Spiders, Spiders Everywhere and all the Girls Did Shriek! Spiders, Spiders Everywhere, Even in the Sink!”

Sadie.jpg

A New Take On An Old Story

While suffering my enforced exile in California I could often be found searching for jumping spiders. One day I captured a particularly stunning one with black and white markings, dark black-green eyes and luminescent aquamarine fangs behind the feathery appendages which covered them.

Absolutely Beautiful Spider!

I gently herded her into a mason jar which contained several wood chips of varying shapes and sizes. Jumping spiders do not build webs; they live in caves made by little boys employing wood chips. (This is what my spidery experience had taught me through the years.)

Once I had done my time we moved back to Texas, but not before I was forced to abandon my Most Beautiful Spider, along with all the others I had collected, my mother announcing quite emphatically,

“I am NOT riding in a car all-the-way-home-to-Texas seated next to five jars full of damn spiders!”

Once back in Texas, for several weeks I suffered from PTSL: Post Traumatic Spider Loss. I missed my spiders, especially the beautiful one I had named ‘Sadie’.

Not that Texas has a spider shortage, mind you; I just did not immediately know where to look: “Looking for Spiders in all the wrong places.”

One day, lo’ and behold, I found a jumping spider which looked so very much familiar to me, (or perhaps she found me)

“Sadie! Sadie! Did you follow me all the way from California?” I asked breathlessly.

“Of course,” she said. “Why wouldn’t I?”

I happily gathered her up and placed her into my newest mason jar, assuming she still wanted to be my pet.

About a month later, I proudly announced to my Grandparents:

“My spider is gonna have babies.”

“Lance Son,” my Grandmother informed me rather condescendingly, “There is no daddy spider in there. Your spider cannot possibly have baby spiders.”

Not ill-mannered enough to say it, I thought it: “Of course she can have baby spiders ‘without a ‘daddy.’ Spiders are like guppies: they store sperm until the time is ‘just right.’ But how could this old Tennessee-Baptist-Dyed-In-The-Wool-God-is-Great woman even wrap her mind around such things Darwin?”

Absolutely Incomprehensible To Her.

About two weeks later, I was up to my ass in baby spiders. I did not show grandmother these offspring. She would have told me it was yet one more miraculous example of God’s Work:

“The Immaculate Spider Conception.”

All the baby spiders slowly disappeared over time, crawling through the ice-pick holes in the lid of the Mason Jar two-by-two, or however. Fine. Neither Sadie nor I were interested in raising a passel of little spider crumb snatchers.

My Lady Spider was a huntress and she complained daily regarding my neglect of her need. She ached for something more than the flies I would daily cast into her mason jar. They were just food. No thrills to be had in the hunt, merely a harvest. She was growing morose.

“You’re killing my Spider Soul with all these damn flies Lance,” she said.

“OK Sadie! I will give you something to satiate your arachnid need,” I told her one morning.

Under the eaves of my Grandfather’s shed lived a few Black Widow Spiders. They had established some manner of ‘Black Widow Sisterhood,’ (Not unlike similar ‘Sisterhoods’ to be found on Social Media these days.) Even though I am most definitely a spider geek, Black Widows never intrigued me as potential pets, mainly because they needed more than a Mason Jar Ecosystem for lodging and accoutrements and also because of their lethargic laisser-faire approach to acquiring sustenance:

“Sit in their parlor-web all day; wait for something hapless to happen by.”

No hunt in them whatsoever.
Boring.

Slightly peeved with Sadie, I decided to capture one of The Sisters. I took her to Sadie’s Mason jar and dropped her in.

“Happy now damn you?” I said.

Sadie looked about at her new roommate. Then looked up at me through multiple dark green eyes and said,

“I never thought we would come to this.”

“Sorry, ol’ Gal,” I giggled. “This is the part where the cowboy rides away. Catch ya laters. Good luck.”

I was curious and in fact, had nothing but time on my hands so I watched to see how she would deal with her new jar-mate, never really fearful for her safety.

But Black Widow was wily. She taunted Sadie, waving her long, spindly legs about in semaphore fashion, as if to say, “Come hither Little Jumper, let me demonstrate the technique that has given my kind our terrible dark name.”

Sadie began deliberately circling around Black Widow, sizing her up, her little Sadie neurons firing on and off, then seizing what I’m certain she perceived as perfect opportunity, jumped at her full force.

And missed!

Her momentum caused her to tumble onto her back.

Black Widow capitalized and deftly captured Sadie and began wrapping her in web, presumably to eat at her leisure. 
But Black Widow made one fatal mistake:

She bound Sadie’s hind legs (all four of them) first, leaving her front legs (all four of THEM) free. As Black Widow was casually wrapping her up, Sadie grabbed her with unencumbered front legs and planted a big wet French Kiss into Black Widow’s thorax. They remained locked in this embrace for thirty minutes. (I know; I was there, timing it–for ‘science’)

Black Widow now hoisted with her own petard and quite dead, was dropped by Sadie, who watched her tumble down and land with an inaudible (to me) thud on the Mason Jar floor.

“Sadie,” I said. “Your indentured servitude has ended. Here, allow me help you out of that.”

Fishing some tweezers that I had stolen from my Grandmother’s “Lady-Bag” bag from my jean’s pocket I gently and meticulously pulled all the Black Widow silk from Sadie, a tedious time consuming effort which took at least half an hour. Then I gingerly laid the Mason Jar on its side hiding it in a pile of kindling away from the prying eyes of opportunistic birds and went on about my business.

Returning the next day, I discovered no Sadie: just a note written in Spider’ease which read:

“Dear Lance,”

“Thank you for allowing me to save myself. 
I will always love you, but I’ve had quite enough of Texas and Texan ways. If you ever make it back to California, look me up. Here is my email addy: (Redacted)
Spider On! Y’all!”

And that was how she ended it.

Took me three days to get the webs out of my brain and a week to find another spider, but she was not the same. She was not MY Sadie, just an inadequately inept substitute, but I suppose that’s how it goes with First Loves lost.

“I miss you Sadie,” I caught myself saying to no one in particular few days later.

 

Don’t RUST On My Parade*

“Petty Officer Marcom! Your Fifty Cals are Rusty!”

50 Cal NavyA

U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate Third Class Daniel J. Mark. Cleared for release by ALBG PAO, LCDR Jeff Bender.

Lance Sailor

Marco The Sailorman

I had to  admit. Yes they were. I had tried so hard to keep ahead of the rust, but here I found myself on the leeward side of the second half of a six-month, ‘round-the-whurl-West Pacific Deployment’, and somewhere just off the coast of Somalia.

Yes, rust was my enemy, certainly never my friend—the machine guns were always mounted while we (The USS Callaghan DDG 994, full cast and crew) were Haze-Gray and Underway.

Yes, always mounted and underway:

Haze-Graying, even then

And rusty

My Guns were always supposed to be… somewhere upon the sea… this is what they were purchased for…

And subject to rust. Rust Relentless. Relentless She Be: That Sea. That Salt of the Fucking Sea

Rust.

My Moby Dick-lessness! How could I not keep Rust off my guns?

Freud certainly would have had fun with me

(Sadly, now I know why)

************

My professional life was to be found somewhere rusting in those machine guns.

And that rust you see, that rust occupied a great deal of my daily routine.

The Navy had a solution though. She had provided canvas covers to cover those guns and make them safe from rust. Alas, those canvas covers had seen better days, probably back when Pearl Harbor was just an ordinary Naval Base that no one had ever heard of.

But rust is relentless and timeless.

While scrubbing the Indian Ocean rust off’n my fifty-cals one morning I hatched a plan. Knowing full well we were soon to pull into Mombasa Kenya, after so many month at sea, I conspired to save my money:

Once in Mombasa, I would smuggle one of the moth infected, salt- digested, jig saw’d, Swiss Cheese, ‘holy’ canvas shards off the ship. I would rent a taxi, find me a young child, show him my smuggled ‘prize’, ask him to direct me somewhere, where I could find and nickel and dime (I did not have much money then, not un-life-like now) find a leather shop in Mombasa, present to the leather-maker my Holy Canvas, My Shroud,  My Naval Career, and demand, (for US Dollars), that he make me four such more yet new and brand new.

And functional.

And This is exactly what I did, and to the amazement and astonishment of my Master Chief Petty Officer and my Department Head (almost a Navy Commander… he kind of looked like JFK, now that I think on it. I  did not like particularly like him, but I respected him. Hell, he reminded me of all the things I could have been if I had joined the Nav when I was twelve instead of twenty-eight (Different story. Sorry)

The next time they inspected my Fifty Cals, they were pristine! (They did not take notice nor time to notice that the canvas covers were not exactly Haze-Gray-Naval Gray. No, more like Third-World-Rustic, with just a tiny bit of water buffalo…left over…but Goddamn sure water and sea salt proof.   

And I was so desirous that they did NOT notice, but my Master Chief did notice, yet, never ever noticing nor voicing his ‘inner thoughts’ in front of what he referred to as “Shit Birds” — ‘Officers’ — Never let on.

Master Chief never, ever let out his truth thoughts in front of Shit – Birds. This was his genius. 

And I should have been cognizant of this, yet I was so somewhat giddy after my .50 Cals had finally passed inspection, that I did not stop to think on that anymore. “Not even Master Chief had seen through my ruse” Yeah, Rite!

 I was drunk with my own cleverness and lying back on my back in my rack, curtain drawn,  congratulating me.

(Now, you must realize how the Military Mind works. I was my Ship’s Armor All–Armorer– IN Charge of All The Ship’s Small Arms! .225 Cal to .50 Cal. If it took two men to lift, wasn’t mine. But one-man-band? Yep!  I was the shit!  I was a Gunner’s Mate 3rd Class! Freshly rocked out of SEAL Training (twice now, but who counts these sorts of thing? I suppose I do) and trying to retain what little was left of my  pride and my so-fifty-caliber-called-life.)

And I loved and Respected My Master Chief. Did not ever want to become an embarrassment to him, nor to my Fellow Gunner’s Mates who worked on the “Big Guns”. (Those ones what ‘bullets’ took two and a half-men to lift)

And even more important, (anyone who has ever ‘Served’ will know this), the Military is Run On Fear:

“Oh God, Please Don’t Let Me Fuck UP!”

That kind of fear.

Well, as I was lying on my back in my middle rack right before Taps with my little blue ‘privacy’ curtain drawn back when someone jerked that sucker back.

Along with my reverie.

Yep.

Master Chief Anderson!

MY MASTER CHIEF

“Son, tell me where you found those brand new gun covers.”

Trying to lie on my side and find an elbow to lean to, I half-coughed out, feigning sleepy-eyed ignorance,

“Master Chief, I had them made while we were in Mombasa.”

(There are people one may lie to in life, but, A Master Chief Petty Officer in the US Navy is not one found amongst those people. Not if one wishes life beyond that moment of sweet deception)

“I see”, was all he said, as he yanked my curtain back shut, thus leaving me alone with my various and sundry.

I did not sleep that night. For you see, I knew I had broken Naval Regs by doing something not-in-the Naval-Seaman’s-Bible–The Blue Book–The book, inches thick as a brick,  “The Book” I had been made to almost memorize while at Recruit Training Command, i.e. boot camp.

41XgCzuhSdL._AC_UL320_SR214,320_

I had broken the rule.

In the Nav, there is a sea sailor preamble, most requisite when one wants to recount a story of ‘when ships were made of wood and men were made of iron’… “When Moses was a pup” This validates and is a ritual never broken. In other words, one never breaks the rule.

Sometime mid-morning the next day, I was summoned to the berth/office of  The Department Head of my Division, Lt. Commander ‘Kennedy’.

Shitting bricks is too trite.

I was nervous.

I gave a hearty rap on the bulkhead door as I was trained to do in boot camp…

“Enter!”

“Petty Officer 3rd Class Marcom Sir!”

“I know who you are Lance; sit down.”

(What??? Lance??? Sit Down???)

Mouth agape I sat down, speechless

“Son, Master Chief Anderson tells me you went out on your own, designed, commissioned, smuggled off a prototype, and paid for, with your own money, those .50 Cal Gun Covers. Is this true?”

“Yes, uh, yessir,” I stammered.

“Well, that shows some fine initiative. How much did you pay Son?”

“Un Sir. Doesn’t matter…. I just, well, the .50 Cals, you know SIR,  cost ten-thousand dollars each, and I thought…rust….an…”

“How much did you pay?!”

“250 Dollars Sir.”

Without saying a word he opened a little three-lock-box (OK; I made that up. It was only a one-lock-box) that he had in a drawer, carefully opened it, and proceeded to hand me two-hundred and fifty bucks.

American

I sat there, dumb founded,  a moment too long, still in shock, looking at the bills in my hand…

“Petty Officer Marcom! “

“Huh…Uh, Huh… Sir?”

“You’re dismissed!”

Jumping up, knocking my chair over,  some tears welling in my eyes,

“Yessir!”

As I saluted him and abruptly left his quarters, quite in haste.

And thus I had survived yet another day in MY  Beloved Navy.

And Just As a Reminder Kids:

Don’t Rain on my Parade: I have enuff Rain for All

 

*And this just once more a rough draft, full of error, so be kind. Trust me: there is no harsher critic of me than me. I sweat commas. 

Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

I Just Want To Meet Jackie

The point of this post, if there is one, is that I have applied for no less than ten jobs in Saudi Arab today.

Some nine or so in various other shit holes, err, developing countries, just looking for my next war zone to make me famous, not unlike Hemmingway. At this point in life, I must admit: prolly ain’t gonna happen. All I can hope for is some good monies and some decent health insurance (and maybe some ESOP), but Hell! At this point, I’ll work for room and board…but never bored.

Me? Bored? Never.

Again, when do I get to get outraged? Ppl in Ferguson get to be outraged. I share their outrage, but I just want a small piece of that pie. I have more than one decade experience working in dangerous desolate places, yet, I find it so very difficult to find a job in same. I am feeling some outrage here! I should be entitled. I did my time. Hell! I served my country.

To quote some not so famous line from the movie, “The Right Stuff,” “Where is my parade with Jackie? I wanna meet Jackie. They owe me!” I want to meet Jackie. Or at the very least I want a window… into my golden years. End of Rant…

-Lance

And of course, as y’all know, this was all ‘tongue-in-cheek’

“Hook ’em Horns!”

(That’s ‘Texan’ for ‘Suck it up and move that ball on down the field.’   Boys.)

Or, even better, to quote Dan Jenkins: “Y’all knew it was gonna be semi-tough, eh?”

And this “trailer” is semi-tough to watch, but it was as advertised: semi tough, as we were growing up in The Seventies.

And of course, as usual, this last link is the important one.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-qEmmpGYvA Video Credit: Erik Gloor

He Drinks Now Most Nights With the TV On

And all the house lights left up bright.

Happy  New Year.

“I’m gonna blow this damn candle out.”

“Holidays are hard on some guys.”

(I stole that line from a favorite movie of mine, loosely based on a wonderful play by some guy: “Sexual Perversity in Chicago” which I first saw in the Sinai, and then saw it… wait for it… in Chicago.

When I saw the movie in Shy – Town, It had been bastardized into… “About Last Night.”

“Travesty” as a word…

“Cynical and drunk?”

“May-hap: C’est moi?”

“Huh?”

“What did he say?”

*******

Honestly, when it comes down to it, we all die alone… boring someone in some dark café.

“Jesus Christ! Lance! Some happy thoughts for the New Year?”

“Naw, been there…”

“You’re either too stupid to die, or too stupid to live.”

“Yes. Both.”

I like to think that I only write for me.

That is some vain fantasy. Or just a pleasant fiction.

I write to get bed, er… read.

I do.

I really do.

I am a “writer”

Or, at least, I think of me in that way.

And I love commas.

And I edit as I go.

Someone once said of “Lord Ernest” (Hemingway),

Someone said he said, “Write Drunk. Edit Sober.”

Now, personally, I think that apocryphal, but what do I know?

Yet, I am going with it.

(at least the write drunk part)

Now, back to Joni:

“Love can be so sweet.”

“Go look at your eyes.”

“Drink up now. It’s gettin’ on time to close.”

Some footnote:

Oh, and by the way, The Last time I saw Richard was Great Lakes, Recruit Training Command, ’86,  and he told me… something about staying alive while with the Navy SEALs in SO CAL, just before he went to Florida and committed suicide,  because He could not handle the Pressure that was (then) the U.S. Navy Nuclear Submarine Program. Thank God I was in Coronado with the SEALs.

And So Safe

So safe.

I miss Richard.

He was braver than me.

And nobody ever committed suicide while at BUD/s (Navy SEAL) training: we were just all too busy, you see, just ‘busily’ trying to stay the fuck alive.

“Richard got married to a figure-skater–post-humorlessly.”

Somehow, I live.

His name was “Richard” and he was a real person.

Yeah, I left  out the tag line (on purpose):

“when you gonna get back on your feet?”

 

 

**********

 

 

If you happenstance to swerve into this blog, and catch yourself saying,

“Gee! This guy is cool.”

Don’t.

(Just don’t.)

But if’n you do, Do not then… follow the comments.

Just don’t fuckin’ do it. 

Save some:  them, them the good memories.

And walk on by.

(You just knew I had to.)

 

It’s Thursday SomeWhere

I love this post.

(not sure why)

*************

‘Three-Nine-Six-One-Three Bruning Street Fremont California: 1966-1968’

Funny how I still remember the street address when I cannot remember my mother’s birthday, or what I had for Sunday Supper last week, or my second wife’s maiden name, or who won the World Series last year.

All the houses on Bruning Street were brand new. And they were all alike. But their alikeness did not dampen my spirits, especially since mom and I had left the moldy old garage apartment across town. I had finally escaped that place and the Ghost of that Murdered Turkey.

Seems the entire neighborhood moved in on the same summer weekend: Floodgates opened—lots of activity—trucks coming and going, grown-ups schlepping boxes, kids (potential buddies?) playing and yellin’ and runnin’ wild, dogs untethered, barking, yipping, yapping, chasing. Just general mayhem all around: very excited we all were to be living the American Dream. Norman Rockwell should have been there.

A House on Bruning Street Today

A House on Bruning Street

All the houses had small front yards, slightly larger back yards, but no fences. In fact not really proper yards yet. No lawns, just California clay, hard-packed and untenable.

This would soon be remedied. By today’s standards for suburbia the dwellings were quite modest. No McMansions these. Each house had three small bedrooms, one bathroom, smallish kitchen, tiny dining area, and small living room. That was it, but compared to our garage apartment, Mom and I had moved into the Taj Mahal. Everything smelled gloriously of fresh paint, fresh earth, and promise. I immediately picked a spot in the back yard for my garden. As a kid, I was never happier than when I was digging in the dirt, much to the chagrin of my much harried mother and my blatant hatred of regular bathing.

Continue reading

That’s My Story (Spacemen from Mars took all of my money–I can play the game)

Proving (once again) That My Life Has a Sound-Track

(Yes, there will be more)

*heavy sigh*

Stand by for heavy rolls as this ship comes about.

(DDG 994)

DDG 994

images

Just a man I once had the honor of shaking hands with…

What’s that word? I think I’m eccentric.

–Oh yeah.

“Eccentric”

“The younger girls are so easy to trick”

Wizards and Lizards…

They all bite.

It’s kinda like fishing for shark: they bite, vociferously (sp)

Trust me on this one.

“In a hundred years, this all won’t matter.”

“Call me a liar; call me a writer… believe me or not.”

Mostly not.

“That’s my Story and I’m Stickin’ to It.”

“Don’t Rain Rust on my Parade”*

“Petty Officer Marcom! Your fifty cals are rusty!”

I must admit; yes, they were. I tried so hard to keep ahead of the rust, but here I found myself between the second half of a six-month, round-the-whurl-WestPac deployment, and somewhere just off the coast of Somalia. Yes, rust was my enemy, and never my friend—the machine guns were always mounted while we (The USS Callaghan DDG 994, full cast and crew) were Haze-Gray and Underway. Yes, always mounted. And subject to rust. Rust Relentless. Relentless She Be: That Sea.

My professional life was to be found somewhere in those machine guns.

The Navy had a solution though. They provided canvas covers to cover those guns and make them safe from the rust. Alas, those canvas covers had seen better days, probably back when Pearl Harbor was just an ordinary Naval Base.

