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 anyone. “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. But do please, I do implore: COMMENT

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.

OK: Now it Really is Thursday.

So, Throwback!

“I really did love your early shit Lance…”

* sigh *

“They said that about Dylan too.”

“You’re not him.”
* heavy sigh *

When that sun is high in that Texas sky

****

“Shonnie: The Biker’s ‘Wife of Bath’”

(Yes. You Read That Right; I am a Chaucer Fan. Surprised?)

Anyhow, it fits.

Holly Go

And She Fits (believe it or not)

http://maroni-maronirivas.blogspot.com/2009/05/modern-day-wife-of-bath.html

Here ya go and I do hope you enjoy.

***** 

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 smaller.

Orig Gilleys

 

I mean, Gilley’s had five bars in their bar and the largest dance in Texas. This joint had but one bar and one medium-sized dance floor. And it din’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’.”

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… and just to the right of Attila…

(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 the dance floor, (A semi-large dance floor actually. 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 or a shuffle board or even an air hockey table. Certainly no mechanical bull. Honky-Tonk Blasphemy!

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 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.

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?)

From Texas.

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 is ‘Shonnie’ and she is seated (seated?) just right there. C’mon! I will 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.” (The she quickly whispered to me, “Hey Sugar Britches, what’s your name?”)

“Lance”

“Uh, Shonnie, Girlfriend, This here’s Lance. Say ‘Howdy’” (This California Bitch was beginning to piss me off)

I shook the miniature 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 intriqued.

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

 

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.””

Running in Soft Sand: Part Two

The Below is Somewhat of a Rant Interlude (before I get to the rest of my story): Read at Your Own Annoyance.

*****

But before you do that, perhaps you may want to visit here, and watch the video while there, and maybe even read here.

***

I have a lot to say.

About Navy SEALs.

I have a lot of opinions.

About Navy SEALs.

And I am bona fide.

About Navy SEALs

****

I have a lot of regret over my experience with Navy SEALs.

I have a lot of love for Navy SEALs. Hell! I love the Nav!

(I scored ’99’ on my ASVAB–Unheard of!–The Army Tried to Recruit me! The Greenie Beanies! The Rangers! What a fucking joke!

(Now, do not mistake me: I think the Green Berets are just Jim Dandy, but they have parameters: i.e., there are things they just will not attempt. The Navy (SEALs) have no parameters: they will ‘attempt’ anything–more than once)

Video Credit:  Goldenman39z

I recall, while at BUD/s, how we used to taunt the USMC, there for their ‘little taste of amphib training.’

“Hey! Marine Corps! Bullet Sponge Marine Corps! (The few; the proud; the dead on the beach!”)**

Yeah, we got into trouble over that one…

And I did, one day, overhear a TDY Greenie Beanie instructor ask MY BUD/s instructor:

“Hey! How do you guys do it? I mean… how do you do it? You do all the same training! How do you do IT??”

My BUD/s instructor simply said, 

“We do it because this is how we do it.”

Would not trade my time spent at BUD/s for any other of my life’s experiences that I have experienced. (And that includes my time spent at SFM and in Iraq and Afghanistan, and even in Oklahoma and other war zones.)

I ‘earned’ it—my experience with SEALs.

All of it.

Every fuckin’ second.

They, (The SEAL Instructors) tried to kill me, but in a good way…They did kill one, in a manner of speaking, on ‘my watch’, but that is yet another story which time and virtual ink will not permit me to recount here–maybe later)

There are a lot of ‘frauds’ out there now. People who will tell you:

“I was a Navy SEAL.”

Idiots most! If you want to know if someone is / was a SEAL, you simply need to ask one simple question, “Which BUD/s class were you in?”

If that answer comes back as nonsense, then you will know…

(But, how will you know, being a non-com? If it was, indeed, nonsense.) I will tell you. There is only one place on Earth where BUD/s is taking place. That there, for starters, is a good clue. If some asshole tells you he went to BUD/s in Norfolk, VA, (As once happened to me in Basra, Iraq and once in Mombasa, Kenya) he is lying. If some asshole tells you he cannot remember: he is lying. If some asshole tells you it is ‘Classified,’ he is lying.

Walk away and find an interesting chick to speak with. You may get lucky. Buy her a gin and tonic or a wine cooler and tell her you were a Navy SEAL. She may buy into your bullshit. It usually never works in Southern California, but always works like a charm in Toledo.

And the crowd went wild
And The Crowd Went Wild!

Ever since Navy SEALs ‘took out’ OBL… well, and even before… The Navy has had a great PR Program, and a great recruiting machine. The Navy does recruiting better than any other service, (USMC is a very close second, though) But when I was about to enlist and told my recruiter I was ‘going in’ to be a SEAL, he did his due diligence and tried to talk me out of it!

Hahahah!

When I put in my chit (Navy vernacular) for SEALs, no one, and I mean no one, had ever heard of such an outfit, save for a few Nam Vets. I mean to say, data-based, ninety-nine of one hundred Americans could not even define a Navy SEAL.

“SEALs? Never heard of ‘em. Green Berets? Sure. Saw the fucking movie… John Wayne, right?”

Thinking to myself: “Yeah… The Duke, In Fucking Georgia: About as far removed from Viet Nam as is possible, you schmuck!”

Now today, I tune into CNN, FOX: even Aljazeera America, (You damn betcha! I read / watch ALL news), and I see so many ‘Former Navy SEALs’ paraded in front of me, talking to Megyn Kelly, or Bill O’Reilly, or Brook Baldwin, or Kim Kardashian. Jesus on a cracker! Is this what I missed by not becoming a Navy SEAL? I coulda been a ‘coin-tender!’ I coulda been somebody! I could have written a fucking book. Instead of being a bum.

