Up-Dated-Expanded! Rent – A – Sailor Part Two: ‘You Are Not Where You Think You Are’–Up-Side Down You May Be

*****

You Are Not Always Where You Think You Are:

Credit: Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell

***

Up is Down

Down is Up

Sideways is just… well, sideways

(Apropos For Now, Eh?)

***

I still love you Diana

Always shall.

“Upside Down”

– Michael Jackson at Diana Ross Concert (1980)

******

We had three days steaming time to kill on our way to That–‘That Land Down Under’.

One night we were all sitting about, ‘cokin’ an’ smokin’ (shootin’-the-shit) in our little Gunner’s Mate ‘Office’ which was not much more than a walk-in closet with a couple of ‘make-shit’ chairs and a few Mae West life preservers for butt-comport composure.

There was GMG Me, GMG Rog, GMG Matt, GMG Eddie, and GMG Fish. Don’t know where was GMG-Geeky-Little-Maynard, nor ‘Bob-the-GMG-Body Builder.’ Probably Bob was in our ‘gym’. He pretty much lived in there. (Ed note: GMG–‘Gunner’s Mate Guns’–if you’ve read me, you’d already know this, btw.)

Speaking of things like gyms, weight-rooms, shitters, showers, berthing compartments, racks, …. Gunner’s Mate ‘offices’, et cetera:

On a U.S. naval war ship, space is always at a premium.

Ship’s Crew want a ‘weight room?’

Good luck. Find a machinery room with a little floor space available. Put your kit in there wherever you can find ‘space-to-no-avail-able’.

Want a quiet place to hang out? Good luck. Try the bilge compartment underneath the water line. (‘No thanks’)

Want peaceful, uninterrupted sleep? You should have joined the Air Force.

(I had some luck: I was the ship’s armorer—in charge of the… wait for it… the ship’s armory. All the small arms were stowed in there. You know, M14 rifles, grenade launchers, .50 cal Machine guns, riot shotguns, .45 cal pistols, grenades… Shit loads of ammo.)

And I WAS IN-CHARGE. Best Gig on The Fred! No Body, and I do mean nobody fucked with me. I had the key to all the guns. And my rep preceded me: I was known to be a ‘dead-eye-shot’. One shot/one kill. It was great!! As I did say, no one ever fucked with me. Fear is the greatest incentive for not fucking with a man.

A very ‘High – Security’ Space. I had one of the only two keys on board the Fred. My Department head, an 04 officer and third or fourth in command, had the only other one and he knew me from Nacogdoches back when I had my tropical fish store—yes! So he trusted me. I guess he thought we went ‘way back.’ We didn’t. But he was a good officer. And I usually don’t like officers, but I liked this one. Apparently we had a ‘history’ together…. I guess…

Moving on.

Yeah no shit. Small world. Supposedly  he had lived in Nacogdoches back when Janet and I did. We never really got to know each other. In fact, I do not recall him at all, but he remembered my store and I may have sold him a crud eater or two…

***

Anyway, the ship’s armory was my ‘go-to’ place when I did not wish to be talked-at, or just wanted a cat nap.

***

Back to our little Gunner’s Mate ‘Meeting’ in our ‘Office.’

The conversation had grown quiet.

Me, being me, I decided to have some fun with my shipmates. So I  broached a subject to mess with their heads.

As I mentioned, time to kill.

“Why do they call it ‘Down Under’ and not ‘Up Yonder’?” I asked the group.

Rog, always quick on the draw said, “Because it is down-the-fuck-under.”

“Down under what?” I shot back.

“Down under the regular world.”

“According to who Rog? And define ‘regular’” I said.

“According to everyone. And regular is, you know fucking regular,” he said back.

“That makes no sense.” I said. Then continued, “You mean because of ‘up and down’, ‘north and south’, ‘east or west’ bullshit?”

“That’s what he means,” Matt said. “Everyone knows this.”

“Guys, you ever seen those photos from the Apollo missions? The ones of the Earth taken from the Moon?”

“Of course we all have,” Fish piped in.

“Well how do you know what is up and what is down?”

Rog said, “Because the North Pole is up and the South Pole is down. Easy enuff to see in the damn photos.”

“What if the astronauts had turned the camera a hundred and eighty degrees?”

“Why would they do that?” Eddie asked.

“Why not Eddie? You ever been in outer space?”

“Uh, nope, not lately.”

“Here’s the thing, why does the ‘northern’ hemisphere get to be ‘up’ and the ‘southern’ hemisphere have to be ‘down’? Seems real ‘hemisphere – centric’ to me.”

