Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Hidden Treasure

With expressed permission… I bring to you a funny story written by Dino Myers from USS Buchanan DDG14 between 1971-75…  With observations by Dino’s Ops Boss, John Howard, LTjg, 1972-74… and Rebuttal by Dino!!!

BUCHANAN at the end of the 72’ cruise was one of six destroyers that were designated Mod Squad ships. Mod Squad - for those not familiar with the term - was one of Admiral Zumwalt’s programs rewarding deserving officers with commands normally given to officers of the next higher rank… Case in Point, the Commanding Officer of a destroyer is normally a Commander, but in the Mod Squad, a Lieutenant Commander was given command. The failure of the concept is the subject of another story. At this point, late 73’ we had been Mod Squad for over a year, and by then we were already on our second CO.

“Not only was the CO one rank junior, the XO and the Department Heads were one rank junior too. And with the Department Heads being LTjgs the Division Officers had to be Ensigns or junior Jgs... That’s how I came to be the Ops Boss as a LTjg and end up with ET's like Dino working for me. I’m looking forward to the reasons why the Mod Squad concept was a failure, Dino. We were on our second LCDR CO because the first… LCDR John Dalrymple, was relieved for cause when the ship got a pretty bad report from the Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV). Oddly enough, Dalrymple went on to make Admiral and Roche (the guy who replaced him) retired as a Captain and just finished four years as Secretary of the Air Force.” 

The command had made the decision that the reason we had been unable to pass the last FIT REP was because very important warfare things had been overlooked!! Things like cleaning, painting, replacing linoleum in passageways, insuring the Bosn’s Pipe call was played before every 1MC announcement when at sea!!!

“He-he-he… And not being able to get underway without jury-rigging just about every piece of equipment in the entire engineering plant!”

I had been aboard for two years when LCDR Roche took command in June of 73.’ During those two years, I could count the number of times I heard the Bosn’s Pipe onboard on one hand and have fingers left over. And just as important, that all the windshield wipers on the bridge pointed in the same direction …  all to Port or all to Starboard.

“What the heck were you doing on the bridge, Dino? You must have been fixing one of the SPA-25 radar repeaters?!?”

“Actually I had forgotten the windshield wiper tidbit until Jim Roche brought it up at first reunion.” 

“I wonder why Dino didn’t like the pipe… Maybe his rack was right under a 1MC speaker? Or did the pipe wake him from his naps in the Radar Room?”

“I just thought it shouldn’t be played in the enlisted berthing like it was not played in Officers Country. My naps in Radar were at my own risk!”

To assist with resolving some of these problems, Thursday of each week was designated for Captain’s Inspection. This consisted of all hands being reclassified as janitors for a day. In the morning, all passageways and spaces were secured so they could be cleaned. The only spaces accessible were those that had access via weather decks. After lunch… inspection started each team with an officer to find dirt and a Yeoman to record the event! They left the Wardroom on their mission!! Captain Roche would go with a different team each week!!!

“Well, the inspection was really called a Zone Inspection, and they weren’t weekly, they were monthly as I recall. And the purpose was not just to make sure the spaces were clean, but more importantly to make sure all the DC equipment worked and that any problems – of any sort – were recorded so that they could get prioritized to get fixed. We spent a lot of SurfPac’s maintenance dollars during the months after Roche took command.”

“I stand corrected. That was the original definition of inspections. Maybe was once a month but sure seemed like every week.” 

One Thursday a young Ensign asked to look inside a locked cabinet in Radar. This cabinet contained the extra parts all ETs kept outside the supply system – parts like vacuum tubes, transistors, and fuses. There had been some concern by Captain Roche about hoarding unauthorized spare parts- wanting it stopped and all parts returned to stock. I did what any Second Class would do when a green Ensign asked dumb questions... I explained that it contained the manuals for equipment and they were kept locked up because they were classified. This confused the Ensign because he knew he did not have the ‘need to know’ so he wasn’t sure if he could make me open the cabinet. Being unsure how to proceed, he did not press the issue.