Do a ‘search’ on Amazon dot com for Navy SEAL books. The SEALs I knew, did not ‘talk.’ Now everyone who ever even attempted ‘Hell Week’, is fucking Ernest Hemingway. Makes me nauseous.

Sheeit!

Don’t worry: I will get back to ‘My First Day at BUD/s’ soon enuff, but I am venting now. So please bear with me.

I am going to tell you what it really means to be a young, dumb, full of cum, Texas kid going through SEAL Training. Not the hoopla. Not the machismo. Not the ‘end game’ killing OBL.

No.

Just the story of four or five score scared shitless young kids, who had no idea what they had signed up for… And I was the oldest amongst them, but even, truth be told, the more scared. Because I knew better… Should have known better.

End of Rant.

Please stay tuned.

** And yeah! My own Father was a Korean-Era USMC: ‘Spit an’ Shine, Nickel and a Dime, United States Marine Corps!”

So what?

He weren’t no SEAL (Then again, neither was I)

Running In Soft Sand: Intro

This is Post One of a New old Series (and one I promise to be faithful to)

Below I will regale y’all with all my Navy SEAL BUD/s training reckless, feckless experiences. Reliving it for me, is better than it actually was. (Trust me on this one) 

However, before we dive in, please  watch the below. For if you do, you will get so much more value out of my words (also found below)

And if I am to continue This Series, I need just one of you, just one of YOU,  to ‘get it.’ So, let’s get it, shall we?

I was in Class One Forty and Class One Fifty Eight, but some things (in SEALs) are always constantly constant)

So, here we go….

***

Zero Four. Alarm going off! I knock it off the nightstand. It whimpers for an instant and then grows silent. “Now Run Tell That!” as Peanut would say.

Four o’clock!? Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!

Where am I? Who am I? Do I need to ‘be’ someplace at four-oh-fucking-clock? Of course I do. I start to remember, shaking some dust from my addled mind. I need to be in Coronado. At BUD/s. And I need to be there by zero-five. Fuck! Fuck!

Karen stirs beside me.

“What’s up?” she asks with morning breath and sleepy eyes.

“Go back to sleep,” I say. “I’ll see you later.” (Much later)

Dragging my hung over self out of our bed in La Mesa California, I get dressed and stumble down the stairs, trying ever so careful to not awake the house in my doing so at such an un-Godly-hour. Four o’clock!

Fuck!

Seated in my Toronado, I crank her up, back out of the drive and head west. To BUD/s. God help me.

Of course I had been through this before: back in ’86. I was what some could call a ‘Two-Time Loser.’ Yeah, this weren’t my first attempt at SEAL training. And certainly not my first rodeo. I continued west.

Presently I arrived at the BUD/s compound (For the uninitiated: Basic Underwater/Demolition slash SEAL Training—Yeah—My Navy is fond of acronyms)

Went into my ‘hooch’ and threw on the lights.

“Goddamn it! Marcom!” was the chorus I was greeted with. “I hate you!”

“Drop yer cocks and grab yer socks!” I yelled. (I have lived my life every day, waiting for an opportunity to say this)

“Huh?”

“It’s time to daince gen’telmens. Let’s git to it!”

“Ah fuck!”

“Yep! Fuck!”

I took a dip of snuff as I watched my roommates get dressed. We were due to meet up with the rest of our class, One Fifty-Eight, in about ten mikes.

“Hurry the fuck up!” I yelled at my sleepy ‘roommates’.

“And you… you shut the fuck up, Petty Officer Mar—cone.”

“I’m doin’ ya’ll a favor, getting you up early so you can get all yer constitutionals done in time,” I said.

“What-ever!”

“Let’s go,” I said.

We proceeded down to our class muster point, mustered up with about seventy other disgruntled ‘grunts’—poly-wogs—and ran into the ‘grinder.’

We sang in unison as we did so:

“TO MY LEFT!

“TO MY LEFT!

“HOOYAH

“HOOYAH

“HOO–YAH!!!”

Class One Five Eight had arrived at BUD/s. God save and send us.

On the grinder (asphalt parking lot) there were little paintings of fin-feet, designating where the pollywogs were to assemble for PT (Physical… Uh… training. Read: torture)

Thusly assembled, we waited for the SEAL Instructor to show. During our wait, we knew we were supposed to sing. You see? The singing arouses the instructor and God knows we wanted him aroused:

So we sang:

“Drank Drank Drank

“Drunk Drunk Drunk

“Drunk last night

“Drunk the night before

“Gonna get drunk like I never got before

“’Cause when I’m drunk I’m happy as can be

“’Cause I’m a member of the Frog Fam’ily…

“Oh the Frog Fam’ily is the best family

“That ever sailed a’cross the sea….”

 And on an’ on. You get the idea.

The instructor arrived in full regalia: UDT shorts, T-Shirt, and attitude. There was a platform of sorts in front of us (Just for His Holiness, the PT SEAL instructor to ‘preach’ from)

We stood erect at attention… waiting to hear his first pronouncement. We did not have to wait long.

“What a fucking sorry lot! This is the worst class I have ever seen! Get wet! AND SANDY!!!”

Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!

“Gonna be a long day,” I thought to myself as we all ran to the Pacific to get wet and then sandy on the beach…

And the day had not even yet begun…

Russia won our war

Or, If you desire:

“I’m the reason God Made Oklahoma.” (See? I can say that. Why? Because my second was an Okie and, by parley, that makes me bonafide—so there!)

Feel better?

Vid Credit? S. West (Who Else??)

This I took to Navy SEAL training…

  I did this!
Goda,mn it!

I did this!

Perhaps, I think too much.

There is a really meognorical … reason

And if case y’all missed it: “meognorical” is Francais for “Megalomaniac-is-all”

Subic Bay

You may discover Part One here.

Part Two here.

The Thunder Bolt:

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

 – Calo (‘The Godfather’)

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

So… Matt, Rogers, and I settled into the bar (After I had paid my respects to Mama-San).