“Just because it makes sense,” Rog said.

“Bullshit,” I said. There is no up or down in space. It’s just all arbitrary from our perspective. Allow me to dial-you-in Rog: It’s because most of Western Civilization is in the ‘Northern’ hemisphere. That’s why.”

“You’re not making any sense,” Matt said.

“Think about it Matt. Who writes the history of war?”

“Uh… War? I thought we were talking about Australia.”

“Who writes the history of war?” I asked again. “Who draws the maps?”

Eddie gets a screwed-up look on his face, “The winning side!” He blurts out.

“Precisely, Young Eddie.”

Then Fish says. “No, it ain’t about that. It’s about the magnetic poles. They are north and south… ain’t they?”

“Fish, even if they were, which they ain’t, it doesn’t matter.”

“Why not?”

“Because,” I continued. “Because ever’ fifty or sixty thousand years the magnetic poles do a one-eighty and swap places.”

“You’re bullshit,” Rog says.

“Nope,” I say. “Look it up. And here is the funny part: Earth is wayyy overdue for the next swap. Could happen at any moment. What if the ‘swap’ just so happens to happen right before we pull into Sydney?”

Matt says, somewhat exasperated, “Ok, I give. What?”

“We’d then be heading to New ‘Up Yonder’ and not old ‘Down Under’. The maps would all have to be reprinted. And we’d have to turn around to stay on course for all those broads who want to ‘Rent-A-Sailor’ in Sydney, New Up Yonder.”

*Collective Groans All Around…*

In unison: “Fuck You Marcom!”

***

Previously:

To be continued.

***

Author’s note: This post is in serious need of an edit enema.

I’ll administer it later.

Butt Busy now. (some pun intended–caint lie)

Cheers.

And thanks for sailing this far…

Just call me Ismael.

***

P.S. I am not nearly as smart as I think I am.

Not even half as smart as I think I am.

Truth is, I am only about one-third as smart as I think I am.

But,

Batting 333 will get you into the Hall of Fame.

In Baseball.

“Lance! This ain’t baseball.”

“No shit?

Damn! I musta took a wrong turn at ‘Albequerky’.”

Profanity WARNING! “Danger Will Robinson!” WHY LANCE?? Why??? Why Re-Post? Because I’m An Asshole–That’s Why. (And this One Has Mo’ Better & More Videos In It)

Because I’m a vain, self-serving asshole, so I re-post this slightly expanded version.

Still In Navy Patriotic Mode!–

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

‘The Beautiful Girl With The Red Balloon’”

Go Navy!

Yeah. I buried the lead.

You figure it out.

I have better things to do.

Way up in the sky in my beautiful balloon

Cred: The 5th Dimension (Duh!)

******

99 Luftballons

Cred: NENA | 99 Luftballons [1983] [Offizielles HD Musikvideo]

*****

Ed. Note. I had a Cali GF looked exactly like this broad. (Nena)

We didn’t make it. So I started fucking her sister.

That ended badly.

Predictable? Yeah. But damn! She was great in the sack!!!!

Fucked me to near tears.

She was ugly as a homemade mud fence. Buck teeth. Six feet tall! Could suck a golf-ball through a garden hose (TMI?)

But Sexy!

Yeah!

Oh So Sexy!

She Was “Willin’ to Do Anythang!

Explore AnyThing

We “Explored” Our Fantasies

One By One

I’m Still Willin’

(I love you Linda. Have I ever mentioned this?)

***

And why, oh why, would any one… anyone? Ever want to listen to the fucked up Americanized/bastardized version of this song (Above)???

NENA | 99 Luftballons [1983]

Oh yeah. Amerika is stupid.

Thanks. I almost forgot there for a moment.

Drive thru.

And f^ck you if you think me not patriot.

I served my country.

Did you?

After a good night’s sleep and an uneventful day at ‘work’, Matt and I hit the beach at 1600hrs. Rog was not to accompany us because he had ‘The Duty’ and could not leave the ship.

That is the little part of The Naval Service Experience the recruiters never tell you about:

“The Duty”

No escaping

“The Duty”

Briefly explained:

A war ship must be ever-ready to put to sea.

Or put out a fire.

Or counter a terrorism threat.

Or clean the shitters.

Or Worst of All: Standing Watch!

Hence, a percentage of the Ship’s Crew must remain on board at-all-times.

AT ALL TIMES

Call it a ‘skeleton crew’ if you will.

This is fitting since while stuck on board, unable to leave, one feels as if better off dead than…

Suffer the dread

Of Duty.

Because Having The Duty Sucks!

AT ALL TIMES!

