Part Three of a Sailor’s Scholarly Series on U.S. Naval History in The South Pacific

The Thunder-Bolt:

“You can’t hide the thunderbolt. When it hits you, everybody can see it. Christ Man! Don’t be ashamed of it, some men pray for the thunderbolt. You’re a very lucky fellow.”

 – Calo (‘The Godfather’)

***

Matt, Rogers, and I settled into the bar–after I had paid my respects to Mama-San.

“Mama! Where you been all my life?” I yelled, pulling her up from her chair and kissing her hard on the lips.

She managed to untangle herself from my affections and pushed me away. “You go to sit down and spend some money Sailor-Man,” she said gruffly, trying to conceal the smile that was betraying her true feeling.

Since it was still relatively early and the joint pretty much dead, Rog and I decided to shoot some pool.

Now I must tell you, gentle readers, I am a pool hustler, and Rog was a gambler.

Good for me.

Bad for him.

After about an hour of eight ball, Rog owned me all the beer in Olongapo and his First Born. Wasn’t really interested in the First Born (I had seen the baby pictures and the baby dipped snuff just like his daddy)

So I told him to keep the First Born, but get busy with the beers. We sat back down at the bar next to Matt who was in some kind of deep philosophical discussion with a very petite young bar girl who appeared to have a glass eye.

Matt is a gentleman and this girl had warmed up to him.

Rog and I were not gentlemen so we interrupted their conversation.

“Hey Matt! Rog here’s buyin’ the beer for the next ten years. Name your poison.”

“I’d like a glass of wine,” Matt said softly.

“What?!” Rog and I both exclaimed in unison.

Matt was The Artist. So I suppose this was to be expected: This Un-Naval-Like Bullshit Talk would come out the side of his neck from time to time.

“Mama-San!” I yelled over my shoulder. “Ya got any Pinto Greegee-oh?”

“Goddamn chew!” she yelled back. “Go to fuck you!”
I turned to Matt, “Sorry Buddy. Fresh out. How ‘bout a beer? On Rog here. He be buyin’”.

“Sure,” he said softly, not even looking at us.

“Oh shit Rog,” I said. “Matt here done gone off into ‘That Place’ again.”

“Doan worry none,” Rog replied. “He’ll snap outta it.”

I glanced over at Matt, now busily drawing on a cocktail napkin what appeared to be a rather flattering portrait of the girl. She had placed her head on his shoulder and her arm around his waist.

“Yeah, Rog. I suppose yer right.”

Rogers and I traded wolf tickets for an hour or so, and then aimed our affections at some Marines who had recently shown up. Things were about to grow unpleasant when the regular shift of girls came strolling in. This stopped the impending war between the Navy and the Marine Corps as the music got loud and the girls took to the runway.

I knew all the girls on the evening shift. They were my friends. But I spotted a girl I did not know. ‘Spotted’ is probably not the right word. ‘Witnessed’ (Think ‘Baptist Revival’ here) might be more appropriate. She was the spitting image of my high school sweetheart. (No, I wasn’t really that drunk).

OK, not exactly the spitting image but let us say the Ornamental Version of a spitting image.

Thunderbolt!

Boom!

I just had to have some ‘chat’ with her.

And By God, I would.

Or die.

I became useless for the rest of the evening.

***

I have spent far too much time in the Far East.

This will be continued…

Right here: Scroll to the Below:

A girl walks into a bar.

***

I went over to Mama-San, “Hey who’s the new girl?”

“What new girl?”

“The one with the long brown hair,” I said.

“Goddam-chew! They all have long brown hair. Where you think you are Sailor-Boy, Malibu?”

“No. I mean that girl,” I said, pointing.

“Oh ‘That Girl’” she said. “She’s new, and don’t bother her.”

“Yes, I know she’s new. That’s my point, for fuck sake.”

“Leave her alone. She off-you-limits.”

“Bullshit off-limits. She reminds me of someone,” I said.

“Don’t we all? That’s what we do here. We sell the memories. We in the ‘She-reminds-me-of-someone’ sellin’ memory business. But she, that one, she off-you-limits. No for sale.”

“I don’t want to buy her; I just wanna talk to her.”

“Go-to-Fuk-Chew! You want talk? Talk me! You butterfly.” She huffed back toward her desk.

“Butterfly?” I yelled at her back.

She turned on her heel, “You butterfly. You float from flower to flower.”

I stared at ‘New Girl’ while wondering how I was going to get around Mama-San… So I could have my

Happy Talk

From the 1958 film version of SOUTH PACIFIC

***

Previously:

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