If You Don’t Mine, It Don’t Matter

 

There is sand in the Sinai Desert. Lots of sand. There is wind in the Sinai Desert. Lots of wind. There are landmines in the Sinai Desert. Lots of landmines, some dating back to the ’56 war. Most of them are still functional.

When wind and sand collide, the sand moves. In waves. The sand does not respect manmade things. Manmade things such as roads or landmarks, or mine fields. Sand does not care if it inconveniences you. Or puts your life in danger. Sand has no conscience and actually does not give two shits about you or me, or anyone or anything.

Sand is just sand.

These truths about sand were to become blatantly obvious to me one day back in 1978. I was driving my Chevy Van Passenger Vehicle to the Suez Canal to rendezvous with a similar R&R vehicle coming from Cairo. My vehicle was loaded with ten passengers,

all very happy to be headed out on R&R. It was my simple job to get them to the rendezvous point so they could take the little boat across the canal, climb into the other van and head on to Cairo and their scheduled flights back to The Real World.

From SFM Base Camp to Suez is about thirty klicks.

untso_map3

SFM Base Camp Located Between
The Giddi and Mitla Passes

Travel time on average, an hour and change, depending on how long the Egyptians wanted to detain me at the check points along the way. I always brought along some packs of Marlboros to provide them when they insisted on ‘baksheesh’. No big deal. I could afford the bribe. Hell, in our little BX (Base Exchange) cigarettes were three bucks a carton.

This particular day back in ’78 was a day after a particularly savage sand storm. The roads to Suez are passable most days. And safe. Off-roading is not safe.

Stay on the pavement. I can compare it to the line from Apocalypse Now: “Never get out of the boat.”

As I drew closer and closer to the canal the roads began to get more and more difficult to discern. Now mind you, I had made the canal run many, many times, but I am a guy who can get lost in his own hometown of Honey Grove Texas, Population 1800. This is a small town, not too many ways to get lost, unless you are real creative. I am real creative.

I came to a point whereby I just could no longer make out the paved road. I took a turn in the general direction of the canal, hoping to pick up the road again after a few minutes. As I was bumping along I noticed one of those landmine signs:

mines

So did my passengers.

They freaked. I suppose this could be considered a normal reaction. They all started jabbering at once. I invited them to shut the hell up, and then I calmly backed the fuck out of the mine field, carefully retracing my inbound route.

Once I got back to the spot where I had obviously taken a wrong turn, I took the other turn and eventually made it to Suez. Picked up the inbound passengers and didn’t even have any shit to clean up in my vehicle, but I think at least one of my passengers had shit his pants.

Now all I had to do was make it back to Base Camp without any more drama. I gave it fifty-fifty.

postcard

Home, Safe Home

More to come on SFM

Here is a related post.

Thanks for reading.

“Landmines Bring me Down.”

(I cannot help it if Stevie Fucked Up The Lyric!)

*****

Added Bonus Below!

Since I Still Be Stymied & Stuck & Hopelessly Remain/Retained/Detained in “Bug” Mode: “The Basra Bugman Revisited” I Wish. Because I Miss His Daily Perambulations.

Ed. Note: I Write As I Wish:

Adverbs, Pronouns, Adjectives, Verbs… Syntax

I Use ’em as I see fit

Proper Grammar Means Nada, Rien, Nothing to Me

****

And Forever Remember Kids:

Always Look Under Yer Bed B4 Retiring for The Night.

You’ll Sleep Better.

Trust Me On This:

I Am Smart

And Wise to The Ways of the Bug-World

I am re-posting this because I am still working on the Continuation of the ‘Sinai Field Mission Chronicles‘.

(Great Excuse, eh?) Anyway, some of you ‘newbies’ may not have had the wonderful ‘opportunity’ to have swerved into it. Therefore it is with great humility that I present it once again for your perusal.

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

Bugs were a huge problem for us in Basra.

There were big bugs, small bugs, flying bugs, crawling bugs, creeping bugs, creepy bugs, sleepy bugs, scary bugs, poisonous bugs,  biting bugs, fighting bugs, suicide bomber bugs, and worst of all: No-See’um bugs. (Please don’t get me wrong: I love bugs:  Queendom  and Spiders)

But every day at precisely 1600hrs:

BUGMAN!

Basrah Bug Man

The BUGMAN Commeth: Bugs, watch yer ass.