“Navy: It’s Not Just a Job. It’s A Pain-In-The-Ass.”

***

Magsaysay was a little more frenetic than usual for a hot, humid sunny day.

Or maybe it was my imagination.

“Matt,” I remarked as we sauntered down the street heading for Viva Young, “Seem a little busy today?”

“It’s a Filipino holiday,” he said.

“No shit? What’s the occasion?”

“Magellan Day.”

“I thought the Filipinos despised him.”

“They do. This holiday commemorates that poison arrow they embedded in his ass back in Fifteen Twenty-One.”

I laughed. “You’re bull-shittin’ me Matt!”

“Yeah, I am.” And he laughed. “I have no idea what, if anything special’s going on today.”

“How do you remember?”

“What? Remember what?” he said, while wistfully gazing at a Filipina standing in a barroom doorway.

Matt was easily distracted and had already lost the train of our conversation.

“The year of the untimely death of ‘Ferdinand-The-Fucked’”

(“Don’t know much about History. Don’t know much Biology. Don’t know much about a Science book. Don’t know much about the French I took …” But this sailor knows just enough to get him into trouble.)

I Don’t Know Much

Cred: Sam Cooke

****

“You remember who I married right?”

“Oh yeah. Of course. But I didn’t take Josie for a Philippines’ history buff.”

“I married her for her brain, not for her big tits and tight ass.”

“Now I KNOW you’re bull-shit.”

We laughed some more and continued down the street dodging the ubiquitous  Jeepneys and Trikes and street vendors and sailors and marines and… You get the picture.

As we were making our descent toward Viva Young, we passed a balloon vendor who was struggling with an armload of bright balloons.

A light-bulb idea lit up in my brain (This sometimes happens, not often, but sometimes)

and I stopped dead in my tracks. Matt did not notice and kept on walking.

 “Hey Matt!” I hollered, “Wait a sec. I wanna buy a balloon.”

Since Matt is a sentimental artist, he thought nothing of it.

Now if Rog had been with us, there probably definitely would have been some unhappy words exchanged.

But Rog was stuck on the Freddy. And I smiled inside, imagining him stewing over doing his ‘Duty.’

I walked over to the kid selling balloons. He must have had no less than a baker’s dozen and a-half all trying to escape into the sky. Since I am such a prince of a guy, I decided to relieve him of his burden so he could call it an early day.

“How much for all?” I asked.

“Whaaa?”

“How much for all?” I repeated. “I wanna buy all your balloons.”

“Uh, Pive Hundred Peso” (This is roughly ten dollars)

“Sold!”

I gave him the money.

He gave me the balloons.

Matt shook his head.

We walked into Viva Young.

And all Hell and Pandemonium broke loose.

The girls squealed with delight as they, en masse, stampeded over almost knocking us down in the doorway.

‘Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! Gimmie Balloon!” fifteen voices yelled in unison as thirty arms reached out from bouncing girls.

“That’s what they’re for Little Darlings” I said as I untied the bundle and passed them out.

The girls dispersed back deep into the bar with their new prizes.

I felt some cold blue steel penetrating my head. I glanced in the direction of the source.

“Where MY Balloon? Goddam Chew!”

“Uh, Mama-San… You don’t want no balloon. I have something way more special for you that I picked up in Hong Kong.”

During our last Hong Kong port visit, anticipating such an emergency, I had purchased a semi-cheap but nice, lovely locket on a gold chain. I fished the little box out of my pocket and handed it to her.

She opened it, smiled a sweet smile at me, then caught herself and said, “Why you no gimme this before?”

“I was waiting for a ‘special’ occasion.”

“What special occasion?”

“I was waiting for the ‘special’ occasion of you being in a good mood.”

“I no in good mood now,” she said.

“Yeah, I know, but I got tired of waiting.”

“Well, ‘salamat’” (Filipino for ‘thank you’), she said. “It nice.”

“Walang anuman,” (You’re welcome) I said back. Two can play at this game.

Thinking this was the only opportune chance I would have, I broached the subject:

“I didn’t see New Girl. She here today?”

Instant frown: Just add Lance-the-Butterfly-Sailor and stir the shit.

“I told you! She off you limit!”

“Ah, come on Mama-San. I just want to talk to her. You know you have my heart.”

“Chew bull-chit-man! Yeah, she here. Go to look around you-self asshole.”

“What’s her name?”

“Lourdes.”

“Thanks.” And I went off on my quest before Mama could say anything else.

I discovered ‘Lourdes’ at the back of the bar. Why she had not claimed her balloon, I have no idea. But I theorized she was still very new to this ‘business’ and quite shy.

