Iraq, we would spend our (my) R&R’s together. I flew her to Barcelona, Athens, Italy, and finally London. (She made all the arrangements. All I had to do was show up) Too easy for me.

Mid 2006 we met in London. I was ‘cacked out’ (Lenny Bruce vernacular). Worn out. Plumb tuckered. Tired. Damn tired. Spent.

R&R London
Click Me: This Was My London

She was, of course not. Now mind you, this woman had been all over Europe already. London, Paris, Madrid, Rome, Berlin, Athens… well, she was rich. Catch my drift? I had seen quite a lot of Europe my own damn self. Did not hold much magic for me.

All I really wanted was some ‘down time.’

Bless her heart (and this speaks volumes of our great friendship), she let me do what I wanted; which basically meant I could sit in the flat she had arranged for us in downtown London and drink Beefeater while watching movies and smoking Marlboro’s and ranting at the current state of affairs in Iraq.

After a few days, she did manage to get me out of the flat for a walk-about. We went to Buckingham Palace (one day shot there)

We went to the British Museum; saw the Rosetta stone. Another day gone.

“Lance that’s the Rosetta Stone.”

“Yep, that’s cool.”

Had some fish ‘n’ chips (I preferred Long John Silvers, but that is just what an asshole I am)

Rode the Tube. (I prefer Le Metro in Paris, but what the hell)

And various other exhausting  exhilarating  excursions.

“About three days before we were to part: me back to The Sandbox; she back to Texas, she asked me, “Lance, isn’t there any place in London you would like to see?”

“Yeah, as a matter of fact, there is. I wanna go down to Marble Arch Station.”

“Whaaat?” she said.

“Yeah. Marble Arch Station.”

West End of London, England, United Kingdom

“That is a Tube Station.”

“Yeah, I know.”

“Why on Earth…”

“Because it belongs to Gary P. Nunn and Jerry Jeff Walker. And Texas.”

(Best Original Audio from ¡Viva Terlingua!)

London Homesick Blues

She acquiesced and off we went. Got there and I had a salutary beer to J.J. Walker and Gary P. Nunn. Then I was happy and pronounced my R&R a successful bit of Rest and Relaxation.

Best Video From “Lost Gonzo Band (with Gary P. Nunn)”

–Austin, ’74

“Well I decided that

I’d get my cowboy hat

And go down to Marble Arch Station…”

Went back to the flat and had a few gin and tonics and lived happily ever after.

“R&R” means that: Rest and Relax and do whatever the hell you want. London could wait… until I came back the next time.

Good God!

I MISS Texas!

14 thoughts on “Even London Bridge Has Fallen Down; Now I Know Why

  1. Pingback: OK: Now it Really is Thursday. | Texan Tales & Hieroglyphics

    • I am so sorry I never got back to replying to this comment. It slipped away.
      Thank you!
      (again, I apologize)
      I make a real effort to respond to all comments.

      Like

  2. London, IMO, is over-rated. But then, I am a country girl at heart. Been to London once worth talking about. Grovenor’s Square is lovely…. as long as you keep your back to the US Embassy. Enjoyed the Museum of Natural History and Art. Didn’t get to see the Tower. Recharged my batteries more in Sherwood Forest.

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    • I went to the Tower; I was looking for Anne Boleyn. She was out.
      Thank you for your comments.
      I will never return to London.
      Next time, I will go to Stratford-upon-Avon
      As I love Shakespeare.
      Thanks Mad Annie.

      Like

  3. London done well Texan-style. You got what you needed and your friend delivered big time with her agreeability. Guys in the sandbox deserve no less, I think, Lance. Good piece.

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    • Thank you Mark.
      Yeah, those were crazy times. The R&R schedule for my first two-year gig in Iraq was in fact, quite generous. My next two-year gig… not so much. Sometimes I was more than six months in country before being allowed to get out for a breather. Yet, at its worst, was always much more generous than what Our Troops had to deal with, even though often we faced the same danger.
      Thank you for reading. I would never trade my experiences in Iraq, Egypt or Afghanistan for cases on cases of Lone Star.
      😉

      Like

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