“Don’t Rain Rust on my Parade”*

“Petty Officer Marcom! Your fifty cals are rusty!”

I must admit; yes, they were. I tried so hard to keep ahead of the rust, but here I found myself between the second half of a six-month, round-the-whurl-WestPac deployment, and somewhere just off the coast of Somalia. Yes, rust was my enemy, and 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 subject to rust. Rust Relentless. Relentless She Be: That Sea.

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

The Navy had a solution though. They provided canvas covers to cover those guns and make them safe from the rust. Alas, those canvas covers had seen better days, probably back when Pearl Harbor was just an ordinary Naval Base.

While scrubbing the Indian Ocean rust off’n the fifty-cals one morning I hatched a plan. Knowing full well we were soon to pull into Mombasa, Kenya, I saved my money. Once in Mombasa, I would smuggle one of the moth infected, jig saw, ‘holy’ canvas shards off the ship. I would rent a taxi and find a leather shop in Mombasa and commission new covers for my fifty caliber machine guns.

And This is exactly what I did, and to the amazement and astonishment of my Senior Chief Petty Officer and my Department Head (almost a Navy Commander… he kinda looked like JFK, now that I think on it—I did not like him, but he respected me—not sure why…)

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.  And I was so desirous that they did NOT notice, but my Master Chief did notice, yet, never ever voicing his ‘inner thoughts’ in front of what he referred to as “Shit Birds” — ‘Officers’ — Never let on.

And I should have been cognizant of this, yet I was somewhat giddy after my .50 Cals had finally passed inspection, that I did not stop to think that anyone, not even Master Chief had seen through my ruse. I was drunk with my own cleverness and lying in my rack, 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! I was a Gunner’s Mate 3rd Class! Freshly rocked out of SEAL Training and trying to regain what little was left of my  pride.)

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”.

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 in my rack just before Taps with my little blue ‘privacy’ curtain drawn, someone abruptly jerked back the curtain.

Yep.

Master Chief Anderson

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

Trying to try to my side and find an elbow to lean to, I half-coughed out, “Master Chief, I had them made while we were in Mombasa.”

“I see”, was all he said, as he yanked my curtain back shut.

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 I had been made to almost memorize while at Recruit Training Command, i.e. boot camp. I had broken the rules.

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 bootcamp…

“Enter!”

“Petty Officer 3rd Class Marcom Sir!”

“I know who you are Lance; sit down.”

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

Mouth agape I sad down, speechless

“Son, Master Chief Anderson tells me you went out on your own, commissioned 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 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 and handed me two-hundred and fifty bucks.

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

“Petty Officer Marcom! You’re dismissed!”

Jumping up, some tears welling in my eyes, “Yessir!” As I saluted him and abruptly left his quarters, knocking some books off a shelf as I tried to hustle out…

 

 

 

 

 

 

I may continue this story, (or not). My time in Kenya was rather interesting though.

(Those bits I remember anyhow)

 

Gainful Employment, Part Duh

Preface:

Lance (LIFE) is An Angry Man. An Angry White Man.

Now. That (above) is just for fun

What means this?

Nothing.

Just thought I’d say it.

Why?

“Dunno.”

Read On.

(Oh! And One Last THING: If you do not follow the links, well, do not come back to me crying: “Lance! I don’t get it!”–Please don’t force me to be an asshole–I really hate that.)

I’ve been around the world (twice). Seen two white whales fuck. Seen the sun come up over many exotic venues. Been drunk at sunup looking at Kilimanjaro. Been sober at sunset watching Jews at the Wailing Wall, mostly wailing, them Jew (sic). Seen monkeys steal golf balls off the course at Subic Bay Naval Base. (A “gimme-drop” or a ‘mulligan’ in the local rule book) Heard the call-to-prayer while on my early a.m. runs in many Arab lands. Seen incomprehensible acts of bravery and also of coward-ness. Seen inspiring acts of kindness. Seen unbelievable acts of selfishness and cruelty. Seen some things that oh so briefly, made me want to believe in (a) God (those passed—quickly—trust me on this one folks).

Seen men die.

And seen men live.