There was an extra balloon bouncing off one of the hanging light fixtures. I rescued it and walked up to Lourdes.

“Hi. My name’s Lance,” I said as I handed her the red balloon.

She looked up at me through beautiful dark Filipina eyes, took the balloon tether from my hand and said quietly, “Tank you por balloon. Red my pav’rit color. My namb ‘Lourdes’.”

“Yes, I know. Nice to meet you Lourdes.”

“How you know my namb?”

“Mama-San told me.”

The mention of ‘Mama-San’ seemed to make her nervous, so I quickly changed the subject.

“Come sit with me at the bar, okay?”

“Uh… Okay” she said as I led her to the part of the bar furthest away from the prying eyes of Mama.

We sat down and I must have gotten lost in her for a moment. She fidgeted a bit. I finally found my voice and asked,

“Aren’t you supposed to say it?”

“Say what?” she asked.

“Say, ‘You buy me drink’?”

“Oh yeah. I por’git. You buy me drink?”

“Of course I will.”

***

Some things are universal.

In these ‘types’ of establishments, no matter what town, city, county, country, or continent, the ‘game’ never waivers:

The girls hustle way over-priced drinks which more often than not, especially in Olongapo, consist of weak tea—no booze—but cost three times as much as top-shelf scotch.

It’s just the little dance we all must do and I have always been just fine with the arrangement, never being one intent on breaking the rules nor upsetting the balance of power in the universe.

***

We chatted for an hour or so over several beers for me and several ‘scotch’s’ for her.

Eventually, she began to relax having come to the conclusion, I surmised, that I was not a monster and actually a decent guy to hang out with.

Sad to have to say, but most sailors and marines have a ‘I buy you one drink baby, then it’s I-pay-your-bar-fine and we go to the show.’ standing policy.

Your humble sailor is not such a man.

Wasn’t then.

Isn’t now.

***

“’Lourdes’ is a lovely name.” I said, gently brushing her hair back from her cheek.

“Tank you. I like it.”

“Not your real name, is it Honey?”

“No,” she admitted. “I pic it outta book.”

“Kind of a ‘stage name’ eh?”

“’Stay… namb’?”

“At-work name.”

“Oh, yeah… Kinda. Yes.”

“Would you tell me your real name?”

“Mary-Lou. Mary-Lou Perucho.”

“I like that better,” I said. “May I call you ‘Mary-Lou’ from now on?”

“Yes, but not in pront of Mama-San.”

“Don’t worry. Your secret’s safe with me. Where you from Mary-Lou?”

“I prom da prob’ence.”

“Of course.”

***

To be continued…

Part Six here:

***

Previously:

Part Five of a Sailor’s Scholarly Series on U.S. Naval History in The South Pacific: ‘The Beautiful Girl With The Red Balloon’ And Yes. I Have Been To Germany.

Cred: Nena

Isn’t She So Sexy & Beautiful?

****

After a good night’s sleep and an uneventful day at ‘work’, Matt and I hit the beach at 1600hrs. Rog was not to accompany us because he had ‘The Duty’ and could not leave the ship.

That is the little part of The Naval Service Experience the recruiters never tell you about:

“The Duty”

No escaping

“The Duty”

Briefly explained:

A war ship must be ever-ready to put to sea.

Or put out a fire.

Or counter a terrorism threat.

Or clean the shitters.

Or Worst of All: Standing Watch!

Hence, a percentage of the Ship’s Crew must remain on board at-all-times.

AT ALL TIMES

Call it a ‘skeleton crew’ if you will.

This is fitting since while stuck on board, unable to leave, one feels as if better off dead than…

Suffer the dread

Of Duty.

Because Having The Duty Sucks!

AT ALL TIMES!

“Navy: It’s Not Just a Job. It’s A Pain-In-The-Ass.”

***

Magsaysay was a little more frenetic than usual for a hot, humid sunny day.

Or maybe it was my imagination.

“Matt,” I remarked as we sauntered down the street heading for Viva Young, “Seem a little busy today?”

“It’s a Filipino holiday,” he said.

“No shit? What’s the occasion?”

“Magellan Day.”

“I thought the Filipinos despised him.”

“They do. This holiday commemorates that poison arrow they embedded in his ass back in Fifteen Twenty-One.”

I laughed. “You’re bull-shittin’ me Matt!”

“Yeah, I am.” And he laughed. “I have no idea what, if anything special’s going on today.”

“How do you remember?”

“What? Remember what?” he said, while wistfully gazing at a Filipina standing in a barroom doorway.