We all worked in trailers, which passed for ‘Offices’ in Basra and we had A/C Window Units which would suck in the Bugman’s Offerings with vengeance. So everyday, at around 1600hrs, we kept collective ears tuned for the sound of Bugman and his Blower, lest we fail to turn off the A/C’s and become victim to BUGMAN.

The parlance always went like this: The one with the best hearing would announce in a low nonchalant voice: 

‘The Bugman.” (almost a whisper, but we were all tuned in to those two words–we certainly did not want to be premature, because of the oppressive heat)

Then scramble to shut down all the A/C units ahead of relentless Bugman (no less than twelve window units), and life would go on, while we sat sweating (Yes, the heat was brutal, but so were the bugs).

“Here I come to savvve the day!!!”

Continue reading

Still Firmly Astraddle My Saddle-If You Don’t Mine, It Don’t Matter.

During My Three Years In Sinai, We Lost Lots Of Camels & UNEF Troops To Boot.

Ask Me How Many Shits I Gave.

I Did Pity The Innocent Camels Though.

 

There is sand in the Sinai Desert. Lots of sand. There is wind in the Sinai Desert. Lots of wind. There are landmines in the Sinai Desert. Lots of landmines, some dating back to the ’56 war. Most of them are still functional.

When wind and sand collide, the sand moves. In waves. The sand does not respect manmade things. Manmade things such as roads or landmarks, or mine fields. Sand does not care if it inconveniences you. Or puts your life in danger. Sand has no conscience and actually does not give two shits about you or me, or anyone or anything.

Sand is just sand.

These truths about sand were to become blatantly obvious to me one day back in 1978. I was driving my Chevy Van Passenger Vehicle to the Suez Canal to rendezvous with a similar R&R vehicle coming from Cairo. My vehicle was loaded with ten passengers, all very happy to be headed out on R&R. It was my simple job to get them to the rendezvous point so they could take the little boat across the canal, climb into the other van and head on to Cairo and their scheduled flights back to The Real World.

From SFM Base Camp to Suez is about thirty klicks.

untso_map3

SFM Base Camp Located Between
The Giddi and Mitla Passes

Travel time on average, an hour and change, depending on how long the Egyptians wanted to detain me at the check points along the way. I always brought along some packs of Marlboros to provide them when they insisted on ‘baksheesh’. No big deal. I could afford the bribe. Hell, in our little BX (Base Exchange) cigarettes were three bucks a carton.

This particular day back in ’78 was a day after a particularly savage sand storm. The roads to Suez are passable most days. And safe. Off-roading is not safe.

Stay on the pavement. I can compare it to the line from Apocalypse Now: “Never get out of the boat.”

As I drew closer and closer to the canal the roads began to get more and more difficult to discern. Now mind you, I had made the canal run many, many times, but I am a guy who can get lost in his own hometown of Honey Grove Texas, Population 1800. This is a small town, not too many ways to get lost, unless you are real creative. I am real creative.

I came to a point whereby I just could no longer make out the paved road. I took a turn in the general direction of the canal, hoping to pick up the road again after a few minutes. As I was bumping along I noticed one of those landmine signs:

mines

So did my passengers.

They freaked. I suppose this could be considered a normal reaction. They all started jabbering at once. I invited them to shut the hell up, and then I calmly backed the fuck out of the mine field, carefully retracing my inbound route.

Once I got back to the spot where I had obviously taken a wrong turn, I took the other turn and eventually made it to Suez. Picked up the inbound passengers and didn’t even have any shit to clean up in my vehicle, but I think at least one of my passengers had shit his pants.

Now all I had to do was make it back to Base Camp without any more drama. I gave it fifty-fifty.

postcard

Home, Safe Home

More to come on SFM

Here is a related post.

Thanks for reading.

“Landmines Bring me Down.”

(I cannot help it if Stevie Fucked Up The Lyric!)

*****

Added Bonus Below!

Dem Damn Chicks

Shonnie The Biker’s Wife: Part “V(iva) Las Vegas”

Author’s Note:

Before we dive in, I’d like to humbly request/suggest that you take the time, if you have the time, to watch/listen to all the added multi-media and follow the link to the ‘desert’ post.

On the flip-side of ‘Humble’, I’d like to add this:

A great deal of thoughtful thought and time goes into the re-working, expanding of this Shonnie “La Cosa Nostra” Series. I have mercilessly interrogated my memory cells and dragged out items I did not take the time to recount in the original series.