Have made countless great friends. Friended them. Been friended. Been De-Friended.  Cannot say I can even know where any one of them are today, or if they are even still alive. Such has been my way in life… Suppose a selfish life (my take). Most who really know me would never say that. I have been called ‘Generous to a fault.’ I have also been called ‘conceited’ ‘arrogant’ ‘self-important’, ‘pompous’, ‘asshole’ et cetera, but one thing I have never been called is ‘cheap.’

I am proud of that.

In brief: “I have heard the chimes at midnight” with many good friends, however much I always seemed to cast them away, sorely by neglect. Friendship, I now know, requires tending, not unlike an aquarium or a garden. Next life… maybe.

I need not go on. Hell, most of us who attain some bit of longevity can attest to these experiences, or at least, reasonable facsimiles. Nothing unique about me here, but I have traveled a bit more than most and generally, I have taken some good mental notes.

Which kind of brings me to my point:

Jobs I Have Had: Weird Version (not in any particularly chronological order)

Walmart: I took a job at Walmart long after I had quit my regular job of almost ten years. My money had run out and I was living (by the good graces of my landlady—a friend) rent-free in Commerce, Amerika. My intent was to attain gainful employment in Iraq, so I had quit my regular job, just SOOO certain, given my previous ‘Overseas War-Zone Experience’ that I would be beating the HeadHunter’s offers away with a very large stick. Alas. No one seemed interested in hiring me to go to Iraq and risk my neck, (Even though I had made it abundantly clear in my cover letters that, ‘Beheading’ to me, is just a ‘scare word.’ No dice. No sale. No Job.

Strangest Aspect of working at Walmart:

Pajama Day. Yes Friends: on Pajama Day (Fridays as I do recall) a Walmart Associate could, if so desirous, wear pj’s work. Many did.

I did not.

UPS: I currently work (seasonal) for UPS. As far as I know, there are no pajama days, but there seem to be ‘incoherent days.’ I have been showing up for now two weeks and I am as clueless today as I was on day one. If I were kind, I’d call it ‘organized chaos.’ Most of you who read me know I am not really one to spout euphemisms. No. Just ‘chaos’ will do for now. And gee! I really do hope all y’all get your parcels on-time. I truly do. Merry Christmas

SFM (Sinai Field Mission) Completely run by the US Department of State back in the Seventies…

Wow! I have written of the insanity that went on there. Hell! There is even a documentary film on it (completely bogus, but here is the link, if you do not believe me:

http://www.zipporah.com/films/30

Hay Hauling: Yep. A more insane occupation cannot be imagined (in The Seventies) Drunks mostly all of us hay-haulers. Peanut comes immediately to mind

 Navy SEALs: What can I say?

Worm Ranch: Worm Counter.

Yeah, I used to make a living… counting red-worms: Seventy-five cents a box. Good money. Dodge the alcoholic! (For that, I did not get paid extra—it was before OSHA doan cha know…?

Enuff!

More later.

Maybe

And don’t you know?

I am the reason God Made OK.

(Not really)

But…

I have a sense of the ludicrous.

THERE IS SOME RHYME AND REASON (YES ALL CAPS) THAT I LOVE KRIS:

HITS TOO CLOSE TO HOME)

DON’T IT?

Let The Buyer Beware

Daily Lenny

Yeah, I have pissed in a lot of sinks.

 Truly, I have.

gomer-1-and-gomette-2

“I know this goddamn life too well.”

-Janis

“What did you do in The War, Daddy?”

It’s Fittin’

Or it isn’t.

‘Fittin’’

In my mind, I think I have written some incredibly good shit for this here blog, (approaching my one-year anniversary) but then again, who can account for taste?

Certainly not me.

Anyway…

I had some interesting emails of late:

Mostly of the “Jeeze! Yer not dead… I hope.” Strain. (vernacular??)

“No Virginia, I am not dead.”(And No: There ain’t no Santa)

Yet.

Nope. Not yet. (dead: not Santa—try to stay with me here Friends…)

‘So sorry…’

“Maybe next time.” Or as some of my ‘friends’ might say: “Next Year in Jerusalem.”

(But then, that is some other kind of different post, ain’t it?)

I am tired, so I will end this now.

Just wanted to post ‘something’ so that y’all would realize… I am still alive in here.

Peace,

Lance

P.S. Now, that right there is what some might call a virulent (?), brilliant stream of ‘conscientiousness’. Some might, in fact.

