“The cannons don’t thunder; there’s nothin’ to plunder…”
Here is an opinion y’all did not see coming: This is a Stupid Fantasy Song. A Texan said that! Nay! I am (he said, “A Comanche!”
Now, that is funny…
Not to put too fine a point upon it, but, I have a finite time left. Once upon a time, I stepped on a dime and it was promised to me, you see… I never contemplated ‘finite’, as you see, everything was infinite to me… And in my unsung mind, that was how it should be. Unshining dime.
Certainly no less.
Anyway, as ‘brevity is the soul of wit…’ I find me witness, er, wireless, sycophant.
I got ROBBED by Thesim And some other is ‘ISM’s!!!!
(Yes! I am looking for a fight. A fight with all you Hyper-Christians. Yep)
It has been brought to my attention (by my anti-virus software, of which I do not squander money on—that one of these links is, well, poluted. So, please don’t follow any links (the other shit is safe). I apologize for giving you Ebola (if I did)
Breaking NEWS! 2017 All the links are now safe! Surf ON!
(Trust me: I used to be with the Government)
‘Lance’s Ramblings from his 115th Dream Stream’ (Sorry Bob)
‘Nights in White Satin’ – that one makes no sense. That is why I put it in.
Or, last and least perhaps: “I have become my Grandfather, or How I became Andy Rooney in One Thousand Words or Less, an essay.”
Gentle Readers, it has not escaped my undying attention that I tend to lean heavily toward the overly-dramatic. The ‘trauma drama’ effect even. Call it a ‘crutch’ if you will.
Yep. Call it that.
This I do know. Therefore, I have (Through my magical powers derived from watching old re-runs of ‘Dragnet’—“Just the facts Ma’am. Just the facts.”—decided to ‘come on back down to Earth, Son’.
–Boz Scaggs: Lowdown)
My (solely appreciated) goal here is to present just ‘them’—just them facts.
I hope I am successful. For y’all’s sake.
When last we left our hero, he was leading his class to their first BUD/s workout. Well, you cannot really call it such: more like a medieval (‘I’m gonna get medieval on your ass’) torture session.
Even at zero five (‘Zero Dark Thirty?), The Grinder was a hot, miserable place to be, especially NOT designed for yoga or even step-up aerobics, and / or certainly not Pilates. (Gay Pirates?) No. ‘Twas Wasn’t. There is a reason they (Navy) call it ‘The Grinder.” You go ahead and figure out the obvious.
But this day I do not wanna write about Those Lazy Crazy Hazy Days of Summer…
Now Y’all, much of that I wrote late last night. (Under Some Influence)
Didn’t publish. (Thank Baby Hey Zeus). But I woke up this morning
(Praise be to Allah—Ah Ha!) And you, yes you! (My Human Friends) were on my mind:
To MORE BAD News Stories. I shall list them below so that you may share in ‘The Misery’ That is OUR ‘New World’ (You may thank me later. Send cards and letters…)
The Middle East is still throwing gasoline upon their (and our) raging fire
There will probably never be closure nor justice for Michael Brown or his family
Ebola is raging strong (But only in Africa: So, who cares, right? The WHO, that’s who)
ISIS is our new (never heard of till yesterday) National Crisis & Clear and Present Danger (or new best friend for our Military Industrial Complex, off of which I tend to make MY living)—Much hand-wringing and soul searching over that one. NOT! Damn! Put me in Coach! I live for this shit!
My dog has fleas… Fuckin’ fleas. Dogs!
My British GF finds me… well, of late, she don’t (find me)
I dreamt late last night about my favorite dead cat (Her name was Lucia and she was ‘The Cat From Hell’ and I miss her still—probably the only ‘real’ relationship I have ever had with ‘pussy.’)
My blood pressure remains off the chart and I think I may have given myself diabetes: Type Duh
I have been remiss in visiting and commenting on the blogs of my good friends
Maybe I will just go and eat worms. Maybe I like to eat worms…
Now, Don’t let it bring you down, but that is how I woke up. (And I was happy to have woken up… for just-one-more-day…stay?)
Photo taken in Iraq (or Afghanistan) I honestly don’t remember…
There really is no point to this post. Let us just call it “Unconscious Stream of Consciousness”.
