It is Quite Within the Realm of Possibility That I am Drunk, “Part One of a Sailor’s Scholarly Series on U.S. Naval History in The South Pacific”

I slept through ‘Throw-Back Thursday’, so I jumped on my Dash Eight and headed West until I crossed The International Date Line.

OK, NOW it’s Thursday.

Again.

Happy?

Guess where I ended up?

Disneyland!

(‘Ornamental Version’)

***

Liberty Call!

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

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

Simultaneously about a hundred sailors went into Fred Flintstone Mode:

“Yabba Dabba Dooo!!”

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

“Request permission to go ashore” we said in unison as we saluted the O.O.D, (Officer of the Deck) in front of us.

The officer of the deck and the messenger of the watch stand by on the quarterdeck.

“Very well,” he replied, and then we faced astern and saluted the flag or ‘ensign’ in the proper vernacular.

“Salute the Fag, then the Flag”. (Helpful hint to remember the proper protocol for departing a U.S. Navy vessel.)

Scampering down the gangway to the pier we nearly knocked each other down in our haste.

Free at last!

We hustled down toward the Shit-River Bridge which connected Subic Bay Naval Base to Olongapo. Shit River was similar to the Poo Pond I wrote about in my Letter from a South Park Jail series. But the primary difference between the two was no one ever physically came in contact with the Poo Pond.

In Olongapo Filipino children would paddle small boats under the Shit River Bridge and wait for sailors to toss coins into the water.

These children would dive down into the ‘bio-hazardous’ searching for the coins.

To my knowledge no one from my ship ever tossed coins into the river. This was considered dishonorable behavior and rightly so. And for reasons so obvious that I won’t even list them here.

Shit River

Once safely across the bridge we entered Magsaysay Blvd., AKA Magsaysay Drive. Strolling down Magsaysay requires a keen sense of situational awareness. Jeepneys, trikes, drunken sailors and marines, Shore Patrols, flying beer bottles… All of these while-on-liberty-occupational hazards must be recognized and avoided—at all costs.

Magsaysay

Olongapo City was Sexual Disneyland for Sailors and Marines.

Up and down Magsaysay Boulevard, every other venue a bar, and every other—other venue was a massage parlor (“Hey Sailor! You want massage with sensation?”) and every other, other joint was what could best be described as a ‘Mega-Club’. These had no less than three to four hundred ‘working girls.’

These Mega-Clubs, (solely owned and operated by the Chinese Mafia) often three stories high, were death traps in the event of a fire, no matter how small. The din inside was cacophonous. Ear plugs were prudent. Cigarette smoke swirled up like the morning Mekong mist in Apocalypse Now.

Imagine a super-sized opium den with high-amp electronic music and strobe lights.

Den of Sin

If the place didn’t burn down during your sojourn, you could still get trampled to death in the stampede to get out the solitary door.

No one feared the danger.

Nor cared.

This was not my first rodeo. I had been to Olongapo before (World Cruise deployment on the U.S.S Callaghan DDG 994 in 1986).

Ditto for my two compadres and we were all GM’s—Gunner’s mates–‘Old Salts’.

Matt was a thoughtful mild mannered, about six-foot tall perfect AJ-Squared-Away first class petty officer gunner but with one fatal flaw:

He loved Filipinas, and specifically one Filipina above all others:

His wife.

Josie was a very beautiful, vivacious, vexatious, sexy, striking woman who was ‘seconded’ to San Dog (San Diego), happily fucking every Marine she could lay legs on while Matt was out to sea and some would also ungraciously add, ‘Out to Lunch’.

But this ‘TMI’ came directly to Rog and me from Matt himself and he knew it was common knowledge throughout The Fleet. (Okay, the entire Seventh Fleet did not know of Matt’s marriage troubles, but it sure did seem so at times)

He unashamedly admitted to being a cuckold, but was so blindly in love he was powerless to do anything about it.

Love has fucked up more lonely sailors and marines than I am able to count, although I really need only count to one:

Me.