While scrubbing the Indian Ocean rust off’n the fifty-cals one morning I hatched a plan. Knowing full well we were soon to pull into Mombasa, Kenya, I saved my money. Once in Mombasa, I would smuggle one of the moth infected, jig saw, ‘holy’ canvas shards off the ship. I would rent a taxi and find a leather shop in Mombasa and commission new covers for my fifty caliber machine guns.

And This is exactly what I did, and to the amazement and astonishment of my Senior Chief Petty Officer and my Department Head (almost a Navy Commander… he kinda looked like JFK, now that I think on it—I did not like him, but he respected me—not sure why…)

The next time they inspected my Fifty Cals, they were pristine! (They did not take notice nor time to notice that the canvas covers were not exactly Haze-Gray Naval Gray–No, more like Third-World-Rustic.  And I was so desirous that they did NOT notice, but my Master Chief did notice, yet, never ever voicing his ‘inner thoughts’ in front of what he referred to as “Shit Birds” — ‘Officers’ — Never let on.

And I should have been cognizant of this, yet I was somewhat giddy after my .50 Cals had finally passed inspection, that I did not stop to think that anyone, not even Master Chief had seen through my ruse. I was drunk with my own cleverness and lying in my rack, congratulating me.

(Now, you must realize how the Military Mind works. I was my Ship’s Armor All–Armorer– IN Charge of All The Ship’s Small Arms! I was a Gunner’s Mate 3rd Class! Freshly rocked out of SEAL Training and trying to regain what little was left of my  pride.)

And I loved and Respected My Master Chief. Did not ever want to become an embarrassment to him, nor to my Fellow Gunner’s Mates who worked on the “Big Guns”.

And even more important, (anyone who has ever ‘Served’ will know this), the Military is Run on Fear: “Oh God, Please Don’t Let Me Fuck UP!”

That kind of fear.

Well, as I was lying in my rack just before Taps with my little blue ‘privacy’ curtain drawn, someone abruptly jerked back the curtain.

Yep.

Master Chief Anderson

“Son, tell me where you found those brand new gun covers.”

Trying to try to my side and find an elbow to lean to, I half-coughed out, “Master Chief, I had them made while we were in Mombasa.”

“I see”, was all he said, as he yanked my curtain back shut.

I did not sleep that night. For you see, I knew I had broken Naval Regs by doing something not-in-the Naval Seaman’s Bible–The Blue Book–The book I had been made to almost memorize while at Recruit Training Command, i.e. boot camp. I had broken the rules.

Sometime mid morning the next day, I was summoned to the berth/office of  The Department Head of my Division, Lt. Commander ‘Kennedy’. Shitting bricks is too trite.

I was nervous.

I gave a hearty rap on the bulkhead door as I was trained to do in bootcamp…

“Enter!”

“Petty Officer 3rd Class Marcom Sir!”

“I know who you are Lance; sit down.”

(What??? Lance??? Sit Down???)

Mouth agape I sad down, speechless

“Son, Master Chief Anderson tells me you went out on your own, commissioned and paid for, with your own money, those .50 Cal Gun Covers. Is this true?”

“Yes, uh, yessir,” I stammered.

“Well, that shows some fine initiative. How much did you pay Son?”

“Un Sir. Doesn’t matter…. I just, well, the .50 Cals cost ten-thousand dollars each, and I thought…rust….an…”

“How much did you pay?!”

“250 Dollars Sir.”

Without saying a word he opened a little three lock box (OK; I made that up. It was only a one-lock box) that he had in a drawer and handed me two-hundred and fifty bucks.

I sat there a moment too long, still in shock, looking the bills in my hand…

“Petty Officer Marcom! You’re dismissed!”

Jumping up, some tears welling in my eyes, “Yessir!” As I saluted him and abruptly left his quarters, knocking some books off a shelf as I tried to hustle out…

 

 

 

 

 

 

I may continue this story, (or not). My time in Kenya was rather interesting though.

(Those bits I remember anyhow)

 

Perusin’ For a Brusin’

I was perusing my recent posts (Yes I do that, mostly to make sure I did not fail to comply, to reply to any and all comments—my ‘House’ Policy: ‘Reply, Upon Pain of Death, To All Comments’–That is how WE Roll.)

In some truth, I do this because I am just that vain.

Well now, with that little bit of TMI outta the way, Here is the pointless point to this ‘pre-post.’

“A ‘Pre-Post?’ some may ask.

“Yep. A Pre-Post.”

“Whatever could he mean?”

“Just this:”

Often ideas for ‘posts’ come from music (duh).

As I was driving to the Beer / Copenhagen Store, my Favorite Radio Station (read: the only one whut is worth a shit here in this Elvis’ City of Music by the Mississippi), was playing this song:

Vid Cretion (sp): 

It, the song, reminded me of my first Stripper/Madonna/Whore/Single-mother/mutha/ethnic sexual love of my life.

Yes.

I was, if memory serves, 10 years old at the time, yet I never ever forgot her name:

ROXANNE

And she ruined me for all the ‘other’ women to come, or not to come, in my life.

Thanks Hun…

Stay tuned…

P.S. And of course there is some ‘back-story’ to this “Pre-Post”

Hell! There always is and generally accompanied by a ‘link’.

If not, well then… then you would not be here at TT&H.

Now would you?

Then

Here is the ‘Back Door’ Policy.

And whoever said the Eighties were devoid of good music??

Hell! I love(d) them. Grew into Manhood in Them…

Sea (Somewhat of a Stream of Almost Consciousness)

The scariest thing to me…

Was at sea.

In the Indian Ocean, late one night

(That “IO” That Ho!)

Late at Night.

And the ship was tight.

And the waves were big.

Real big.

IO, She was angry.

And I was scared.

(No! HE Was scared).

I was never scared!

I was drinking coffee… And in between, walking on the bulkheads—all you sailors out there—can relate, and compare…

Never scared, but aside from my ‘coffee mates,” I knew, did, had done… the same drill… Too many times. (Fuckin’ Black-Shoe Navy!)

And if any of y’all find any of my  ‘Sea Stories” unbelievable…The preamble to any good sea story is “This is a no-shitter…”

And then there was Melville…I’ve been around the world and  once saw two white whales fuck.. I did. And there were dolphins… standing by… giggling.

 I have been to Australia.

Twice

And it follows, I have been to sea before:

And here, (for you purists) is the original, stolen from “Hejira”:

My Thanks to

“I’m just a simple soldier Son.

“With one more Year to Go.””

Women (I Know) I KNOW

I write a lot about my relationships with women.

Why? I don’t know. Or… perhaps I do know. It grows tiresome for most. (especially former Girlfriends/wives) This I know. I also know I have to write what I remember and know, and what I feel/felt, and knew. I recently re-watched “Alien”, a movie that kinda, sorta defined what I ‘was’ in the Sinai Desert in 1979. Not sure how to explain that one… but, yet… Sigourney Weaver…

Anyhow, I write about women. I write about women, and my relationships with women, because I love women. Most of them don’t love me, but none of them (them ‘wimmens’) can ever say they were ever bored with me…

Point is: I love women. I write about my experiences with women because my experiences with all the women in my past have made… me… a feminist.

I love the way they look. (And yes! I love the way they ‘cook’–metaphor–I am the ‘best cook’) I love the way they dress. I love the way they un-dress. I love the way they talk. I love the way they walk. I love the way they incite. I love the way they excite. I love the way they dance. I love the way they romance. I love the way they taste. I love the way they smell. I love the way they mostly… don’t tell.

And most of all, I love the way they piss me off,

(And drive me crazy.)

Yes. I love women. 

The way they Made Me: Made me who I am.

And I like that.

I like this man, that woman created in me

This like I like instinctively 

But, what the hell?!

“That’s what comes from too much pills and liquor.”

Vid Credit: 

Felipe Ruiz de Chávez

And of course, Joel Gray (and of course  Bob Fosse.)

Token Males… To defend the race of men who think (better).

 

The Biker-Bartender-Bouncer Chick, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: Part Two.

Part One Here: 

And if you are new here, ya might wanna start here: Shonnie.

So there I was in a foreign bed with a foreign woman who called herself “Layla”, smelling bacon and no way to escape, save for a walk-about or a taxi, which I suspected were too damn hard to find in IB (or wherever I was) at such an early hour.

“So,” I said. “Shall we head on to the breakfast nook?”

“Sure Cowboy,” she said.

“I really wish you’d stop calling me that.”

“What?”

“‘Cowboy.’ Cowboy, I ain’t. ‘Sailor’ is more to the point. And it suits me now.”

“OK, ‘Sailor.’ No worries.”

“Fine. And thank you.” (I was approaching ‘pissy’ at this moment, the booze having worn off. And hung-over kicking in.)

We went to the ‘breakfast table’ and I discovered that there were two children in the house.

“Who’s kids?” I asked. (I just had to)

“Mine!” said the breakfast launcher.

“Cute, they are,” I said stupidly.

“Yeah,” said Mother.

“Please pass me a bloody Mary,” I said back, not wanting to converse.

“There ya go, Sailor-Man,” she (momma) said.

(A kindred spirit?)

“Thanks, I have a bit of a headache”

“Of course,” she said, passing me the pitcher of Bloody Mary’s.

What am I in for? I remember asking me. (Maybe out – loud)

“We are going to the San Diego Zoo.” You wanna tag along?”

“Why not?” I rhetorically answered. “Why not? The kids coming? Of course they are….”

And off we went. (After breakfast)

And good, I thought: Y’all can park me at the petting zoo…

 More Later….

Vid Credit:

littlewhitewolf08

 

Time In A Bottle (Please Pour It Out)

Kerbey’s Site is a MUST View.

Related:

On the street where I lived.

 

I Don't Get It

The Pied Piper and Her/His/Its Band of Loons The Pied Piper and Her/His/Its Band of Loons

I realize one day I will have to defend the 1980s to my son. He will ask the big questions, and I will do my best to make sense of that decade. Everything in excess, big and sprayed and sparkly. But NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING can defend the 1970s. What were you thinking? The entire country did not collectively drop acid in 1973, but you could have fooled me. Witness this scene from Indiana University.

IndianaU1973011

I realize the times, they were a-changing. The times are always a-changing. I understand that having your friends and family drop dead right and left in a war we didn’t win was no picnic. In fact, I read just today about a six-foot college man who weighed 145 lbs at the time he was drafted and forced himself to drop down to 123 (officially underweight) to fail his…

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The Biker, Bouncer, Bartender, Big-Boned Gal From Milwaukee

1BigBonedGal.jpg

This is (sort of) a continuation of my “Shonie Series”

I like things to be linear. So we rejoin our “hero” just after his Denouement… Or perhaps, ‘Epiphany’.

***

So she led me to a car and we all piled in. I say ‘we all’ simply because there were suddenly three of us. Me, HER, and a smallish blonde. I remember thinking I had seen this movie before, but this time it came with a twist, I guess. I have to guess, as the rest of the evening (early morning?) is fuzzy in my memory.

After about twenty minutes. (I am once again, estimating here; could’ve been an hour or more. Or less.) After about ‘twenty’ minutes we arrived at a house (could have been an apartment). SHE took me inside and led me straight-away to a bed… room. If memory serves, we had sex. Violent sex. (Not ‘violent’ violent. Let’s just call it ‘intense.’) SHE was at least six foot and change and, as I did report earlier, ‘Big-Boned.” I swear, I saw my life’s movie flash as she covered me and had her way. (And of course, me mine)

As we lay there ‘after’ in someone else’s bed, she remarked, “Well, that should keep your self-winding watch going for a few days.”

I had to laugh, just as I drifted off.

The next morning I awoke with the sun singeing my eyes from a casually placed window (What’s wrong with these people?). I could smell bacon. I rolled over and looked at my watch: 0630. I had a start; then realized it was Saturday and I did not have ‘duty’ on my ship. I could go back to sleep, un-worried. But, oh no! SHE was stirring. (So, who was cooking bacon? I remember thinking)

“Oh. You’re awake?” She said.

“Uh, yeah. Kinda,” was all I could muster. Where am I? Who are you? (Not a proper question, I realize, but then, I was hung over and still groggy)

“I am the woman to be named later,” she said, poking me in the ribs. (Which hurt for some reason).

“I see. I rolled over to face her.” She was, indeed: Beautiful. Long dark brown hair, dark eyes, and mystery, too much mystery in fact. I was at this point, all ‘mystery-ied’ out. I was tired. I needed Gidget. Or perhaps Mary Poppins, or even Samantha Stevens…

You don’t remember my name?” She asked after lighting a cigarette.

“To be stupidly honest, no I don’t.”

“No matter. I am called ‘Layla’. Ring any bells?” (I wish I were making this up)

I’m thinking now that I had just fallen into Dante’s Inferno.

“Uh. No. Should bells be ringing?”

“So… You’re a Sailor? Yes?”

“Yes. And what are you? And are you from around here?”

“Not from around here. I’m just visiting my cousin. She is the one cooking breakfast.”

“Yeah. I can smell bacon.”

“Good nose. I like that in a man. Have you an appetite?”

“From some memory of last night, I’d have to say ‘yes’.”

“Hahahahah! Yep. You do, Sailor Man. Yep, you do.”

“So, if you’re not from here. Where are you ‘from’, and what do you do?”

“I’m from Wisconsin. I work as a bartender. I’m also a bouncer, when the need is needed. Oh, and I love to ride Harleys.”

Perfection, I thought. Now what Cowboy? Shit. Here I am again…

I had ‘some leave-days-on-the-books’ and seriously considered at that moment that I needed to take them and head home to Texas to get a re-start on my physic saki… (Well, spelling ain’t never been my thing, but you know what I mean here.) 

I mean, I was still re-‘bound’ for glory. But I did have some time, eh? Didn’t I?

“The pitfalls of the city are extremely real.”

Video Credit:

gdoublee

To Be Continued…Here

Just Who Do You Think You Are?–A Re-Post

I swerved into this while revisiting and  exploring my own writings. (I do this occasionally. Not out of vanity, but out of a need to understand how my blogging ‘style’ may have changed or hopefully matured) At any rate, I do think this one adds some small value to my recently completed “Shonnie, The Biker’s Wife of Bath” story.

And whilst swerving, I swerved into this: (If you watch it, I will send you a Mickey Mouse Pencil Sharpener and a box of Gin) Trust me: it still ‘fits’ my Shonnie Story. Ya see? The Earth is a smaller globe now. (redundant?)

 Vid Credit: DJ Bayonic

“Win your medals. Fuck your strangers. Don’t it leave you on the empty side?”

Any and all comments (and advice) regarding the tenor of this TT&H Blog will be greatly appreciated. So, take the time, drop a dime…

Call-Ment Me!

***

This below was inspired by a post from a blogger I much admire: Abby of Abby Has Issues fame: writer, published author, blogger, self-described sarcastic (and inspiring–my words) wench.

Thank you Abby

****

“Who am I?”

This should be a very provocative question for all. Some ancient guy once said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

I am rapidly approaching my sixth decade on this earth and have been (painfully) taking stock of all that I could call My Life.” What good have I accomplished? What are the bad things I have done? How many ‘friends’ do I have? How many bridges have I nuked? (I generally do not ‘burn’ bridges; I have a tendency to shock and awe ‘em—obliterate ‘em) I have put my boots on the ground on every continent except South America. What has this taught me? A lot. Did I always use this knowledge gleaned? Most definitely not.

“Who am I?”

More and more I have come to the stark realization that I must sum me up with one word:

‘Asshole’

I am an asshole. I don’t want to be an asshole, pompous ass, arrogant ass, the smartest ass in the room, (which I obviously am… maybe once in ten or twenty tries 😉 ) I do not want to be any kind of ass, but that is my reality. I have made some friendships during my life which should have lasted forever, but didn’t: Mostly from my neglect. I have had some wonderfully loving relations with women, and actually married four of them. Each one of those relationships should have been a lasting euphoria, but I did not, could not, allow that.

Wanderlust always took me away, eventually needing to ‘get outta town’, but with no malice, just gotta go…  ‘This is the part where the cowboy rides away’–find some elusive spot half-way across the globe where I could ‘find’ ME, unencumbered by people who ‘love’ me and think they can help me.

Not sure if I have found me yet. And this is disconcerting, ‘cause I do fear the time for that is growing short. Writing helps, but I continue to struggle with:

“Who am I?”

I still don’t know.

As Abby broached the subject:

“How would you answer the question?”

Run with it, and drop in to read Abby (and tell her I sent ya–I sure could use the publicity)

Cheers Y’all and Happy Monday.

Shonnie: Just Some Last Thoughts & One “Reminisce”

I killed this post. Probably because it did not ring ‘true’ (even though it was). Anyway, I brought it back, if for nothing else, my own edification.

(And of course, because I love Sheryl Crow. And of course, as a vain writer, I just cannot cotton to killing my own words, once written. Hahahaha! Writers, y’all know what I mean.) 

Please Bare er, ‘bear’… with me on this one Y’all.

***

Time always makes things (memories) better. This is how I cope. As for me and Shonnie, memories are multiplied–super-sized, if you will. The words I wrote of our relationship are all too true. I do hope she never reads those words, as neither she nor I are strong enough to re-live those heady days. This is how life is. One is young once, (and older more than twice) and youth does stupid shit based upon that ‘youth’, and then, if lucky, one has a chance for redemption later in life.

(Not religious redemption: human redemption) I don’t apologize for my youthful indiscretions. They belong to me alone. I will carry. If anyone has in their head after reading my story of Lance and Shonnie, that I did not truly love her, that I allowed her to set me free for my own self-preservation, that I did not want to fight for her, then you may want to go back and read between the lines.

And with that ‘mini-rant’ spotlight shined into my soul, I leave you with this idealized and fantasized version of what Shonnie meant to me.

(Ms Shonnie’s part played and well-acted by Sheryl Crow.) And as good as Sheryl is, she could never be as good to me as was Shonnie. Ever. (But, I’d grant her an audition, none-the-less) And it shames me now to admit this but I was, back then, not strong enough to be her man.

If you are new here and confused, here is the beginning of this little story: Shonnie

Go there with my Blessings… and sympathy

 

Shonnie The Biker’s Wife: Denouement

Or: “Dreams do come true; it can happen to you… When you’re young at heart and stupid and bulletproof.”

Or, if you prefer: “Big-Boned Gal”

Parts  One  Two  Three  Four  Five  Six  Seven  Eight  Nine  Ten  Eleven  Twelve  Thirteen This is the End

***

Nothing to do now but drive away and discover what happens next. No point in trying to flee at a high rate of speed. Most Harleys (when they are not broken down) will outrun a heavy-ass Toronado. Which brings to mind a t-shirt one of MY biker friends often wore (Yes, I had some biker friends. They were also sailors, but I don’t think that disqualifies them), which read: “I’d rather push my Harley than ride your Honda.”

So off I drove into the predawn. Never having what could be remotely considered decent navigation skills, I just headed in the general direction of what I thought to be south, hoping to hit I-Five, which would lead me to 32nd Street Naval Base and my ship. And of course I kept frequently glancing in my rear-view. Billy, or whomever, did in fact follow me, yet at a respectful distance for a spell. At one point I contemplated stopping and asking him for directions, but in the end thought better of that.

Eventually, he either got bored, lost his nerve, or ran out of gas. Anyway, he disappeared from my radar. I made it back to the USS Frederick with just enough time to change into my dungarees and make morning muster.

When the 1MC announced “Knock off Ship’s Work” at 1600 hrs, I quickly changed into my civvies, left the ship, grabbed a pay phone on the pier, and called Shonnie up at work.

“Hello?”

“Shonnie?”

“You were expecting maybe… Madonna?”

Ignoring her classic wit, I said “Are you okay?”

“Yes, of course, why wouldn’t I be?”

Uh oh. Her tone did not bode well. “Perhaps you caught amnesia. Did Billy come calling?”

“Uh, yeah. He did.”

“And?”

“What?”

“Come on Shonnie, what happened?”

“He begged me to open the door, so finally I let him in.” She didn’t seem to want to talk about this, but damn it! I was in ‘need-to-know’ status. ‘Hey! I’m needin’ to know here!’ (Sorry Dustin)

“Well? Do I have to drag this out of you?”

“Listen Lance, he broke down and cried All Right! He promised to be a better husband and father. He begged me to take him back. He is the Father of my Son, Goddamn it! What-the-fuck-do-you-expect-me-to-do?” (Kids always trump lovers. I suppose this is as it should be, but… this asshole was abusive. At least that was her early story.)