“Pretty quick thinking, Dino! The Ensign in question must have been the Disbursing Officer.”

“Good guess can't slip one by you.”

The following week Captain Roche happened to accompany the inspection team that was to do the Radar Rooms. I never knew if this was just their time in the rotation, or if the events of the previous week had anything do with it. Well, whatever it was, the inspections had started and we were waiting to present the spaces when a panicky young Third Class ran into Radar and insisted I follow him to Aux Radio and see something that appeared to him to signal the end of the world. In the space was a ship’s entertainment speaker box about 18 inches square and 6 inches deep, mounted on the bulkhead just above shoulder height.

“Probably just the luck of the rotation – but you’ll never know for sure...”

He had gotten bored while waiting for the inspection party and opened the box – only to discover a half-full fifth of Scotch in the speaker! It only took me a quick second to figure who the Scotch belonged to… based on location and brand. This individual had been discharged and flown home from Subic Bay over a year and a half earlier. The bottle had been fermenting there ever since with no one knowing of its existence. I figured that running through the passageways with a bottle of Scotch with Officers… Chiefs…  and the Master-at-Arms patrolling everywhere was a bad idea! Besides… who would ever believe my explanation???

“Boy, ain’t that the truth… I know I would have had a hard time choking down that story!!!”

The only thing that made sense was to close the box and go through the inspection as normal. I would dispose of it later. After all it had already been there for over a year with no one the wiser…

“Good thinking!!”

Radar was the first space inspected. All went well but as the Captain was just about to leave, he stopped at the locked cabinet. Then he looked at me with a smirk as if to say he knew what was inside but there were certain things officers should not ask… also to remind me not to blow too much smoke up the young Ensign’s ass. I smiled back so he understood that I had gotten the message with the knowledge that the spare parts inventory was safely hidden in the SPS 37 power supply. The cabinet now contained manuals as I had described to the Ensign the week before.

Next was Aux Radio... I was concerned the Third Class would prostrate himself over the speaker box screaming…  

"There ain’t nothing in here that shouldn’t be in here!!!"

so I stepped over to ‘supervise.’ I don’t know what brought the Captain’s attention to the speaker box (maybe I wasn’t as cool as I thought… or maybe the Third Class was staring at it with sweat on his forehead… or maybe it was just dumb luck). The Captain asked what a ship’s entertainment speaker was doing in a working space, so I explained that during the last cruise this space was used by our DJ to transmit from, and there was no longer a speaker in the box. This seemed to satisfy the Captain’s curiosity, and my blood pressure started to return to normal as the Skipper turned away.

“I’m laughing pretty hard right now – I can see the scene as plain as day!”

But then the Ensign reached up and pushed on the speaker screen. There were no screws in the top of screen and it caved in, hitting the bottle which then started to wobble. My ear was only inches from the side of said box so it sounded like a freight train to me! The space was small and with the Captain, Ensign, Yeoman, Third Class and myself… there was no room to spare. The Captain had turned his back so I slid between the speaker box and the Ensign, and glared down at him. After all, what good does being big and ugly do if you don’t use it? This move sent the Ensign to the Skipper’s side for protection, and we got through inspection without disturbing the Scotch anymore!

“Who was the Yeoman? Was it YN1 Leech… or maybe PN1 Bob Bussey? If it was Bob, he was probably in on the whole thing from the git-go!”

“I don't remember who it was but figured if one more guy came in the space we’d have to wear condoms to prevent some nasty disease! “

At liberty call that day the bottle of Scotch left with me and was used to celebrate the fact that I had somehow managed to finish the same rank that I started with that morning!!

“Simply amazing!’

Monday, December 16, 2013

‘Cherry Boy’

I'll probably get tarred, feathered and even keelhauled over this...... but in the days before the powers that be took hold of the mold and broke it to pieces, most of the fun loving ol’ canoe club was all about a girl in every port, while drunk and disorderly and other unseemly behavior searching for a pack of smokes and an easy street walk’n courtesan for some hasty gauddamned horizontal refreshment!!!