Rogers was married as well, but cuckold, he was none. He was a little wiry Irish descendant, ‘bout five-foot and small change with reddish blond-hair and bluish blood-stained wild eyes.  

He was one crazy little dynamo son of a bitch with a fair allotment of Napoleon overcompensation built in.

My persona was dark and foreboding and dangerous. I had ‘rocked out’ of SEAL training for the second time and had but one year left before I could turn in my Canoe Club Card and get the hell outta This Man’s Navy.

Having failed to make it in Naval Spec-Warfare, my Naval Career was over as far as I was able to give one shit.

This made me dangerous.

Rogers loved that about me. Matt was just generally apprehensive and leery.

The three of us were absolutely the very best of buddies and shipmates in every good sense of the term.

Yet, a more divergent trio of personalities could not be dreamed.

One thing in common though: we did not enjoy the Magsaysay Big-Bar scene. It was just too rowdy—too loud—too frenetic—too immature

(Yes. I said ‘immature’)

We were not looking for prostitutes.

Matt had his ‘loving’ wife. Rogers had his Trailer-Park-Shotgun-Bride with their four tow-headed kids, each born precisely nine months and twenty minutes after the preceding.  And I had my transplanted Yankee Girlfriend waiting (?) back in San Dog.

We just wanted a joint which would have that “Cheers” ambiance. We found it at Viva Young, a little shit-hole-in-the-wall tucked in between more substantial and popular bars. For the most part, it went unnoticed, overlooked, and passed-on-by.

Viva Young Baby!

(And Viva Young was deemed ‘Off Limits’ by The Naval Command—never did understand why, but this made it even better: nothing more fun than jacking with the SP’s—Shore Patrol). 

Viva Young had become Our Place and all the girls (and the Mama-San) knew our names. There was not much to it. It was a narrow long bar, perhaps 1500 square feet, dark and smoky and the music volume did not force us to shout. Not many even knew of it, and even if they did, they would not frequent the place.

It was too dark, too run down, not to mention the fact that the regulars (Matt, Lance, and Rog—plus a handful of Marines) did not cotton to stupid, young and green Sailors and Marines fresh out of boot camp or A-School wanting to suck up Our Air.

We ran all interlopers off with gusto and frequency, much to the chagrin of Mama-San, the manager.

We made it up to her though, always spending much more than expected and for shit-sure leaving huge tips all around, just like the drunken sailors/marines that you may have heard about.

Yep.

We invented that cliché.

Upon entering Viva Young, we were instantly assaulted with an all-hands-on-deck ‘Welcome!’ from the girls.

“We love you here Sailor Man!”

“Take your shoes off! We love you!”

“We miss you!”

“We lub chew no chit!”

(Best rendition of a Filipina accent I can muster—ya kinda have to experience it for your-own-self to get the ‘full benefit’.)

Here is a song to prove I am not making this up:

I Love You No Shit

Buy Me Honda

Edmundo Olino Katuwaan Channel. Pinoy Country Singer

***

There was a long cat-walk. The cat-walk was the main attraction—taking up most of the square footage real estate. At the very back of the bar, just for fun, or an afterthought, were two pool tables. There may have been a rusty pinball machine as well, but I possibly have dreamed that.

The nubile Filipinas, fresh from Soccer Practice and still in their uniform until later in the evening were a joy to behold and to hold.

We always seemed to show up during the lax time—that time  between the end of girls’ soccer and the Real Deal.

 They would continuously shower us with their attentive affections:

“Hey Mista Rance! Hey Mista Matt! Hey Mista Rog! We love you! We love you no-shit! Buy me drink?! Buy me Honda?!”

“Sure on the drink Honey! The Honda… maybe later.”

Stay tuned… it gets better.

Yes! I Am A Moron! Please Read This Up-Dated, Un-Varnished Post.

I Have Expended An Inordinate Amount Of My Life Floating About In The South Pacific. Dutifully Trying To Protect Your Way-of-Life. I LOVE My U.S. NAVY!

