OH why Not!? ‘Lance! Lance! LANCE!!! Take a Fuckin’ Break! Get Over Yourself! Added More Navy SEAL SHIT! “Part Two of a Sailor’s Scholarly Series on U.S. Naval History in The South Pacific”

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

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

Upon first entering, immediately on the left was ‘Mama San’s ‘Office,’ which was simply an enclosed counter with an ancient cash register, a small table lamp, a perpetually over-flowing ashtray, and a counter sign which read: “No Credit.” Every bar or club had a ‘Mama San’—‘Manager’ to put it into Western Parlance. I had a bit of a history with this Mama San.

(Yes we were ‘Fuck Buddies’)

We were roughly the same age and found each other mutually attractive. She was tall for a Filipina, just a little bit chunky with shoulder length reddish brown hair which she kept in a semi-perm. Or perhaps it kept her; maybe that was its natural state. Dark brown eyes and the ‘Ornamental’ version of The ‘Shonnie’ Voice—semi-coarse and gruff.

She did volunteer work for the mayor of Olongapo and was quite well-read, savvy, and politically astute. She wanted a career in government. But first she had a bar to run and girls to manage. In this regard she was all cold business.

When on liberty in Olongapo I generally spent the night with Mama San. She lived with her mother and a sister and a brother and a few children in a fairly decent (though small) house about a mile from Viva Young. She was supporting the entire family and was never ‘hesitate’ to hit me up for contributions to her domicile.

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

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

But still a working port.

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

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

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

“You call. We haul.”

That is the mantra of the Amphib Navy.

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

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

Twice.

“Drown Proofing”

It’s Great Fun!

HELL WEEK!

HELL YEAH

HOOYAH!!

I Did All this Shit!

Twice!

No Brag!

Just Fact!

“The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday”

–SEAL saying

***

Back to Mama:

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

“You pay my bar fine. OK?”

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

“You pay bar fine.”

I paid.

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

And while I am on THAT subject, allow me to inform you, I never paid any bar fines of any young girls for sex. I did not believe in it. There is much I will explain in future installments regarding this, but for now, suffice it to say that this sailor is an Honorable Man.

Fancy

Bobbie Gentry – (1969)

Street Cred for Vid: kelly heisler

***

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

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

What did I need money for anyway? We had a convenient relationship and we were genuinely fond of each other as far as it went. And to my mind, she was doing good work. She was ‘Mother’ to her girls and sincerely looked out for their wellbeing. She could spot a potentially abusive sailor or marine in an instant and would never allow same to leave the bar with one of her girls.

Ever.

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

***

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

***

Bordering this runway on three sides was a narrow counter top: narrow-minded and horse-shoe-shaped. The open end faced the door and Mama San’s watchful eye. Strings of lights hung precariously from the ceiling. Bar stools (ancient and uncomfortable) finished the Spartan scene.

The bar girls would line up on the runway and dance to the music from the equally ancient jukebox. Yes, this was best unflatteringly described as a ‘Meat Market’. But then, that was Olongapo in ‘89.

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

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

I never met a single lil gal (see how easily I throw in some Texan Bullshit Vernacular to gloss over the horrible reality?) who told me she wasn’t actually from Olongapo. Nope, these were all ‘country gals’ with aspirations for higher education brought from ‘The Province’. Their true aspiration was to marry a U.S. Serviceman and get the hell out of the Philippines.

And who could blame them? Many a young Sailor or Marine, after having his first sexual encounter fell in love with a Filipina and did fulfill her dream. They would marry and the new bride would move to San Diego. Within a few months the rest of the family would be sent for: Mama, Daddy, Baby Sis, Baby Bro, Big Sis, Big Bro, real cousins, faux cousins, best friends, et cetera. This was known as the ‘Filipino Pipeline’.

Sadly, more often than not, once secured with U.S. Citizenship and the rescue of her family, the new bride would divorce her Sailor or Marine and make her way headlong into The American Dream, never once looking back and leaving the husband wondering what the hell had gone wrong.

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

Actually everything always went wrong with such arrangements.

Well wrong for the sailor/marine.

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

The Girl from Ipanema

Artists: Astrud Gilberto, João Gilberto and Stan Getz

Street Cred for Vid: catman916

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

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

***

Part One Here:

Part Three coming soon.

Still In Vegas And Rememberance Mode! And Here, Find Here: A Final Throw-Back: “Lost Wages” I need a Sabbatical

“So, What Brings You to Las Vegas?”

“I Came Here To Drink Myself To Death.”

 

Thought I’d throw this back out, before I delete it and since I ‘swerved onto it’ and it made me laugh because I still cannot believe I am capable of writing such shit at this late date in my lifetime.)

And a fucking night moth just flew past my ear. This Moth don’t know my mind and who she is fucking with! Just saying. Just saying: Sleep is an option (for me). Gonna explore it. 

Catch Y’all Manana.

And… ya know… Rambling is my soul.

Laughter is the song of your Soul.

Hope you like it.