The original was written in a frenzied rush, usually without even one edit. I am very happy now to have the time to try to do justice to my fond memories of Shonnie. She always deserved my full, undivided attention, and my best effort in her regard.

After all these years, I think I just may have finally become “Strong Enough to be Her Man.”

***

Every new word is still the truth as I best do remember events.

I sweat every word, every comma, and every ‘Added Value’ vid and song and link I drop in.

Nothing is hap-hazard.

Nothing is irrelevant.

This is a package deal.

A complete full-meal-deal.

Don’t ignore the fries and the hot apple pies.

I’d like for you to get the ‘full-benefit’.

My fervent desire is that you enjoy it and it satiates.

Bon Appétit

And As Always, I Do Appreciate Your Time Invested, And I Do My Very Level Best Not To Waste Even One Drop Of It.

For if I waste your time, that makes me a thief. And that makes me unhappy.

Thank You.

P.S. And for any of Y’all who may be wondering, yes, ‘Shonnie’ is her real name.

***

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. (We had, technically, already been drinking, but neither one of us considered beer ‘real drinking’.)

Needing a break, I pulled over and as we admired the scenery, we had a couple of cocktails. And smokes.

The desert was picturesque, desolate, and wondrous thrilling to behold.

(Recall, if you have read any of my “Desert-Rat-Lance” posts, how very romantic and beautiful I find the deserts of the world)

We hit the road again. Stayed on Interstate 15. It’s a straight shot into Vegas. Lots more desert. Not much traffic as well, even though it was a Friday.

For once, I had planned ahead and made a reservation.

At the Union 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, I promised myself I would set aside some time to show her the Glitter-That-Was-More-‘Glittery’-Than-Glitter-Gulch.

“Are we there yet Daddy?” she asked in a rather high-falsetto child-like voice 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 yonder? 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 fetch my M60 machine gun 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 haul ant-ass fast enough away.

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 presence (and by my money) during previous trips.

She was impressed and I could see her eyes lighting up. Shame it was still daylight and she could not see the true 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 our road which was Fremont Street.

(This was years before they tried to re-vitalize Downtown Vegas by constructing ‘The Fremont Street Experience’ and completely shutting down all vehicular traffic–1995)

The Fremont Street Experience

***

So I checked us into my old Nemesis. I have always had a love/hate relationship with The Plaza, but not unlike a marriage gone bad, I just never could seem to break it off entirely.

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 teeny-tiny soap bars in the bathroom. And little baby-sized 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 TeeVee!”

(She was, most likely, pulling my leg, but I went with the scene as she had written it—hitting my marks and saying my lines)

*heavy sigh*

 “Shonnie Darlin’, 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 Baby. 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. “Now 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 do what to the menu?!

“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 enjoying her ‘enjoying’.

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

“Yeah, but I can’t make out what some of this stuff is, so I’m 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 on ahead Darlin’.”

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

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

“That Seven Eleven we saw 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.”

I lowered my voice an octave or two, snapped to rigid attention, then announced solemnly,

“None shall pass.”

A throw-away line that went sailing right over her head, but it made me happy none-the-less.

She gave me a cautiously perplexed side-ways look, then quickly said,

“Uh… Well… Okay then. See ya in a few,” as she disappeared into the bathroom, almost slamming the door behind her.

The food arrived while she was still in the head, showering. I tipped the dude and laid out our supper table. Opened the bottle of red wine I had tacked onto the order along with my ‘steak’, a semi rare cheeseburger (I am a simple man: simple wants, simple tastes, simple desires).

Anyhow, presentation is everything. I had also requested a single red rose for ornament and I placed that ‘just so’ on the table, along with the white candle I had also added to the order. I lit the candle and waited for ‘Lady Guinevere’ or ‘Joan d’Arc’ or ‘Mae West’ to appear.

I never knew who I would be dealing with from one moment to the next when it came to Shonnie. She had a natural chameleon talent, backed up by intelligence and instinct.

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

“Yes Darlin’. I fought him off. He shall not return.” (Until we need him again) “Come on out.”

She opened the door, enveloped in a cloud of steam, wearing a pure-white hotel terry-cloth bath robe.