And P.S. I Love You ‘Auto-Likers’–

What Would I Ever Do Without You?

I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Out Of My Hair

Cred For Share: Rodgers & Hammerstein

 

South Pacific-Bali Hai:

Cred For Vid Share: Currywurscht

You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught” – SOUTH PACIFIC

Please Read It

I’m Stuck On A Thing On A Thing Called “Hope”

I Poured My Heart Into ‘Building’ It (This Was Not The Out-Come I Required/Nor Desired)

“Part Six of A Sailor’s Scholarly History of the South Pacific:

Mary-Lou and Mama-San and Gainful Unemployment”

Sorry for my profanity: I am a sailor after all)”

Bloody Mary

Fun Little Known Fact:

Most of the Actors in this Scene Are Gay

Hahahahah!

“What ain’t we got? We Ain’t Got Dames.”

I love this movie.

I have spent far too much of my life in the South Pacific.

Cred: Rodgers & Hammerstein

Here is how Bar Fines are designed to work in Olongapo:

  1. You pay the girl’s bar fine to the Mama San
  2. You get a receipt.
  3. You take your ‘rental’ to your room.
  4. You fuck her.
  5. Sometimes you feed her first.
  6. Thusly sated, satisfied, you cast her away.

Here is how bar fines are not designed to work:

  1. You do NOT Lose it. (Your receipt)
  2. You broke it; you bought it.
  3. You hand over your receipt to your rental so she can leave you.

Well, that is the short version.

The thing is, in Olongapo, Bar Girls walking about on Magsaysay Blvd, alone, without a bar fine receipt are considered in the eyes of the law to be ‘common’ street walkers. And subject to arrest.

And thrown under the jail.

For months.

So what was the very first thing I did with Mary-Lou Perucho?

I handed over my Bar Fine Receipt.

“Here ya go Darling. Put this in your pocket. Don’t lose it. Now shall we go to my hotel?”

“Sure.” She said nervously.

So we went to my cheap hotel. I had no intention of having sex with her. I was just lonely as I have mentioned. I just wanted to talk with her. Get to know her (not in that biblical sense—in that humane sense—I was lonely and she reminded me of an old High School sweetheart…)

I had been drinking (duh), so I excused myself after I had parked her in front of the television. I went to the head, took a piss. Came back. She was gone.

She had left me.

Guess she thought I was gonna try to fuck her.

( I had no such intentions)

But who could blame her for leaving?

I weighed in at two-hundred pounds and change.

She was, soaking wet, about ninety eight.

If I had fucked her, I might have broken her.

But apparently caution  being the better part of smart told her to bug out.

And I had given her, her pass:

The Bar Fine Receipt.

It made me sad that I had not expressed well enough my benevolent propensity.

Of course, like the asshole I was, I went back to Viva Young the next afternoon and complained to Mama San. I wanted my money back. My rental had left me.

Mama San was not amused, but in the spirit of good customer service, she fired Mary Lou.

This was NOT the outcome I desired.

So now was I not just an asshole, but a stellar asshole.

I would have to search out Mary Lou and attempt to make things right.

All I truly wanted was a pretty girl to lay down beside me and hold my hand and listen to my stories…

And keep me company.

And pretend as if she cared.

Just pretend.

I’ll pay you.

After we pulled out of Olongapo, I sent her money every month for a lot of months. When we eventually returned to Ologapo after some months I looked her up and gave her a bunch of gifts I had purchased with her in my mind in Hong Kong. She really was not impressed. Hurt my feelings.

Linda is so beautiful.

To Be Continued

Part Five Maybe? May Be Discovered Here:

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

Viva Young

As mentioned in the previous post, Viva Young was a tiny joint about a block or two off Magsaysay Boulevard.

Upon entering, immediately on the left was ‘Mama San’s ‘Office,’ which was simply an enclosed counter with an ancient cash register, a small table lamp, a perpetually over-flowing ashtray, and a counter sign which read: “No Credit.”