“So, you’re getting back together then?” In asking this, I felt as if I had been kicked in the solar plexus. Hard. It was becoming difficult to breathe.

“Yes.”

“You sure about this?”

“Yes. I am.”

I could not continue the conversation. “Well, I guess that’s it then.”

“Yeah. I guess it is. Goodbye Lance.” She hung up.

Rage. Heartbreak. Sorrow. Self-Pity. Despair. Aloneness: All competing in my soul to climb to the top of my emotional hit parade. I slammed the receiver into the phone and walked toward my car. As soon as I sat down in the driver’s seat I realized that I was crying. Fuck! (There seemed to be a pattern developing here, Shonnie: Then grown men crying–note to self–‘research this.’)

A couple of weeks later I was kidnapped by some of my buddies from my ship.

“Marcom, you done been mopping around for too long. We’re going out tonight to a great joint. No arguments. Just grab yer shit and come on.” I had to acquiesce.

Mark and Tommy mounted their Harleys. Frank, Lenny, and I climbed into Lenny’s ’68 Chevelle, which he referred to as his “She-Vail” Accent on the ‘Vail.’

“Where we goin’?” I asked after about five minutes of ear-splitting Guns N’ Roses (Lenny waxed and waned between ‘Pure Country’ and ‘Heavy Metal’ depending on his mood and blood alcohol level.

“Goin’ to IB,” he shouted over Welcome to the Jungle. (‘Imperial Beach’ for those who may not have had the opportunity to visit some of the classier environs south of San Diego.) One can actually ‘smell’ Tijuana from IB, not an entirely unpleasant smell if the wind is right and it ain’t summertime.

We were just a couple of car lengths behind Mark and Tommy who, wearing their bandanas, leather jackets, black jackboots, and seated astride their Harleys puking blue smoke, producing one hundred decibels above what OSHA would consider workplace violence, had metamorphosed elegantly from A-Jay-Squared-Away Sailors into So-Cal Bikers. Passing through National City, (‘Nasty City’) then Chula Vista, (Chew, Ya-Wanna?’) I couldn’t help but keep thinking of Shonnie and how much she would have loved this ‘adventure.’ And I with her, experiencing it together. Damn! I missed her still!

“Almost there!” Lenny shouted as we pulled off of I-5 and tacked somewhat west toward the Pacific.

“Almost where?” I shouted back, but Lenny said nothing. After navigating through some of Imperial Beach’s “Nicer Hoods” our little caravanserai pulled into a gravel parking lot, which presumably belonged to the ramshackle ‘Joint’ I now found myself staring at. Lots of bikes in the lot. I cannot recall the name of the establishment, but it was something along the lines of “The Salty Frog.” or “IB Bar N’ Grill” or “Busted Spoke.” No matter, I was only interested in drink, not ambience. Mark and Tommy dismounted as Frank, Lenny, and I ‘de-She-Vailed’ and headed into the ‘Dew Drop Inn’ or, what-you-will.

Inside, the joint wasn’t too bad. Good A/C, low lighting, a couple of pool tables and lots of… Yep: bikers. Well, why not? I was sick to death of the memory of the squeaky-clean C/W Joint where I had first met Shonnie and this place was as far removed from that type of joint as I could ever hope to get. We found a table against a back wall and proceeded headlong toward the arms of intoxication. As I was not expected to drive (this was sort of a ‘coming back out of the shadows/death’ party for me after all), I planned to “Drink that woman offa my mind.”

The drinks flowed and the bullshit rolled (mostly downhill into my lap, as it was well known that I was in ‘lost love recovery’ mode.) I won’t go into detail about how piercingly eloquent we all became during the course of the evening. Mainly because I cannot remember all the pearls of wisdom which were cast back and forth amongst us swine.

What I do recall was my exit:

Roughly fifteen minutes after Last Call, and as all the patrons began to shuffle (or in my case, stagger) toward the exit, I ran headlong into an immovable object: probably because I was trying to guide my feet one step at a time with my eyes and not really paying attention to the larger part of navigation.

Looking up I realized I had run into a woman. A very tall, very large woman. Not a fat woman, mind you, but tall and large. I mean a ‘Big-Boned Gal.’ A fuckin’-beautiful-brunette-dark-eyed Big Bone Woman, who, praise Neptune, did not appear to be angry at my clumsiness.

I found my voice and said, “Hi… I’m Lance. Will you take me home? With you?”

BBG smiled down at me, “Yes, I sure will,” she said as she took my hand.

And as they say (Always ‘They’), “Nothing gets you over the last one like the next one.”

My recovery was officially underway.

Video Credit:

barefootkd’s channel

This Concludes Our ‘All Things Shonnie’ Broad Cast (no pun). We now return you to our regularly scheduled inaneness.

Hope you enjoyed reading as much as I was enjoined to write it.

Peace and Beer to all Y’all!

Last thoughts HERE

More Big-Boned Gal  HERE

Lance OUT

 

Shonnie The Biker’s Wife: This is the (NOT) The End

Parts One  Two  Three  Four  Five  Six  Seven  Eight  Nine  Ten  Eleven  Twelve  Thirteen

The three Harleys were gaining on me as I sped southbound down Interstate 5. It was still dark and the traffic was light. I floored the pedal on the Toronado, but I knew they would eventually catch up to me. As my speedometer redlined at one hundred I took another furtive glance in the rearview: still gaining fast. Where the hell were the famous CHiPs? For the absolute first time in my life, I wanted to get busted. One biker managed to pull up alongside me on the passenger side. I swerved to the right just a bit to try to spook him. No dice! He easily dodged my quarter panel and I caught a brief glimpse of his grinning face, mocking me. (bikers never wore helmets)  The two remaining bikes pulled up behind him. I was running out of options. Should I just continue on until I ran out of freeway or gas? Hope a highway patrol finally spotted us? Surrender? I stole another glance in my side mirror and could just barely make out the third biker taking aim at my car with a handgun, rather unsteadily given our speed, but I braced for the worst, then BAM!

I awoke with a start and sat bolt upright in bed. The alarm was wailing away. Shonnie stirred and moaned, “What time is it?”

Reaching over to kill the alarm, I knocked the clock off the nightstand. “Shit!” I reached over the side of the bed, grabbed it and managed to turn the damn thing off. “It’s five-thirty,” I said.

“Ohhh too early,” she moaned again, pulling the covers over her head.

“Go back to sleep,” I said.

“No. I’ll make you some coffee,” she said, sitting up, stretching her arms upward yawning

“Got no time for that. I gotta get back to my ship. Muster is at zero-seven.”

“It’ll just take a minute,” she said as she extracted her naked body from the covers.

“Okay, but a minute is about all I have.”

I got out of bed and put on my jeans. Shonnie threw on her robe and disappeared downstairs. I went into the head and splashed some cold water on my face, trying to shock the dream out of my mind. Just as I finished struggling to get into my too-tight boots, I heard the kettle whistling downstairs. Making sure I had my wallet and military ID, I descended to the kitchen to join Shonnie. She handed me a cup and I took a quick sip.

“Good coffee,” I said.

“You’re welcome Cowboy.”

“You sleep alright? I asked.

“Yeah, sorta, but you were snoring and moaning till all hours.”

“Sorry ‘bout that. Look, I gotta split. I wanna beat the traffic. My Master Chief don’t have a sense of humor about being late for muster.” I handed her the still mostly full cup of coffee.

She set it on the counter, threw her arms around my neck clinging tight, pulling me down and kissing me passionately. She withdrew her lips but kept my neck locked tight. “Oh Rhett! When will Ah evah see you again?”

I reached up and gently pulled her hands free and said, “Very funny Scarlett. I’ll call you this evening, but now I gotta go.”

“Okay, Darlin’, lemme walk you out.”

We walked over to the front door holding hands. I opened it. Shonnie let out a gasp. “Oh no,” she said.

“What is it?”

“Look there,” she said pointing down at the deck.

There was a white sack about a yard from the front door. It had the unmistakable mark of McDonald’s on it. I took a step outside, picked it up, turned to Shonnie and said, “What the fuc…”

“Come back inside quickly,” she almost whispered.

I went back in and she shut the door, locking it with a loud click. “It’s Billy.”

“Billy?”

“My husband, you idiot.”

“Sorry. You never did tell me his name.”

“You never asked.”

Still clutching the sack in my hand, I opened it up and discovered two large coffees and two pastries.

“Give me that!” she said, almost shouting as she grabbed the sack out of my hand. “Look, this coffee is still hot. He must have just been here.” She was visibly shaking.

“Quite the gentleman to deliver breakfast, doncha think?”

“Goddamn Lance! This shit ain’t funny!”

“Well, what the hell do you expect from a smartass?”

“You can’t leave now,” she said as she walked over and slumped down into an overstuffed chair, dropping the bag on the floor almost tipping over the coffees inside.

“Seriously? Will he try to hurt you if I go?”

“No… not right away anyhow. It’s you… You! He’ll be after you! Dammit to Fuck!”

“Baby, I got no choice. I’d rather face ‘Billy’ than try to explain to Master Chief why I’m UA.”

She stared at me blankly for an instant as if I had just said something in a language she did not understand. “Whaaat?”

“Uh UA; unauthorized absence. AWOL. You know.”

“Fuck that! If you leave here now, you might be ‘AWOL’ permanent.”

“Well, I doubt that, but anyway I gotta go.” I turned and walked back toward the door. “I’ll call you this evening. Lock the door behind me.”

“Okay,” she sighed, getting up. As I was about to open the door she spun me around and hugged me, burying her face in my chest. “Be safe Lance.”

“You too Baby.”

I opened the door and walked out. Shonnie shut it behind me and I heard the click as she turned the deadbolt.

My car was parked almost a block away from the house. It was still an hour before sunrise but the streetlights, though not bright, afforded enough light for me to make my way without any difficulty. As I slowly walked toward the Toronado, I was glancing left and right, trying to see into the shadows, hoping I would see no one. My shoulders were tight as I wondered if they would suddenly be pierced by a round from a hand gun. I keep walking. Almost there now. The Toronado was parked directly under a street light. Shit! I would have preferred a darker venue for getting into my car. Oh well. I fumbled around for my keys, unlocked the door and slid behind the wheel. Turning the key in the ignition, the engine turned over a few times more than normal, but finally caught hold. The cassette player was still cranked up and in the early morning quiet seemed extremely loud. I quickly reached over and shut down Jim Morrison in the middle of his song.

The car was facing the opposite direction I needed to be going, so I had to pull forward into an empty driveway, back up and get turned about. Back in the street and facing the right direction, I dropped the car into drive.

Then I heard the unmistakable sound of a Harley cranking up and someone revving the throttle.

Not The End.

More:  HERE

 

Video Credit:

ThaG0DFATHER

Shonnie The Biker’s Wife. Chapter XIII: La Jolla

Parts One  Two  Three  Four  Five  Six  Seven  Eight  Nine  Ten  Eleven  Twelve 

It’s a pretty good drive from Seaport Village to La Jolla. We stopped along the way for cigarettes, sandwich stuff and beer and arrived at “Auntie’s House” about seven-thirty. This isn’t it, but a reasonable facsimile:

La Jolla

 

“Your aunt rich?” I asked stupidly.

“Yeah. What was your first clue?”

“Lucky guess, I suppose.”

“Come on. It’s even better inside.”

She led me into the condo.

“First class joint,” I said. “Really classy.”

“Let me give you the nickel tour.”

She led me through the living room, past the dining room and into the kitchen. It was all stainless steel and wood. Very nice. We put the sandwich stuff and the beer in the fridge. Shonnie produced two tumblers and threw some ice into each. I took the bottle of Jim Beam, splashed some into each glass, and handed one to her.

“A toast!” I said. “To us!”

We clinked tumblers, took a swig and fell into each other’s arms. Lips to lips. “You make me happy my dear,” I whispered into her ear as we broke our lip lock.

“I had a great fucking time in Vegas. Won’t be forgetting that soon.”

“Yeah, but next time. Please. Please listen to me.”

“Hahaha! Sure Cowboy. I promise to be good… ‘Next time’. Come on. I wanna show you the rest of this ‘joint’.”

We took the stairs and she led me into what I surmised was the master bedroom. It was large as condo bedrooms go, but then, I was no expert on anything ‘condo’. In fact, this was probably my first. There were double French doors opening up to a small patio overlooking the Pacific. The bed was huge. I pushed down on it with my hand and watched as it rippled. Waterbed. Last time I had seen a waterbed was back in the Seventies. I wondered silently if this one leaked… There were Asian paintings on the walls and shag beige carpet on the floor. Some African wooden statues were on the dresser. I recognized them from my eight days spent in Kenya. The bathroom had an old-timey tub, green towels, and a shower stall… and a bidet! Wow! Mishmash of so many cultures. Well, California. What could one say?

“Why don’t you rinse off in the shower while I fetch some ice and build our bar?”

“Okay,” I said. “I’ll do that.”

After my ‘rinse off’, I wrapped a green beach towel about me, lay on the bed with my drink and my Marlboro. (Figured it permissible to smoke, as there were about five ashtrays strategically placed about the room.)

Shonnie reappeared with the whiskey, two sandwiches, a small bucket of ice, and two beers. Quite the juggler, she was.

“It’s okay. Don’t get up,” she said with some small sarcasm, as she deposited her items on one of the nightstands next to the waterbed.”

“Hungry?” I asked.

“Yeah. Lose that towel.”

I did and she ‘lost’ her jeans et al.

We made slow love for some thirty minutes. Deep kisses, lots of teasing, and finally came together…

As we lay back in the bed, silently smoking, she said, “You’re quite the catch, ain’t ya Cowboy?”

“Not sure your meaning, Little Lady.”

“Just sayin’. You’re quite the catch.”

“Not really. Just another lonely sailor far from home.”

“Yeah with fireplace eyes and the gift of bullshit, and any port in a storm.”

“True enough, I suppose.” (‘Fireplace eyes?’ I’d only heard this once before. From… my wife. Somewhat unnerving to hear it again after so many years.)

“Eat your sandwich,” she said. “Then we can watch a movie. The night is still young.” She got up and I watched her walk to the bathroom. Her perfect petite body and (purposely?) twitching little ass tantalizing me still–although I was quite sated at that moment.

I reached for the sandwich even though I was not hungry. Suddenly becoming self-conscious about my nakedness and feeling vulnerable, I got up and put my pants on. I lay back on the bed, picked up the sandwich, took one bite and put it down. There was a large television opposite the bed. I picked up the remote from the night stand and switched it on. CNN appeared. Some talking head, info babe, was blathering on and on about something that had just happened in Iraq: ‘Breaking News’. I muted the volume.

“You’re watching the News?” She said, suddenly appearing in front of me wearing a white terry-cloth robe and a frown.

“I think it’s watching me.”

“How depressing. I never watch the news.”

“Current events are important,” I said.

“Not to me.”

“Well, here’s a news’ flash for ya: You are drop-dead gorgeous.”

“Careful there, Cowboy…”

She walked over to the ‘Entertainment Center’ which was part of the whole TV thing and began perusing some VHS tapes. “What kind of movies do you like?” she asked.

“Historical, hysterical drama.” I said.

“Well, that does narrow it down a bit.” She selected a tape; put it in, and then picking up two remotes began pushing buttons. “Top Gun” appeared on the screen as if by technological magic.

“I was thinking of maybe something a little less contemporary,” I said as Kenny Loggins began his bit.

Video Credit:

KennyLogginsVEVO

“Nonsense!” she said. “This is perfect for you. You’re a sailor, eh?”

“Yeah I am, but not a fighter jock. And I hate Tom Cruise.”

“Relax. Have you seen this movie?”

“’Fraid I have, but okay. Kelly McGillis is never a waste of my time.”

“Asshole!”

“C’est moi.”

With that she jumped on the bed causing me to spill some amber onto the sheets and almost drop my cigarette. She grabbed my head and planted a deep kiss, sticking her tongue down my throat.

“Madame! I am aghast!” I said as I was freed from her embrace.

“Shut up and watch the movie.”

Kenny was just finishing up ‘Danger Zone’, and proving once again that I needed to pay closer attention to my life’s soundtrack, especially when it is foreshadowing and trying to connect. We got through the horrible movie thanks to several glasses of Beam and a few beers and not a small number of cigarettes. It was, I have to admit looking back, the best screening of one of the worst movies of all time. I kept Shonnie in laughter as I picked apart the utter bullshit and un-factual parts of the movie. Yes, sometimes I can do sarcasm with the best.

As the final credits were rolling, Shonnie snuggled up to me and asked, “Lance, do you love me?”

“Probably,” I said.

“I’m a little hard to love.”

“Not for a schmuck like me.”

“I’m serious here. I have issues.”

“Yeah, don’t we all?”

“Goddamn it! I am serious.”

“’Serious’ is not something I’m good at.”

“You are EXASPERATING!”

“That’s a pretty good four-bit word,” I said with a mocking grin.

“Actually, it’s five bits, you bastard.”

“True enough,” I said, as I counted off the syllables in my head.

“You know my estranged husband is one mean son-of-a-bitch, right?”

“Never met the stud.  Do tell.”

“Trust me. And he called me up at Mama’s the other day and asked me who was my new boyfriend.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. I think he’s been following me.”

“I’m not much into ‘threesomes’.”

“Listen asshole. I’m getting scared.”

“Wanna end it?”

She paused and I saw some sorrow creep into her eyes. “Might be a good idea,” she said. Then quickly added, “But just for a little while. I don’t want to lose us.”

“Let’s sleep on it. I have to leave here at zero-five-thirty so I can make morning muster on my ship.”

She buried her head under my arm and we fell asleep under the blue TV screen light.

To Be Continued…  HERE

Shonnie The Biker’s Wife Part XII: Back to the Real World

Continuation of Shonnie: Parts One  Two  Three  Four  Five  Six  Seven  Eight  Nine  Ten  Eleven

With nothing else to do and somewhat pissed at Shonnie for putting us both in a bad situation, I walked over to The Las Vegas Club just across the street from the Union Plaza. My intent was to pass some time playing a relaxing game of roulette. I have always enjoyed roulette. The pace is slow and generally that game draws a more serene clientele. A casual game of roulette would afford me the opportunity to calm my anger and pleasantly pass some time.

The minimum bet was one dollar, so I bought a hundred bucks worth of two-bit chips and began scattering them about the table. Never really scoring big at roulette, I did not expect anything but a hundred dollars worth of entertainment and some free bottom shelf booze. I had a few wins, but more losses and as my initial investment faded away along with about an hour and a half, I cashed out the remainder of my stake (about twenty-five bucks), drained my glass, stubbed out my Marlboro and headed back to the Plaza.

Upon entering our room, I discovered Shonnie face down on the bed, a cig still burning in the ashtray.

I sad upon the bed next to her.

“You awake?” I whispered.

“Owwwie… Is that you Honey?”

“Yes, Dear. It’s me. How’d you come out?”

“Won three hundred. Proud of me?”

“Nope,” I said. “You nearly got me in trouble.”

“Always about you,” she said, turning on her side to face me with piercing blue eyes.

“We did have a plan, you know. What happened?”

“I couldn’t get shed of that moron.”

“I see.”

She sat up abruptly. “I tried, Goddamn it!”

“How hard is it to walk away from a blackjack table?”

“I was having fun too.”

“You’re drunk,” I said.

“Yeah. Be a dear and light me a smoke.”

I lit two Marlboros and handed her one. She took a long drag and asked for a cold beer. I fished two Bud longnecks out of the cooler we had brought along and handed her one. She drained about half of hers, belched, and said, “Cotton mouth.”

“Charmed, I’m sure.”

“Fuck you. I have a major headache.”

I kissed her lightly on the forehead and said, “We need to head outta here tomorrow by noon. I have to be back on my boat…”

“Okay! Okay! I got it. What time is it anyway?”

“It’s later than you think.”

She drained the rest of her beer, threw her half-smoked cigarette in the ashtray, rolled over and went immediately to sleep. Just perfect, I thought. I took some minutes to finish my beer and my cigarette, then got undressed and curled up next to her and was soon asleep myself.

****

Next day we managed to check out of our room and hit the road by about twelve-thirty. I stopped for gas and a six-pack at Whiskey Pete’s and we reverse-road-tripped on into San Diego, arriving about six in the evening. I dropped Shonnie at her mom’s and headed back to the Frederick. I hit my rack and slept like the dead. I had duty the next day, so I could not leave the ship. On Tuesday at sixteen hundred after liberty call I got in my civvies and hit the beach. Found a pay phone on the pier and called her up.