Resembling a vamp straight out of a film noir, she waltzed into the bedroom. I was impressed. She looked absolutely stunning, her wet hair flowing down her shoulders and dripping water everywhere. Her face was glowing radiant red and her blue eyes full of energetic mischief.

I suppose the shower had agreed with her.

She’d become reinvigorated and reborn, casting off the long hot trip through the desert.

As I filled my eyes with the complete little dynamo package that was Shonnie, I felt another brick in my emotional wall crumble into dust.

“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 sexy strains of ‘Joni Mitchell’ singing from her album Hejira on my little boom box.

(I never go anywhere without my  lil boom box)

Neither one of us had any desire to watch television, as we were too much into ‘our’ music.

The music we made and the music we heard.

And too much into ‘our’ each other experience.

The TV-with-the-remote was just a novelty for her anyway; she had no desire to actually watch it.

Nor did I.

Half-way through our meal and our bottle of wine, Joni began singing this:

“A Strange Boy”

I half-hoped Shonnie did not listen too closely to the lyrics, but who the hell was I kidding?

Shonnie and I had myriad things in common yes, but paying particularly close attention to song lyrics, good ones, was damn near to the top of our ‘things-in-common-we-have’ Hit Parade.

Y’all tell me true:

Does this song hit too close-to-home in describing the relationship Shonnie and I were already so deeply into?

Do Y’all find me a ‘Strange, Strange Boy?’ Some parts obviously don’t work for my purpose here, but other parts of the lyrics work so completely well as to negate the bits that don’t work.

Y’all tell me: Enquiring minds wanna… and all that rot.

***

We finished our meal and retired to our rented, oh-so-inviting, so alluring, so sinfully comfortable bed.

We made love as Joni sang on…

Now the Title Tract from the album:

Yes. Joni was singing

Hejira’

(I LOVE YOU SO MUCH JONI!)

A beautiful, yet somewhat sad commentary on relationships set to the melodious Joni voice and her wonderful guitar strains.

***

Not my desire, nor my intent to drop in any ‘spoilers,’ but suffice to say, if you watch the vid and listen carefully to the words of the song, you may come to the conclusion, rightly or wrongly, that I have included it here for a very specific reason.

Perhaps even a subtle foreshadowing reason.

Or perhaps not.

Or perhaps just a ‘tease’ to pique your interest.

Guess you will just have to keep reading…

***

Lying on our backs, smoking and glowing in our after-glow, she asked,

“So, you gonna show me around and about this Fool’s Paradise Town of yours. Or what?”

“In due time. In due time Darlin’. Now snuff out that cigarette, shuffle off that robe once again, 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.”

***

Previous Chapter Here:

Next Chapter:

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

Coming Very Soon

Update: Part Six Found Below.

If you are new here, you may want to begin your Shonnie Journey

Below and then simply “Follow the Yellow Brick Road”

i.e., The Lancelot Links:

***

Below is the commentary section from the original post.

Please read bottom up for continuity.

***

LAMarcom July 22, 2014 at 19:34 Edit

You should read the ones that really get thrown away.

😉

Cheers!

Tony Single July 22, 2014 at 18:22 Edit

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

This. Of course, I’m enjoying it all but I do have a strange sense of humour that likes these kinds of throwaway lines.

LAMarcom June 21, 2014 at 19:29 Edit

Thanks Annie.

Yeah, Heathen cracks me up. We like to keep up a lively banter.

Thanks for readin’ an’ commentin’.

Peace and Beer,

Lance

LAMarcom June 21, 2014 at 19:25 Edit

I agree Laura. It has been decades since I have gotten behind the wheel even with one drink in me. When I think back to the Seventies and Eighties and my reckless behaviour, chills run down my spine. I am so grateful I did not kill anyone (including my self).

Thanks for reading and for your comments.

Bad knees eh? Yep, I suppose that would present some problems when trying to ‘girl pee’ in the wilderness.

* wink *

🙂

lauramacky June 21, 2014 at 16:08 Edit

Ah yes, the days when we thought it was ok to drink and drive. It was only a ticket back then right? Gawd I can’t believe I EVER thought that. As for the Peeing…i have crappy knees…I need a white porcelain seat. When I was in Italy in a remote place, it really became a problem! lol

Mad Annie, Bronwyn, Ann June 21, 2014 at 09:25 Edit

Don’t know which part of this I like more…the post itself, or the comments you and Heathen are tossing back and forth! 😉

LAMarcom June 21, 2014 at 00:44 Edit

I am really struggling’ too much with what passes for my current sanity to respond.