Every bar or club had a ‘Mama San’—‘Manager’ to put it into Western Parlance. I had a bit of a history with this Mama San.

(Yeah we were ‘Fuck Buddies’)

We were roughly the same age and found each other mutually attractive. She did volunteer work for the mayor of Olongapo and was quite astute. She wanted a career in government. But first, she had a bar to run and girls to manage. In this regard she was all cold business.

When on liberty in Olongapo I generally spent the night with Mama San. She lived with her mother and a sister and a brother and a few children in a fairly decent (though small) house about a mile from Viva Young.

She was supporting the entire family and was never ‘hesitate’ to hit me up for contributions to her domicile. I knew ‘the score’ and happily donated to her cause.

What did I need money for anyway? We had a convenient relationship and genuinely liked each other. And to my mind, she was doing good work.

Running the length of the bar was the ‘stage’ or ‘cat walk’. Or picture a runway, similar to what one might find in a very low-rent fashion show.

Bordering this runway on three sides was a narrow counter top: narrow-minded and horse-shoe-shaped. The open end faced the door and Mama San’s watchful eye.

Bar stools (ancient and uncomfortable) finished the Spartan scene.

The bar girls would line up on the runway and dance to the music from the equally ancient jukebox. Yes, this was best unflatteringly described as a ‘Meat Market’.

But then, that was Olongapo in 1989. Matt, Rogers, and I knew all the girls. (Just not in the Biblical sense). I suspect some were under age. If you’d ask one hundred bar girls in Olongapo where they were from, you’d get one hundred same pat answers:

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

I never met a single gal (see how easily I throw in some Texan vernacular to cover up the horrible reality?) who told me she wasn’t actually from Olongapo.

Nope, these were all ‘country gals’ with aspirations–from ‘The Province–the true aspiration was to marry a U.S. Serviceman and get the hell out of the Philippines.

And who could blame them? Many a young Sailor or Marine, after having his first sexual encounter fell in love with a Filipina and did fulfill her dream.

They would marry and the new bride would move to San Diego. Within a few months the rest of the family would be sent for. This was called the ‘Filipino Pipeline’.

Sadly, more often than not, once secured with U.S. Citizenship and the rescue of her family, the new bride would divorce her Sailor or Marine and make her way into the American Dream, leaving the husband wondering what the hell had gone wrong.

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

Actually everything always went wrong with such agreements.

Part One Here: 

Part Three Here.

 

I have a deadline.

Bobbie Gentry Captivates Me

Yeah, I’m An Idiot, Got Anymore Brilliant Commentary? Huh?? Read This: Is this moi, me? (Or if not me? Who Else Then?)

I had to see if the world was round.

The Judds, or as Peanut called them, “The Jug Heads”–no point in arguing with him over semantics.

Why-doncha ‘Lay’ on Me Naomi?

You Too “Why-Doncha_Lie-On-Me Wynonna?”

Why Not Me?

Fun Fact: My Erstwhile Love-of-my-Life actually met Wynonna Judd at DFW Airport once. They had a long conversation. I asked her, “How was she?”

“She was charming. Very down-to-Earth.”

I had expected nothing less

***

The Life & Times of The Judds 3/26/97

Them Jugg Heads

(“Jugg Head” is a Term-of-Endearment, BTW)

Why Not?

****

  1. Still Thursday, SunsdAY eh? oKAY?

Continue reading

Re-Run Just For Fun: Part One of a Sailor’s Scholarly Series on U.S. Naval History in The South Pacific

Liberty Call!

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

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

fred.jpg

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

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

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

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

Olongapo City was Sexual Disneyland for Sailors and Marines. Up and down Magsaysay Boulevard, every other venue a bar, and every other venue was a massage parlor (“Hey Sailor! You want massage with sensation?”)

and every other, other joint was what could be better described as a ‘Mega-Club’. These had no less than three to four hundred ‘working girls.’ These Mega-Clubs, (solely owned and operated by the Chinese Mafia) which were often three stories high, were death traps in the event of a fire, no matter how small. The din inside was cacophonous.

