Something about ‘Crackerjacks’ and their Sailor Jerry Ole Style tattoos! Tattooing has been around for many moons but in our society it was usually the bikers… sailors… and soldier types who bared tattoos! If you didn’t fit in one of those categories you must’a been a down trott’n sordid individual in the minds of average Chevrolet and Apple Pie type Americans!!
Back in the day outside the gate of any American Naval base were wall to wall taverns… titty joints… tailor shops… & tattoo parlors designed explicitly to separate a ‘Crackerjack’s money from his wallet!! To many there was noth’n like gett’n tanked on a fifth of their favorite booze… gett’n inked at their chosen tattoo joint and hang’n out at some squid billy cathouse with women your mother would never approve of!! Every Hooker from Hong Kong… to San Fran… to Norfolk… to Naples could tell how much money you made by how many tattoos you had!!!
When I joined the Navy I pictured a bunch a tough old Sea Dog bastards with their dixie cup pushed back… a pack of ‘Lucky Strikes’ rolled in their T-shirt with nekkit lady pin-up tattoos on their forearms carousing and drinking cheap whiskey speaking fluent bullshit and telling sea stories like nobody else’s business!!!
“Shipmate, here’s a five, go get us a pitcher of beer… I’m thirstier than a hooker on a dry dick!”
“I don’t wanna here about your extra-curricular activities… just give me the damn money!”
“Say again? Your com’n in D.I.M. …Hahaha!!”
“What the hell does that mean?”
“You know… Dick In Mouth?”
But I must say… I never had a hanker’n for a tattoo! Not because I don’t like them… but ‘cause my Grandpappy told me as a young whipper-snapper never to put something on your body you can’t take away!! Though I gotta tell you I’ve always had an admiration for the artistic skills the tattooists exhibit… never a lack of respect for great tattoos!!!
I’ve seen many a tattoo in my day! There are the Hula Girls… Anchors… Nautical Stars… Mermaids… Pigs… Roosters… Swallows… and your traditional patriotic bits!! But some of these ink designations can become pretty gauddamned bizarre to say the least!!
There was the Seaman on the ‘BAGLADY’ with ‘FYCU’ on his right hand and ‘UOK!’ on his left… mesh his fingers together, and well… you get the idea! I heard of a ‘Crackerjack’ with ‘LTFC’ on one hand and ‘ESUK’ on the other… same idea!!! Something I’m sure he found useful with the bargirls throughout the Pacific… Olongapo, Phuket, Pattaya, Puson… just to name a few!!!
I knew another fella who actually had ‘Your Name’ tattooed along his penis! He said he heard the joke so many times he figured, “Why the Hell Not?”
Then there was the Chief who had ‘Officer’s Mess’ tattooed across his ass with an arrow pointing to the ol’ sphincter!!!
I even heard of a marine once who had a barber’s pole tattooed to his member… true? I don’t know… but that’s gotta be painful!!!
Hell… then I started see’n women with tattoos on their titties…
“Hell Honey… tattooing your Boobies is like decorating the household television…they're already fun to look at so why the hell you gotta do that?!?!”
Never the less, I’ve seen some pretty awesome art over the years…
But the ones I never really understood were the body piercings! Some of the shit I’ve seen… you’d have to be tougher than a boarding house steak to endure some of that kinda shit!!!
I’m not talking about the ears… nose… lip rivets or even the nipple handle bars! Those are a dime a dozen these days!! I even knew a fella or two to have a pierced tongue or a ‘Prince Albert’!!
When I was a Chief I had a fella whose ears looked like Buddha’s because he had gauges put in them before he joined the ol’ Canoe Club! Our Master Chief would give me hell about it but he had a waiver in his record… what could you do?!?
But the one that sticks out the most was in the Port of Fujairah in the United Emirates… about 96’ or 97’. While sitt’n in the local Seaman’s Club one of our company… maybe it was ‘Doris’ that Beavis look’n S.O.B. bragg’n about the pierced tongue when a group of Pinoy Merchant Marines were sitt’n across from us over hearing the conversation! One of the older fellas who spoke pretty decent broken English says…
“That’s notting… you see this!”
… and he pulls his junk out! It looked like some medieval meat cleav’n mace from the Dark Ages… the man had evenly spaced lumps all dressed out across his shaft!!
“It good for sex… make you manly man… bumpitty… bump, bump for clitoral stimulation!!”
You gotta be shitt’n me! He said they called it ‘bulitas’! It’s where they’d cut slits into the shaft of their mutton daggers and put nylon beads in there and sew them back up…
“That’s gotta be UnGodly Painful!!!”
… I remember say’n as we were all a bit dumbstruck! It definitely took the cake!! I’d never seen noth’n like that before… nor do I care too again!!!
But over the years the ol’ Canoe Club has changed its ways! As society has become more accustomed to tattoos and piercings the Navy has pretty gauddamned all but outlawed them!! First it was noth’n below the wrist… then the elbow… then anything below a short sleeve… then noth’n considered distasteful and up to command interpretation… So if your Commanding Officer just didn’t like you he could have you booted for his own understanding behind the meaning of your tattoo!! And low and behold the powers that be have deemed your tattoo ‘Politically Incorrect’ and you’re damned to a life of shame!!!
I give you this my friends… ask any uptight holier than though pinhead officer to walk into any VFW… sit down have a beer and see just how many of our old veterans have tattoos!! these are our heroes… our forefathers… the ‘Greatest Generation… Legends of our yester’years… the reason we are free today!!!
Nowadays young ‘Crackerjacks’ are only allowed to get Tinkerbell Tattoos on their butt cracks and angels and butterflies where they can’t be shown…yet they can where nipple rings and ear piercings as long as it’s not in uniform and I suppose lipstick… mascara… and a Carmen Miranda head dress with high heels and G-string banana hammocks as too not offend the more sensitive types… I’d used to say they’re try’n to make us all into boy scouts but even they don’t let the ‘Nancy Boys’ serve openly…
Back in the day we lived wild and dangerously… but we were young and proud!! We weren’t squeamish and we had the intestinal fortitude to let our boys live and act like men... we weren’t swept away by the ‘PC’ world and pretend like we all lived on the love boat… we fixed leaks… put out fires… cranked on wrenches and got loaded look’n for Cindy Crawford so we could pinch her on the butt before the night was over!! That’s who we were!!!
Nowadays the ‘Chief’ has to be calm and gentle to the young seaman apprentice…
“Shipmate… let me put this too you gently… DO I HAVE TO TATTOO MY INSTRUCTIONS ONTO THE END OF MY COCK AND FUCK IT IN TO YOU TILL YOU GET IT?!?”
NAAAW… That’s old school and it’d surely get you put in the Brig these days!!!