In particular there was a place… a place called Subic in the PI! A place where stories were made of pure bullshit and some not so much!! I think this is where the term ‘This ain’t no bullshit’ was coined!! When you hear these yarns you’d probably think to yourself…

There ain’t a kernel of fact in that there story… ain’t no way no how!”

You’re probably think’n…

“How profane… no one could have that many adventures and capers from one port visit!"

But I’m here to tell you… if it can happen… it’s happened in the PI! So many Crackerjacks left the brow with no intention of heeding warnings from their Sea Daddies!! After many a story heard by this young Crackerjack of this place… the personal Nirvana of so many who’d traveled it’s way… and after three months of nothing short of Penthouse, Hustler, & Playboy Magazines in a dark rack in the back of some berthing compartment… my perverted mind was like an ol’ metal bear trap rusted shut!! I couldn’t think of nothing but tits & tight asses… and I was look’n for a warm body to saddle up ol’ Rusty!!!

Besides… they say you never forget your first time… and this was my first time in the PI. I was a Cherry Boy and my shippies made sure I knew that from the get go!!!

"Don’t fall in love out their Swinger… she’ll say she love you long time no shit! But don’t fall for it!"

Yeah, I got the message… I knew it was all a game and these gals were looking for a husband to take them to America! I wasn’t gonna fall for that crap!! I just had to remember… as soon as the barfine was paid I was just a customer… just a number… I’m gett’n serviced, and that’s just find… ‘cause I was hornier than a three peckered billy goat!!!

Then came ‘Knock Off Ships Work’ as we scrambled to the berthing douching our armpits & dousing down with the latest cheap cologne ready to hit the streets of Olongapo! Once across Shit River it was out in town where I had ideas of sailors riding rickshaws with knockout local ‘Love Me Long Time’ girls!! But it was nothing of the sorts!!!

Yes… Once across Shit River Magsaysay, downtown Olongapo was an eye opening exotic bazaar of forbidden pleasure and amazing delights!  There were sin dens & beer joints of the like with names such as Top Gun, California Club, Sierra Club, The Wagon Wheel… etc,etc!!  These were great places to lose your money while drink’n stuff you had no idea what it was or where it came from… and the girls… the bargirls were many… sooo many girls!! I must’a had one of them ‘Gone to Heaven… Cherry Boy’ looks on my face ‘cause all the gals seemed to know it… it was not secret!!!

But I wasn’t looking for one of them manipulative type bargirls! Yes… I was jumpy as a fart on a griddle and definitely ready to patronize some tantalizing bar booty… while three sheets to the wind without having to explain myself at confession or to a psychiatrist!!

Soooo there we were walking down Magsaysay… decorated Jeepneys haul’n cargoes of enlisted wildlife with seats made of five gallon buckets making numerous runs from the gates of Shit River all the way through Barrio Barretto to Subic City! There were pick pocketeers… street vendors… & lady street walkers!! But most of those gals were hands off… a risky proposition probably kicked out of the bar for STDs or scamming the patrons!! Either way… they were the ones to stay away from!!!

We stopped in our first bar and washed down the ol’ thirsties with a cold San Migoo and my ass parked on an old wooden barstool with the names of every vessel in the ol’ canoe club wittled deep in its grain!  All the waitresses & dancers were purttier than a picture as the employment requirements must have included the collective breast displacement of a large destroyer...  most Filipinas aren’t known for their bra size but those lovely sweethearts must’ve been load’n up on the ‘Chuckwagon’!! A couple of beauties sat down next to us and within seconds they were laugh’n and carrying on!! It didn’t take long for my shipmate, Becker, to tell the girls I was a ‘Cherry boy!!’ They brought a young gal over they’d claimed was a ‘Cherry Girl’ as Becker continued to flip me shit about being a Cherry Boy…

“Hey Cherry Boy, get me a beer!”  