Ear plugs were prudent. If the place didn’t burn down during your sojourn, you could still get trampled to death in the stampede to get out the solitary door. Cigarette smoke swirled up like morning Mekong mist in Apocalypse Now. No one felt the danger. Nor cared.

This was not my first rodeo. I had been to Olongapo before (WESTPAC deployment in 1986).

Ditto for my two compadres. All three of us were GM’s—Gunner’s mates.  We were ‘Old Salts’. Matt was married to a Filipina and she seconded to San Dog (San Diego), happily fucking every Marine she could lay legs on.

This TMI came directly from Matt and was common knowledge. He admitted to being a cuckold, but was so blindly in love he was powerless to do anything about it.  

Rogers was married as well, but cuckold, he was none. Rogers was a little wiry Irish descendant, reddish blond-haired crazy son of a bitch. The three of us were absolutely the best of friends.

There could not be a more divergent set of personalities. Matt was an artist. He was thoughtful, mild-mannered, and really too nice of a guy for his chosen vocation.

Rogers was coarse, with a bit of a Napoleon Complex, fearless, rowdy. And crazy.

My persona was dark and foreboding and dangerous. I had ‘rocked out’ of SEAL training for the second time and had but one year left before I could turn in my Canoe Club Card and get the hell outta This Man’s Navy.

Having failed to make it in Naval Spec-Warfare, my Naval Career was over as far as I was able to give one shit. This made me dangerous. Rogers loved that about me. Matt was just generally apprehensive.

We did not enjoy the Magsaysay scene: it was just too rowdy—too loud—too frenetic—too immature (Yes: I said ‘immature’) We were not looking for prostitutes.

Matt had his loving wife; Rogers had his Trailer-Park-Shotgun-Bride with their four tow-headed kids, each born precisely nine months and twenty minutes after the preceding.  And I had my transplanted Yankee Girlfriend waiting (?) back in San Dog.

We just wanted a joint which would have that “Cheers” ambiance. We found it at Viva Young, a little shit-hole-in-the-wall bar off on a side street

(And actually ‘Off Limits’—even better: nothing more fun than jacking with the SP’s—Shore Patrol). Viva Young had become our place and all the girls (and the Mama-San) knew our names.

There was not much to it. It was a narrow long bar, perhaps 1500 square feet, dark and smoky and the music volume did not force us to shout.

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

“We love you here, Sailor Man!”

“Take your shoes off! We love you!”

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

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

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

“Sure Honey!”

Stay tuned…it gets better.

Subic Bay? OK. Yep I Tried to Re-Post This. Guess What? Never Mind WP. I know where You Live. Best to Keep Looking Over Your Shoulder. Just a Suggestion

And I apologizes for the word-salad too long paragraph in this post. And Thank yew WP for not allowing me to fix it—ASSHOLES

You may discover Part One here.

Part Two here.

The Thunder Bolt:

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

 – Calo (‘The Godfather’)

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

So… Matt

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

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

“Win your medals: fuck your strangers. Don’t it leave you on the empty side?”

–Joni

****

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Yeah, Rog. I suppose yer right.”

Rogers and I traded wolf tickets for an hour or so, and then aimed our affections at some Marines who had recently shown up.

Things were about to grow unpleasant when the regular shift of girls came strolling in. This stopped the war between the Navy and the Marine Corps as the music got loud and the girls took to the runway.

I knew all the girls on the shift. They were all my friends. But I spotted a girl I did not know.

‘Spotted’ is probably not the right word. ‘Witnessed’ (Think ‘Baptist Revival’ here) might be more appropriate. She was the image of my high school sweetheart. (No, I wasn’t really that drunk).

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

Thunderbolt. Bam!

I just had to have some chat with her.

And By God, I would.

Or die.

I would become useless for the rest of the evening.

I spent far too much time in the Far East.

This will be continued…

“Yeah! I’m flyin’ down to Houston…”

I love Willie.

“The Pitfalls of the City are Extremely REAL”