(been re-watching Polanski’s “Macbeth”)

No worries!

I shall rally manana.

How I roll, n’est-ce-pas?

happierheathen June 21, 2014 at 00:39 Edit

No worries. I’m into my third glass of wine, and thinking about burning up some innocent flowers. These here flowers I got have way too much gravity in ’em and it’s a toss up which of us will destroy the other. I’m a-fight it to the end either way.

LAMarcom June 21, 2014 at 00:34 Edit

Ah shit!

Heathen,

Ya caught me on the leeward side of drunk.

Love this comment (and the Janis vid inspired bit.)

Promise this:

I will give a proper respond….tomorrow.

(any mis-spelled words are intent-u-al._)

–Lance

happierheathen June 21, 2014 at 00:28 Edit

Blackjack? Oh, man, there you are in Vegas with a beautiful woman and you’re playing a sucker’s game. Damn. If I’d been there I’d have slapped you up side your fool head.

I might have been there, come to think of it. My memory’s faulty. Glitter Gulch… November ’88, at the Nugget. It was ’89 for you? Didja manage to avoid the infamous Barstow bats? 🙂

***

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

But if you can’t wait… Here ya go!

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

The Basra Bugman Revisited.

I am re-posting this because I am still working on the Continuation of the ‘Sinai Field Mission Chronicles‘.

(Great Excuse, eh?) Anyway, some of you ‘newbies’ may not have had the wonderful ‘opportunity’ to have swerved into it. Therefore it is with great humility that I present it once again for your perusal.

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

Bugs were a huge problem for us in Basra.

There were big bugs, small bugs, flying bugs, crawling bugs, creeping bugs, creepy bugs, sleepy bugs, scary bugs, poisonous bugs,  biting bugs, fighting bugs, suicide bomber bugs, and worst of all: No-See’um bugs. (Please don’t get me wrong: I love bugs:  Queendom  and Spiders)

But every day at precisely 1600hrs:

BUGMAN!

Basrah Bug Man

The BUGMAN Commeth: Bugs, watch yer ass.

We all worked in trailers, which passed for ‘Offices’ in Basra and we had A/C Window Units which would suck in the Bugman’s Offerings with vengeance. So everyday, at around 1600hrs, we kept collective ears tuned for the sound of Bugman and his Blower, lest we fail to turn off the A/C’s and become victim to BUGMAN.

The parlance always went like this: The one with the best hearing would announce in a low nonchalant voice: 

‘The Bugman.” (almost a whisper, but we were all tuned in to those two words–we certainly did not want to be premature, because of the oppressive heat)

Then scramble to shut down all the A/C units ahead of relentless Bugman (no less than twelve window units), and life would go on, while we sat sweating (Yes, the heat was brutal, but so were the bugs).

“Here I come to savvve the day!!!”

Continue reading

Shonnie The Biker’s Wife: Part “V(iva) Las Vegas”

Author’s Note:

Before we dive in, I’d like to humbly request/suggest that you take the time, if you have the time, to watch/listen to all the added multi-media and follow the link to the ‘desert’ post.

On the flip-side of ‘Humble’, I’d like to add this:

A great deal of thoughtful thought and time goes into the re-working, expanding of this Shonnie “La Cosa Nostra” Series. I have mercilessly interrogated my memory cells and dragged out items I did not take the time to recount in the original series.

The original was written in a frenzied rush, usually without even one edit. I am very happy now to have the time to try to do justice to my fond memories of Shonnie. She always deserved my full, undivided attention, and my best effort in her regard.

After all these years, I think I just may have finally become “Strong Enough to be Her Man.”

***

Every new word is still the truth as I best do remember events.

I sweat every word, every comma, and every ‘Added Value’ vid and song and link I drop in.

Nothing is hap-hazard.

Nothing is irrelevant.

This is a package deal.

A complete full-meal-deal.

Don’t ignore the fries and the hot apple pies.

I’d like for you to get the ‘full-benefit’.

My fervent desire is that you enjoy it and it satiates.

Bon Appétit

And As Always, I Do Appreciate Your Time Invested, And I Do My Very Level Best Not To Waste Even One Drop Of It.

For if I waste your time, that makes me a thief. And that makes me unhappy.

Thank You.