And I will most likely, delete it (and y’all know, I am quick on the mouse trigger when it comes to deletion: I see it as a form of… birth control. So read fast!)
I want to write about ‘The Age of Innocence’: The Seventies.
Yep. I tend to live in the glory that was Roaming… You may bail out here. Here, in fact here is your parachute. Be certain to locate the RIP Cord before you exit the plane: Just a word to some wise and hey!
For those of y’all who still remain, I want to write about Karen Carpenter. Not ‘The’ Karen Carpenter, but the Karen Carpenter that symbolized how I felt about the Seventies. Yeah, that one. Her.
I woke up with Karen Carpenter on my mind (and yes: I have posted about her recently, but I wanted to try to explain why now)
I woke up with Karen and sadly not in my bed, but in my mind.
Because… of the ‘Age of Innocents.’ I call her one. The first casualty of the sickness that guides us: This American Dream of having to be some other person. A person, in the spotlight who is …. Drumroll: PERFECT!
No one is perfect and certainly not me (though I am pretty close). Yet, no one is perfection. We cannot be. There is no God and if you believe that there is, you are about as far removed from ‘Perfection’ as a Human…
I should delete that sentence, as it is not Germane, nor German, to my point. Let me think on it…
Back to The Seventies: The Age of Innocents (I was innocent; were you? Probab’ly not.)…
I am running on empty now/here.
“I don’t know where I’m runnin’ now; I’m just runnin’ on…
I would like some thoughts on that/those. From you! And then, having received same, I will continue. Maybe.
Hook ‘em Horns
And P.S. I am sorry for stealing all the vid clips. I will (I promise) accolade y’all later–more later–but later)
And: to any readers I have left:
I am in some form of cryxis: I will be, as Shakespeare once wrote, “King Richard is himself again.” once be.
Stay tuned… Or not: Yer choice.
Oh! And by the way… Jackson Browne was/is an asshole
“We made love in that birdhouse after sundown. And with the door open. And why not? We were young. (And we had all that ‘Diplomatic Immunity’ bullshit to boot)”
Thus ended my last ‘serious’ transmission regarding my recently orphaned series, bits of which may be found herehereherehere…
WordPress is not Facebook and I would do well to remember this, yet if memory serves, the above is indeed how I did in fact, end my last sober transmission regarding this never-ending (Insha’Allah) story I still call without shame or sham, My Life.
Guess what Friends. I am gonna end it now. Hang onto yer butts.
All true, but I have a tendency to grow bored with my own writing and this does not bode well, well…
I have just recently been returned from my Sabbatical, (kicking and screaming) which was spent in some dark happy place looking for answers. Finding none, save one, I have returned to these pages more or less now unobstructed and with fresh thoughts unobscured.
“Whatever does he mean, “Unobstructed”? “Hey Y’all! Come look he’ah! Lance done lost his mind!” (a-gin)
Means, Dear Readers that I am just gonna tell “THE TRUTH” from now on. Not that I have not ‘til now been telling same but, now I am gonna tell the Whole Truth, because by omission, I have been lying.
No Sugar, no mas.
This I gleaned from my Sabbatical. “So thanks Sabra. And thanks for the lobotomy, and gee! That shock therapy was da bomb!”
Oh! And to tie up that last loose end:
Janet and I spent a wonderful day or two at Sharm, then went back to SFM and carried on. Things kinda went to shit after that… for a spell.
But then we got married and it was all copacetic–For about two hours.
Yes it was on our honeymoon and we got into an argument and ended up after the ceremony un-ceremoniously sailing our newly purchased and vowed-upon wedding rings off the balcony of the Sheraton Hotel, (tenth floor) gleefully watching them bounce on the sand in front of the Mediterranean Sea, to wait there for some intrepid happy beach comber to later discover and claim ‘pirate treasure’ no doubt from Sodom and Gomorrah… (Yes, American tourists are stupid)
After we had ‘dissolved’ our new marriage in that ancient simple way, we went back to drinking and fucking, and for some I suppose that is what one could call a decent marriage, at least in the early stages.
And honestly, I think that is all way too much information about my time spent with her and Moses in Sinai and in the ‘Rest-of-the-Holy-Land.’
But perhaps not.