Matt was easily distracted and had already lost the train of our conversation.

“The year of the untimely death of ‘Ferdinand-The-Fucked’”

(“Don’t know much about History. Don’t know much Biology. Don’t know much about a Science book. Don’t know much about the French I took …” But this sailor knows just enough to get him into trouble.)

“You remember who I married right?”

“Oh yeah. Of course. But I didn’t take Josie for a Philippines’ history buff.”

“I married her for her brain, not for her big tits and tight ass.”

“Now I KNOW you’re bull-shit.”

We laughed some more and continued down the street dodging the ubiquitous  Jeepneys and Trikes and street vendors and sailors and marines and… You get the picture.

As we were making our descent toward Viva Young, we passed a balloon vendor who was struggling with an armload of bright balloons.

A light-bulb idea lit up in my brain (This sometimes happens, not often, but sometimes)

and I stopped dead in my tracks. Matt did not notice and kept on walking.

 “Hey Matt!” I hollered, “Wait a sec. I wanna buy a balloon.”

Since Matt is a sentimental artist, he thought nothing of it.

Now if Rog had been with us, there probably definitely would have been some unhappy words exchanged.

But Rog was stuck on the Freddy. And I smiled inside, imagining him stewing over doing his ‘Duty.’

I walked over to the kid selling balloons. He must have had no less than a baker’s dozen and a-half all trying to escape into the sky. Since I am such a prince of a guy, I decided to relieve him of his burden so he could call it an early day.

“How much for all?” I asked.

“Whaaa?”

“How much for all?” I repeated. “I wanna buy all your balloons.”

“Uh, Pive Hundred Peso” (This is roughly ten dollars)

“Sold!”

I gave him the money.

He gave me the balloons.

Matt shook his head.

We walked into Viva Young.

And all Hell and Pandemonium broke loose.

The girls squealed with delight as they, en masse, stampeded over almost knocking us down in the doorway.

‘Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! Gimmie Balloon!” fifteen voices yelled in unison as thirty arms reached out from bouncing girls.

“That’s what they’re for Little Darlings” I said as I untied the bundle and passed them out.

The girls dispersed back deep into the bar with their new prizes.

I felt some cold blue steel penetrating my head. I glanced in the direction of the source.

“Where MY Balloon? Goddam Chew!”

“Uh, Mama-San… You don’t want no balloon. I have something way more special for you that I picked up in Hong Kong.”

During our last Hong Kong port visit, anticipating such an emergency, I had purchased a semi-cheap but nice, lovely locket on a gold chain. I fished the little box out of my pocket and handed it to her.

She opened it, smiled a sweet smile at me, then caught herself and said, “Why you no gimme this before?”

“I was waiting for a ‘special’ occasion.”

“What special occasion?”

“I was waiting for the ‘special’ occasion of you being in a good mood.”

“I no in good mood now,” she said.

“Yeah, I know, but I got tired of waiting.”

“Well, ‘salamat’” (Filipino for ‘thank you’), she said. “It nice.”

“Walang anuman,” (You’re welcome) I said back. Two can play at this game.

Thinking this was the only opportune chance I would have, I broached the subject:

“I didn’t see New Girl. She here today?”

Instant frown: Just add Lance-the-Butterfly-Sailor and stir the shit.

“I told you! She off you limit!”

“Ah, come on Mama-San. I just want to talk to her. You know you have my heart.”

“Chew bull-chit-man! Yeah, she here. Go to look around you-self asshole.”

“What’s her name?”

“Lourdes.”

“Thanks.” And I went off on my quest before Mama could say anything else.

I discovered ‘Lourdes’ at the back of the bar. Why she had not claimed her balloon, I have no idea. But I theorized she was still very new to this ‘business’ and quite shy.

There was an extra balloon bouncing off one of the hanging light fixtures. I rescued it and walked up to Lourdes.

“Hi. My name’s Lance,” I said as I handed her the red balloon.

She looked up at me through beautiful dark Filipina eyes, took the balloon tether from my hand and said quietly, “Tank you por balloon. Red my pav’rit color. My namb ‘Lourdes’.”

“Yes, I know. Nice to meet you Lourdes.”

“How you know my namb?”

“Mama-San told me.”

The mention of ‘Mama-San’ seemed to make her nervous, so I quickly changed the subject.

“Come sit with me at the bar, okay?”

“Uh… Okay” she said as I led her to the part of the bar furthest away from the prying eyes of Mama.

We sat down and I must have gotten lost in her for a moment. She fidgeted a bit. I finally found my voice and asked,

“Aren’t you supposed to say it?”