Since it was still relatively early and the joint pretty much dead, Rog and I decided to shoot some pool. Now I must tell you, gentle readers, I am a pool hustler, and Rog was a gambler. Good for me. Bad for him. After about an hour of pool, Rog owned me all the beer in Olongapo and his First Born. Wasn’t really interested in the First Born (I had seen the baby pictures and the baby dipped snuff just like his daddy), So I told him to keep the First Born, but get busy with the beers. We sat back down at the bar next to Matt who was in some kind of serious philosophical discussion with a young bar girl who appeared to have a glass eye. Matt is a gentleman and this girl seemed to have warmed up to him. Rog and I were not gentlemen so we interrupted their conversation.

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

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

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

(Matt was an artist. So I suppose this was to be expected: This Un-Naval-Like Bullshit Talk he could come up with out the side of his neck from time to time)

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

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

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

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

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

I glanced over at Matt, now busily drawing on a cocktail napkin what appeared to be a rather flattering portrait of the bar girl.

“Yeah, Rog. I suppose yer right.”

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

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

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

Thunderbolt. Bam!

I just had to have some chat with her.

And By God, I would.

Or die.

I would become useless for the rest of the evening.

I spent far too much time in the Far East.

This will be continued…

“Yeah! I’m flyin’ down to Houston…”

I love Willie.

“Win your medals: fuck your strangers”

Read This: is this me? (Or why not me? Who Else?)

Still Thursday, eh?

and yeah: I edit as I go…

****

Picking up from the last half-chapter…

Matt, Rogers, and I were in Viva Young. I had been smitten.

But the smite –her was elusive, so Matt and I retired to the pool tables. Me hoping to fleece him outta some beer money. He hoping for good conversation and Lance Good Wolf-Ticket talk.

We both got what we wanted, until…

Until Pain walked in.

Pain (his real name) was my roommate back when I was in BUD/s Class 140. Pain was a pain in the ass. He was a tow-head boy, weighing in at about 150. All attitude. Bad attitude. He reminded me of Peanut, without the good to outweigh the bad. I did not like his style.

One of My Girls, (yes they were ‘mine’—this was My Bar, wasn’t it?) brought me a beer and said,

“Hey! Dat guy just walk in, he Na-bee Seal.”

“Yes Honey. I know him.”

“He yor frien?”

“Nope. He is trouble, and thanks for the beer.”

Still holding my pool cue, I walked over to Pain.

“Hey Pain!” I said. “How’s it hangin’?”

“Hey Ya.  Uh… don’t I know you from somewhere? Oh yeah; Buds. Back in ’86.”

“Yeah,” I said. “Class one forty. You were my roommate for a spell, until you got kicked out for smacking my other roommate upside the head.”

“Yeah he was an idiot.”

“Don’t think so. He was my Friend.”

“What was yer name? Mark… something or other… Mark..um…?”

“Yeah, that’s right: Marcom.”

“You rocked out didn’t ya?”

“Yeah, I rocked out. Got hurt. Apparently you made it. In SEALs.”

“Yeah, I didn’t rock out.”

“Good for you.”

“Wanna beer?”

“No Pain, I do not. What I want is for you to take your ass outta here. You see, this bar is for ‘Black Shoe Sailors’—Fleet Sailors. This is MY bar, and we don’t really want all you prima-donnas hangin’ out here. This is a private bar—my bar—So… mosey on on.”

“I go where I please. Fuck you!”

“Excuse me, but this ain’t your kind of place. This place is not big enuff to house your Navy SEAL ego; I suggest you amble on down to The California Club on Magsaysay. They have high ceilings and lots of bar girls. You will be welcomed there.”

“You’re pissing me off.”

By this point, I had reversed my grip on the pool cue, and turned it into a baseball bat. Matt came up to my shoulder and whispered,

“Lance, don’t do it.”

I had forty pounds on Pain. I could take him without the pool stick.

Mama-San, ever astute, came up to me and said,

“Sailor Man, you may need to sit down.”

I said, “Mama-San, Not until this asshole leaves.”

She said, “Okay, but you gonna fix the furniture.”

Standing two heads high over him, I turned back to Pain, “You need to leave Son.”

“Maybe I will check out that California Club after all.” He said. And left.

The Jar Heads on the other side of the bar applauded. One said,

“Great job! Squiddy! That guy is an asshole. Seen him around town.”

“Thanks!” I said. Then yelled, “Hey! Mama-San! Bring me a beer! I just saw my life flash in front of me!” (Not really. I fear no man, but it makes for good prose, eh?)

Pain was actually a good guy. But an asshole. Certainly I can relate, being same.

Since I ‘Missed’ TBT this past week…

I simply MUST catch up. Below please find one of MY Personal Favorites:

“SEAL Training: Psych Evaluation”

***

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.

 

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

 

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

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…

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 yesterday?”

“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

Awesomely Related HERE

Lance OUT

 

Shonnie The Biker’s Wife: This is 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.

END

Denouement 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 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

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 of Bath, 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 of Bath’

“Shonnie: The Biker’s ‘Wife of Bath’”

(Yes. You Read That Right; I am a Chaucer Fan. Surprised?)

Anyhow, it fits.

Holly Go

And She Fits (believe it or not)

http://maroni-maronirivas.blogspot.com/2009/05/modern-day-wife-of-bath.html

Here ya go and I do hope you enjoy.

***** 

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 smaller.

Orig Gilleys

 

I mean, Gilley’s had five bars in their bar and the largest dance in Texas. This joint had but one bar and one medium-sized dance floor. And it din’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’.”

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… and just to the right of Attila…

(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 the dance floor, (A semi-large dance floor actually. 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 or a shuffle board or even an air hockey table. Certainly no mechanical bull. Honky-Tonk Blasphemy!