“Hello?”

“Hiya Baby. How y’all doin’?”

“Why didn’t you call me yesterday?” She sounded pissed.

“You know damn well. I had duty yesterday,” I shot back.

“Oh… Yeah. Sorry. I forgot.”

“Wanna hook up?” I asked.

“Yeah. Meet me at Seaport Village. In the parking lot. In an hour.”

“Make it an hour and a half.”

“Okay.”

***

I pulled into the parking lot at Seaport Village around six p.m. No sign of Shonnie. I killed the Toronado but left the stereo playing (Tom Waits: “Warm Beer and Cold Women…”) Pulling from a pint of Jim Beam, I lit a cigarette and watched some seagulls diving on scraps in the bay. I saw a haze-gray-and-underway-piece-of-shit heading out to sea, black-shoe-sailors manning the rails. I saw couples walking hand-in-hand on the boardwalk. I was allowing myself to have some second thoughts about my relationship with Shonnie: Was it going anywhere? Was it worth the risk? Was she fun? Was she great in the sack?

Did I love her?

My mindless contemplations were brusquely interrupted as she pulled up alongside me screeching tires and slinging gravel. Grand entrance! She exited her ‘La Bomba’ and walked toward my vehicle. She looked California stunning: wearing tight faded blue jeans, a halter top, cowgirl boots, and carrying a fifth of whiskey and obviously an attitude. She ‘runway’ sauntered over to the driver’s side of my car, opened the door, plopped herself down and inquired, “How’s my favorite Sailor-Boy?”

Aiming for ‘nonchalant’ I said, “Fair to mid’lin. You?”

“Finer-n-frog hair,” she said.

“Don’t be mockin’ a good ol’ Texas Boy,” I said back. (Yes. I did love her after all)

“I have a surprise for you Lover.”

“Do tell,” I said.

“I am ‘house-sitting’ my aunt’s condo in La Jolla all this week. It’s all ours.”

“I’m partial to parking lots and sleazy motel rooms,” I protested.

“Don’t be ridiculous. Drive. I will guide you.”

So I drove. (With no little trepidation)

Video Credit:

Chelseacf

To Be Continued…  HERE

Call Me Crazy, But I Have Just Experienced a Brief Epiphany

(And yes, I know. All epiphanies are brief)

We all have our ‘About’ Pages. Who really ever reads them? (I do)

Here is mine, in case you may have missed it.

(And No! This is not some vain fantasy; just a clarification)

Cheers Y’all.

****

By Way of Introduction (UPDATED 11 July) Bugs Bunny

Hail Yes and Merrily Met!

My name is Lance Marcom and These Pages will be my Home for the foreseeable future. All are welcome here–welcome to compliment, deride, disparage, commiserate, cajole, rant, rave, fawn, frown–In short, all comments will be appreciated.

Marcom_Dubai

This Virgin  De-flowered Slut Blog O’ Mine will contain Tall Tales, Short Tales, Middlin’ Tales, Major Tales, Minor Tales…

Tales of Amusement, Tales of Adventure, Tales of Larceny, Tales of Woes, Tales of Foes, Tales of Loves Won & Lost, Tales of Fortunes Achieved & Squandered, and much more as becomes my wont… 

Tales From Texas, The Middle East, The Far East, The Near East, The Southeast, The South Coast, The South Pacific,The Left Coast, The Old World, and Perhaps Even Oklahoma…

But most importantly, I wish this to be a place for my guests to enjoy, for:

“No profit grows where is no pleasure ta’en.”

(That’s Shakespeare, Y’all.)

*****

Just For Fun Y’all, I am going to throw a new video (or quote, or some other surprise nonsense) up here everyday. Why? You may ask. 

Because I think an ‘About Page’ should be ever-changing and dynamic, just as the Person it is purported to be “About” is ever-changing and dynamic.

Therefore, I upload some of my favorite stuff here. Daily (usually)

So…  here goes for 11 July: Albuquerque (I had the opportunity to live there, once.) For, you see, my mom took a wrong turn at Moriarty… hence: young lives changed. For some forever.

Hope you enjoy.

And please do not forget to listen to what was my mantra while cooling my heels in Amman Jordan in late ’07

Baghdad!

The Best of the Hitchslap

tex flag

 

Bullshit Legal Stuff:

I Suppose it is Time (alas):

All This Shit Is Copyrighted.
Please Respect that, for:

“Good name in man and woman, dear my lord, Is the immediate jewel of their souls: Who steals my purse steals trash; ’tis something, nothing; ’twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave to thousands; But he that filches from me my good name Robs me of that which not enriches him, And makes me poor indeed.”
–Shakespeare

Thanks,
-The Management

More ‘Shonnie’ tomorrow. Story at eleven.

Night, Night.

Addendum:

Someone once posited the idea that good posts always challenge the reader with a question (“This invites discourse”)

I cannot disagree, but by the time I finish my posts. I am all ‘discoursed out’.

That said, ’tis good advice. So, here is my million-dollar question:

“How many of y’all ever go to the ‘about’ page ‘ere you ‘follow’? I know I do. And for just one important reason: Sometimes we are misled and by being misled, we tend to ‘say’ things that are offensive to the blogger. Therefore, I like to get a ‘feel’ if you will, of the person’s blog I am about to comment all over. I do not aim for controversy, but I seem to land there more often than not.

Point is… know your audience and never purposely offend.

Peace,

Lance

Shonnie The Biker’s Wife Part XI: Un-Graceful Exit

Chapter Eleven of Shonnie

Parts One  Two  Three  Four  Five  Six  Seven  Eight  Nine  Ten  

***

After an hour of waiting (and three Jim Beams), I decided to go looking for Shonnie. The walk to the El Cortez was not long, but too long, as I did not feel the need to walk it. What the fuck was she doing? She was supposed to wait ten or fifteen minutes, cash out, and meet me back at the Plaza. It was now getting late and I’d had no intention of returning to the Cortez. Some months earlier I had almost been thrown out for the very thing I had done this eve, albeit without a partner. Damn it! Fremont Street was packed with all the usual suspects: tourists, vagrants, weekend warriors, refugees from L.A.

I made my way to the El Cortez.

Once past the slots I headed back to the bar. As I sat down I saw Shonnie still seated next to ‘George’, laughing it up and surprisingly with a decent stack of chips in front of her. George was lighting her cigarette. She did not notice me at the bar. I ordered a draft Stout, lit a Marlboro, and contemplated my next move. I had to get her away from the table and away from George, who had obviously fallen to her charms. There were two other players at the table, but the seat next to Shonnie was empty. Once my beer arrived I took a drag from my cigarette and walked over to the table.

The dealer was yet another cute young ‘Ornamental’ sweetie. Before I sat down I withdrew five hundred from my wallet and placed it on the table.

“Green” I said.

The dealer stacked my chips and pushed them toward me. “Good luck, Sir.”

Shonnie looked up and betrayed some surprise. She could see I was slightly pissed. This is an assumption. I nodded at her, but probably not discreetly enough.

I had checked my ‘drunken cowboy’ façade at the door. All I wanted was to get her (and me) the hell out of there. The dealer was about to shuffle the two decks as I placed four green chips. Before she finished her shuffle, another dealer came up behind her, tapping on her shoulder. The new dealer was No Chick. He was more of a ‘Guido’. My radar now was operational. She dropped the deck and clapped her hands for the Eye-in-the-Sky and moved off. Guido picked up the decks, smiled at me and parroted the ‘Good Luck’ catch phrase as he offered me the cut. I cut the decks in the middle and took a sideways glance at Shonnie. She ignored me. Good for her.

“Sir,” the new dealer said, “Please cut closer to the bottom.”

“Uh sure,” I said, somewhat nervously as I recut the decks.

I caught the pit boss looking at me. Or was I just being paranoid? Shonnie was still apparently oblivious.

The cards came out. I caught a deuce and a jack, fucking Dead Man’s Hand. Shonnie caught a pair of queens. Shit! Maybe this game is all about luck after all. The dealer had an ace showing.

“Insurance?” he asked. No takers. Insurance is generally a sucker’s bet. Dealer made a show of peeking at his hole card, and not flipping it over revealed he had no blackjack. He dealt.

The two to my right busted. I don’t even recall what they had. I was not counting cards at this point. I just wanted out. I had to hit my twelve. Caught a seven and stood at nineteen. Shonnie stood pat with her twenty. George hit his fifteen, caught an eight and busted.

The dealer flipped his hole card, revealing a six for a ‘soft’ seventeen. He had to hit. He did and caught a deuce for a nineteen and a ‘push’.  A tie for me. A win for Shonnie.

As the dealer was paying off Shonnie’s win and gathering up the cards, I nudged her with my knee. She looked at me somewhat startled and I knew instantly that she was going to have her some fun with this.

Okay, I thought. Wanna play games?

Lighting a cigarette and taking a draw from my beer, I said, “Looks like you’re doin’ okay here tonight. You always this lucky? What’s your secret?”

She giggled, “I have a blackjack mentor.”

“Ah… I see. Where is he now?”

“Dunno. He tole me to fly solo this evening.”

“Sure you ready for that?” I asked.

“Yeah. I am. What’s it to you cowboy?”

Taking another slow drag off my cig, I said, “Uh, nothing to me. Just thought you might wanna take a break… while you’re ahead of course, and join me for a drink.”

“I got free drinks right here. Why would I wanna join you?’

(Obviously Shonnie was pushing my buttons and beginning to get on my last nerve)

At this point, ‘George’ chimed in: “Hey Pal,” he said, “She is g-a-m-b-l-i-n-g, git it?”

“Yeah, I ‘git’ it Sir. And who are you, if I may ask?”

“I am a sailor, for your information.”

Fuckin’ perfect, I thought. Another drunken sailor—a small fish in a big pond—this was gonna require some surgical delicacy. Goddamn you Shonnie! What’s your ‘game’?

I ended the conversation at that point and pretended to focus on the hands I had been dealt: The cards and the situation. The card’s part was easy: I had drawn an eighteen. No decision time there. Shonnie had drawn another natural Blackjack (fuck!) and the dealer had a four showing. Shonnie was paid her wages for her BJ. I stood on my eighteen. George sucked on his fifteen and this time wisely stood pat, knowing the dealer should bust (If he even knew how to play the game).  The dealer did in fact, bust.

As he paid off the bets, I felt a presence at my elbow. I turned and was greeted by an ‘Official’ from the ‘Management’.

“Hello Sir. Are you a guest here at the hotel?”

“Nope. Why do you ask?”

(Here it comes… I had been asked this question before)

“Well Sir, we see that you are betting… and we like to accommodate our best customers. Is there anything you require, or need? A room? A meal? A girl?”

“Not really. In fact, I was just about to leave and call it a night.”

“That’s a shame. We here at the El Cortez pride ourselves in our hospitality.”

“Certain you do, and I appreciate that, but I really must be on my way.”

“As you wish Sir. Good luck.”

Fuck! Fuck! I nudged Shonnie slightly harder with my knee and gathered my chips. The cacophony of the casino and the smells and the lights… were all getting to me! I just wanted to leave.

If she were intent to continue her game, she could do it without me. I came for her. That is all I could do. She should have known that.

Wouldn’t she have known that?

“Vaguely she floats and lacelike
Blown in like a curtain on the night wind
She’s nebulous and naked
He wonders where she’s been
He grabs at the air because there’s nothing there
Her evasiveness stings him…”

Video Credit: 

1Bluesboy1

To Be Continued…  HERE

Late Spring Cleanin’: Or, ‘Fishin’ by the creek’, Your Choice

I am cleaning out some old posts and kickin’ ’em to the curb

Please bare with me. (Bear? Is that a word? Or just an animal?)

Anyhow…

Read if you will. (And if not, well, thanks for the auto-likes)

Cheers!

***

‘Three-Nine-Six-One-Three Bruning Street Fremont California: 1964-1968’

Funny how I still remember the street address when I cannot remember my mother’s birthday, or what I had for Sunday Supper last week, or my second wife’s maiden name, or who won the World Series last year.

All the houses on Bruning Street were brand new. And they were all alike. But their alikeness did not dampen my spirits, especially since mom and I had left the moldy old garage apartment across town. I had finally escaped that place and the Ghost of that Murdered Turkey.

Seems the entire neighborhood moved in on the same summer weekend: Floodgates opened—lots of activity—trucks coming and going, grown-ups schlepping boxes, kids (potential buddies?) playing and yellin’ and runnin’ wild, dogs untethered, barking, yipping, yapping, chasing. Just general mayhem all around: very excited we all were to be living the American Dream. Norman Rockwell should have been there.

A House on Bruning Street Today

A House on Bruning Street

All the houses had small front yards, slightly larger back yards, but no fences. In fact not really proper yards yet. No lawns, just California clay, hard-packed and untenable.

This would soon be remedied. By today’s standards for suburbia the dwellings were quite modest. No McMansions these. Each house had three small bedrooms, one bathroom, smallish kitchen, tiny dining area, and small living room. That was it, but compared to our garage apartment, Mom and I had moved into the Taj Mahal. Everything smelled gloriously of fresh paint, fresh earth, and promise. I immediately picked a spot in the back yard for my garden. As a kid, I was never happier than when I was digging in the dirt, much to the chagrin of my much harried mother and my blatant hatred of regular bathing.

Mom and I settled in quickly. For a few days, I shyly & longingly watched some of the other kids playing around up the street. My shyness prevented me from going up and introducing myself, but I had a secret weapon: some small incendiary devices. Actually they were just marble-sized balls that when slammed into the pavement would explode like firecrackers. Cannot recall where I had procured them, but they suited my purpose rather elegantly. Nonchalantly I walked over to the sidewalk one day and commenced to fling them down, one at a time. The ensuing explosions captured the attention of the group of kids up the street and they all came stampeding over to investigate.

Attention Getter

Attention Getter

This was how I broke the ice and made my first friends on Bruning Street. Call it an old magician’s trick, if you will.

“Wow! Those are so neat! Where’d ya get ‘em?”

“Just got ‘em,” I said, ever so cool.

“Can I try one?”

“Well… Yeah, but be careful; they’re not for kids, ya know.”

“What’s your name?”

“Lance. What’s yours?”

Thus the beginning of some of my beautiful friendships.

As summer turned to fall and the lawns and juvenile trees and fences and dog shit sprouted up on Bruning Street, I had cemented many friendships. Most of the kids were very close to my age. We never extended our circle beyond the confines of our street. Later I would break that unwritten code by becoming best friends with the kid who lived in the house bordering mine in the back. His name was Ricky Martinez. His people came from Puerto Rico, but he didn’t speak Spanish. He was a few years older and a bit of a gangster and we hit it off from the start. Right then I began my propensity of always living double lives. When I really wanted mischief I sought Ricky. Other times when it was baseball or playing army or watching Saturday morning cartoons I was after, I kept to my Bruning Street buddies.

Once school started (fourth grade for me), I made even more friends who could never mix with my Bruning Street friends or my Gangster friend Ricky. So now I had three lives to juggle.

Of course we all had bicycles and would fearlessly ride them all over town: Sometimes to the public swimming pool about four miles away and sometimes to the mall and the movie theater also about four miles distant. No one worried after our safety because we were never in any danger. We also had skateboards as second ‘cars’ and Ricky convinced me to paint mine silver. His reasoning was that when we eventually were confronted with rival gangs (Ricky and I were the only ones in our ‘gang’, but we did attempt some recruiting) we could turn the silver side of the skateboard toward the rival gang and blind them into submission with the sunlight reflected off our boards. We never encountered any menacing ‘rival gangs’, but we were ever vigilant and ready for them, should they appear.

My ‘Bruning Street Gang’ was so very much like the kids from South Park that it amazes me when I watch that TV show today. We cussed blue streaks amongst ourselves and had very strong and learned opinions about everything going on in the world. There was Randy Francin and his little brother Paul who lived right across the street. There were the DuBords who lived down the block. Craig the elder, Tommy the young ‘un and their older sister Kim, who looked a lot like Julie Andrews.

There was ‘Steve-Our-Hero’, a lanky sixteen year old blond-haired kid who looked like someone right out of a surfer movie. He lived about four doors down from me and was worshipped by us all. He had a grown-up job delivering newspapers and it was high honor to be ordered by him to bike down to the Seven-Eleven and pick him up a sixteen-ounce Pepsi. (I kept the bottle caps from my missions as souvenirs, almost like saintly relics in fact, and I kept them displayed in my bedroom) Our undying ambition was to grow up to be Steve.

A few doors down in the opposite direction lived another sixteen year old: A GIRL. Her name was Linda. She was also blond and I was madly in love with her. She once showed me her Janis Joplin album cover: Cheap Thrills Big Brother and the Holding Company and she was the coolest girl I had ever known.

Cheap Thrills

My Baptism

(actually the only girl I had ever known) I wanted to marry her, but all I was allowed to do was worship, which I did shamelessly. One day, she actually let me listen to the album. We sat on her bed silent through the entire record. My life changed that day. It reads corny, but sometimes corny is the best read. She was my first unrequited love and my first elusive butterfly.

Why she and Steve never hooked up, I have no idea. They were our royalty and it just didn’t seem right to me that they were not a couple. If I could not have her, surely Steve could. The two coolest people I knew and they were each too busy for the other. I don’t think they even knew of each other. Shakespeare could not have written it better.

Linda had her nemesis who lived at the far end of the street. Her name escapes me, but she was the same age as Linda and a brunette. Linda confided in me one day that she had gone over to her house and caught her sitting on the toilet picking at her pussy hairs. Oh my god! I had never heard a woman say ‘pussy’ before. I was certain that she had never said that to anyone but me and I fell even more in love with her. It was my little secret: Linda had talked dirty to me.

OK. You had to know I just could not resist. For all you Musical Fans out there, my apologies to Rex Harrison, Audrey Hepburn, George Bernard Shaw, et al.

This one is for you Linda, wherever you are:

We had our pecking order. Hell, we even had our South Park ‘Kenny’, a young Hispanic kid who lived next door to me and always wanted to hang out with us ‘older kids.’ He never died, by the way, but we did torment him mercilessly, once almost conning him into drinking piss out of a Pepsi bottle. Would have worked too, if we had had the presence of mind to let it cool down before offering it to him. I cannot recall whose piss it was. Might have been a group effort.

Occasionally we would get into fights within our group, invariably causing us to split into two factions. Loyalties were often divided. These little insurrections could go on for weeks at a time, but eventually there would be a truce and a general détente. For fighting we had strict protocol. If one kid desired fisticuffs, he was required to proclaim in a loud and clear voice:

“I choose you out!”

The opponent had two choices: He could say, “I accept,” and get it on, or he could walk away, but no one ever walked away. The shame of not accepting such a challenge would have been career ending and would mean certain banishment forever.

The fights were furious but generally brief with not much harm done to anything but the pride of the loser. I won some of these encounters and I lost some. I guess on this front I was generally batting about five hundred.

One day I was forced too young into manhood. Ricky was a kleptomaniac. I knew he had this failing, but I kept overlooking it, denying it actually. He kept stealing stuff from me. Nothing important but it hurt me deep inside. We were best friends. One day he was ‘pumping me’ (which means I was riding on the back of his bicycle) over to his house. My bike had a flat.

Anyway, I was seated behind him and I saw a toy top of mine bulging out of his pocket. I could not feign denial any longer. When we got to his house, I mustered all the character I had and I broached this subject,

“Rick,” I said, “You know you are my best friend, right?”

“Yeah of course.”

“Well, it hurts me to tell you this, but I know you have been stealing stuff from my house.”

“Whaaat?! Bullshit!” he said.

“Ricky, I saw my top in your pocket on the way over here.”

Top of The Day

Top of The Day

“Oh… Yeah… Well here. Take it back,” he said, digging it out of his pocket.

“Ricky,” I said, “It ain’t about the top. It’s about friendship. And trust. I don’t care about the fuckin’ top. I care about our friendship.”

He gave me his best ‘I’m sorry look.’ And then I insisted he keep the top, but I think that was the beginning of the end of our friendship. That was up until then, the most painful conversation I had ever had to initiate in my young life, but it had to be; I just could not let him slide. Or me either. I would have hated him if I had not confronted him. The hate would have just festered and poisoned me. Somehow I instinctively knew this.

I loved all my friends good and bad and I was loyal to a fault.

These happy times rolled on along for a couple of years; then I was overtaken by events and my life would never be the same.