(See? I am sharing “deep thoughts” here) with you thanks to my newly ended Sabbatical. Now don’t you feel ‘very unique’? (Ed. Note: I HATE that! There are no degrees of ‘unique’. You can look it up)
If ya wanna…
I really don’t want to write about Janet but… damn it! She is such a wonderful, truly true, truly colorful, truly unique, one-hundred-and-one pounds of fun character, especially after we arrived in Nacogdoches Texas and began our ‘unique’ married life.
We are all, all of us, ‘very unique individuals’.
Or aren’t we all just deluding our own unique selves?
Probably will be continued when They let me out again for ‘Social Time’
And Finally I leave you with a good Sunday Morning Song. We used to sing this as we ran in formation to chow when I was in BUD/s Class 158. Can you imagine? Probably not.
I grew into manhood in the Sinai desert: 1977-1980. Missed out on Disco, but it was damn well worth it. What you may choose to read below is the first installment of a personal history I am determined to write about the men and women I had the honor to know, to love, to work and walk among, and to call ‘Friend’, as we all tried in our way, to bring peace between the Egyptians and the Israelis after the Yom Kippur War of 1973. The conditions were harsh; the boredom at times mind-numbing. Seventy-five percent of us were under thirty. Most of us were Texans. We were not actually building anything see-able, tangible, touchable: we were, in fact, civilian ‘Paid Political Hostages,’ not construction contractors, not U.S. military Special Forces, but we ended up building something immensely more important than bricks and mortar: The Camp David Accords—Peace between two enemies who had not known peace since before Moses was a pup. Some of us who spent too many years there, went slowly and surely insane…
A faint laughing snort escaped as I shook my head upon seeing that sign duct-taped to the door of the hooch belonging to some of my fellow drivers: ‘Rocket Tom’, ‘J.R. Mog’, ‘Jet’, and ‘Big Mo’. Big Mo wasn’t a driver per se; I mean he didn’t drive trucks or R&R passenger vehicles: He drove dozers, road graders, front-end loaders, and the occasional fork lift, although he considered fork-lifts “Too wussy for a Texan named Big Mo” to drive.
I gave the door a hearty knock.
Opening the door, I was enveloped in a cloud of smoke shoved out by the cold air conditioning. The contrast from the hot Sinai air shocked my senses, but felt oh, so… inviting. I stepped inside the doorway and paused, giving my eyes a moment to adjust to the subdued lighting in the hooch. The sun in Sinai is blindingly bright. Seated around an empty cable spool (about three feet in diameter), were three fourths of the usual suspects: Mog, Jet, and Rocket Tom.
“You just gonna stand there, or ya gonna have a seat?” Mog demanded. J.R. Mog, a corpulent, charismatic, boisterous, ‘talks too loud’ Texan who generally had the first (and last) word in any conversation. His full title was ‘J. R. Mog, Half-Man, Half-Alligator, Part-Time Hog; Tamer of Wild Women and Other Assorted Interests.” Or… simply just ‘Mog’ for short (Thank God).
“How y’all?” I said, taking a seat on one of the camel saddles which served as chairs. Scattered about the tabletop were a couple of small pipes, a chunk of hashish the size of a pregnant golf ball, an overflowing ashtray, three or four empty beer bottles (Amstel), a couple of magazines, a crumpled pack of Marlboros, a Moët & Chandon bottle with a burnt up candle stuck in it, wax coating it all around and down to the top of the table thus cementing it there, and something that looked like it might once have been an orange.
Mog answered, “We just finer ‘n frog hair. Wanna beer? You know where the fridge is.”
“Matter of fact, I do,” I said, getting up and tacking back and forth through the piles of dirty clothes, homemade furniture, shards of beer bottles, and stacked-up cases of Amstel, Heineken, and Tuborg Squash—a heavily carbonated orange soda from Denmark—the best thing on Earth for the morning cotton-mouth most of us suffered more mornings than not. (Had something to do with smoking hash and drinking late into the night, but… that’s just my opinion.)
I returned with a Heineken and sat back down, taking a swig as I did so.
Jet said, “Well, Lancer, now that you’re all settled, we can fire us up a bowl.” (I had not done anything noteworthy enough up until this point at Sinai Field Mission to warrant a moniker other than my given Christian name). Using a Buck Knife, he proceeded to carve some hash off the golf ball, then mixing the slivers with some tobacco, stuffed one of the pipes and lit it with a Zippo.
