Lance! Lance! LANCE!!! Take a Fuckin’ Break! Get Over Yourself! Added More Navy SEAL SHIT! “Part Two of a Sailor’s Scholarly Series on U.S. Naval History in The South Pacific”

When last we left our Boys they had arrived at Viva Young not unlike victorious Roman Legionaries returning from Gaul—The Conquering Heroes—welcomed with gleeful squeals of joy and happiness by The Girls.

A little more detail on Viva Young The Establishment, and more than a little more detail on ‘Mama-San’ is in order here.

Upon first 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.

(Yes we were ‘Fuck Buddies’)

We were roughly the same age and found each other mutually attractive. She was tall for a Filipina, just a little bit chunky with shoulder length reddish brown hair which she kept in a semi-perm.

Or perhaps it kept her; maybe that was its natural state. Dark brown eyes and the ‘Ornamental’ version of The ‘Shonnie’ Voice—semi-coarse and gruff.

She did volunteer work for the mayor of Olongapo and was quite well-read, savvy, and politically 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.

“You gonna pay my bar fine?” Were some of the first ‘personal’ words she said to me on the night I ‘proposed’ to her, which was what seemed like eons before this particular port visit.

Some clarification: Subic Bay is a ‘working port’ not a ‘liberty port’. It is just like being in San Dog, only ‘with benefits.’

But still a working port.

Hence, during this particular Westpac deployment, we would find ourselves in Subic Bay every month or so ostensibly for resupply, but mainly because we were schlepping about six hundred US Marines around the South Pacific.

The Frederick LST 1184 is what is known as a ‘Gator Freighter.’ The ‘LST’ stands for ‘Tank Landing Ship.’ And yes I know the acronym is ass-backwards—‘Landing Ship, Tank’—My Navy is kind of Dyslexic.

Anyway, our primary purpose, our only purpose, our whole raison d’être is to ferry Marines about, dropping them and their AAV’s ‘Amphibious Assault Vehicles’ off at various beaches throughout the region.

“You call. We haul.”

That is the mantra of the Amphib Navy.

So Much Fun!

So we’d drop off the kids, head back out to sea and return a few days later to pick up all the ones who had not drown in the surf-zone. And sadly, I am not joking. We lost a half-dozen or so during that deployment.

Marines really cannot swim for shit and are not benefitted by the ‘Drown-Proofing’ training they teach at BUD/s (SEAL Boot-Camp, which if you recall, your humble author had been through.)

Twice.

“Drown Proofing”

It’s Great Fun!

HELL WEEK!

HELL YEAH

HOOYAH!!

I Did All this Shit!

Twice!

No Brag!

Just Fact!

“The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday”

–SEAL saying

***

Back to Mama:

Upon our first meeting, we were working on our mutual attraction. Using all my debonair wily Texan/Sailor charms, I broached the subject of “Let me take you away from all this.” (After closing time of course)

“You pay my bar fine. OK?”

“But you’re Mama-San. How can you have a bar fine?”

“You pay bar fine.”

I paid.

For the uninitiated, if one wishes the solitary company and undivided attention of a working bar girl, one must make payment to the Mama-San: the girl’s ‘bar fine.’ Call it a ‘handling fee’ if you must be so callous.

And while I am on THAT subject, allow me to inform you, I never paid any bar fines of any young girls for sex.

I did not believe in it. There is much I will explain in future installments regarding this, but for now, suffice it to say that this sailor is an Honorable Man.

Fancy

Bobbie Gentry – (1969)

Street Cred for Vid: kelly heisler

***

But Mama-San is a different matter because she was a woman, not a girl.

I knew ‘the score’ and she kept the score. I happily donated to her cause to keep her score card to the positive and in the black.

What did I need money for anyway? We had a convenient relationship and we were genuinely fond of each other as far as it went.

And to my mind, she was doing good work. She was ‘Mother’ to her girls and sincerely looked out for their well being.