I had to go, you see, but I did miss the Saturday Cartoons.

To Be Continued. Here

The Greatest Story Ever Sold

(Most likely offensive to ‘People of Faith’–read at your own annoyance) 

****

The Greatest Story Ever Told (If told at Woodstock)

(And seriously Y’all, y’all need to watch the video First)

But before we go there enter:

This Post Will PISS some people Off (IF I am doing my job)

However I do NOT want to Piss Anyone Off (Not my job)

Ambiguous? Yeah!

So, therefore, and furthermore, and forevermore: I put below the ‘continue reading’ button.

And don’t shoot me: I just play piano here… on Tuesdays… and for milk money… for the kids.

The video is germane. Watch it.

Cheers, Peace, Blessings, Love and Happiness & Joy (and I do mean all of that shit. Sincerely. Hey by the way, Anyone seen Joy? She was just here a minute ago…)

Cast of Characters:

Mary, Mother Mary, Virgin Mary, Mother of All Inventions.

Woodstock_Mary

 

Joseph, Joe, Just Plain Joe, Cuckold, Erstwhile Surrogate Father of Jesus.

Woodstock_Joeseph

Ya gotta love Joe. Ya just gotta.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baby Jesus, aka Baby Hey Zeus, aka, Christmas… Pre-sents

Woodstock_Baby_Jesus

Not even gonna comment on this one, but, be my guest.

Woodstock_Saint_Peter

Saint Peter

 

 

 

Woodstock_Young_Jesus_Struggling_Musician

Jesus Playing with the Mothers of Immaculate Conception, circa 0014 AD

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus grew up; tried to make a living, Playing Gigs.

But then…

Father told him to hang a right at Albequerky: Go to Max Yasgur’s farm in Bethel; see the people they will love your act. (He said)

Jesus_Arrives_1

You Really Didn’t Believe That “Rode Into Town on an Ass” bit did you?

“Would Jesus wear a Rolex on his TV show? Fuck Yeah!”

No! Seriously,”

“Check it out”

Jesus_Arrives_2

“I’m There Dude!”

falwell

Brother Failwell

Then Dad said, “Go Preach Your Ass Off!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Woodstock_Sermon_On_The_Mount
Sermon on The Mount 
(Chip off The Old Block)

 

 

 

 

 

 

And Jesus Said, “We’re there Dude! Just look at ‘em!”

 

Woodstock_Flock

Case Rested

 

Woodstock_Decided

Yay! Jesus!

 

 

 

 

 

 

“They’re eatin’ this shit up!
Hey! Judas! Come check this out!

Woodstock_Judas

Judas: Enema needing to Happen. “Nothing to see here; move along…”

 

Mary Mag! You too! (C’mere Baby!)”

“Sorry Dude. Busy. Get back to me, Yeah? Laters…BFF!”

“But Mary!? You carry… My Mom’s name! And now you tarry? Don’t make no sense!”

Woodstock_Mary_Mag2
“Ah shit!
Here come those Romanians Again! Don’t these people ever give up? Gotta go!”

Woodstock_The_Romans

I love the smell of burnt Jesus in the morning

“As God as My Wit-less-ness, I shall never be hungry again! (As long as I have these radishes)”

Last Supper

Last Toke, I mean Last Munchies

 

Woodstock_Last_Supper

Joe! Go Pick some Radishes. Jesus is hungry. And stop smokin’ that shit!

I did not put in The Crucifixion/Ressurection, (mainly because I don’t believe that shit and also because I could not find an example in the show) and also, mainly because at

Woodstock… drum roll please:

nobody had to die to save me.

It’s OK Jesus: I’m doin’ fine, but Thank You for askin’.

And Thank YOU to anyone who has travell’d this far with me.

Cheers,
Lance

P.S. “And don’t touch my bags if you please…mister customs man.

 

Throw Back: Continuation of ‘On The Street Where I Lived’

This is essentially Part Two of an earlier post:

On The Street Where I Lived

****

Ricky Martinez and I were pyromaniacs.

Okay, that may be an overstatement, but we did love burning shit and building fires, albeit small ones. During the Sixties on Bruning Street every back yard had a ‘burning barrel’ (Can you imagine? Today? In California? Actually burning trash in town? Oh how times change.)

Fire

There was only one rule: The fire in the burning barrel had to be out by noon. No problem. I always volunteered for Burn Barrel Duty. Mom was happy to oblige.

Fire fascinated me, but what I really craved was camping out and with a ‘proper’ camp fire: just a little rustic thing with rocks all about and something to cook, preferably some dead animal, but a potato would do in a pinch. Ricky shared my fire obsession, but was none too keen on the culinary part of the exercise. He just liked breaking the rules. And building fires. And burning shit.

So for about three weeks running, every day after school we would meet in my side-yard, where there would be less chance of prying eyes busting us, and build a small camp fire. I would steal potatoes, or carrots, or bologna, or spam, and using an old coffee can, we would cook away. As I recall we never ate any of this food, but that wasn’t really the point was it?

The Old Broad who lived next door hated all the kids in the neighborhood–with a purple-fluorescent passion. Her daughter had managed to escape her conscience by purchasing the house and dumping her off there to fend, checking in every six years (OK: weeks).

She had a beautiful pristine grassy front yard, golf-green-like, never feeling the wet kiss of a Ked’s sneaker, a bicycle tread, or even a bare foot. She had drawn a line on her border:

Abandon All Hope:

KIDS Who Set Foot On My Lawn

My buddies and I were rowdy kids (Read: Normal) But when we played in my front yard we were cognizant of The Witch’s Yard, and did our best not to inadvertently step on it. Because we all knew That Bitch was watching from her window; I mean, what the hell else did she have to do with her time?

One afternoon, just about the whole neighborhood was playing ‘Batman & Robin’ vs The ‘Green Hornet’ vs ‘The Man from Uncle’ vs ‘James Bond’ in my yard.

Call it a ‘Super Hero Smack Down’ if you like.

Things got out of hand and I took multiple bullets from Kato and then method-acted my death, falling prostrate onto The Bitch’s yard. Seeing my over-acting (and my trespass), my gang scattered like dew in West Texas on a hot summer day. I lay there for a moment, not unlike Laurence Olivier in the death scene from ‘Lear’, waiting for the applause.

What I heard instead was the screeching of what should have been an owl.

Wasn’t.

Was The Witch/Bitch. She was screeching and running toward me, (Shades of Mr. Peabody) I got up, jumped back onto ‘safe ground’ (mine) and prepared myself for the royal chastising. I did not have to wait long.

This old broad proceeded to lay in to me with the most vitriolic rage I had ever heard up until that day.

Not knowing what to say, I just stood there, head half-bowed and took it. My gang slowly made their way back in what I mistakenly thought to be a show of Solidarity. They gathered around on either side of me, but not too close. The Old Bat, now with a perfect opportunity to lecture the entire population of juvenile delinquents on Bruning Street, took her stage and launched her soliloquy,

“You kids have no respect! You know you are ruining my yard! Look at all of you! You-should-be-ashamed! You have no respect!” Then she leveled her eyes, laser-like at me,

“And this kid,” she said, pointing a bony finger in my face. “This kid! Look at him! He is laughing at me! Laughing!”

(Clarification: it was a smirk, involuntary, but certainly to the uninitiated a smirk nonetheless. You see, my entire life I have had no control over my ‘smirk’ and this has gotten me into much trouble and has indeed cost me some relationships, but I just cannot help it. When something strikes me funny or ludicrous, the muscles in my face take over, and… well, I guess ‘smirk’ works well enough for the description.

Alas. Tis a curse.

Growing exasperated, and then feigning great ‘Old Helpless Lady’ sorrow, she said,

“Look how he laughs at me! Look how he mocks me! Me! Just a poor old woman who only wants to have a nice yard. Is this too much to ask from my old age?”

And with that performance thus ended, she turned and slowly (for full effect) sauntered off and made her sorrowful, broken old lady exit, stage left. (Mind you: this was the same lady that, OJ Simpson-Like-in an Airport, had burst upon the scene five minutes previous, flaying talons and rage.)

My best buddy, Randy, came up to me and asked oh so solemnly, “Lance, do you… laugh?”

“Not anymore,” I said brusquely, and walked toward the front door of my house. Everyone else slowly dispersed, all heart-sick and remorseful.

“And thanks for having my back” I said under my breath, to no one in particular, as I entered my house.

So I was pissed at my Bruning Street Gang for some weeks and fell in with Ricky full-time. Fine with me. We were having great times every afternoon building our campfire, roasting and boiling whatever I could filch from Mom’s fridge or upon occasion, the odd hapless toad or lizard, or mouse.

One Friday afternoon, I scored two potatoes and a couple of carrots from Mom’s fridge and went to my side yard to wait for Ricky. Presently he showed up with a half package of hot dogs and a few slices of five-day-old Wonder Bread and a bottle of Ketchup.

Now we had a problem

“Ricky, gonna take us hours to cook all this shit,” I said.

“Aw shit! Well, we can just build a bigger fire, yeah?”

“I dunno. Too much smoke and we gonna get caught,” I protested.

“Bullshit! Ain’t nobody around. Who gonna see it?”

So we went to work digging out our fire pit to accommodate a much larger fire. I had some bricks I stole from the pile my stepfather had brought for the construction of the patio he had started. I placed them around the perimeter of the fire pit. Ricky scrounged about and found some pieces of four by fours my step-father had been using to lay out the pattern of the patio. I went into the house and found a fresh McCall’s Magazine belonging to my Mom and brought it out for kindling.

We proceeded to build a proper ‘camp fire’. Actually, it was more of a bonfire to tell the truth, but we weren’t worried. The McCall’s magazine smoke was a little overwhelming though.

As we were preparing the vegetables and the hot dogs for cooking I heard the sliding door slide open. Not good. Mom was not supposed to be home for another hour. I ran to intercept her before she could get to the side yard.

“Hi Mom,” I said. “Hey Mom. I’m hungry. Can I have a sandwich?” I was actually trying to push her with my chest as I said this and she was having none of it.

She pushed by me and turned the corner to the side yard.

“Lance! Ricky! Put out that fire! What is wrong with you?!”

“OK! OK! Mom! We will!”

Then I heard the sirens.

Three fire trucks pulled up in front of my house and firemen jumped out frantically, dragging hoses and shouting like crazy. They knocked the little fence down which separated my side yard from the street. The lead fireman, looking left, looking right, shouted, “Where’s the fire! Where’s the fire!”

Then he saw it: A fire about the size of a ‘Smokey Joe’ BBQ grill, and he fell down laughing, dropping his nozzle.

He recovered, picked up his fire hose, then doused the fire, me, mom, and Ricky (I think out of spite, or frustration), then turned to his fellows and said, trying to regain his composure,

“Fire’s out Boys. Somebody call it in.”

Of course now I was in deep shit. The Fireman summoned me out to the front yard (which was embarrassing as everyone, and I do mean everyone in the neighborhood were assembled all about) and  had a little talk with me before they left;

“Son, do you realize you could have burned that house down? Did you see how close that fire was to your house?”

(‘Yeah’, I remember thinking; ‘about six feet, no wind, and me with a garden hose at the ready’. But wisely, I said nothing and opted for remorseful—the one time my built-in smirk did not betray me.)

He continued, “If we are ever called out here again, we are gonna take you down to juvenile hall. You understand?”

“Uh Yeah, I mean, Yes Sir.”

After the smoke cleared, literally and metaphorically, I discovered it was the Old Witch Next Door who had copped us out and called the fire department.

She would get hers, I vowed.

Yep. She would.

By an’ by…

More Here

Shonnie The Biker’s Wife, Chapter X: Dalliance (and loyalty in Las Vegas)

More on Shonnie Here: Chapter Ten

Chapters One  Two  Three  Four  Five  Six  Seven  Eight  Nine

***  

So about six in the evening we walk on down to the El Cortez. Shonnie goes in and I hang back a few; Smoke a Marlboro on the street and head on in. Making my way through the slot machine triple canopy jungle I head to the back, the bar, and the blackjack tables while looking for Shonnie. I spot her seated all alone at a two dollar minimum table decently close to the bar. She was next to ‘Third Base’, empty chair to her left, and five empty seats to her right, just as I had instructed her. “Good Girl,” I thought, “Now, let’s see what you can do.”

As I sat at the bar, lit a cigarette, and ordered a gin and tonic, I watched as Shonnie placed a two-dollar bet. Glancing about the casino, I saw it was a bit slow. A few of the Blackjack tables were completely devoid of players, but it was yet early. This would certainly soon change. I hoped we would be out long before the crowds came. Shonnie had learned the basic count pretty fast, but I did not think she would be able to sustain if there were a table full of other players and thus many more cards to count. If she could pull it off with just her and the dealer, well that was good enough. We had already made a good score with the Craps game the night before and I really wasn’t looking to get rich. I just wanted to (truthfully) impress her with my ‘Gangsta’ ways. Prove a point, as it were.

She was playing a double-deck game (again per my instruction), and I noted that the dealer dealt deep into the decks (a very good thing). Between reshuffles, I could see Shonnie chatting it up just a little with the dealer, a diminutive ‘Ornamental’ Girl: Pretty much becoming the ‘Norm’ in Vegas at that time. Chinese or Korean, best guess.

I was on my second gin and tonic and my fifth Marlboro when some schmuck waltzed over and sat down to Shonnie’s left. Proper Third Base. He looked about fortyish and was wearing a fake cowboy hat, ruffled shirt, à la George Strait, and a stupid face. He began chatting her up. Now, I had not planned on this, but I did realize a good-looker such as Shonnie, sitting all alone at a BJ table, would be bound to draw some flies. I only hoped this asshole did not distract her too much from her count. We had practiced ‘distractions’ in the hotel room. As I played dealer and dealt way too fast, I would ask her questions and play with the remote on the TV. She did just fine. (She is smart, this one.)

Shonnie played through four reshuffles and was winning. I even saw her double-down a few times and in fact she was increasing her bets. ‘What the fuck?!’  I’m thinking. ‘How long does it take a double-deck to go hot?’

‘George’ remained and was beginning to piss me off. Obviously he was distracting her from her count. I ordered up another gin and tonic, lit a cigarette and stewed some. My drink arrived just as I saw Shonnie pull a cig out of her pack, hold it in her left hand and waited for George-The-Sycophant to light it.

Game on.

I gathered my drink and my pack of Marlboros and sauntered over to the table. Sat down at first base, threw out (drunkenly, for show), a few hundred dollars. The dealer arranged them on the table for ‘The Eye in the Sky’, and said, “Changing six hundred.” She then passed me some big stacks of red and some green chips. I noted that Shonnie had placed two red chips immediately to the right of her stack. If she was spot on, this meant the count had gone to ‘plus ten!’ I had coached her to constantly shuffle her chips, as if she were nervous or bored, so that this act would not draw any attention.

“No Darlin’, gimme a few black,” I said to the dealer, pushing away the red chips. She took them back and pushed out three black chips to go with the twelve green. I placed two bets (two hands—one can play multiple hands if the table is basically empty) of one hundred dollars each. Shonnie dropped a green chip (I had told her nothing fancy dammit!) George dropped a red and seemed more interested in Shonnie than his game and whispered something in her ear.

All bets placed, ‘Ornamental Dealer Girl’ began to deal. (I estimated that only one-third of the two decks had been dealt, so this bode well for me. A plus ten count! Outrageous!) I caught a pair of eights on my first hand and a hard eighteen on my second. Shonnie caught a natural blackjack and sent me a sideways glance. George caught a dead man’s hand: a thirteen. The dealer had her hole card, but with a five showing. Surely she would bust on that weak ass shit. She would have to take a hit, no matter what and with the decks rich in face cards, she just had to bust.

Of course I split my eights. Caught a three on the first eight and doubled down (now two hundred on that hand) Caught a jack! Twenty one! Caught a deuce on the second eight, doubled down again. Caught a king! Twenty on that hand. Another two hundred. I am now five hundred into this round. I stood pat on my other hand, the eighteen. Shonnie had already been paid for her natural blackjack, so it was up to George. He hit his thirteen! (A rookie move: He should have stood on his thirteen against a dealer showing a five up card—idiot) He caught another face and busted. A face card meant for ‘Miss Ornamental’. Again: Idiot! But it all worked out…

The dealer flipped her hole card, revealing a ten, making her a fifteen. She hit the fifteen (as required) and caught a nine and busted.

Pay Me!

The deck was still hot (plus to the plus) so I played another hand and won three hundred. Shonnie won another twenty-five. George lost another five. The dealer started to reshuffle. I was done here.

I pushed all my chips out in front and said, “Color me up Darling and keep this one,” as I tossed her a green. I saw Shonnie throw me yet another sideways glance, rolling her eyes.

I gathered my chips and headed over to the cashier. Got my money and split back to the Union Plaza to wait for Shonnie.

And wait.

And wait some more.

To Be Continued… HERE

 

I Stall: Shonnie, The Truest Sentiment You May Find Here from Me

More Shonnie Here:

One  Two  Three  Four  Five  Six  Seven  Eight  Nine

I stall.

Why?

Because I am lazy.

And typing is hard.

Some of you may be waiting for the last few chapters of ‘Shonnie, The Biker’s Wife.” (I know, as I am awaiting them too). But that said, well what can I say? I tend to expose personal shit here. Sometimes it grows difficult, and I grow wary and weary. I have vowed to my Vizsla Dog

???????????????????????????????

that I will finish this tale tomorrow and get past it. (My dog tends to humour me. What choice does he have? I control the ‘soup bones’)

So, with that ‘sate-ment’, I leave you just one more clue to the outcome, by way of a song (There is always ‘A Song’ isn’t there?)

Cheers, Lance

Vid Credit:

Colt28683

 P.S. This is an ever-building story. If ya don’t watch the vid, well, ya gonna miss the best half of the denouement.

–Just sayin’…

“Caint you see?”

 

Shonnie The Biker’s Wife, Part IX: Counting

Continuance of Shonnie Saga

Parts One  Two  Three  Four  Five  Six  Seven  Eight  Intermission

****  

EL_CORTEZ

Early the next morning, I ordered coffee. Laced mine with Beam, poured some sugar and lots of cream into hers. Woke her up. Then after her first four or so cigs, I taught her how to count the deck.

“Shonnie,” I said. “Aces count as zero. Two through nine count as plus one. Tens and the rest (face cards) count as minus one. You’re gonna sit there and count while you play two-dollar bets. Don’t get fancy. Just use the basic strategy I taught you. When the count goes hot, I mean, when the count goes real positive, I mean anything over plus five, you light a cig in your left hand. I will be at the bar and come on over, playing a drunk with a lot of money. Should just be a bit part for me. No acting. I can do ‘drunk’ slicker than owl shit.”

“Wait a minute!” She said. “You’re gonna play a drunk?”

“Yeah. So what?”

“Never mind. But you probably need to rehearse.”

“Funny. Anyhow, we will go to the El Cortez this evening and you havta go in first. Take a seat at the closest blackjack table to the bar. I’ll be watching you. When you signal, I will stumble on in and start throwing black chips around. You hand off the count to me by stacking some chips to your right. Five six, seven… Whatever it is. I will pretend not to know you and pick up the count. If all works out, I will score a grand, then feign needing to move on, color my chips and bug. You stay for another twenty minutes or so and then meet me back at the Plaza.”

“Got it.”

“Great girl,” I said.

“Yeah. Fuck you! If we get in trouble, it’s on you.”

“Honey, nothing illegal ‘bout countin’, but they do frown on it. We’ll be fine. Just lay off the sauce a bit.”

“Double fuck you,” she said.

“There’s that Girl I love.”

“Love?”

To be continued… HERE

Shonnie The Biker’s Wife, Part VII: A Crappy Star is Born

The Shonnie Saga Continues

Parts One  Two  Three  Four  Five  Six 

***

We freshened up, got dressed, and headed down to the Casino floor. Generally I don’t gamble in The Plaza, but this night I was freshly feeling full of myself and wanted to capitalize on that feeling before the fresh wore off. Allow me to explain something: I do not believe in Santa, The Easter Bunny, Karma, Fate, Oklahoma, or God. But I do believe in Dama Fortuna, and I could sense her radiance shining down upon me that night. The casino was all flashing lights, laughter, musical sounds from the slot-machines—basically your typical Las Vegas Scene. I led Shonnie over to a bank of ‘dollar slots’, pulling out a crisp one dollar bill, I fed it into the machine. “Pull the lever and stand by,” I said to her.