Personally, I call ‘bullshit.’ But that is just me.

Cheers Y’all,

Lance

And PPS:

I am gonna volunteer to go to Liberia.

Just to help.

If y’all think I’m jokin’, well then; you don’t know me very well, do you?

Hell! All who know me, know I will risk anything for money! Because ‘money’ is all I care about.”

(And if y’all believe that, well then I am not… aiming… at ‘My Audience’)

And I do have a bridge to sell. (cheap!)

–Lance

Just for fun:

“A Deputy Sheriff approached them in a manner rather rude…” 

They Say It’s Your Birthday (and please read/watch this one) It may be my swan song.

Tomorrow I embrace my Sixty-Third Year.

So what?

I find me asking me of late:

“So… Lance, what have you done?”

Vid Credit:

johnlennon

And ‘somewhat’ related: And…Talia Shire Will never, ever look so good. 

Again.

(That Beret! That Beret! Cabaret!) 

And of course, not without saying…

Joel Grey.

And Liza…

And Michael York.

And…

And… whatever happened to Jimmy Buffett’s hair??? (I did read his book, “a pirate looks at forty” fifty, sixty??. did not glean anything from it ‘cept that he loves ‘boat-planes’– shit! I could have ‘wrote’ a better book. Jes sayin’…)

My tweet (if I ever tweet) to Jimmy:

Dude, stick to music. That is what you do best. Leave the prose to those who have some prose… to share. And no! I ain’t talking ’bout me, but in general speakin’…)

(See way below for the JB bits)

(and, yes:  Navy SEALs)

Picks up that conversation:

“Not too much,” I must confess.

“But surely you have touched some lives?”

“Yeah, but mostly in a bad way. I did my best in war zones. I was ‘The antithesis’ of the ‘Bad American.’ Other than that, nope.”

“Perhaps you are being too hard on yourself?”

“You really don’t know me, do you?”

“Well… no. Not exactly. This is just a job to me. Go on.”

“I’d rather not, but hey! Thanks for stopping by.”

“I suppose my ‘work’ here is done. Then?”

“Yeah. You may be excused.”

“Thanks, because I am late for my appointment with J-Law.”

“Happy Trails.”

“But you said one thing; got my attention: You said ‘torched’.

“Naw! I said ‘scorched’ There is some difference.”

Vid credit:HistoryRepeats01

And I leave Y’all with this. It fits:

Or, as Mammy (Hattie McDaniel) said, via ‘Gone With The Wind’:

“It just ain’t fittin'”

(She ‘won’ an Oscar for that. Ya surely know) And in her acceptance speech, she said, and I quote: “I sincerely hope I shall always be a credit to my race.” Can you believe she actually felt compelled to say those words? Well, it was 1940… I suppose. 

Lance loves you Mammy (Hattie)

And look up the word ‘class’ in any dictionary. There you will find a photo of Katherine Hepburn.

Oops! I meant Bette Davis (shit! I cannot tell from the vid which one, Kate or Bette–HBO!–help a brother out here. Which one?) Personally, I am gonna go with Kate.   After further review, I am going with Bette.

“Just hold on and suck in.”

Vid Credit:

obxncpirate

 Yeah! I always pick the ‘raw’ video. Jus’ me, I suppose.

It was, in fact, my birthday.

Thanks for riding along.

For, there will be Nothing… Tomorrow! Tomorrow! Tomorrow!

Nothing tomorrow.

Cheers. Beers. Jears. Tears.

L

Namaste Bit:

And if you find a plethora of parenthesis here…They are for my friend, SS and solely for her own edification.

If you care to dare, Here is her link:

But Be Brave

http://theshitshowthatismylife.com/about/

(I was)

Yet…she scares me…

And last and certainly not least….

“We’re gonna let you go.”

 

 

 

I guess “all of the above” rightly sums up my life.

Happy Birthday to me.

 

Running in Soft Sand: Part Three

Ed. Note: 29 Aug:

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)

Cheers,

Lance

***

Or…

Alternate Titles:

‘Lance’s Ramblings from his 115th Dream Stream’ (Sorry Bob)

“Call me if they die.”