P.S. And for any of Y’all who may be wondering, yes, ‘Shonnie’ is her real name.

***

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. (We had, technically, already been drinking, but neither one of us considered beer ‘real drinking’.)

Needing a break, I pulled over and as we admired the scenery, we had a couple of cocktails. And smokes.

The desert was picturesque, desolate, and wondrous thrilling to behold.

(Recall, if you have read any of my “Desert-Rat-Lance” posts, how very romantic and beautiful I find the deserts of the world)

We hit the road again. Stayed on Interstate 15. It’s a straight shot into Vegas. Lots more desert. Not much traffic as well, even though it was a Friday.

For once, I had planned ahead and made a reservation.

At the Union 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, I promised myself I would set aside some time to show her the Glitter-That-Was-More-‘Glittery’-Than-Glitter-Gulch.

“Are we there yet Daddy?” she asked in a rather high-falsetto child-like voice 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 yonder? 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 fetch my M60 machine gun 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 haul ant-ass fast enough away.

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 presence (and by my money) during previous trips.

She was impressed and I could see her eyes lighting up. Shame it was still daylight and she could not see the true 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 our road which was Fremont Street.

(This was years before they tried to re-vitalize Downtown Vegas by constructing ‘The Fremont Street Experience’ and completely shutting down all vehicular traffic–1995)

The Fremont Street Experience

***

So I checked us into my old Nemesis. I have always had a love/hate relationship with The Plaza, but not unlike a marriage gone bad, I just never could seem to break it off entirely.

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 teeny-tiny soap bars in the bathroom. And little baby-sized 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 TeeVee!”

(She was, most likely, pulling my leg, but I went with the scene as she had written it—hitting my marks and saying my lines)

*heavy sigh*

 “Shonnie Darlin’, 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 Baby. 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. “Now 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 do what to the menu?!

“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 enjoying her ‘enjoying’.

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

“Yeah, but I can’t make out what some of this stuff is, so I’m 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 on ahead Darlin’.”

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

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

“That Seven Eleven we saw 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.”

I lowered my voice an octave or two, snapped to rigid attention, then announced solemnly,

“None shall pass.”

A throw-away line that went sailing right over her head, but it made me happy none-the-less.

She gave me a cautiously perplexed side-ways look, then quickly said,

“Uh… Well… Okay then. See ya in a few,” as she disappeared into the bathroom, almost slamming the door behind her.

The food arrived while she was still in the head, showering. I tipped the dude and laid out our supper table. Opened the bottle of red wine I had tacked onto the order along with my ‘steak’, a semi rare cheeseburger (I am a simple man: simple wants, simple tastes, simple desires).

Anyhow, presentation is everything. I had also requested a single red rose for ornament and I placed that ‘just so’ on the table, along with the white candle I had also added to the order. I lit the candle and waited for ‘Lady Guinevere’ or ‘Joan d’Arc’ or ‘Mae West’ to appear.

I never knew who I would be dealing with from one moment to the next when it came to Shonnie. She had a natural chameleon talent, backed up by intelligence and instinct.

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

“Yes Darlin’. I fought him off. He shall not return.” (Until we need him again) “Come on out.”

She opened the door, enveloped in a cloud of steam, wearing a pure-white hotel terry-cloth bath robe.

Resembling a vamp straight out of a film noir, she waltzed into the bedroom. I was impressed. She looked absolutely stunning, her wet hair flowing down her shoulders and dripping water everywhere. Her face was glowing radiant red and her blue eyes full of energetic mischief.

I suppose the shower had agreed with her.

She’d become reinvigorated and reborn, casting off the long hot trip through the desert.

As I filled my eyes with the complete little dynamo package that was Shonnie, I felt another brick in my emotional wall crumble into dust.

“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 sexy strains of ‘Joni Mitchell’ singing from her album Hejira on my little boom box.

(I never go anywhere without my  lil boom box)

Neither one of us had any desire to watch television, as we were too much into ‘our’ music.

The music we made and the music we heard.

And too much into ‘our’ each other experience.

The TV-with-the-remote was just a novelty for her anyway; she had no desire to actually watch it.

Nor did I.

Half-way through our meal and our bottle of wine, Joni began singing this:

“A Strange Boy”

I half-hoped Shonnie did not listen too closely to the lyrics, but who the hell was I kidding?