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 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.

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?)

From Texas.

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 is ‘Shonnie’ and she is seated (seated?) just right there. C’mon! I will 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.” (The she quickly whispered to me, “Hey Sugar Britches, what’s your name?”)

“Lance”

“Uh, Shonnie, Girlfriend, This here’s Lance. Say ‘Howdy’” (This California Bitch was beginning to piss me off)

I shook the miniature 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 intriqued.

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

 

The Real Story of Diego Garcia, Part Three

Part One Here

Part Two Here

The Eighties Kinda Sucked For Me. Not horribly but slightly. Now I will digress and tell you why.

During the Eighties, I came home from Egypt and SFM. I had spent the last three years of the Seventies in the Sinai Desert and these were glorious years for me. 

During the (very early) Eighties, actually very late Seventies, I got married.

At the beginning of the Eighties, Ronald Reagan was president and I was twenty-two years old: could not deny me or tell me anything! I had ‘seen’ the World!

Ronnie

During the Early Eighties, the Prime Lending Rate went from nine percent to twenty percent, thus making it real difficult for me to sustain a Small Business loan for my Tropical Fish Store.

I overcame all of this. By sheer guts and asshole-ness. (and by writing a seriously hot check, for three thousand dollars! I gave a shit not.)

But, I embraced it:

And somewhat thrived. Trickle Down, as they say, but not to mention, my bride and I slept on Army Cots for two years… We slept with the fishes.

And ate baked potatoes, cooked in a microwave which we had stolen borrowed. With pressed ham.

And the occasional onion… on Saturdays. And bacon on Sundays. And sometimes sour cream on Mondays.

We eventually left that place (after four years) Yep, we escaped Nacogdoches, Texas, which for us had been what we could imagine living in The Movie ‘Deliverance’ would have been like.

We escaped to Plano, Texas, which for many (but not us), was like living in the TV Show ‘Dallas’.

We discovered that we were more poor there than anywhere. In Nacogdoches we were ‘business owners’. In Plano we were just scum: no furniture, no fixtures, no nada: SCUM. We got thrown out of our first apartment because “Y’all don’t have no furniture and y’all are sleeping on the floor. This violates y’all’s lease agreement. Goodbye.”

We soldiered on…

We did sell, at a garage sale, damn near everything we owned, to include my prized Celestron Telescope and my wife’s Mikasa China from her first marriage.

Just to eat.

(Food was a prerequisite back then)

Finally….

We made a stance.

My Long-time Bride and my Soul-Mate, and a veteran of the “hard days” tole me one day,

She said, “Lance’, this is no way to live! Do something! Any thing!”

So, I did.  I told her I was gonna join the U.S. Navy. And send her all her allotment and everything else. And meant it.

She initially balked at this  (and she was former U.S. Army Reserve) at that time.

She said to me, and I quote:

“Lance, you are gonna do this thing, right? Then, I ask of you one thing: I wanna be a house-wife for just one year… can you give me that?”

“Yes! I said.”

So I got another job and worked my ass…

And I gave her her one year.

Then I joined the Navy.

And I did not see her again for ten years.

And sometimes after all these years, I still miss our poverty days, because we were so happy being poor.

And I did serve my country, just as I had promised her I would (We, The Both, were Patriots, by an’ by…)

Navy!

tex flag

 

What does any of this have to do with Diego Garcia?

Stay tuned…

Diego Garcia: Arrival

So we pulled into Diego Garcia one bright sunny day.

Part one here

Diegogarcia

The night before, we were subjected to a ‘briefing.’ (and a pecker check–you don’t wanna know)

Briefly this briefing consisted of a shit-load of ‘don’ts’:

Don’t do this; don’t do that. “This is a working port, and don’t get excited about liberty here.”

We had been at-sea for (to us) longer than Odysseus, and we really did not wanna hear this shit but, being ‘good sailors’ and desperate to get ‘on the beach’, we just nodded.

The main thing was this: “You cannot, under any circumstance, go to the British side of this Island.”

No worries, I thought, (for at that time the only Brits I had known had come across as rather ‘stuffy’.

Our captor went further:

“This, as I did say, is a working port: Three day duty.”

“Ah shit.”

Yep, fully two thirds of the Ship’s company had to be on-board at any given time. Not to mention, as this was a working port, we could not leave the ship until the Work Day was done: i.e., sixteen hundred hours.

Nevertheless…

Diego Garcia was beautiful! Right out of ‘South Pacific’ the movie. I was jazzed by all of it. I hit the beach! Went to explore the Naval Base there. Found it wanting (Not my idea of Hemingway). I then swerved onto the Merchant Marine obscure dock and here is where I found my home for the next thirty days.

It was untouched by modern anything.

There was a small bar/restaurant and A beach. Some serving wenches, and palm trees.

I settled in.

Part Three Here

Diego Garcia, or some could say, “McHale’s Navy”

“Diego Garcia? Huh? Never heard of it.”

Lots of folks have not: Don’t despair. I spent thirty glorious days there back in ’86. After my first failed attempt at BUD/s, the Nav sent exiled me to the USS Callaghan DDG 994, a Khomeini-Class Guided Missile Destroyer.

It was called a ‘Khomeini Class’ because along with three sister-ships, she was built for the Iranian Navy (When The Shah was still the Big Man About Town). The ships were not yet commissioned, not ever close, when His Wonderfulness, The Ayatollah came back to hang up his shingle and Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, His Shah-Ness had booked out on his World Tour to cure cancer (his).

And naturally, after the Birds Sang And Shah went away, we just had to keep these ships for our own self(s). Such is History…

DDG 994

My Belov’d USS Callaghan

Anyway, that may be too much information for my purposes here.

After I had mustered onboard the Callaghan, I was informed that I was ‘One Lucky Squiddy Sonuvabitch’ (That’s ‘Naval’ parlance for ‘Sailor’.)