She could spot a potentially abusive sailor or marine in an instant and would never allow same to leave the bar with one of her girls.

Ever.

And if by some chance she needed help with showing some asshole the door, there were the three of us Fast Freddy Sailors and the regular marines to provide assistance, not that Mama-San ever really needed it.

***

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. Strings of lights hung precariously from the ceiling. 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 ‘89.

Matt, Rogers, and I knew all the girls. (Just not in the Biblical Sense). I suspect knew 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 lil gal (see how easily I throw in some Texan Bullshit Vernacular to gloss over the horrible reality?) who told me she wasn’t actually from Olongapo. Nope, these were all ‘country gals’ with aspirations for higher education brought from ‘The Province’.

Their 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: Mama, Daddy, Baby Sis, Baby Bro, Big Sis, Big Bro, real cousins, faux cousins, best friends, et cetera. This was known as 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 headlong into The American Dream, never once looking back and 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 anyway.

Actually everything always went wrong with such arrangements.

Well wrong for the sailor/marine.

But right for the ‘Girl-from-da-Pra’bince.’

The Girl from Ipanema

Artists: Astrud Gilberto, João Gilberto and Stan Getz

Street Cred for Vid: catman916

“If you hold sand too tightly in your hand it will run through your fingers.”

–Joni Mitchell (Telegram she sent from Crete to Graham Nash in CA, 1970)

***

Part One Here:

Part Three coming soon.

“Re-Post This” Be-Cause I Am A Stupid Texan/American Patriot! I Know: This is a Re-Run–Annie Git Yer Gun. Just For Fun!

****

Ask Me If I Care. If You Dare. Don’t Fuk With Me! I Shooot Straight! “Pain (A-Gin) I love MY NAVY! ‘Cause I’m Scrazy & Lazy. & And Just a Little Bit Crazy-In My Mind…

Annie Git Yer Gun!

There’s No Business Like show Business!

And That’s The Business I’m In

“Let’s Go On On With The Show”

Navy!

My Navy!

Afg has brought me Pain

Againe.

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 enough ceilings  for your big head, 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 with or 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  pix 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.

I Think I’ll Just Stay Here an’ drink

“Take All The Money In The Bank”

Cred: Merle

No One Will Read This, But I Laugh at Lance Ever’Time I Re-Visit it. Under-Water Skiing. Just one of my life is ‘fun’ Memories Series I Tend to re-visit Occasionally, Actually, Rarely… But it’s sometimes fun to remember who you once were.

One of the things (Life’s simple pleasures)–one of the things I derive the most pleasure from–is making people laugh. Usually at me, but my longevity is continued because I never, ever take me, Lance, too seriously.

Hope you will read (or re-read) this one.

It happened just as I described it.

This Bit is somewhat of a ‘Trailer’ for a rather longish post which I will be publishing presently  soon maybe next week.  Gentle Reader, I do hope it piques your interest.

ski2

During my sojourn in Lake Charles, Summer of ’77, Kim’s girlfriend introduced us to her sister’s beau. His name was Tim Castille.  

Tim was a great guy, with a mild and affable demeanor,  and we all used to hang out together, which was surprising since Kim usually didn’t want to hang out (socially anyhow) with any “Non-Brothers,” i.e. not Kappa Alphas—whatever.

Perhaps the reason Kim made an exception in Tim’s case was because Timothy was the owner of a shit-hot high-speed-rocket-on-water of a ski boat.

As you may imagine, Tim was a first-class water skier and he only used one ski—there is a word for that—oh yeah, “slalom.”

Since I was the only schmuck who didn’t know how to water ski, it was decided one day that it was high time for me to learn. Probably was “high-time” because we tacked into this windy epiphany while blowing dope.

Down to the river we went. After being briefly briefed on the basics of water skiing by Tim, I found myself bobbing up and down in the Calcasieu River, two feet locked into a single ski, holding onto the end of a long rope behind about 300 horsepower of snorting, sputtering, idling, chomping-at-the-bit Evinrude outboard motor.