‘Semi Conscientious Streams of Conscientiousness’

‘Raining upon My Hit Parade’

‘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.

Whatever

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…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoLogdbVS3U

I want to write about this:

I think. I think I am. Therefore I am… I think.

–Moody Blues, With apologies to René Descartes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTHoKEd-Gjo

***

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…)

  1. The Middle East is still throwing gasoline upon their (and our) raging fire
  2. There will probably never be closure nor justice for Michael Brown or his family
  3. Ebola is raging strong (But only in Africa: So, who cares, right? The WHO, that’s who)
  4. 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!
  5. My dog has fleas… Fuckin’ fleas. Dogs!
  6. My British GF finds me… well, of late, she don’t (find me)
  7. 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.’)
  8. My blood pressure remains off the chart and I think I may have given myself diabetes: Type Duh
  9. I have been remiss in visiting and commenting on the blogs of my good friends
  10. 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?)

And hey!

Don't stay here

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!)

So There.

Now to the ‘Meat of the Matter’:

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!

Bon Voyage!

***

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.

Why?

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…

The Seventies.

I would like some thoughts on that/those. From you! And then, having received same, I will continue. Maybe.

Your choice.

Shalom

Salaam

Namaste

Hook ‘em Horns

Peace,

–Lancers

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.

Peach,

Lanced

Oh! And by the way… Jackson Browne was/is an asshole

Read it here

Bye now…

Pap, Huk, Peanut, Delirium tremens, and Lance

I post a lot of shit. I post a lot of off the wall shit. If you have read my ‘By Way of Introduction’ page you will know this. But, OK,  most of you have not (read that). Therefore, I will be brief here (“More matter and less art,” Yeah yeah yeah…) More matter below:

And here is some ref: Peanut, stuff, more stuff, and even more stuff.

I stole this from Sam Clemens. I hope you like it a lot. (I do)

I don’t know how long I was asleep, but all of a sudden there was an awful scream and I was up. There was pap looking wild, and skipping around every which way and yelling about snakes. He said they was crawling up his legs; and then he would give a jump and scream, and say one had bit him on the cheek–but I couldn’t see no snakes. He started and run round and round the cabin, hollering “Take him off! take him off! he’s biting me on the neck!” I never see a man look so wild in the eyes. Pretty soon he was all fagged out, and fell down panting; then he rolled over and over wonderful fast, kicking things every which way, and striking and grabbing at the air with his hands, and screaming and saying there was devils a-hold of him. He wore out by and by, and laid still a while, moaning. Then he laid stiller, and didn’t make a sound. I could hear the owls and the wolves away off in the woods, and it seemed terrible still. He was laying over by the corner. By and by he raised up part way and listened, with his head to one side. He says, very low:

“Tramp–tramp–tramp; that’s the dead; tramp–tramp–tramp; they’re coming after me; but I won’t go. Oh, they’re here! don’t touch me –don’t! hands off–they’re cold; let go. Oh, let a poor devil alone!”

Then he went down on all fours and crawled off, begging them to let him alone, and he rolled himself up in his blanket and wallowed in under the old pine table, still a-begging; and then he went to crying. I could hear him through the blanket.

By and by he rolled out and jumped up on his feet looking wild, and he see me and went for me. He chased me round and round the place with a clasp-knife, calling me the Angel of Death, and saying he would kill me, and then I couldn’t come for him no more. I begged, and told him I was only Huck; but he laughed SUCH a screechy laugh, and roared and cussed, and kept on chasing me up. Once when I turned short and dodged under his arm he made a grab and got me by the jacket between my shoulders, and I thought I was gone; but I slid out of the jacket quick as lightning, and saved myself. Pretty soon he was all tired out, and dropped down with his back against the door, and said he would rest a minute and then kill me. He put his knife under him, and said he would sleep and get strong, and then he would see who was who.

So he dozed off pretty soon. By and by I got the old split-bottom chair and clumb up as easy as I could, not to make any noise, and got down the gun. I slipped the ramrod down it to make sure it was loaded, then I laid it across the turnip barrel, pointing towards pap, and set down behind it to wait for him to stir. And how slow and still the time did drag along.

Shoot at me you son of a bitch!

“Lately I been thinkin’, I just might quit drinkin’… now I don’t know, all in all…”