Shonnie and I had myriad things in common yes, but paying particularly close attention to song lyrics, good ones, was damn near to the top of our ‘things-in-common-we-have’ Hit Parade.

Y’all tell me true:

Does this song hit too close-to-home in describing the relationship Shonnie and I were already so deeply into?

Do Y’all find me a ‘Strange, Strange Boy?’ Some parts obviously don’t work for my purpose here, but other parts of the lyrics work so completely well as to negate the bits that don’t work.

Y’all tell me: Enquiring minds wanna… and all that rot.

***

We finished our meal and retired to our rented, oh-so-inviting, so alluring, so sinfully comfortable bed.

We made love as Joni sang on…

Now the Title Tract from the album:

Yes. Joni was singing

Hejira’

A beautiful, yet somewhat sad commentary on relationships set to the melodious Joni voice and her wonderful guitar strains.

***

Not my desire, nor my intent to drop in any ‘spoilers,’ but suffice to say, if you watch the vid and listen carefully to the words of the song, you may come to the conclusion, rightly or wrongly, that I have included it here for a very specific reason.

Perhaps even a subtle foreshadowing reason.

Or perhaps not.

Or perhaps just a ‘tease’ to pique your interest.

Guess you will just have to keep reading…

***

Lying on our backs, smoking and glowing in our after-glow, she asked,

“So, you gonna show me around and about this Fool’s Paradise Town of yours. Or what?”

“In due time. In due time Darlin’. Now snuff out that cigarette, shuffle off that robe once again, 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.”

***

Previous Chapter Here:

Next Chapter:

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

Coming Very Soon

Update: Part Six Found Below.

***

Below is the commentary section from the original post.

Please read bottom up for continuity.

***

LAMarcom July 22, 2014 at 19:34 Edit

You should read the ones that really get thrown away.

😉

Cheers!

Tony Single July 22, 2014 at 18:22 Edit

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

This. Of course, I’m enjoying it all but I do have a strange sense of humour that likes these kinds of throwaway lines.

LAMarcom June 21, 2014 at 19:29 Edit

Thanks Annie.

Yeah, Heathen cracks me up. We like to keep up a lively banter.

Thanks for readin’ an’ commentin’.

Peace and Beer,

Lance

LAMarcom June 21, 2014 at 19:25 Edit

I agree Laura. It has been decades since I have gotten behind the wheel even with one drink in me. When I think back to the Seventies and Eighties and my reckless behaviour, chills run down my spine. I am so grateful I did not kill anyone (including my self).

Thanks for reading and for your comments.

Bad knees eh? Yep, I suppose that would present some problems when trying to ‘girl pee’ in the wilderness.

* wink *

🙂

lauramacky June 21, 2014 at 16:08 Edit

Ah yes, the days when we thought it was ok to drink and drive. It was only a ticket back then right? Gawd I can’t believe I EVER thought that. As for the Peeing…i have crappy knees…I need a white porcelain seat. When I was in Italy in a remote place, it really became a problem! lol

Mad Annie, Bronwyn, Ann June 21, 2014 at 09:25 Edit

Don’t know which part of this I like more…the post itself, or the comments you and Heathen are tossing back and forth! 😉

LAMarcom June 21, 2014 at 00:44 Edit

I am really struggling’ too much with what passes for my current sanity to respond.

(been re-watching Polanski’s “Macbeth”)

No worries!

I shall rally manana.

How I roll, n’est-ce-pas?

happierheathen June 21, 2014 at 00:39 Edit

No worries. I’m into my third glass of wine, and thinking about burning up some innocent flowers. These here flowers I got have way too much gravity in ’em and it’s a toss up which of us will destroy the other. I’m a-fight it to the end either way.

LAMarcom June 21, 2014 at 00:34 Edit

Ah shit!

Heathen,

Ya caught me on the leeward side of drunk.

Love this comment (and the Janis vid inspired bit.)

Promise this:

I will give a proper respond….tomorrow.

(any mis-spelled words are intent-u-al._)

–Lance

happierheathen June 21, 2014 at 00:28 Edit

Blackjack? Oh, man, there you are in Vegas with a beautiful woman and you’re playing a sucker’s game. Damn. If I’d been there I’d have slapped you up side your fool head.

I might have been there, come to think of it. My memory’s faulty. Glitter Gulch… November ’88, at the Nugget. It was ’89 for you? Didja manage to avoid the infamous Barstow bats? 🙂