“Say what?” she asked.

“Say, ‘You buy me drink’?”

“Oh yeah. I por’git. You buy me drink?”

“Of course I will.”

***

Some things are universal.

In these ‘types’ of establishments, no matter what town, city, county, country, or continent, the ‘game’ never waivers:

The girls hustle way over-priced drinks which more often than not, especially in Olongapo, consist of weak tea—no booze—but cost three times as much as top-shelf scotch.

It’s just the little dance we all must do and I have always been just fine with the arrangement, never being one intent on breaking the rules nor upsetting the balance of power in the universe.

***

We chatted for an hour or so over several beers for me and several ‘scotch’s’ for her.

Eventually, she began to relax having come to the conclusion, I surmised, that I was not a monster and actually a decent guy to hang out with.

Sad to have to say, but most sailors and marines have a ‘I buy you one drink baby, then it’s I-pay-your-bar-fine and we go to the show.’ standing policy.

Your humble sailor is not such a man.

Wasn’t then.

Isn’t now.

***

“’Lourdes’ is a lovely name.” I said, gently brushing her hair back from her cheek.

“Tank you. I like it.”

“Not your real name, is it Honey?”

“No,” she admitted. “I pic it outta book.”

“Kind of a ‘stage name’ eh?”

“’Stay… namb’?”

“At-work name.”

“Oh, yeah… Kinda. Yes.”

“Would you tell me your real name?”

“Mary-Lou. Mary-Lou Perucho.”

“I like that better,” I said. “May I call you ‘Mary-Lou’ from now on?”

“Yes, but not in pront of Mama-San.”

“Don’t worry. Your secret’s safe with me. Where you from Mary-Lou?”

“I prom da prob’ence.”

“Of course.”

***

To be continued…

Part Six here:

***

Previously:

Rent – A – Sailor Part Two: Topsy-Turvy

Up is Down

Down is Up

Sideways is just… well, sideways

(Apropos For Now, Eh?)

Old Age is a Cruel Snake-Headed MethuselahMedusa, ain’t she? Turn you straightaway into stone

I still love you Diana

Always shall.

We had three days steaming time to kill on our way to That–‘That Land Down Under’.

One night we were all sitting about, ‘cokin’ an’ smokin’ (shootin’-the-shit) in our little Gunner’s Mate ‘Office’ which was not much more than a walk-in closet with a couple of ‘make-shit’ chairs and a few Mae West life preservers for butt-comport composure.

There was GMG Me, GMG Rog, GMG Matt, GMG Eddie, and GMG Fish. Don’t know where was GMG-Geeky-Little-Maynard, nor ‘Bob-the-GMG-Body Builder.’ Probably Bob was in our ‘gym’. He pretty much lived in there. (Ed note: GMG–‘Gunner’s Mate Guns’–if you’ve read me, you’d already know this, btw.)

Speaking of things like gyms, weight-rooms, shitters, showers, berthing compartments, racks, …. Gunner’s Mate ‘offices’, et cetera:

On a U.S. naval war ship, space is always at a premium.

Ship’s Crew want a ‘weight room?’

Good luck. Find a machinery room with a little floor space available. Put your kit in there wherever you can find ‘space-to-no-avail-able’.

Want a quiet place to hang out? Good luck. Try the bilge compartment underneath the water line. (‘No thanks’)

Want peaceful, uninterrupted sleep? You should have joined the Air Force.

(I had some luck: I was the ship’s armorer—in charge of the… wait for it… the ship’s armory. All the small arms were stowed in there. You know, M14 rifles, grenade launchers, .50 cal Machine guns, riot shotguns, .45 cal pistols, grenades… Shit loads of ammo.)

And I WAS IN-CHARGE. Best Gig on The Fred! No Body, and I do mean nobody fucked with me. I had the key to all the guns. And my rep preceded me: I was known to be a ‘dead-eye-shot’. One shot/one kill. It was great!! As I did say, no one ever fucked with me. Fear is the greatest incentive for not fucking with a man.

A very ‘High – Security’ Space. I had one of the only two keys on board the Fred. My Department head, an 04 officer and third or fourth in command, had the only other one and he knew me from Nacogdoches back when I had my tropical fish store—yes! So he trusted me. I guess he thought we went ‘way back.’ We didn’t. But he was a good officer. And I usually don’t like officers, but I liked this one. Apparently we had a ‘history’ together…. I guess…

Moving on.

Yeah no shit. Small world. Supposedly  he had lived in Nacogdoches back when Janet and I did. We never really got to know each other. In fact, I do not recall him at all, but he remembered my store and I may have sold him a crud eater or two…

***

Anyway, the ship’s armory was my ‘go-to’ place when I did not wish to be talked-at, or just wanted a cat nap.