(If you have read my Post, True Grit,

True Grit

you probably have figured out by now that anything I have to do with horses, whether one or two or three-hundred, is a bad idea)

Being fearless (and stoned) I decided this was exactly the right place for me to be and at exactly the right time.

The “crew” of the ski boat called to me asking if I was ready. I waved back with one hand, assuring them, that yes indeed, I was enthusiastically ready.

Tim lit her up and away we went.

Kinda.

 

I did everything as I had been instructed, but there was something not quite right. I could not seem to get up on the damn ski. Being stubborn, I would not let go (even with the crew yelling at me to do just that) and as we motored along I was dragged underwater. Still stubborn (and no longer able to hear the shouts from the boat) I refused to give up.

Deeper and deeper I submerged under the river. Apparently Tim had faith that at some point I would pop up, cork-like, and ski like a pro and I sure as hell was not going to let go and lose face.

I did manage get my head to break the surface periodically, which allowed me enough air to continue in my new found folly. After about five or so minutes of this, Tim gave up, probably because his Evinrude was beginning to overheat from the excessive drag produced by someone being pulled along completely underwater and not gracefully gliding along on the surface as God intended.

Now, one might think I would have given up on my water skiing career that day. Oh no! Not this cowboy. We repeated this charade at least six more times during the course of the summer, all with the same results.

Everyone got such a grand kick out of watching me ski underwater that guests were invited along for the strange spectacle. Apparently the consensus amongst the second and third time witnesses when speaking to the uninitiated was, “Hey! You can’t make this shit up! Ya gotta come see for yourself.”

One time there were no less than four other boats full of spectators, surrounding my watery stage.  It was, I imagined, similar to the whale watching excursions in places like Alaska and Northern California.

“Thar She Blows!” Cameras clicked; beers were quaffed in my honor; people cheered. (I was told—difficult to hear the crowds whilst under water.) I had become somewhat of a local celebrity.

That was my Fifteen Minutes.

I have never put on skis since, but I would, given just-one-more-chance…

–Lance, the world’s first (and best) Underwater Water Skier.

Fuck 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 enough ceilings  for your big head, 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 with or 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.

Lance Ain’t Stupido! SEAL Training: Psycheir Eval Ha Ha And Ha! Fuk Them Eval Pukes! I Failed Their g’D’amn Tests.. Their G’Damn Tests. So I Pass’d. Fuk them!

 

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

*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.

Still In MIL Mode: “Don’t RUST On My Parade”

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

M2 .50 Caliber Machine Gun | Military.com

50 Cal NavyA

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

Lance Sailor

Marco The Sailorman

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

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

Yes, always mounted and underway:

Haze-Graying, even then

And rusty

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

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

Rust.

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

Freud certainly would have had fun with me

(Sadly, now I know why)

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

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

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

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

But rust is relentless and timeless.

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

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

And functional.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That kind of fear.

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

Along with my reverie.

Yep.

Master Chief Anderson!

MY MASTER CHIEF

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

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

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

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

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

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

41XgCzuhSdL._AC_UL320_SR214,320_

I had broken the rule.

In the Nav, there is a sea sailor preamble, most requisite when one wants to recount a story of ‘when ships were made of wood and men were made of iron’… “Back when Moses was a pup, and this is a no-shitter” This validates and is a ritual never broken. In other words, one never breaks the rule.

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

Shitting bricks is too trite.

I was nervous.

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

“Enter!”

“Petty Officer 3rd Class Marcom Sir!”

“I know who you are Lance; sit down.”

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

Mouth agape I sat down, speechless

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

“Yes, uh, yessir,” I stammered.

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

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

“How much did you pay?!”

“250 Dollars Sir.”

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

American

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

“Petty Officer Marcom! “

“Huh…Uh, Huh… Sir?”

“You’re dismissed!”

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

“Yessir!”

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

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

And Just As a Reminder Kids:

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

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

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