“Why? Why am I lucky?” I just had to ask, as I really wasn’t feeling all-that-lucky after having ‘rocked out’ of SEAL training only to wake up in ‘The Black Shoe, Haze Gray and Underway Gray-Hound’ Navy.

“You are lucky Son,” my Senior LPO informed me, “because we are going on a ‘World Cruise’. And most sailors spend an entire career without such an opportunity.”

“Oh Goody,” I thought, I done been ‘round the whurl’. So what? “Six months away from the only pussy I had finally managed to find for me in San Dog (San Diego). Perfect.” Didn’t actually verbalize that, by the way. I probably said something like, “Gee Wally, I love the idea.” (Without the ‘Wally’ part—I ain’t stupid, ya know.)

Now, I would love to write about this entire cruise, and perhaps I may, but for the purposes of this post, I am gonna skip to the middle, as this is supposed to be about Diego Garcia.

About Month ‘two-and-a-half’, we were cut off  severed culled from our Battle Group and ordered to do some ‘Independent Steaming’ in the Northern ‘IO’ (That’s Navy vernacular for “Indian Ocean.”) We were to rendezvous with the rest of the Fleet at some later unspecified date. (Presumably to us, after they had some proper ‘Liberty’ somewhere up in the Med… You know: Shit-Holes like Toulon France, or Athens, or Palma, Majorca.)

mallorca

Mallorca

(Fun Fact: The Justified Reason for Our Wonderful World Cruise: We were to escort the USS Kitty Hawk, an old ‘Bird Farm’, i.e., Aircraft Carrier, to ‘No-Fuck’, I mean ‘Norfolk’ Virginia Naval Base. You see, The ‘Shitty Kitty’ just could not fit through the Panama Canal. Hence, we had to take the long way to her new home.

For the sake of some brevity, I will merely recount here that we got ‘Stuck’ in the Northern IO, as The Russians and the Iranians were acting ‘stupid’ and kept harassing us. (Fly-Overs by Ruskies, Iranians threatening to blockade the Straits of Hormuz. You know, typical Eighties’ shit and actually not unexpected.

Now like most U.S. Government Bureaucracies, The Department of the Navy had a budget. We spent so much time on ‘Picket Station’ (Making five knots up and down the North IO, ‘Patrolling’) that we had simply used up our fuel allotment.

(Fun Fact: In the U.S. Navy once Squiddies have not seen land for forty-five days, they get to have a ‘Beer Day’. Yep. That’s right. They chopper in cases of beer, laced with formaldehyde, as a preservative, don’cha know, and each Sailor gets two, count ‘em two beers. Gives a raging headache and ‘Old Salt’ Sailors would not even drink them; they would sell theirs to the neophytes. I was one such neophyte. And yes, I got the raging headaches. Never again.)

What to do?

Send us to port!

Hallelujah! Port!

Guess what?

The ‘Port’ was Diego Garcia: A No-Where’s-Ville In the Middle of the Vast ‘Nowhere’ that is the Indian Ocean.

diego-garcia

We were all so very fucking excited.

To Be Continued (I Promise) Update: Part Two Here

Here is a good Sailor / Soldier Song (If ya like Kris that is)

Anchors Aweigh!

USN Flag

OK:

Just could not resist:

 

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.

 

Throw-Back: She’s Not Here

NAVY CLUB of the United State of America MILITARY EXCELLENCE Award

“Presented to the graduating recruit who best exemplifies the qualities of enthusiasm, devotion to duty, military appearance and behavior, self-discipline and teamwork.”

This was the highest honor any recruit could be awarded.

I won that sucker in ‘85.

Before I went to Boot Camp, aka in Naval Parlance, “Recruit Training” my recruiter told my wife:

Great mistakes

“Hey, If Lance wins this award, The Navy will pay for your plane ticket and lodging at Great Lakes Naval Recruit Center so you may see Lance graduate. But of course, it is very unlikely he will win. I mean the odds are against it, but who knows? Lance has scored the best on his ASVAB and he looks to be squared-away.” Blah Blah Blah.

My wife was an Army Reserve Vet, a Non-Com in the U.S. Army Reserve, and for her day job, a probation officer. She should have smelled bullshit. So should I. But neither one of us did. We were poor. I promised her before I left for Boot Camp:

“Janet, I am gonna win that award and you are gonna be so proud of me. The Navy will fly you to Chicago and we will be together before I ship out to SEAL training. Don’t worry: the Navy is an honorable service. They cannot make these claims if they are not true.”

She put me on the plane and I headed off to Great Lakes RTC (Recruit Training Center). I arrived at 0400hrs and somewhat scared shitless, even though I was twenty-seven and a veteran of one war zone already (see SFM). But I had seen too many movies and I knew my next nine weeks would ‘test’ me.

Continue reading

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

 

It’s Thursday O’clock Somewhere

As I continue to struggle through a temporary writer’s block (Kind of like running in soft sand) figured I’d just throw this blast-from-the-past against the wall and see if it sticks.

Apologies to those who have already seen and read this one (both of you 😉 )

Happy Thursday to you, wherever and whatever time-zone you may find yourself in.

–Your Humble Servant: Merde Le Roi

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

Three A.M. and I was in the middle of a dream about ‘Shit River’ in Ologapo City, Philippines. (Freud would’ve loved me)

Then I woke up.

Woke up to a very un-dreamy-like smell of real shit. Real potent shit. Horrible smelling shit. Knock a buzzard off a shit wagon smelling shit. Bring out yer dead, Shit.

“Who’s that?”

“Must be a king”

“Why?”

“He hasn’t got shit all over ‘im”

I was living in an old two-story house in Commerce. Just outside my bedroom was the walk-in closet where I kept all the clothes I owned. I have never owned much in the way of clothes, by the way.