“I’ve never gambled before,” she said.

“Honey, if my instincts are right, this ain’t gambling. Go ahead. It’s my dollar anyhow, so you really ain’t gambling. Per se.”
“Pear who? Okay,” she said, “Here goes nothing,” while pulling the Bandit’s one arm.”

“I certainly hope not,” I said, as we watched the cylinders spin.

Double bar. Double Bar. Double Bar! Casino silver dollars poured into the tray, making that oh so magical sound of metal raining on metal. One hundred bucks! A propitious beginning!

“Oh My Fucking God!” she screamed.

“Baby, God had nothing to do with it. Thank Dame Fortuna, if you feel compelled to thank someone.”

“Wow! Look at all that shiny money!”

“It’s yours. Take that bucket and fill it up.”

“Should we go again?” She asked breathlessly.

“Absolutely not,” I said. “Come on. I’m gonna show you the real games.”

“You’re the Boss,” she giggled.

I leaned very close to her and pulling at my collar, breathed into her ear, “Speak into the microphone My Dear.”

“Lance, you’re crazy!”

“Yeah. C’mon.”
I led her to a craps table.

“Oh! This looks complicated,” she said.

“Well, yeah. It is and it isn’t. Don’t worry. I will walk you through it. One question though, do you throw a baseball like a girl?”

“Smart ass!”

“Ok then. We should be fine.”

Craps is the best game known to man. I love the high-energy. The camaraderie. The cacophony. The excitement. The electricity. The laughter. The tears. The suspense as the galloping dominoes bounce down the table. And last but certainly not least, the ability to win (and sometimes lose) large amounts of money in a very short time. And yes, I am what some might call, a ‘Dice Degenerate’. Started when I was hustling crap games in Junior high. In the hall ways between classes. Only got busted once. Proud of my record.

Shonnie and I shouldered our way in at one of the far ends of the table. We sandwiched ourselves between a middle-aged, gray-haired man (on our left) in a business suit (I immediately pegged him as a ‘Corporation Man’ on Convention) grasping what looked like a scotch and water and there was a cigar in a tiny ashtray set on the rail in front of him. On the right side of us, a ‘normal’ looking guy, about thirty something, sporting a too loud red t-shirt and a gimme cap. Baseball. I forget the team. Normal Guy had control of the dice, so that meant once his roll ended it would be Shonnie’s turn to be the shooter.

The table was just about at ‘capacity’. I glanced around, looking at the contestants. You see, in Craps the idea is to find the table with the highest energy level. You want the most up-beat, loudest players: Players who are having fun. Sad to say, but one can never (in my experience) win any money at an empty table or one with an atmosphere of doom, which does sometimes come rolling in. Savvy crap shooters recognize the early warning signs of ‘The Atmosphere of Doom’ and fly away like scalded rabbits just before, or as it descends. This table was on the upswing and I intended to make quick work of it before the worm turned. (The worm always turns, but sometimes thankfully, it takes some long turning time.)

Looking down the side of the table, opposite the ‘Boss’ and the dealers and the stick men and all, I studied the players. There was a young couple to the right of ‘Normal Guy’. Right out of “Honey Moon Ville,” I guessed. Next to them stood a Middle-Eastern type wearing a white starched shirt and lots of bling. Next to him, a dude with a crew cut, tight shirt, bulging biceps, who may have been suffering from Roid Rage, given his overly passionate ramblings at the dice as they bounced down the lane. At the far end of the table there was a young bleach-blond hanging onto the arm of another elderly well-dressed business man. (‘A man and his Hooker’, I ungraciously thought). Next to them a diminutive oriental man. I was thinking ‘China’, but could not be certain. I had a wonderful experience once at a craps table at The Golden Nugget following the streak of another China Man. Won almost two grand while he was in control of the dice. You see, craps players are infamously superstitious. And I was certainly no different.

There were several other players mixed in and even some standing behind, perhaps waiting for some space to open up.  I was happy with the crowd and after the present ‘roll’ had ended (wins all around) I pulled out four Benjamins and put them on the table in front of one of the dealers.

“Give me two hundred green ($25), and two hundred red ($5),” I announced. The dealer spread out my four bills so ‘The Eye in the Sky’ could get a look. He then stacked my chips and slid them toward me.

“Good luck Sir,” he said, as I split the chips (‘Checks’ in the Vegas’ vernacular.)

With all the bets paid, Normal Guy was ready to go at it again. I instructed Shonnie to take a red chip and place it in front of her on the “Pass” line (If you don’t know how Craps works, you may be at some loss here—I will try to make it as easy to understand as possible.) I placed a red chip in front of me on the Pass line as well. All bets placed, Normal Guy tossed the dice toward the far end of the table. He rolled a four. (Meaning he had to roll another four before he rolled a seven, thus crapping out.)

“Put two red chips behind your bet,” I told Shonnie.

“Why?”

“We’re taking the odds,” I said.

“I don’t understand.”

“Just do it. Smartly.”

She stacked up the chips behind her original bet and I did the same.

On a hunch, I tossed a red chip onto the middle of the table and said, “Hard Four!” (Betting that the shooter will make his ‘four’—called his ‘point’, but that he will do it ‘the hard way,’ i.e. two deuces and not an ace and a three. This is really a sucker bet, but I had Dama Fortuna in my corner. The bet pays ten for one, which if won, would net me $45 dollars, plus of course our pass line bets with the odd’s bets behind them.)

Normal guy tosses… wait for it… Double Deuces! Pandemonium from the players. Everybody wins!

“How did you know to do that?” Shonnie asks, as some decent stacks of red chips came our way.

I put my hand on her neck, pull her ear to me and say, “Stick close Baby. Gonna be a bumpy night.”

Winners paid, Shonnie and I put another two red chips on the pass line. Normal guy rolls an eight. We back up our bets with two each red chips. Normal guy then rolls a seven. Aw Shit! Crapped out! No worries. We are still way ‘ahead’.

Now the dice pass to Shonnie. I can see she has stage fright. One of the dealers sees this too.

“Don’t worry Little Lady! Newbies are always lucky!” He says.

The ‘table’ agrees and I see chips of all colors dropping to the ‘Pass Line’.

Shonnie and I both drop one each green chip onto the Pass Line. Yes. I was confident. All bets now placed, I watch as she picks up the dice. Picked them up as one might imagine someone picking up a rotten banana, or a dead rat.

“They won’t bite,” I assured her. Just toss them at the end of the table. Oh and shake ‘em a little. But you can only use one hand when tossing them.”

“One hand?” she protested. “I always throw a baseball with both hands.”

“Hun, this ain’t a league of your own. Use one hand or they will frown and be perverse.”

“Okay,” she said. Then after shaking the dice a bit, she wound up… and threw! Right over the heads of the players at the far end of the table on off into space.

Collective groan from the table. In craps, the absolute worst thing one can do is miss the fucking table. It is always bad Juju. Ninety-Nine times out of a hundred, the next roll will produce a crap out. In Shonnie’s case, the anticipated next roll would be snake-eyes, Box cars, or ace-deuce. All losers. I watched as most of the table players pulled chips back from their original bets. Not me. As someone went searching for the errant dice, I told Shonnie to put two more green chips on her pass line. I did the same. We now had one hundred-fifty-dollars bet, even though I was not certain she would find green felt upon her second try.

She was offered two more dice by the dealer (stick man, just another word for him). I whispered in her ear, “Just relax Honey. Use a little less passion and a little more finesse this time. You’ll do great.”

She shook the dice, wound up, and pitched ‘em down the lane. When they came to rest: Natural Eleven! Winner!

Well… now! Suddenly the table went nuts! Large bets were placed all around (after some applause).

Shonnie kept ‘control’ of the dice for the next fifteen minutes: an eon in ‘Craps’ Time. We won almost a grand, (thanks to my recklessly wild betting and the favor of Dame Fortuna. And of course to Shonnie’s curve ball.)

When she finally crapped out, there was more applause. Everyone had ‘gotten well’ with her streak. And there are no more appreciative gamblers than craps’ shooters when it comes to situations like this.

“Color us up,” I said to the dealer as I pushed our chips toward him.

“But Sir,” He protested, “You’re up. Aren’t you gonna shoot?”

“Nope. We’re done here, but thanks.”

Shonnie and I gathered our (now mostly black–$100 chips—and I led her away)

“What now!” She demanded.

“Blackjack”

“Lance. You’re nuts! I have never had this much fun! I love you!”

“Yeah, I know.”

 To Be Continued…  HERE Part Eight

YouTube Credit:

Canal de CactusAmazonico

Sorry!

This post over-ran the “Word Count”

Forgive me?

Shonnie The Biker’s Wife, Pt VI: Vegas’ ‘Soft Porn’, or ‘Blue Hotel Room’

Shonnie Saga Continues (Unsuitable for minors and miners: Adult Content)

Parts One   Two  Three  Four  Five

***

She dropped her robe and lay back on the bed. I had to pause a moment and fill my eyes. Her petite body was perfection. She was very light-skinned (not my usual ‘type’—truly I have always been a ‘brunette-with-a-tan’ man; never had any luck with blonds at all, but Shonnie was a different kind of blond. The sun was setting outside the huge hotel window and cast a slight shadow over her. Her hair was still semi-damp and fell down perfectly over her breasts, slightly curling up at the ends. Her right leg was seductively raised up, bent at her knee and turned slightly to the side, thus denying me any direct look at my lustfully desired target. A better scripted scene could not have been created by even Howard Hawks. (Thinking ‘To Have and Have Not’ here—Bogie an’ Bacall). I continued to draw the scene into my mind, hoping to meld it permanently with my memory cells. Joni began singing “Blue Motel Room” on the boom box.

“You window shoppin’, or are you coming into the store?”

“Into the store,” I said, “I have spied something interesting enough to draw me in.” I knelt down at the foot of the bed, picked up her right leg and kissed the underside of her foot, then took her big toe into my mouth for a moment or two. I began working my way up her calf to the inside of her thighs, ever so slowly back and forth, ‘thigh to thigh’, I suppose you could say. At this point she was beginning to writhe a bit. I proceeded north and just as ‘Blue Motel Room’ ended, I began. Tantalizingly slowly at first, then faster and faster, then slowly again… occasionally gently sucking her clitoris, alternating with circular tongue motions, also mixed in with rapid back and forth tongue movements.

While Joni sang ‘Song for Sharon’, a rather longish song, I brought Shonnie, by my count, to three or four climaxes. (But what do I know? Well, I WAS THERE, after all, and I felt her contractions in my mouth.)

I was about to lose it myself so I threw my back down beside her, pulling her on top of me. Grasping that so fine little firm ass of hers, I pulled her on top of me. She straddled me sitting full upright and as I kept my hands on her hips, she fucked me with what could almost be described as pure violence. Embarrassed to report, but about twenty seconds after I entered her, I was spent. She didn’t complain though, as she rolled off of me and lay on her back, both of us panting, sweating, but completely and blissfully sated (and spent)

As Joni began singing ‘Refuge Of The Roads’, Shonnie said, “Reach me a cig, will ya Baby?” (First time she had called me ‘Baby’. I kind of liked the sound of it. I lit two Marlboros at once, Movie Style, handed one to her, and we lay back, smoking and began (between giggles) a smoke ring competition. (I lost.)

Cigarettes dispatched, Joni run out, silence now, Shonnie once again broached the subject,

“Are you ever gonna show me this town?”

“Yes, I am. Let’s get to it, shall we?”

Vid Credit: 

JoniJourney

To Be Continued… Here

“Will you still love me? When I get back to town?”

Shonnie, The Biker’s Wife. Part V: Vegas

Part V of My Shonnie Saga

Parts One  Two  Three  Four

***

Our road trip to Vegas takes five hours and change. Once we got past San Bernardino and well into the desert I announced it was safe to drink and drive and ride. Therefore, we pulled over and had some cocktails. And smokes. Then we hit the road again. We stayed on Interstate 15. It’s a straight shot into Vegas. Lots of desert. Not much traffic as well, even though it was a Friday. For once, I had planned ahead and made a reservation at the Plaza Hotel and Casino, downtown: Glitter Gulch. I never much cared for ‘The Strip’ during my visits to Vegas, but as this was Shonnie’s first trip there, I promised me I would set aside some time to show her the Glitter-That-Was-Not-Glitter-Gulch.

“Are we there yet?” she asked, rather mockingly about an hour out of San Bernardino.

“You need to pee again?” I shot back over strains of Jimmy Buffett and wind coming from my half-open window.

“Yeah. Matter of fact, I do.”

“Wimmen!” I said, as I pulled off onto the breakdown lane.

“I ain’t gonna pee here!” She protested.

“Look Darlin’, See those big ol’ rocks over there? You can go pee behind one of those. Nobody will see you.”

“Snakes,” she said.

“Huh?”

“Snakes. I don’t like snakes.”

“Okay, I will come with you. Just let me git my M60 outta the trunk.”

Ignoring my piercing wit, she said, “I won’t be able to piss if you’re watching me.”

“You’d prefer the rattlers watch instead?”

“Okay, but you turn your head at the last minute.”

“I never figured you for a prude Honey.”

“Fuck you. Les go. I gotta go.”

And off we went. There were no snakes that day, so mission accomplished; no apparent casualties, except for maybe some ants who could not scurry away fast enough.

Back on the road. The rest of the trip was pretty much uneventful. We arrived to Vegas about six in the evening. As we drove along The Strip I pointed out all the hotels / casinos which had been graced by my patronage (and my money) during past trips. She was impressed and I could see her eyes lighting up. Shame it was still daylight and she could not see the glory of the Neon City that is Las Vegas. Well, time enough for that later, I mused.

We finally arrived at the very end of Fremont Street and checked in to my old Nemesis: The Union Plaza. I have always had a love/hate relationship with The Plaza, but like a bad marriage, I just could never seem to break it off.

plaza

We found the way to our room, which for me was mediocre (I have been around the world, remember? And spent time in some fine, really fine hotels), but to Shonnie, who was not so much a world traveler—more of a life traveler—the room was amazing. She immediately did a thorough inventory of all the ‘accoutrements’ in the room.

“Hey Lance!” she exclaimed. “Come look at this shit! There are little tiny soap bars in the bathroom. And little tiny shampoo bottles. And some paper thingy on the toilet. How I’m supposed to pee with that paper there? And look at this!” she said, walking out of the head and back into the room, “There’s a coffee pot and Coffee! And Look at this here! A remote control for the TV!”

*heavy sigh* from me. “Shonnie, welcome to the First World.”

“Smart ass! Hey! Just look at that bed! Is that one of them water-beds?”

“I seriously do not think so. This ain’t Caesar’s Palace, Hun. We are in the part of Vegas known as the home of ‘The Sawdust Joints’.”

“Oh… Well, I like it.”

“Stay tuned.”

She walked over to the little desk beside the TV and picked up the room service menu. “This is my idea of Heaven”, she said.

“What?”

“We can have room service! I’ve never had room service. What should I order? I’m hungry.”

“Honey, order anything you want.”

“No. I’ll tell you what I want and you order it. I don’t wanna talk to some stranger on the phone about food.”

“Very well,” I said. “Go ahead. Take your time. Then I will order us up some supper. Wanna drink while you ‘peruse’ the menu?”

“While I what?

“Decide what you want to eat.”

“Yeah… reach me a beer and my cigs while I study this. So many choices!”

She was enjoying her stay so far. And I was loving her enjoying.

“Have you decided what you want for supper?” I asked after a bit.

“Yeah, but I caint make out what some of this stuff is, so I am shopping ‘price’”

“Baby, you don’t havta shop price. I have money. Order what you want.”

“No, I mean I am shopping price. Gonna order the most expensive thing on this menu and see what I get.”

Good Gawd! I am loving this woman! “You go right ahead Darlin’.”

She had picked out, what she called, a baby steak, based upon the photo in the menu (Filet mignon) and then said, “I love the picture of that steak but it looks kinda small. Can you add some taters or something with it?”

“Don’t worry Honey, I will take care of it. I am gonna go for ice first, then I will order.”

“The Seven Eleven is way far from here,” she protested. “Don’t you leave me alone.”

“You really are country, ain’t ya? And you called me ‘City Boy’. Baby, the ice is just down the hall. Be right back.”

Over her protestations, I went and fetched a bucket of ice. When I returned, she announced she wanted a shower:

“I’m gonna freshen up. You make sure that room service guy don’t come into my bathroom while I’m in there.”

“Shonnie, I will gallantly stand my post just outside your door. No worry.”

“Okay then. See ya in a bit.” And she disappeared into the bathroom.

The food arrived while she was still in the head, showering. I tipped the dude and laid out our supper table. Opened a bottle of red wine I had tacked onto the order along with my ‘steak’, a semi rare cheeseburger (I am a simple man: simple tastes). Anyhow, presentation is everything. I had also requested a single red rose for ornament and I placed that ‘just so’ too on the table.

She yelled at me from behind the bathroom door: “Is he gone?”

“Yes Babe. He is. Come on out.”

She opened the door, enveloped in a cloud of steam, like something out of film noir, wearing a hotel white cotton bath robe, and waltzed into the bedroom. I was impressed. She looked stunning and I felt one more brick in my emotional wall crumble.

“Let’s eat! I’m starving!” she announced gruffly in that coarse gravelly voice I had grown to love so well.

We had our meal to the strains of ‘Joni Mitchell’ singing from Hejira on my brought boom box. Neither one of us had any desire to watch TV, as we were too much into music. The TV with the remote was just a novelty for her; she had no desire to actually watch it. Nor did I.

After our meal, she asked me, “So, you gonna show me about this Fool’s Paradise Town of yours or what?”

“In due time. In due time. Now take off that robe and lie back and relax. I have something I want to do to you first. Then I am gonna teach you how to ‘count’ down the deck in Blackjack.”

To be continued… Part Sex Here

 

Shonnie, The Biker’s Wife, Part Four

Shonnie Saga: Part Four

Parts One,   Two,   Three.

We spent that Friday afternoon and most of Saturday enjoying the Bluegrass festival while swilling beers and smoking lots of cigarettes. During the late evenings we would share burgers, listen to all sorts of music on my little boom box, drink whiskey and have great sex. We also talked of many things, but nothing too heavy. We were enjoying ourselves.

Sunday noon we checked out of the motel and sadly headed west back to San Dog. It had been a perfect weekend and I truly regretted the ending of it. Shonnie impressed me more and more with her worldly wisdom, and in spite of no formal higher education, she seemed to know a lot about a lot. Mostly about the important shit: Life. She had not one ounce of pretentiousness in her small body. (Small, very sexy body) Both of us were inventive and creative in bed. Did I mention the sex was fantastic? I am certain I did.

Knowing my duty schedule on the USS Frederick, I knew it would be three weeks until I had another weekend completely devoid of any responsibilities as a sailor. I had already formulated a plan to ‘kidnap’ her when that free weekend came about.

During the ensuing days we kept up our regular rendezvous schedule. More and more I looked forward to seeing her and getting to know her even better. She was reluctant to tell me very much about her life, but bits and pieces did come out between slow dancing, drinking, smoking, and fucking. Her father had left her and her mother when she was still quite young. ‘He was an abusive type’, was about all the detail I got from her, but I could occasionally catch a glimpse of sorrow and pain in her eyes. I refrained from broaching the subject of her husband-the-biker. In fact, the fact that she was married at all, slipped away from my mind like so much quick silver…

One Saturday night she had me drive us to a Mall.

“Okay, what are we doing here?” I asked her. Malls ain’t my thing, you see.

“I wanna buy you something,” she replied.

“Oh no you don’t. I have everything I need.”

“No. You need this, c’mon.”

She led me to a record shop and began searching the bins.

“What’re you looking for?” I asked.

“Gimme a sec. Oh here it is,” she announced happily pulling a cassette from the bin.

“What’s that?”

“You’ll love it. Trust me.”

She purchased Nighthawks at the Diner by Tom Waits, an artist I had never heard of.

We drove to Balboa Park,  and opening some beers to go with our whiskey we listened to the cassette. I loved it from the very first minute. My Girl had me all figured out. It was just a little disconcerting, how she had so easily pegged me and yet to me she was still mostly an enigma.

After the sun set we started our make out session, then she did something unexpected. She unbuckled my jeans and started giving me head. This had never happened before and to say I was quite pleased would be an understatement bordering on the felonious. Just as I was really getting into it, she stopped suddenly, looked up at me with those piercing blue eyes and said solemnly, “If you come in my mouth, I will kill you.”