***

Back to our little Gunner’s Mate ‘Meeting’ in our ‘Office.’

The conversation had grown quiet.

Me, being me, I decided to have some fun with my shipmates. So I  broached a subject to mess with their heads.

As I mentioned, time to kill.

“Why do they call it ‘Down Under’ and not ‘Up Yonder’?” I asked the group.

Rog, always quick on the draw said, “Because it is down-the-fuck-under.”

“Down under what?” I shot back.

“Down under the regular world.”

“According to who Rog? And define ‘regular’” I said.

“According to everyone. And regular is, you know fucking regular,” he said back.

“That makes no sense.” I said. Then continued, “You mean because of ‘up and down’, ‘north and south’, ‘east or west’ bullshit?”

“That’s what he means,” Matt said. “Everyone knows this.”

“Guys, you ever seen those photos from the Apollo missions? The ones of the Earth taken from the Moon?”

“Of course we all have,” Fish piped in.

“Well how do you know what is up and what is down?”

Rog said, “Because the North Pole is up and the South Pole is down. Easy enuff to see in the damn photos.”

“What if the astronauts had turned the camera a hundred and eighty degrees?”

“Why would they do that?” Eddie asked.

“Why not Eddie? You ever been in outer space?”

“Uh, nope, not lately.”

“Here’s the thing, why does the ‘northern’ hemisphere get to be ‘up’ and the ‘southern’ hemisphere have to be ‘down’? Seems real ‘hemisphere – centric’ to me.”

“Just because it makes sense,” Rog said.

“Bullshit,” I said. There is no up or down in space. It’s just all arbitrary from our perspective. Allow me to dial-you-in Rog: It’s because most of Western Civilization is in the ‘Northern’ hemisphere. That’s why.”

“You’re not making any sense,” Matt said.

“Think about it Matt. Who writes the history of war?”

“Uh… War? I thought we were talking about Australia.”

“Who writes the history of war?” I asked again. “Who draws the maps?”

Eddie gets a screwed-up look on his face, “The winning side!” He blurts out.

“Precisely, Young Eddie.”

Then Fish says. “No, it ain’t about that. It’s about the magnetic poles. They are north and south… ain’t they?”

“Fish, even if they were, which they ain’t, it doesn’t matter.”

“Why not?”

“Because,” I continued. “Because ever’ fifty or sixty thousand years the magnetic poles do a one-eighty and swap places.”

“You’re bullshit,” Rog says.

“Nope,” I say. “Look it up. And here is the funny part: Earth is wayyy overdue for the next swap. Could happen at any moment. What if the ‘swap’ just so happens to happen right before we pull into Sydney?”

Matt says, somewhat exasperated, “Ok, I give. What?”

“We’d then be heading to New ‘Up Yonder’ and not old ‘Down Under’. The maps would all have to be reprinted. And we’d have to turn around to stay on course for all those broads who want to ‘Rent-A-Sailor’ in Sydney, New Up Yonder.”

*Collective Groans All Around…*

In unison: “Fuck You Marcom!”

***

Previously:

To be continued.

***

Author’s note: This post is in serious need of an edit enema.

I’ll administer it later.

Butt Busy now. (some pun intended–caint lie)

Cheers.

And thanks for sailing this far…

Just call me Ismael.

***

P.S. I am not nearly as smart as I think I am.

Not even half as smart as I think I am.

Truth is, I am only about one-third as smart as I think I am.

But,

Batting 333 will get you into the Hall of Fame.

In Baseball.

“Lance! This ain’t baseball.”

“No shit?

Damn! I musta took a wrong turn at ‘Albequerky’.”

Yer Gonna Cry–Over All The Reasons Why. Don’t Bother: It’s A Calculated Re-Run Just For Fun. Makes Absolutely No Sense. What-So-Ever.. Ahem! Amen!

Makes Me Laugh,, “DEAD GUPPY”

‘Tis A Great Metaphor/Commentary For My Life

(Or Maybe One Of My ex-Wifes)

I wish I Could Proper Edit this Bitch.

But I Can’t.

Thank u Word-Press!

The Reasons Why Guppies Die?

Stupid Humans

That’s Why

Don't Bother

As MOST of you know, I used to own a “Pet Shoppe.”

Well actually it was just a Tropical Fish Store

In Nacogdoches, Texas.

My Mind Has Left The Building

Tropical Fish is all we sold. (and a few-odd Crustaceans–just for fun)

This Monty Python bit cracks me up.