I heard something dripping like rain behind the door, but it wasn’t raining outside. I opened the door and sure as shit, shit was raining down from the ceiling. All over my clothes. Spattering on the floor. My Chow Mix doggie, Tizzy, was obviously responsible.

Chow

I went around the corner, and there he was in that dog-taking-a-shit posture at the top of the stairway: Obviously with a really bad case of the doggie drizzling shits. Made me miss my ant farm.

Or my spiders.

Obviously, I was “not a king” (see above video)

Took me until seven a.m. to clean up the shit and wash all my clothes.

I called in sick to work telling my boss,

“I feel like shit.”

Then I did the only prudent thing that came to mind and would give me peace.

 

I Did Promise Music and Laughter: I Kind of Lied

I actually gave this some serious thought earlier today.

And truthfully I was inspired by a post I read over yonder at

http://sharoncummings.wordpress.com/2014/03/28/p-r-o-b-l-e-m-s/

We were talking about optimism.

Well Sharon was but it got me to thinking.

(Scary, yeah.)

Anyhow, I had this post develop in my head. A post about good and bad. A post about optimism and pessimism. A post about Human Decency.

Then I promised me: I Promised me I would not post it because it might sound too preachy, but when we fall away from stating the obvious, because “it has been said too many times before,” well then we forget. And dammit! Some of us need reminding from time to time.

So, here it is:

I have spoken on ‘racism’ before.

Nothing Like a Dame

No Preacher: me.

Just a schmuck.

But I love this movie.

Here are some links, if ya wanna read some scholarly shit:

Continue reading

Pain

Picking up from the last half-chapter…

Matt, Rogers, and I were in Viva Young. I had been smitten.

But the smite –her was elusive, so Matt and I retired to the pool tables. Me hoping to fleece him outta some beer money. He hoping for good conversation and Lance Good Wolf-Ticket talk.

We both got what we wanted, until…

Until Pain walked in.

Pain (his real name) was my roommate back when I was in BUD/s Class 140. Pain was a pain in the ass. He was a tow-head boy, weighing in at about 150. All attitude. Bad attitude. He reminded me of Peanut, without the good to outweigh the bad. I did not like his style.

One of My Girls, (yes they were ‘mine’—this was My Bar, wasn’t it?) brought me a beer and said,

“Hey! Dat guy just walk in, he Na-bee Seal.”

“Yes Honey. I know him.”

“He yor frien?”

“Nope. He is trouble, and thanks for the beer.”

Still holding my pool cue, I walked over to Pain.

“Hey Pain!” I said. “How’s it hangin’?”

“Hey Ya.  Uh… don’t I know you from somewhere? Oh yeah; Buds. Back in ’86.”

“Yeah,” I said. “Class one forty. You were my roommate for a spell, until you got kicked out for smacking my other roommate upside the head.”

“Yeah he was an idiot.”

“Don’t think so. He was my Friend.”

“What was yer name? Mark… something or other… Mark..um…?”

“Yeah, that’s right: Marcom.”

“You rocked out didn’t ya?”

“Yeah, I rocked out. Got hurt. Apparently you made it. In SEALs.”

“Yeah, I didn’t rock out.”

“Good for you.”

“Wanna beer?”

“No Pain, I do not. What I want is for you to take your ass outta here. You see, this bar is for ‘Black Shoe Sailors’—Fleet Sailors. This is MY bar, and we don’t really want all you prima-donnas hangin’ out here. This is a private bar—my bar—So… mosey on on.”

“I go where I please. Fuck you!”

“Excuse me, but this ain’t your kind of place. This place is not big enuff to house your Navy SEAL ego; I suggest you amble on down to The California Club on Magsaysay. They have high ceilings and lots of bar girls. You will be welcomed there.”

“You’re pissing me off.”

By this point, I had reversed my grip on the pool cue, and turned it into a baseball bat. Matt came up to my shoulder and whispered,

“Lance, don’t do it.”

I had forty pounds on Pain. I could take him without the pool stick.

Mama-San, ever astute, came up to me and said,

“Sailor Man, you may need to sit down.”

I said, “Mama-San, Not until this asshole leaves.”

She said, “Okay, but you gonna fix the furniture.”

Standing two heads high over him, I turned back to Pain, “You need to leave Son.”

“Maybe I will check out that California Club after all.” He said. And left.

The Jar Heads on the other side of the bar applauded. One said,

“Great job! Squiddy! That guy is an asshole. Seen him around town.”

“Thanks!” I said. Then yelled, “Hey! Mama-San! Bring me a beer! I just saw my life flash in front of me!” (Not really. I fear no man, but it makes for good prose, eh?)

Pain was actually a good guy. But an asshole. Certainly I can relate, being same.

Girl Walks Into A Bar

Part Three and A-Half of A Sailor’s Scholarly Series on U.S. Naval History in The South Pacific

(Part Three Here)

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

So, a girl walks into a bar.

Boom! Thunderbolt!

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

“What new girl?”

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

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

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

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

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

“Leave her alone.”

“She reminds me of someone,” I said.

“Don’t we all? That is what we do here. We sell memories. We are in the memory business.”

For you film scholars out there:

I understand the point behind the Musical “South Pacific.”

Yes, I do.

It was about the idiocy that is racism.

I used the video clip (see below)  for humor and to point out a point.

Sailors were innocent (for the most part). Times were heady. Facing death, which I know, can make feminists of us all:

“Mommy! Please don’t let me die here!”

Nuff said.

End of rant.

P.S. If we ban the word, ‘Bossy’ what follows when we can seriously consider banning any word?

Or Book?

Hunger Games?

As much as I admire Jennifer Lawrence, I do not wish to go there.

*******

“You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JjiaRJqKIU)

(sometimes “You’ve Got to Be Taught” or “Carefully Taught”) is a show tune from the 1949 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical South Pacific.