(be certain to watch the video of Sammy Davis and Dean and Frank and Johnny Carson: you will not be disappointed–classic Rat Trap, er…Pack.)

Cheers,

Lance

Shucks!

***********

Las Vegas

And pondering why I love the TV show, ‘Nashville’ so much.

Here goes:

Many a time while stationed in San Diego, I would make a spur of the moment decision to drive the five hours to Vegas.

Occasionally with a buddy or two after closing down a bar somewhere downtown San Dog. Once or twice with a female accomplice,  but usually alone.

“It’s OK. We (I) can sober up on the road. We’ll get to Vegas about sunrise.”

Would just show up, never having the wherewithal or forethought to reserve a room so I’d just nap in my Tornado if necessary.

But then, I never really slept while in Vegas anyhow. Why would I need a room?

One Saturday night after a not-too-lucky session at the craps table, I fell asleep in my car, which was always parked in the Union Plaza Parking Lot & Cow Pasture.

plaza

Union Plaza
Live it Up!

Well I woke up Sunday morning, (with no way to hold my head that didn’t hurt) knowing full-well that I was due back in San Diego and on my “boat” before nightfall.

While attempting to drive out of the parking lot, the young uniformed schmuck informed me that I owed two dollars for the parking.

“Listen Asshole, I just dropped two grand in your casino last night.”

“Sorry Sir, but the parking is two dollars.”

“Let me say this one more time: I just ‘invested’ two large in your fucking casino.”

“Sir, I am just doing my job.”

“And me mine, for fuck’s sake. I’m protecting your way of life and your right to be an idiot.”

I then proceeded to drive through his little wooden gate, trailing splinters all over, never looking back except briefly to see the look on his face. (This behavior is not unprecedented in my past).

Got to San Diego with no gas, no cigs, no money, and no nada.

Had to ring up (collect) my girlfriend to meet me at a station and buy me some gas just to get to 32nd Street and back to my ship.

Ah! To be young, bullet-proof, and not worry about life’s consequences!

I love Las Vegas.

Was once almost thrown out of the El Cortez (Downtown Glitter Gulch) for card counting.

You see, I had read and studied Kenny Uston’s book

My Hero

My Hero

which I had purchased in a book store in Hong Kong. I spent many hours a day while at sea, practicing Uston’s card-counting methods.  I also read Ed Thorp’s (The guy who “invented” or rather “discovered” card-counting)

Actually, I got rather proficient at it hence my early and unceremonious exit from El Cortez.  I was too proud of my new-found skills and did not try to conceal my counting behavior.  I would place one or two-dollar bets when the deck was ‘cold’ and fifty-dollar bets when the deck went ‘hot’: breaking the cardinal rule, of never ever be obviously stupid. Technically card counting is not illegal, but the casinos will still throw you out if they suspect you have that skill.  And do not mistake: Black Jack is the only “game of skill” in Vegas, aside from poker, but who can afford that?

Slots? Oh Yeah. Once I was playing the “Big Quarter” ($25) machines at the Tropicana and won $5,000. (Proceeded to give it all back at the craps table, but not before I impressed the hell out of the management, betting black chips). They asked me “What do you do for a living?” I said, “I’m in the Navy.” They just shook their heads and asked me if I needed a girl. I said, “No. I just wanna roll a hard six; can you arrange that?”

Roulette? One time, after a particularly successful round of BJ, I was walking out of the Union Plaza (again), dropped a green ($25) chip on seventeen black: Bond, James Bond’s bet.

Bond; James Bond.

Bond; James Bond.

And WON! Took my winnings (approx. $800) and went to breakfast. Smartest, smoothest move I ever made in Vegas. Ah… those were the days My Friend; thought they’d never end….

Obviously I have some stories from Las Vegas.

Too bad I was born too late to experience “The Rat Pack.” Maybe if I accumulate enough good Karma, I can come back as Sammy Davis Jr. Or Frank Sinatra.  Stranger things have happened, in the night, eh?

Dean Martin, caught in a Gravity Storm.

Priceless.

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

I guess that ‘bout sums it all up.

“Live it up, Y’all!”

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

Shoulda Left Las Vegas

Las Vegas
And pondering why I love the TV show, ‘Nashville’ so much.

Here goes:

Many a time while stationed in San Diego, I would make a spur of the moment decision to drive the five hours to Vegas.

Occasionally with a buddy or two after closing down a bar somewhere downtown San Dog. Once or twice with a female accomplice,  but usually alone.

“It’s OK. We (I) can sober up on the road. We’ll get to Vegas about sunrise.”

Would just show up, never having the wherewithal or forethought to reserve a room so I’d just nap in my Tornado if necessary.

But then, I never really slept while in Vegas anyhow. Why would I need a room?

Too bad I was born too late to experience “The Rat Pack.” Maybe if I accumulate enough good Karma, I can come back as Sammy Davis Jr. Or Frank Sinatra.  Stranger things have happened, in the night, eh?

Dean Martin, caught in a Gravity Storm. 

Priceless.

Continue reading

This Post DESERVES More love! C’mon Y’all! I do THIS for YOU!! “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.

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.