Well, that kind of ruined ‘My’ moment, but actually in a good way. It struck me so funny that I just could not help bursting out laughing. It was priceless. Make out session temporarily put on hold and my fondness for her intensified.

The next weekend (my ‘freedom’ one), we met at our usual rendezvous point. She, on instructions from me given over a pay phone, had brought along a bag with extra clothes and whatever other tricks of her trade she needed for a two-and-a-half day ‘excursion’, along with a pass from her mom relieving her of motherly duties for the weekend.

“So Cowboy, where are we going?”

“Vegas,” I said. “My turn to ‘educate’ you My Love.”

Video Credit:  The VICTORY of COMMUNISM

“Woolworth  Rhinestone diamond earrings and a sideways glance”

Greatest line from any song.

To be continued…  FIVE HERE

 

Throw-Back: “The Cowards Never Started and the Weak Died Along the Way”

And Yet One More Post From the email Archives:

***

Please tell me all about your therapy session today once it is done. I know a little about back trouble as I went through some during my Navy SEAL training. I know there is nothing worse than that for pain. There were several days during that training whereby I thought it would be better to be dead than run/swim yet another step. Somehow we always managed just one more step. “The only easy day was yesterday” was our mantra and that had been passed down over the years to all BUD/s classes.

There was one guy in my first class (Class 140) who actually broke his femur during a fun little evolution called “Rock Portage.” For two days he remained in training after that. His roommates would walk him about every morning until his leg got numb. Obviously he couldn’t keep up on any of the evolutions and the SEAL instructors kicked him out. No one knew his leg was broken. Once he was drummed out and had gone to Balboa Naval Hospital they told him he had a broken femur. Imagine his surprise!

Rock-portage1

Rock Portage

Hahahah!  A footnote: Seems his father was a retired SEAL. Well when daddy found out how his son had been kicked out of training for having a broken leg, yet still “putting out” to use the vernacular, he was, shall we say, livid. Needless to say, the kid in question was apologized to (ad nauseam) and invited to return once healed so that he would have an opportunity to break the other leg. I talked to him about this and he told me he’d had enough, but then I ran into him a few weeks later and he told me he would be coming back. It takes a special kind of idiot to go through that. I know, as I was just such an idiot. Twice. I suppose that’s why they call it “Special Forces.”

We had a guy in my second BUD/s class (158) whose name was Lundtmark. One day while we were running the obstacle course he got to the very top of the cargo net (roughly 60 feet above the beach) and fell off.

cargo net1

Whoosh!

Bam!

Boom!

Cloud of dust!

He survived, but from that day forward Lundtmark was reborn and known as “Sand-Dart.”

Some of the funniest moments I recall were during “Drown Proofing.” Drown-proofing is quite simple: one’s ankles are tied up and one’s wrists tied together behind one’s back. Then the “wog” (Short for pollywog, a neophyte, wanna-be SEAL) must simply swim 100 meters in 12 foot deep water. Once that is accomplished, the wog must do some acrobatic maneuvers underwater while still tied up and then somehow get to the bottom and pick up a scuba mask with his teeth and bring it to the edge of the pool where the instructors await to pull him out and beach him. All great fun.

I never had any apprehension with this evolution since I am very relaxed in water. Others had slightly more trouble. One idiot after being cast into the water did nothing but bob up and down screaming, “I’m drowning! I’m drowning! Save me!” As he would get close to the edge of the pool the instructors would push him back toward the middle using long poles while yelling, “You idiot! If you were drowning, you wouldn’t be able to say you’re drowning!” It was all great fun, but I suspect you’d have had to actually been there at that precise moment to fully appreciate it.

drownproofing

Drownproofing

Another idiot didn’t even make it into the water. His name was “Feather.” (His name really was Feather and he was a body-builder which made him a target of opportunity for the instructors’ “special attention.”) Well, seems Feather had second thoughts about BUD/s and his desire to “Kill some Commie Bastards” when it came time for drown-proofing. As soon as we were told to start getting tied up, Feather bolted. He actually ran away! Just like a little bitch. Never saw him again.

He’s probably still running…

Shonnie, The Biker’s Wife: Desert Dreams, Sex & Music

Continuation of the Shonnie Saga

Part One Here

Part Two Here

*****

About three a.m. we were pulling the Toronado up in front of her house, actually, her mother’s house. During the course of our conversation after leaving the bar’s parking lot Shonnie revealed to me that she had left her husband, who was a biker, and moved in with her mother. She had a nine-year-old son who suffered from a crippling disease and though fairly independent, still required almost twenty-four hour supervision. I asked her why she felt compelled to move out of her house and she told me her husband was overly jealous and had a ‘mean streak’. (Perfect, I thought: A jealous Biker with a mean streak and I had just finished screwing his wife. Twice. Smooth Lance. Real smooth.)

In spite of this revelation, and in the department of ‘I shouda known better’, I agreed we should continue seeing each other, so we set a date for the following Saturday night, back at the bar.

For the next several weeks we continued our weekly rendezvous, sometimes meeting on a Friday if I had ‘Duty’ on Saturday. Basically, we would drink and dance (still only slow dancing, but once I did allow her to attempt to teach me the ‘Two-Step’ with semi-disastrous results: I think I embarrassed her and she did not broach the subject again.). And of course after we had closed the bar those nights we would retire to the Toronado for some late night sex. It was all good. And better now that she was arriving in her own car and I did not have to risk running into Biker Dude at her momma’s house at three or four in the morning.

Eventually we grew weary of the bar scene and went straight for the sex, generally in some out of the way dark and empty parking lot. This new pattern went on for some more weeks.

One weekend I had a rare three whole days off duty, so we planned an ‘outting’, or rather, she planned it. She managed to get her mom to take the kid for the entire three days and we met up in some parking lot in Pacific Beach.

She got out of her car with a small suitcase, locked up, jumped into my car, announcing, “You got plenty of gas?”

“Not really,” I said. “Why?”

“I’m kidnapping you, and we have some miles to cover today.”

“Road trip?” I asked.

“Yep, and while we’re gassing up, we need to get some booze and maybe some munchies.”

“Hey, I’m all in. Hell! Let’s do it.”

So without even asking where we were going, I took care of the logistical tasks. Once we were stocked up, and now (directed by her) heading east toward the desert, I asked, “So Shonnie, where’re we going?”

“Away from all this San Diego Shit an’ into the desert,” she said.

“This much, I have already figured out, but where, and why?”

“Tell ya when we get there,” was all she said as she dropped ZZ Top’s Tres Hombres into my cassette player and cranked up “Jesus Just Left Chicago” which started mid-way through. Couldn’t really talk over that, so I just kept driving east.

An hour or so later we were pulling into some little town called ‘Alpine’. It seemed nice enough, I suppose, if just a little dusty and brown.

“Find us a motel,” she said, after turning down the stereo which she had kept cranking during the entire trip: ZZ Top, Marshall Tucker Band, Hank Jr…. It was about two in the afternoon.

We drove around a bit, found a motel and I asked, “One night or two?”

“Two.”

“You’re the boss,” I said as I got out and headed to the office.

I always kept most of my civilian clothes in the trunk of my Toronado since there really was not much room on the USS Callaghan  I meant USS Frederick, LST 1184, (sometimes I forget which ship I was on) for anything in my locker other than uniforms and I grabbed some and along with my Babe, we headed to our little love nest. The room was Spartan, but adequate. At least it had regular sized towels and no roaches that I could see. Actually, it was clean and tidy. There was a tiny TV on a table and a regular size bed, two chairs and a small coffee table which had some initials carved into it with a message:  “J and J had sex here. 1981. Hiley Recomend” Very quaint, I thought.

“Hey Shonnie,” I said to her back as she unpacked, “Do you have a pocket knife? I’m feeling literary.”

“What? Too soon to slit yer wrists City Boy. What for?”

“’City Boy’? That hurt. Never mind,” I laughed.

“I’m gonna take a shower,” she said, already half-way through peeling off her shirt and blue jeans. “Join me?”

“Yup.”

We did the shower sex, then wearing nothing but towels sat on the bed and had a drink or two over some Marlboros.

“Okay Shonnie,” I said. “You gonna tell me now exactly why we’re here, ‘miles from nowhere’, on this hot and dusty Friday afternoon?”

“Isn’t it obvious?” She said.

“Nope… I mean it’s lovely an’ all, and good to be out of town an’ all, but if you just wanted a sleazy motel room and me all to yer lonesome, we coulda done that in San Dog and saved the gas.”

“You told me you were a ‘romantic’.

“Yes. Yes. I did. Er… I am, but…”

“Get dressed, we have a place to be this afternoon.”

So we got dressed, grabbed the Beam and cigs, locked up our room and headed to the car.

“You got a beer cooler stashed in your trunk or somewhere?” She said as we pulled out of the parking lot.

“You know I do,” I said.

“Good, take a left. There is a Seven Eleven up the street. We need some beers and some more cigs.”

“Roger that.”

That mission properly dispatched, Shonnie played navigator and back seat driver and eventually we ended up in a dusty park. Which was beaming with people. And music. Bluegrass Music. She had kidnapped me to a Blue Grass Festival! Surprised? Yep. Shocked? Shonnie? No shocking me about this gal anymore.

And I Loved it. And I may have been falling in love with her at this point.

Video Credit:  Kevin Allen

More to come…  Here

This Really Does Deserve Another Look: Lyndon Johnson, Just Another Guy Lookin’ Out for His Nuts

Yes. A Repost. If you do nothing else, please scroll down and listen to the clip. It is hysterical (and real) Even better.

Cheers Y’all and Happy Saturday    Oops! Sunday (is it?)  

*** 

Lyndon Baines Johnson

Texan, Father, School Teacher, Rancher, & Much Maligned 36th President of The United States of America.

I love LBJ, or as Brother Dave Gardner (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4E_Nrm0j8k) once called him: ‘Daddy Bird’. Johnson was a divisive entity during his one and a half terms as president—primarily due of course to the Vietnam War—which he inherited. Yes, I realize I am gonna get some push back. Favorably mention ‘LBJ’ even today and you best stand by for some unhappy and contentious words.

Young Daddy Bird

Young Daddy Bird

The problem I have, in general, when talking to folks about Johnson is that most are ignorant of the man, his history, his upbringing; his good works: Rural electrification for Texas. Medicare, Civil Rights, The Great Society (never really came to fruition, due to Vietnam) and so on.

Once he became ‘The Accidental President’ he took JFK’s dreams and made them reality. Johnson could do that. Why? Because he was the consummate politician—far more effective than Jack Kennedy. JFK’s dreams were hollow pipes. Johnson made them happen. This is historical fact: For those of you who would care to search it out. For those who don’t really care to do that: Just-Trust-Me on this one, ‘cause I am a Texan, and Texans don’t lie (overmuch).

I have read all of Robert Caro’s books (http://www.robertcaro.com/) on LBJ and I have done my own research, and I have my own memories.

During the Sixty-Four election, my Mom, the original Hippy Chick informed me she was voting for Goldwater.

“Goldwater! Mom! Are you serious?”

“Yes Son. He is right for America.”
“‘Right?!’ Right don’t even come close: just to the right of Attila the Hun.” (Even at that tender age of seven, I was politically astute. Honestly.)

Our country does not produce colorful leaders like LBJ anymore. Much of the blame must be placed on the information revolution and the manifestation of the instant sound bite. I am not bemoaning the Information Age. I would not be able to throw my thoughts so carelessly about to the entire world if it were not for this Internet Thing we all embrace. All I am saying is one must ponder how many potential great leaders are out there, but refuse to step up to the plate simply because they do not wish to have every word they have ever uttered tweeted or twerked or posted or face-booked for all to see. Some things should still be classified as TMI. That is just good manners.

What if JFK had had the internet to deal with? We would all have known of his affair with MM. WWBS? What would Bill ‘Oh Really’ Say? We would have been ass-deep in the Cuban Missile Crisis, but Fox and CNN and even MSNBC would have burned more video on JFK’s infidelity. Castro would have loved it. Just sayin’…

My Step-sister worked for Oliver Stone on the film JFK. She was one of the on-set-dressers. We got into a heated argument over the whole conspiracy thing. She was convinced that LBJ was behind it all. I know quite a lot about LBJ as I have mentioned. I have done my research and I love Texas history.

Anyway I asked her upon what she based her unwavering belief.

She said, “That photograph of Johnson taking the oath of office on Air Force One in Dallas.”

Smug Ladybird?

Smug? Ladybird? (Just behind his right hand, in case y’all don’t recognize her) Of course, that is Jackie on the other side.

“You’re shitting me,” I said.

“Look at that photo and see how smug Ladybird looks in it. You just know then and there, she knew the whole thing.”

“I think I need a drink,” was all I could muster by way of response.

(Oh! And my step-mother worked for Jack Ruby: I know some shit about it)

Just sayin’…

I am not writing here as an apologist for LBJ. My focus is on the wonderful Texan caricature character he was. His humor, his down-to-earth’ed-ness, his vibrant lust for life, his convictions, and his larger-than-worldly-life persona: His ‘Texan-ness’.

Therein lies the rub for me. Johnson could be a buffoon. He could be portrayed as an idiot. He could be rude, crude, and socially unacceptable. He would be chastised and eventually ostracized.

But he got shit done!

He was a great, moral, honorable man.

No one will ever convince me otherwise (but you are certainly welcome to try)

Watch and listen to the Video Clip. It proves my point (and it is hysterical). These tapes were released a few years back. I have them all.

(http://www.lbjlib.utexas.edu/johnson/archives.hom/dictabelt.hom/content.asp)

Priceless they are (His Family Jewels)

Comments would be appreciated here, no matter which direction you lean.

***

I just throw this in, ’cause it is my blog and I like it.

Peace!

Do Re Mi

Love my readers.

Surely

Certainly

Absolutely

But this post will throw Y’all into a ‘Tale’ Spin. And may just bring your loyalty into question… such as it may be. Didn’t ask for it, but do appreciate it–in whatever manifest.

Do Re Mi

Why? 

Because I am a Socialist

Dust bowl

Or Why Not?

Dunno…

Perhaps ’cause you don’t tread between the lines’.

(And for those of you who, who do, I do sincerely apologize) 

“Peace and Happiness”

Sincerely,

–Lance

Yeah! I am embracing….that!

***

This post made absolutely no SENSE!

(If you love me; you will humor me!)

Hahahahah!

P.S. I Served My Country

 

Shonnie The Biker’s Wife, Chapter Two: “You Look So Good In Love”

The Story Continues…

Chapter One Here

***

“Well Shonnie, was nice of your friend to introduce us. Did y’all come here together?”

“Yeah, we come here two, three times a week.”

“I didn’t catch her name.”

“Layla.”

(Well, I guess that fits, I thought.)

“See seems very nice,” I lied.

“She’s a good friend. We work together.”

“I see. Do you need a fresh drink?”

“Uh, yeah I do. Thanks.”

I managed to get the attention of one of the Serving Wenches.

“Shonnie, what ya drinkin’”

“Jack and coke,” she said. (A kindred spirit. Well, if you remove the coke, but what the hell, right?)

To the waitress I said, “For the Lady a Jack and Coke, and for me a shot of Beam and a Heineken.”

“OK. Be right back with that. Wanna run a tab?”

“Yeah. Thanks.”

The band started up with “You Look So Good In Love” (George Strait)

“I love this song,” Shonnie said.

“Wanna dance?” (I knew I could manage a slow dance and that was about it. My Two-Step resembles a blind turkey caught in a rain storm)

“Sure,” she said, standing up. Wow! I thought; she really is tiny, as I took her hand and led her to the floor.

We began our dance and her head barely came up to my chest. I estimated she was five foot nothing, maybe a hundred pounds soaking wet. She held me very tightly as we slowly moved back and forth to the music. She smelled sweetly of some perfume I could not identify. Not surprising, as I am not really a connoisseur. Her semi-long blond hair was somewhat unkempt. Well, that may be unkind. Let’s call it ‘Country Casual’. She had a very nice figure, breasts just about right (far as I could tell) for her frame, nice ass (Yes. Yes. I know. I am being sexist, but I suspect she was ‘checking me out’ as well. And at one point she actually put her hand on MY ass. So there!)

As we danced I admitted to her that slow dancing was all I could muster and that I never mastered the simplest dance of all: The Two-Step. She giggled in my ear and offered to teach me. I told her I would have to think on that.

As the song finished, we stood there momentarily to see if they were going to play another slow song. They awarded our wait by busting out with ‘Cotton-Eyed-Joe’, a song I remember far too well from the Seventies and the line dance that went with it. No way. I hustled us off the dance floor.

Happily our drinks had arrived while we were dancing and we settled back down and began to get to know each other over booze, Marlboros, and Country Music.

While we were continuing our small talk, Layla suddenly (and loudly) reappeared.

“How’re you kids doing?” She shouted over the band.

Just as I was about to say “Fine,” Shonnie said, “Great!”

(Hmmmm…. ‘Great?’ OK, I’ll take ‘great’.)

“Uh, Layla… That’s your name, right? Would you like to join us for a drink? Take a load off?” I asked somewhat disingenuously.

“Love to!”

(Damn!)

“Well, name your poison,” I said.

“Wine cooler, white.” (Go figure)

I decided to just go to the bar to place the order, as the place was now completely full and I did not want to delay getting Miss Layla her (hopefully) one drink. I took the liberty of ordering drinks all around for our table while I was at it and returned to the table and sat down. Shonnie and Layla had their heads together and were giggling over something. (Probably my dancing).

“Drinks on the way,” I announced, thus interrupting their little giggle fest.

“Oh goody” (goody?) Layla exclaimed.

“So, Layla, Shonnie tells me y’all work together.”

“Yep, and we’re best friends, so you better take good care of her,” she said, still in giggle mode.

(Good ‘care’ of her? Hmmm…)

The drinks arrived and I decided to kick it up a notch, so I proposed a toast: “Here’s to new friends,” I said, raising my shot of Beam.

The ladies followed suit and two glasses and one shot glass collided with a soft ‘clink’.

“Hear! Hear!” Layla giggled (what is with this woman? Drunk or stoned, or both?)

We tried to settle into some conversation, but Layla clearly was not interested, as she spent more time perusing the other tables and the dance floor than she did on the ‘conversation’. I could see she was as anxious to extricate herself from our table as I was to see her succeed.

Thankfully, a California Cowboy finally came over and led her out to the dance floor.

Shonnie and I danced every slow dance song that came up for the next couple of hours (between several more rounds of drinks). About every twenty minutes or so Layla would pop back by, ostensibly to be ‘social’, but methinks, to ‘check on us’, as if we were her charges. Good Grief!

Finally, as it was getting up along twelve midnight, and Shonnie and I had, indeed seemed to find some mutual attraction, I broached,

“How ‘bout I give you a ride home? And Layla can be freed of her chaperone duty?” It was a gambit and I gave it fifty-fifty.

“Sure,” she said instantly. “Just let me tell her what’s up, okay?”

“Of course.”

I watched as Shonnie tracked her down and gave her the happy news. I could see they were having some discussion over this, but it did not seem too heated. Shonnie returned to me and announced gruffly, “Let’s go.”

“Yes Ma’am. Let me settle up with the bar, and we can split.” (Not really a Cowboy term, ‘Split’, but hell! I was in Southern Cali after all.)

We walked to my Toronado which was parked way in the back of the parking lot, by now pretty much emptied out. After we settled in and I was about to start the car, Shonnie said, “Ya wanna smoke a joint?”

“I would love to Hun, but you know I’m in the Navy, and they have random piss tests all the time, so I just can’t.”

She looked a little disappointed, but it was a fleeting look. I turned my attention back to the keys in the ignition when she put her hand on my arm, and said, “Well, would you like to fuck me then?”

(Bam!)

“Love to.” And it was definitely ‘On’. Since she was so tiny and my car so big with front seats that could be moved way back, we had no trouble with her straddling me on the passenger side.

The sex was passionate, slightly drunken, and fucking great! Seems there was much energy stored in that diminutive frame of hers and she unleashed it on one unsuspecting Cowboy.

After we had finished and I was back in the driver side seat fishing for two Marlboros, she started crying. (Crying??)

“What’s wrong Honey?” I sincerely asked.

“I’m married,” she managed to get out.

I almost laughed as I said, “That’s okay Baby, so am I.”