South Pacific received scrutiny for its commentary regarding relationships between different races and ethnic groups. In particular, “You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught” was subject to widespread criticism, judged by some to be too controversial or downright inappropriate for the musical stage.[1] Sung by the character Lieutenant Cable, the song is preceded by a lyric saying racism is “not born in you! It happens after you’re born…”

Rodgers and Hammerstein risked the entire South Pacific venture in light of legislative challenges to its decency or supposed Communist agenda. While the show was on a tour of the Southern United States, lawmakers in Georgia introduced a bill outlawing entertainment containing “an underlying philosophy inspired by Moscow.”[2] One legislator said that “a song justifying interracial marriage was implicitly a threat to the American way of life.”[2] Rodgers and Hammerstein defended their work strongly. James Michener, upon whose stories South Pacific was based, recalled, “The authors replied stubbornly that this number represented why they had wanted to do this play, and that even if it meant the failure of the production, it was going to stay in.”[2]

–From Wikipedia

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

You may discover Part One here.

Part Two here.

The Thunder Bolt:

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

 – Calo (‘The Godfather’)

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

So… Matt, Rogers, and I settled into the bar (After I had paid my respects to Mama-San).

Since it was still relatively early and the joint pretty much dead, Rog and I decided to shoot some pool. Now I must tell you, gentle readers, I am a pool hustler, and Rog was a gambler. Good for me. Bad for him. After about an hour of pool, Rog owned me all the beer in Olongapo and his First Born. Wasn’t really interested in the First Born (I had seen the baby pictures and the baby dipped snuff just like his daddy), So I told him to keep the First Born, but get busy with the beers. We sat back down at the bar next to Matt who was in some kind of serious philosophical discussion with a young bar girl who appeared to have a glass eye. Matt is a gentleman and this girl seemed to have warmed up to him. Rog and I were not gentlemen so we interrupted their conversation.

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

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

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

(Matt was an artist. So I suppose this was to be expected: This Un-Naval-Like Bullshit Talk he could come up with out the side of his neck from time to time)

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

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

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

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

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

I glanced over at Matt, now busily drawing on a cocktail napkin what appeared to be a rather flattering portrait of the bar girl.

“Yeah, Rog. I suppose yer right.”

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

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

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

Thunderbolt. Bam!

I just had to have some chat with her.

And By God, I would.

Or die.

I would become useless for the rest of the evening.

I spent far too much time in the Far East.

This will be continued…

Something Wrong

There must be something inherently wrong.

Something inherently, just wrong, with a man who can love Joni Mitchell–Mitchell and LBJ all in the same virtual ‘sentence’

I have seen idiots from ‘Both Sides Now’ And… I have been the ‘Both Sides’ Idiot. Still am, I suppose.

Well, there you have it: My virtual dichotomy.

I love ‘em both.

Surely it is a Texan thang.

I surely do hope so.

For, if so, there is still hope for those of us who call ‘Texas’ our home.

We do ‘sailor on’…

There will be some commentary on “The Atomic Cafe” soon…

(http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/atomic_cafe/)

She’s Not Here

NAVY CLUB of the United State of America MILITARY EXCELLENCE Award

“Presented to the graduating recruit who best exemplifies the qualities of enthusiasm, devotion to duty, military appearance and behavior, self-discipline and teamwork.”

This was the highest honor any recruit could be awarded.

I won that sucker in ‘85.

Before I went to Boot Camp, aka in Naval Parlance, “Recruit Training” my recruiter told my wife:

Great mistakes

“Hey, If Lance wins this award, The Navy will pay for your plane ticket and lodging at Great Lakes Naval Recruit Center so you may see Lance graduate. But of course, it is very unlikely he will win. I mean the odds are against it, but who knows? Lance has scored the best on his ASVAB and he looks to be squared-away.” Blah Blah Blah.

My wife was an Army Reserve Vet, a Non-Com in the U.S. Army Reserve, and for her day job, a probation officer. She should have smelled bullshit. So should I. But neither one of us did. We were poor. I promised her before I left for Boot Camp:

“Janet, I am gonna win that award and you are gonna be so proud of me. The Navy will fly you to Chicago and we will be together before I ship out to SEAL training. Don’t worry: the Navy is an honorable service. They cannot make these claims if they are not true.”

She put me on the plane and I headed off to Great Lakes RTC (Recruit Training Center). I arrived at 0400hrs and somewhat scared shitless, even though I was twenty-seven and a veteran of one war zone already (see SFM). But I had seen too many movies and I knew my next nine weeks would ‘test’ me.

Continue reading

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

Viva Young

As mentioned in the previous post, Viva Young was a tiny joint about a block or two off Magsaysay Boulevard. Upon entering, immediately on the left was ‘Mama San’s ‘Office,’ which was simply an enclosed counter with an ancient cash register, a small table lamp, a perpetually over-flowing ashtray, and a counter sign which read: “No Credit.” Every bar or club had a ‘Mama San’—‘Manager’ to put it into Western Parlance. I had a bit of a history with this Mama San. We were roughly the same age and found each other mutually attractive. She did volunteer work for the mayor of Olongapo and was quite astute. She wanted a career in government. But first, she had a bar to run and girls to manage. In this regard she was all cold business.

When on liberty in Olongapo I generally spent the night with Mama San. She lived with her mother and a sister and a brother and a few children in a fairly decent (though small) house about a mile from Viva Young. She was supporting the entire family and was never ‘hesitate’ to hit me up for contributions to her domicile. I knew ‘the score’ and happily donated to her cause. What did I need money for anyway? We had a convenient relationship and genuinely liked each other. And to my mind, she was doing good work.