Customer walks into my store.

“My guppy died.”

 (I had a three-day guarantee on any fish I sold–it was a gimmick, but I honored it.)

“Madame did you put the chlorine removal drops into your ‘guppy-tank?”

“The whaaa? ” she said.

*Heavy sigh* from me

“Ok. I will give you a new guppy and some free chlorine removal drops. Use them this time.”

I think she then told me to go fuck myself and said something about going to Ben Franklin’s up the street.

Benny Franklin sold guppies back in them days.

(And apparently their guppies were made of sterner stuff. )

And hopefully Benny Frank would throw in some Chlorine Removal Drops—but this Broad was probably too stupid to understand how to use them—the process and procedure was beyond her capacity of understanding.

“Bon voyage,” I said to her back as she departed my life (Hopefully Forever.)

Added Value:

“All the Reasons Why”

Not really related, but I like it.

Not certain why.

But I drop it in–just like a chlorine-removal drop.

If you contort your mind just a little, it works.

Highway One-Oh-One:

****

“Gawd I Feel Like Hell Tonight” (Pity-Party On Steroids) “I Miss her So Much. Believe or Don’t: All My Words Come Main-Lined– Straight Out of My Heart–No Varnish Ever Applied Here.

I Fucked Up!

“Shonnie: Just Some Last Thoughts & One

“Reminisce”–

Important ‘Breaking News’ Re: Shonnie’s ‘Make-Over'”

Let’s Get This Out of the Way First:

“SPOILER ALERT!”

Do NOT Read Unless You are Already Familiar With The Story from Reading the Original Series.

Skip Ahead to Here:

Author’s Note:

Some of Y’all Faithful Readers… (That is Not Sarcasm. I sincerely appreciate all Y’all who read me and have ‘Read’ me over the years, and tears, and beers)

some of Y’all have probably noticed I have been re-visiting old work and endeavoring to ‘re-work’ same.

I am doing this because a few of the old posts still have value and meaning for me and hopefully for you as well.

Most do not, but there are a handful that do.

“Shonnie”, being one of them.

“Are you going ‘somewhere’ with this Lance?”

Yes. I just wish to inform Y’all that my ‘Current Mission’ is to re-write the entire Shonnie Series. Chapter One is Done. Now only Thirteen to go!”

Someone once told me, “Lance, your ‘Shonnie’ is probably the only ‘real’ writing you have ever done. Most of your other shit is just that: ‘Shit.’ Granted, some of it is entertaining shit, but ‘shit’ it remains. ‘Shonnie’ is the only one that will ever have even a snowflake’s chance in Hell of getting published. Provided you allow a good editor to slice and dice it.”

“Uh… Nice ‘talkin’ to ya. Thanks.”

****

I killed this Series a few years ago.

Pretty Certain Alcohol was involved.

Anyway, I brought it back, (With the help of Word Press—Thank you WP) if for nothing else, my own edification.

And every word I wrote, everything I recounted, actually happened as written.

(And of course, it was resurrected because I love Sheryl Crow. And of course, as a vain writer, I just cannot cotton to killing my own words, once dragged out of my mind and put down. 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 and I suppose how it should be.

One is young twice, but old only once. ‘Once a Man and Twice a Child’.

And youth makes one do stupid shit based upon that ‘youth’, and then, if lucky, one has a chance for redemption later in life while old and hopefully ‘wise,’ and before that ‘Second Childhood’ kicks in, making one fairly useless, even if still lovable.

(Not religious redemption: human redemption) I do not apologize for my youthful indiscretions. They belong to me alone and I will carry them alone. 

If anyone has it 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 a bit.

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.) Yet as good as Sheryl is, she could never be as good to, nor for me, as was Shonnie.

Ever.

(But, I’d grant her an audition, none-the-less)

It shames me now to admit this but I was, back then, not strong enough to be Shonnie’s man.

Would that I could be granted a second chance

And, even now, today, I probably still am not.

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

Shonnie, The Biker’s Wife

 Go there with my Blessing

And my Sympathy

Cheers! Y’all!

Below You Will Find Most Of The Original Posts. Once / If You Arrive At Thirteen There Are Links To The Final Few Chapters. Please keep in mind however, that each and every one of them is in the process of being rewritten: first to last. This will probably take at least two or three weeks.

UPDATE: The Shonnie Reconstruction Project is Completed.

Please read the new versions.

They are all still truth. Truth expanded. More detail, yada yada yada…

I deleted the links to the original versions.

The links seem to have been confusing.

The new ones are all easily accessible.