We passed the ‘bowl’ around, refilling it a few times here and there, then settled back with our beers.
Jet, the oldest at the table–about thirty—wore a goatee, long brown hair on top of a head that looked a little too big for the rest of his frame. He had a laconic manner, but was not what one could ever call ‘brusque’. He just didn’t say much. He seemed to save his words like cash money is what I’m saying. Presently, he asked, “Mog, when’s your next run to TA?” (‘TA’ = Tel Aviv).
Mog (who spent words with reckless abandon) replied, “I got the fuckin’ R&R run tomorrow. Shit! Hey Lance, what you got? Wanna trade?”
Mog hated the R&R runs mainly because R&R runs meant taking passengers. He loved driving the trucks into ‘Town’. Two reasons: He loved trucks and he loved to drive trucks very, very fast. Mog was a great driver, but riding with him scared the shit out of me.
“Sure Mog; I’ll trade with ya.”
“Which run you got?” he asked, now slightly wary at my all too quick agreement.
“Aw Shit No! Forget it.”
SFM Basecamp was about thirty klicks from the Suez Canal. Every day an R&R vehicle left SFM to rendezvous with one coming from Cairo. Passengers would take a small boat across the canal and continue on to Cairo or back to SFM. Incoming and out-going mail was also exchanged. Having ‘The Canal Run’ meant getting off-base only for an hour or two. Going to Tel Aviv meant driving only four hours, checking into the Sheraton and having the rest of the day and night to paint the town red with Per Diem and whatever else one wanted to contribute or muster out of his own purse. Mog had an Israeli girlfriend in Tel Aviv, actually she was his fiancée, and he took all the Tel Aviv runs he could get, so he could go see ‘The Little Mama’. In fact all the drivers had Israeli girlfriends except Big Mo. His ‘Honey-Co’ was a Big-Boned, Tall Drink O’ Water, Texan Gal, working for SFM, just like us. Her name was ‘Big Mammu’ and if those two didn’t eventually get united in hellish matrimony, then I say ‘Fuck it.’ There is no hope for the rest of the world. Perfect for each other they were, is all I’m saying.
Rocket Tom was a wiry, slightly nervous-energy type about five-foot ten, with long dark brown hair and a full beard. Even though he was Pure Texan, his accent spoke ‘Tennessee’ to me: Probably genetic since most Texans have Tennessee bones buried somewhere in their family closet.
“Y’all just gettin’ back from the TA? Rocket drawled in my direction.
“Yeah. Had the Reefer Run. The KP’s unloading her now.”
“Well,” he went on, “I hope y’all brought back some ah that Israeli choc’late milk this time.”
“Sorry Bro; they still fresh out at the market.”
“Well shit-fire!” he yelled, standing up. “How they spec’ us to keep our mo-ral here in the Middle of the Fuckin’ East, Sinai fuckin’ field mission hot-ass desert without no Goddamn choc’late milk?” (He did love chocolate milk, especially after a smoked bowl or two of the hubbly-bubbly, which for us was another word for hashish, although technically, it means the water pipe we sometimes used to smoke it in, often mixed with a sticky sweet Egyptian honey tobacco—very pleasant aroma, that.)
Mog chimed in, “Hell an’ God-awmighty Rocket! Calm the fuck on down Son! Y’all need to lay off that shit anyhow. I believe you done put on a pound or two just this week, ‘specially round yer middle section there.” (Rocket Tom weighed about 140 pounds, soaking wet. With-his-boots-on).
Mog continued on the roll he was working himself up to, “Lancers, that reefer truck still got both its mirrors attached?”
Laughter all around. (Rocket, now sated and satisfied by his outburst, had sat the fuck back down…)
I had become notorious with the drivers (and somewhat despised & infamous by the mechanics) for losing the driver’s side swing-out mirrors off four trucks in the past two weeks. The roads through the desert were quite narrow with no shoulders at all. And in fact, there was usually a sharp drop off which if hit, would cause a fast moving, top heavy, loaded-down truck to flip over. I was cognizant of this and would never give up my half of the road. No Matter What. Too often I would encounter an IDF (Israeli Defense Force) truck with some pimple-faced kid, fresh off the Kibbutz at the wheel barreling down upon me from the opposite direction, taking his half of the road from the middle. Inevitably our mirrors would connect. And violently. Since SFM’s trucks all had air conditioning, my windows were always rolled up, saving me from being smacked by the mirror as it smashed against the side of the truck. The IDF guys, well probably not, as their trucks, to my knowledge, did not come with factory air.