Running the length of the bar was the ‘stage’ or ‘cat walk’. Or picture a runway, similar to what one might find in a very low-rent fashion show. Bordering this runway on three sides was a narrow counter top: narrow-minded and horse-shoe-shaped. The open end faced the door and Mama San’s watchful eye. Bar stools (ancient and uncomfortable) finished the Spartan scene. The bar girls would line up on the runway and dance to the music from the equally ancient jukebox. Yes, this was best unflatteringly described as a ‘Meat Market’. But then, that was Olongapo in 1989. Matt, Rogers, and I knew all the girls. (Just not in the Biblical sense). I suspect some were under age. If you’d ask one hundred bar girls in Olongapo where they were from, you’d get one hundred same pat answers:

“I from da Pra’bince (Province). I make money so go to college.”

I never met a single gal (see how easily I throw in some Texan vernacular to cover up the horrible reality?) who told me she wasn’t actually from Olongapo. Nope, these were all ‘country gals’ with aspirations–from ‘The Province–the true aspiration was to marry a U.S. Serviceman and get the hell out of the Philippines. And who could blame them? Many a young Sailor or Marine, after having his first sexual encounter fell in love with a Filipina and did fulfill her dream. They would marry and the new bride would move to San Diego. Within a few months the rest of the family would be sent for. This was called the ‘Filipino Pipeline’. Sadly, more often than not, once secured with U.S. Citizenship and the rescue of her family, the new bride would divorce her Sailor or Marine and make her way into the American Dream, leaving the husband wondering what the hell had gone wrong.

I never felt sorry for the cuckolds. I was a cruel son of a bitch back then, and secretly, as a perpetual con and huckster, I was always for the Filipinas.

Actually everything always went wrong with such agreements.

More later.

I have a deadline.

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

Liberty Call!

Dateline: 1989 Subic Bay Naval Base / Olongapo City, Philippines 1600hrs

“Knock Off Ship’s Work! Liberty Call! Liberty Call!” reverberated from the 1MC onboard the USS Frederick, LST 1184.

fred.jpg

Simultaneously a couple hundred sailors went into Fred Flintstone mode, “Yabba Dabba Dooo!!”

To beat the stampede off the ship, Matt, Rogers, and I were already in our berthing compartment donning our civvies. We were, as always, five minutes ahead of the game. We double-timed up to the quarterdeck,

“Permission to go ashore” we said in unison to the O.O.D, (Officer of the Deck)

“Very well,” he replied, and we scampered down to the pier almost knocking each other down in our haste. Free at last!

Olongapo City was Sexual Disneyland for Sailors and Marines. Up and down Magsaysay Boulevard, every other venue a bar, and every other venue was a massage parlor (“Hey Sailor! You want massage with sensation?”) and every other, other joint was what could be better described as a ‘Mega-Club’. These had no less than three to four hundred ‘working girls.’ These Mega-Clubs, (solely owned and operated by the Chinese Mafia) which were often three stories high, were death traps in the event of a fire, no matter how small. The din inside was cacophonous. Ear plugs were prudent. If the place didn’t burn down during your sojourn, you could still get trampled to death in the stampede to get out the solitary door. Cigarette smoke swirled up like morning Mekong mist in Apocalypse Now. No one felt the danger. Nor cared.

This was not my first rodeo. I had been to Olongapo before (WESTPAC deployment in 1986). Ditto for my two compadres. All three of us were GM’s—Gunner’s mates.  We were ‘Old Salts’. Matt was married to a Filipina and she seconded to San Dog (San Diego), happily fucking every Marine she could lay legs on. This TMI came directly from Matt and was common knowledge. He admitted to being a cuckold, but was so blindly in love he was powerless to do anything about it.  Rogers was married as well, but cuckold, he was none. Rogers was a little wiry Irish descendant, reddish blond-haired crazy son of a bitch. The three of us were absolutely the best of friends.

There could not be a more divergent set of personalities. Matt was an artist. He was thoughtful, mild-mannered, and really too nice of a guy for his chosen vocation. Rogers was coarse, with a bit of a Napoleon Complex, fearless, rowdy. And crazy. My persona was dark and foreboding and dangerous. I had ‘rocked out’ of SEAL training for the second time and had but one year left before I could turn in my Canoe Club Card and get the hell outta This Man’s Navy. Having failed to make it in Naval Spec-Warfare, my Naval Career was over as far as I was able to give one shit. This made me dangerous. Rogers loved that about me. Matt was just generally apprehensive.

We did not enjoy the Magsaysay scene: it was just too rowdy—too loud—too frenetic—too immature (Yes: I said ‘immature’) We were not looking for prostitutes. Matt had his loving wife; Rogers had his Trailer-Park-Shotgun-Bride with their four tow-headed kids, each born precisely nine months and twenty minutes after the preceding.  And I had my transplanted Yankee Girlfriend waiting (?) back in San Dog.

We just wanted a joint which would have that “Cheers” ambiance. We found it at Viva Young, a little shit-hole-in-the-wall bar off on a side street (And actually ‘Off Limits’—even better: nothing more fun than jacking with the SP’s—Shore Patrol). Viva Young had become our place and all the girls (and the Mama-San) knew our names. There was not much to it. It was a narrow long bar, perhaps 1500 square feet, dark and smoky and the music volume did not force us to shout.

Upon entering Viva Young, one was instantly assaulted with ‘Welcome!’

“We love you here, Sailor Man!”

“Take your shoes off! We love you!”

There was a long cat walk. The cat walk was the main attraction—taking up most of the bar. At the very back of the bar, just for fun, were two pool tables.

The nubile Filipinas, fresh from Soccer Practice (we always seemed to show up during the lax time-that time between the end of girls soccer and the Real Deal), would greet us:

Hey Mister Marcone! Hey Mista Matt! Hey Mista Rog! We love you! Buy me drink?!”

“Sure Honey!”

Stay tuned…it gets better.

“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!

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…