She stopped crying and started laughing.

And I joined her.

Then we found time to fuck again.

To be continued… here

Shonnie: The Biker’s Wife

 

In Nineteen-Eighty-Seven San Diego County there was only one Country & Western Bar/Dance Hall (that I knew of). I was sorely missing Texas and though I was never what one might call ‘A Hardcore Country Music Fan’, I was feeling nostalgic. So I bought me some Nocona’s (NO, I did not varnish them), a Stetson, Wrangler’s, some shirts with snaps, a string tie, and off I went, Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places, or in this case, ‘Place’. The name of which escapes me, but it was along the lines of Gilley’s in Pasadena Texas, albeit much lesser.

Orig Gilleys

 

I mean Gilley’s had five bars in their bar and the largest dance floor in Texas. This joint had but one bar and one medium-sized dance floor. And it didn’t even have chicken wire in front of the stage to protect the band from errant long neck beer bottles.

What a gyp! 

T’would serve my purposes, however, and sate my lower expectations at any rate. I mean, we are talking Southern California here folks, after all.

So I began to frequent this establishment in earnest. The thing that stuck me upon my first visit was that all the ‘Cowboys’ and ‘Cowgirls’ looked like Yuppies. Not Dallas Yuppies, mind you: ‘Southern California Yuppies’.

The walls were adorned with all manner of Rodeo Scenes, all of which looked like Norman Rockwell had dipped his brush on them. There were also some lariats, a few saddles strategically placed against some walls, a few ‘decorative’ spittoons (nothing more useless in the world than a spittoon ‘what never dun been used’), and many more things I cannot find the stomach to recount.

The lighting was, well, too light. Hopefully, this would be rectified later in the evening’s adventure as the ‘real’ cowfolks came sauntering in.

One sustains hope in situations such as these. There really is no other choice.

“Good Godawmighty! Lance! Son, you were more ‘at home’ in the Titty-Bars downtown San Dog than this abhorrent lame excuse for a ‘Honky Tonk’,” voice in head said.

The other voice in my head (Probably Peanut’s) said, “Cowboy! You know you ain’t no real Cowboy either; jes go wid it.”

There was, as I said, one bar. And Immediately to the right of this bar… 

(a respectable looking bar, if I do grudgingly say so, replete with no less than four barkeeps and many, many serving wenches scurrying back and forth not unlike so many dutiful worker ants—all very pretty—in that Southern California Urban Cowgirl Beach Babe Style),

…was the stage with a Cowboy Band. Actually a damn good one. They even had a fiddle player (so at least they could play ‘Amardillo By Morning’ a song which always reminded me of ‘Monsieur Le Peanut’, and always held a special place in my heart and in my ears.

Immediately in front of the Bar was that dance floor, (No sawdust, but that could be grudgingly forgiven).

The rest was mainly four-seater tables and chairs (And Candles! Fer Christ’s Sake! Candles!) For the life of me, I could not spy a single pool table nor a shuffle board or even an air hockey table. Certainly no mechanical bull. Honky-Tonk Travesty!

The bar itself drew me first (of course). I asked for a Lone Star and got a vacant look. “Ok, gimme a shot ah Beam and a… ah… a Heineken.” (‘Jerry Jeff, please forgive them; they know not what they do’.)

Now properly attired and bona-fide in my two-fisted drinker status, I went searching for a table close to the dance floor. As it was relatively early, I had no difficulty finding same.

I sat and drank and ‘Cowgirl Watched’ as the place began to fill up. Along ‘bout 1900hrs, the place was semi-jumping (For San Diego—I guess–by that time I suppose the surf was no longer ‘up’).

I studied the apparently single cowgirls and spied a rather lanky ‘tall drank ah water’, long-haired brunette with Sloe-Gin eyes and all that implies, just tearing things up with several different dance partners.

I made my move: Between songs, I sashayed over to her and asked for a ‘daince’, (actually tipping my hat! Yes! Yes! I know!) trying ever so hard to establish that I weren’t no ‘Coke-a-Cola Cowboy’, but a real ‘un. From Texas.

Cowboy Days

Lance As Cowboy (The one on the right don’t look  much like the one what shot  at me),  But then,  that is another story, ain’t it?)

We danced the dance and I could sense I was not her cup of… whatever it is that they actually drink here. She whispered in my ear, “Hey ‘Cowboy’ (rather mockingly, I perceived), “I have a friend you should meet. Her name’s ‘Shonnie’ and she is seated (seated?) just right there. C’mon! I’ll introduce ‘Y’all’” (Yet another perceived slight)

I glanced in the direction she was leading us and saw a rather diminutive dirty blond, absently stirring her drink as she casually watched the band as they began to belt out some Randy Travis monstrosity.

We waltzed up to the table and my escort announced quite cheerfully, “Hey Shonnie! I found you a ‘real’ Cowboy.” (She quickly whispered to me, “Hey Sugar Britches, what’s your name?”)

“Lance”

“Uh, Shonnie, Girlfriend, This here’s Lance. Say ‘Howdy’” 

“Hiya”

I shook the diminutive hand she offered and sat down,

“Uh, Howdy Shonnie, Little Lady; Nice to meet Y’all.” (Yes, I was really laying it on thick, but I was somewhere between buzzed  and drunk and starting to figure, ‘What the hell I got to lose’?)

She smiled wily, if not demurely through semi-white teeth, Marlboro smoke, and Paul Newman Blue Eyes. I must admit: I was intrigued.

Thus began one of the most bizarre ‘flings’ I have ever had.

More to come… Here

*********

“And I’ll be lookin’ for eight when they pull that gate.”

“and I hope that judge ain’t blind…”

We all do Peanut. We all look for ‘eight’

And we all hope the judge IS blind (but you knew that, didn’t you? You asshole! You were not supposed to die first. We made a pact. Didn’t we?? Don’t you remember?)

Rest, My Very Best Friend.

You are severely missed.

I’ll catch up to you.

Someday soon…

Vid Credit: 

Scot Wick

 

–Lance

 

And Here, Find Here: A Final Throw-Back: “Lost Wages” I need a Sabbatical

Thought I’d throw this back out, before I delete it and since I ‘swerved onto it’ and it made me laugh because I still cannot believe I am capable of writing such shit at this late date in my lifetime.)

And a fucking night moth just flew past my ear. This Moth don’t know my mind and who she is fucking with! Just saying. Just saying: Sleep is an option (for me). Gonna explore it. 

Catch Y’all Manana.

And… ya know… Rambling is my soul.

Laughter is the song of your Soul.

Hope you like it.

(be certain to watch the video of Sammy Davis and Dean and Frank and Johnny Carson: you will not be disappointed–classic Rat Trap, er…Pack.)

Cheers,

Lance

Shucks!

***********

Las Vegas

And pondering why I love the TV show, ‘Nashville’ so much.

Here goes:

Many a time while stationed in San Diego, I would make a spur of the moment decision to drive the five hours to Vegas.

Occasionally with a buddy or two after closing down a bar somewhere downtown San Dog. Once or twice with a female accomplice,  but usually alone.

“It’s OK. We (I) can sober up on the road. We’ll get to Vegas about sunrise.”

Would just show up, never having the wherewithal or forethought to reserve a room so I’d just nap in my Tornado if necessary.

But then, I never really slept while in Vegas anyhow. Why would I need a room?

One Saturday night after a not-too-lucky session at the craps table, I fell asleep in my car, which was always parked in the Union Plaza Parking Lot & Cow Pasture.

plaza

Union Plaza
Live it Up!

Well I woke up Sunday morning, (with no way to hold my head that didn’t hurt) knowing full-well that I was due back in San Diego and on my “boat” before nightfall.

While attempting to drive out of the parking lot, the young uniformed schmuck informed me that I owed two dollars for the parking.

“Listen Asshole, I just dropped two grand in your casino last night.”

“Sorry Sir, but the parking is two dollars.”

“Let me say this one more time: I just ‘invested’ two large in your fucking casino.”

“Sir, I am just doing my job.”

“And me mine, for fuck’s sake. I’m protecting your way of life and your right to be an idiot.”

I then proceeded to drive through his little wooden gate, trailing splinters all over, never looking back except briefly to see the look on his face. (This behavior is not unprecedented in my past).

Got to San Diego with no gas, no cigs, no money, and no nada.

Had to ring up (collect) my girlfriend to meet me at a station and buy me some gas just to get to 32nd Street and back to my ship.

Ah! To be young, bullet-proof, and not worry about life’s consequences!

I love Las Vegas.

Was once almost thrown out of the El Cortez (Downtown Glitter Gulch) for card counting.

You see, I had read and studied Kenny Uston’s book

My Hero

My Hero

which I had purchased in a book store in Hong Kong. I spent many hours a day while at sea, practicing Uston’s card-counting methods.  I also read Ed Thorp’s (The guy who “invented” or rather “discovered” card-counting)

Actually, I got rather proficient at it hence my early and unceremonious exit from El Cortez.  I was too proud of my new-found skills and did not try to conceal my counting behavior.  I would place one or two-dollar bets when the deck was ‘cold’ and fifty-dollar bets when the deck went ‘hot’: breaking the cardinal rule, of never ever be obviously stupid. Technically card counting is not illegal, but the casinos will still throw you out if they suspect you have that skill.  And do not mistake: Black Jack is the only “game of skill” in Vegas, aside from poker, but who can afford that?

Slots? Oh Yeah. Once I was playing the “Big Quarter” ($25) machines at the Tropicana and won $5,000. (Proceeded to give it all back at the craps table, but not before I impressed the hell out of the management, betting black chips). They asked me “What do you do for a living?” I said, “I’m in the Navy.” They just shook their heads and asked me if I needed a girl. I said, “No. I just wanna roll a hard six; can you arrange that?”

Roulette? One time, after a particularly successful round of BJ, I was walking out of the Union Plaza (again), dropped a green ($25) chip on seventeen black: Bond, James Bond’s bet.

Bond; James Bond.

Bond; James Bond.

And WON! Took my winnings (approx. $800) and went to breakfast. Smartest, smoothest move I ever made in Vegas. Ah… those were the days My Friend; thought they’d never end….

Obviously I have some stories from Las Vegas.

Too bad I was born too late to experience “The Rat Pack.” Maybe if I accumulate enough good Karma, I can come back as Sammy Davis Jr. Or Frank Sinatra.  Stranger things have happened, in the night, eh?

Dean Martin, caught in a Gravity Storm.

Priceless.

***************

I guess that ‘bout sums it all up.

“Live it up, Y’all!”

SEAL Training: Psych Eval

While stationed at Great Mistakes (Errrr…Great Lakes) Naval Training Command, I did my due diligence and qualified for BUD/s (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training in Coronado, California)

After passing the physical physical and clearing all the other stuff (mostly based upon my ASVAB scores and my ability to swim like a dolphin), A Final Task faced me: I had to pass unblemished through an interview with a psychiatrist. Just a formality, right? (Last hurdle: “Lance, do NOT fuck this up.”)

Sailor

Sailor Lance

This should be fun,” I recall thinking as I waited for my interview.

I was eventually summoned and sat my ass down in front of a geeky, mouse-eyed shrink. He obviously had ‘issues’ of his own. This I could discern straight-away from his limp-wristed demeanor. And obviously the only SEAL he had ever met was in some vain dream fantasy.

No matter. I was there just to get my ticket punched.

After a dozen or so stupid questions about such things as how did I feel about my mother, have I ever killed anything (Uh, do frogs count?), the price of tea in China, ad nauseam, he came to his pièce de résistance:

“Seaman Marcom,” he broached, “If you were ordered by your SEAL Team Leader to go in and clear a room whilst on a mission, and you burst into this room only to discover an elderly lady in a rocking chair reading a bible, what would you do?”

I waited for my dramatic pause, then said,

“Sir, I would shoot the bible.”*

Smiling, I observed him take his rubber stamp out and stamp “Approved” on my papers.

“California Here I Come”

Right Back Where I Started From

Video Credit: L. Heitmann via YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/user/IrRrIS1l3nt

*Footnote:

In the Nav, we have bombastic bullshit ‘tellings’, euphemistically known as ‘Sea Stories’. These are always introduced with the mandatory preamble:

“Now, this is a no-shitter…”

The above telling (though completely factual) is a wonderful example of same.

It’s Memorial Day Weekend: Go find yourself a Sailor and say, “Hey Sailor, New in Town?” Then hug him/her.

 

On The Street Where I Lived: School Days

Part Three in a Continuing Series

Part One & Part Two

****

The school I attended from Fourth through Sixth Grade segregated the kids into three classes: High Aptitude, Medium Aptitude, Low Aptitude. Of course my buddies and I had our own names for these three ‘Classes’: “Smart Kids” (us), “Dumb Kids”, and “Really Dumb Kids.” There was absolutely no socialization between the three classes. None. Ever. I cannot imagine California (or any other state school board) using this practice now.

Once initially ‘placed’ into your category, there was virtually no way to make a move (in either direction). But during the second half of my Fifth Grade year, I took a real running stab at getting ‘demoted’ from ‘Smart’ to ‘Dumb’ Classification. I have always been easily distracted. One day during Mathematics Class, the teacher showed us a trick I found fascinating. He taught us we could make a curved line out of a bunch of straight lines. This was a revelation to me.

Curved Lines

For the next several weeks, I spent all my time in classrooms experimenting with this new found ‘miracle’. I created countless drawings, some very colorful, some just black on white. The possibilities seemed endless. Of course my school work suffered in direct proportion to my budding creative talent. I quit doing my homework or even participating in class. I attribute this to my addictive personality. I was addicted to making curved lines out of straight. Nothing else was as much fun, especially while in class. Strangely enough, it really wasn’t fun at all as soon as I got home from school in the afternoons.

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Throw Back Thursday: Turtle Blues

I Got Dem Ol’ Time Turtle Blues Again Mama! (Sorry Janis)

greenturtle3.jpg

Yet another bit gleaned from my longer post of 29 Jan. ‘The Time Has Come,’ The Walrus Said, ‘To Talk of Many Things: Of Murdered Birds, Of Turtles Green, and Hippies Sellin’ Rings.’

Video Credit:

https://www.youtube.com/user/pridden76

“I know this goddamn life too well”

****************

My mother was probably “The Original Hippy Chick.” When Haight-Asbury was in full bloom, she would not shut up about it until we went there. I knew a little of the Hippy Culture then, yet had no desire to experience it ‘up close an’ personal.’ Mom did.  So one bright sunny Saturday morning we packed up the Rambler and headed to ‘Frisco and Haight-Ashbury.

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The Greatest Story Ever Sold

The Greatest Story Ever Told (If told at Woodstock)

(And seriously Y’all, y’all need to watch the video First)

But before we go there enter:

This Post Will PISS some people Off (IF I am doing my job)

However I do NOT want to Piss Anyone Off (Not my job)

Ambiguous? Yeah!

So, therefore, and furthermore, and forevermore: I put below the ‘continue reading’ button.

And don’t shoot me: I just play piano here… on Tuesdays… and for milk money… for the kids.

Click at your own risk.

Cheers, Peace, Blessings, Love and Happiness & Joy (and I do mean all of that shit. Sincerely. Hey by the way, Anyone seen Joy? She was just here a minute ago…)

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*BREAKING BAD NEWS!*

Exclusively Here on TT & Hiero-Glyph!

That means you won’t hear it anywhere else! (Because we made it up)

The Results are finally in from yesterday’s, recent,  last week’s election!

Okay was not last week; just seems that way.

Here are the tallies:

Jim Morrison: 20, 000

He is an Accident Going Somewhere to Happen: 20, 001

Walk of Shame: 20,010

The Kind and Good and the Ugly Moral Folks: 20,005

Puddles in My Beer: 0

Now, after some contentiousness, and some hanging chaffs, and some fourteen pissed off, and some sixteen or so pissed on, and some countless bored, and some dead armadillos, and some more hanging chaff, it was decided that the vote went unanimously to:

PUDDLES IN MY BEER!!

(And the crowd went nuts)

“But, but, but, how is that unanimous?” One pollster inquired.

“Because Son,” The State said, “Because theirs was the only un-contested, not so much molested, unambiguous result.”

“Oh.”

Now before we exposé the PUDDLES IN MY BEER platform (gangplank), we must survive the Inauguration Ball.

And here to help us along with that, May I present to Y’all, our most ardent (and redundant) supporters!

Willie And The William’s Boys!

Take it away Boys!

Thanks to Willie an’ Them For that Rather Upbeat Rendition of …what was it again? *taps Willie on the shoulder* “Uh Willie, ya fucked the lyric: it is “Puddles In My Beer”; not ‘bubbles’, get it right fer fuck sake… Goin’ to Austin…I mean DC. Aw shit. Never mind! Just get the damn song right, OK?”

And Thank You Both Hanks for that rather unifying ditty in honor of the forgotten, vanquished.

But now, to prove we are not all that…uh… sanctimonious.

We give some equal / air time to the losers, er, Honorable Opposition:

Take it away Jimmy!

But don’t take it too far or  too long. We are watching you. Loser!

“Uh… Thank you…uh what was your name again? Oh yeah, Jimmy.

Well, Hey! Let’s give a big round of applause for…uh Jimmy and his comedy!”

“Thank you Johnny!”

 

Tomorrow (Or Next Beer) we will tell you the plan forward.

Hang tight in the meantime.

We love our Country!

(don’t we?)

Didn’t we?

orig flag

 

Spring Clinging

My Blog is no longer an aversion

Nor a version

of a virgin

Therefore, since I am leaving soon

(Insha’Allah.. Joke: probably get killed for that one–Y’all know who I am here and on which side I fall upon–Atheist) I am not for lack of a term: ‘an Evangelical Atheist’. I do not care what you believe or don’t believe. My only further statement is atheists can be moral and good people, just like theists. We can also be immoral and bad people, just like theists. And we can be some kind of combination of the two; just like theists.

Hopefully, that above statement loses me not any of my followers (save one: my mother), But if so this is Karma (and no! I am not Buddhist nor Hindi either), then I will adopt the philosophy of a great ‘blogger-man’ I admire, respect, follow, and really despise:

http://aopinionatedman.com/ (ed note: May, 31st: I am no longer a fan of the Lemmings. i.e., I do not follow OM no mas, mainly because even I, cannot be that charitable) And that is all I am gonna say ’bout that. If you want some more piercing eloquence of the subject, I happily direct you to ‘The shitstorm that is my life: (she is brilliance in a bottle:

http://theshitshowthatismylife.com/

We differ, but we are kindred in our discourse of difference. Opinionated Man says this, and I quote:

“My goal with this blog is to offend everyone in the world at least once with my words… so no one has a reason to have a heightened sense of themselves. We are all ignorant, we are all found wanting, we are all bad people sometimes.”

Now. This is not in my manifesto, but I do find me subscribing to it more and more, day by day. Not sure why, but I do think OM has a valid point here: He writes for HIM.

This, I understand. And this is my new path. (Now all I need do is find some more followers… to hit the trail with me 😉 )

But Imagine:

Try to

Therefore in the spirit of cleaning up hard disk drive space, I have nominated this post (the one on the next page–The ‘Hitch-Slap’ will remain as long as I have electricity and an internet connection) for permanent removal. (though I Love it daily..er…dearly..especially the video clip”

Drum Roll Please!

I  heretofore nominate this post…

To be… In the Hunger Games!

As tribute.

What say you?!

Read it and kiss it’s ass goodbye!

Credit: Moki John

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCU8vs5ndzUv3ku6N2lm-ywA

“I’m just a simple sailor Son…

Credit: Lance (But you knew that)

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‘Shucks’ (not pejorative) Back Sunday: All The Fun, Twice The Price, Or Leaving…

Thought I’d throw this back out, before I delete it and since I ‘swerved onto it’ and it made me laugh

And… ya know… Rambling is my soul.

Laughter is the song of your Soul.

Hope you like it.

(be certain to watch the video of Sammy Davis and Dean and Frank and Johnny Carson: you will not be disappointed–classic Rat Trap, er…Pack.)

Cheers,

Lance

Shucks!

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Schmuck (pejorative) Back Sunday

Hippy Kee Aye kii… Fuck Yeah!

Just for nostalgia

Bikers, Hippy’s and Dope!

And all for free!

Right here on your radical dial:

Texan Gone Wild!

Follow the yellow brick road!

Priceless

(while I search the old drafts whut need posting, or at least, composting)

I feel as if I am running out of time and headlong into this

Please Stand By

Please Stand By