“Yeah Mog. She still got both her mirrors.”
“Well, did ya leave any crippled jackasses in yer wake this time?” Mog laughed.
On my very first R&R run to Tel Aviv I was driving our Chevy van loaded full with twelve passengers, two of whom were high-ranking State Department pukes. I was a bit nervous, and was trying to drive oh so carefully and safely, as I felt my future as a driver depended on it. Somewhere just south of Al Arish, we came upon a couple of donkeys in the road. I started slowing down, but not wanting to hit the brakes too suddenly or too hard, thereby throwing my passengers forward, I misjudged and hit one of the jackasses square in the ass. His hind legs flew out from underneath him and his butt hit the road. He managed to get back on his legs, then turned and glared at me as he stumbled off. I drove on down the road as if nothing had happened and saw a Bedouin in my rear view mirror shaking his fist and spewing what I theorized were some choice words at me in Arabic.
“Naw. Overall it was a borin’ trip,” I said. Then added, “Mog, you sure you don’t wanna take my Canal Run tomorrow?”
“Son, you know damn well I don’t. Last time I had that run…” (Here it comes, another ‘Mog Story’) “I got stuck for two hours behind a broke-dick-of-a’-Egyptian-lame-ass-broke-down-convoy. They had the whole damn road covered up with their doubya-doubya-two wrecks-on-wheels. Musta been twenny of ‘em. I’m tryin’ to figure out how to get around, but they had the unmitter-grated gall to break down ‘tween two fuckin’ sand dunes. Nothin’ I could do but set an’ wait ‘em out. I’ll be Goddamn-go-to-Hell if their tow truck finally shows, and she pro-ceeds to break down her own self! Jesus, Mary and Yosef! My passengers getting’ all stupid worryin’ an’ frettin’ they ain’t gonna get to Cairo in time to catch their planes for R&R back to The Land of the Big PX and the All-Night Restaurant, I told them the other vehicle gonna wait there at the crossin’, so why don’t y’all just shut the fuck up!”
“Uh Mog,” Rocket interjected, “There weren’t no USG types in your vehicle, were they?”
“Ah Hell No! Rocket. You know I am always po-lite as pie when those State Department assholes are on-board. Anyways, as I was sayin’, we sittin’ there wonderin’ when the next tow truck gonna show, so I call ahead to Mohammad to see if he at the canal yet. Finally managed to get him on the radio and tole him to set tight. I’d get there when I got there.“
A word here about the convoys that travelled through the ‘Buffer Zone’. The Egyptians had nothing but World War Two era Russian trucks and every time they attempted a convoy, they broke down. Sure as God made Texas, they were gonna break down. The Israelis, on the other hand, had all-new trucks and tanks, and planes, most of which they got from the U.S. when Nixon bailed them out during the first half of the two-week long Yom Kippur War when the Egyptians were actually kicking the ever’-lovin’ shit outta their asses. There was a massive air-lift of new military hardware to the Israelis, so they would not get pushed into the Mediterranean. Now, I’m not saying the Israelis didn’t deserve credit for winning that war in the end, (and some would still call it a ‘draw’), but without the infusion of new equipment from Tricky Dick and Hank Kissinger, well…
Mog continued, “Well, with nothin’ to do now but wait her out, I went to see if I could find some ‘Gyptian could give me an idee of just how much longer they gonna be blockin’ my road. After wading through some wearing they jammies and wantin’ baksheesh, I found an officer who spoke some English. He tole me, ‘No worries. No worries.’ Well, directly here come another ‘gyptian tow truck. Took ‘em another hour to clear the damn road. We got to the canal just ‘bout an hour ‘fore sundown. I swear, I ain’t takin’ no more canal runs. Oh fuck no!”
There was a lot of bullshit talked at SFM, but for the most part, it was what you’d call pretty good bullshit (for the most part.) I enjoyed it terribly.
If you have come with me thus far, then you may be happy to know that there will be more to this story. Too much more.