…but a younger innocent type was probably the best I could hope for! She had that sweet, virtuous look and I was immediately attracted… thinking back now, it seems strange to come all this way to get all goo goo eyed over some gal in the Phillipines… but I had to remember she was a bargirl and nothing more! I’m just here to get laid!! Becker says to me…

“Swinger check out the turd chopper on her… she’s got some big titties too!”

… Bigger than your average Filipina’s! With my mouth a drool’…  I had no idea how to play this game and I was still in awe from the jungle I just walked into!!  I asked her to join me and she seemed a bit shy but she was surely interested!!!

This particular cherry girl was as cute as a button. She was tense and I couldn’t help wondering why she was in the bar at all! But once again I had to remember… I wasn’t here looking for my future ex-wife!! As we became acquainted she said she’d only been working about a month… a rooky in the business… all this was making me anxious & horny and I was ready to head out…

Once I paid her bar fine we headed down the road for a hotel, I was like a fish out of water… patronizing ladies providing commercial carnal delight wasn’t something I was used too… never done it up to this point so I was nervous as a Christmas Turkey to say the least!!!

We came up upon one of them pay by the hour hotels… small and about three stories high! Inside it had this colonial ambiance… there were ceiling fans with wicker furniture and large wooden blinds across the barred windows in the lobby. Once in the room on the top floor there was a large bed taking up most of the floor space with fake ferns at each corner and a corrugated roof overhang you could see through the screened window.  Hell… it sure wasn’t a five star room at the Waldorf Astoria with Kate Upton but I wasn’t complaining!!!

Dropping her panties she was quite the looker… as she was built like a brick shit house with the greatest knockers… the kind that don’t head for the armpits when she’s lay’n down if you know what I mean! Her every curve… just right… neither too lean… nor too plump!! Nubile comes to mind… the perfect ripeness of a woman before she starts to sag!!!

We kissed for a while and I got hotter & hotter! We took a shower together as I held her honey colored frame close as the water splattered around our humid bodies!! Then we went back to the bed stark ass naked and kissed some more before doing the some vaginal bungee jump’n while giving the monkey a banana… park’n the pink bus in the furry garage.. and hiding the salami while schuck’n the bearded oyster!!!

“I will do anyting you want… anyting!”

Yeah… I buttered her muffin for quite a time but for some reason I just couldn’t let loose of the man chowder! She was tighter than a gnats ass stretched over a rain barrel but I figured maybe it was the heat… or too much San Migoo… or maybe it was just the situation… I wasn’t sure!!!

Then she wanted me to Yodel in her Crevice… now there’s not too many things that I won’t do but muff diving a ‘love you long time no shit’ bar girl?!?

“Honey I’ll do anything but carpet munch’n… after all I don’t know who’s been burying their bone in that carpet!”

Now don’t get me wrong… I gave it a quick thought  and considering she was young and claimed to still be ‘Cherry’ it was a hard bargain to pass up as she insisted she was clean… but I wasn’t about to get the ol’ hypoderm the size of a yarning needle stuck in my tonsils for having a nasty case of yuck in the throat!! But we found other ways to make the time well worth it and eventually I was spitt’n out the man gravy!!!

Yes… I had a newly found swagger, as I’d lost my ‘Cherry Boy’ status! I was no longer in the dilemma of enduring that ‘Cherry Boy’ brand!! It was a surprising and happy moment all at the same time!!!

Sooo whatever happened to the young ‘Cherry Girl’ who helped me establish my veteran status amongst the animals of Olongapo you ask?!? I never went back to her… can’t say I figure why… other than I wasn’t look’n for love but a lotta passion fruit if you catch my drift! As many and as much as I could get in such a short amount of time!! I’m wiser and older now… and often wonder if I’d made her my honeykoe… whatever would’a happened?!? I ran into her on the street about two weeks later… we had a moment of eye contact… neither of us spoke a word… and we both carried on our own way!! But I often wondered as she was the better of all those butterfly kisses…

There were a lot of good recollections… good people in the PI along Magsaysay and all the way to Subic City… a collection of unforgettable memories!  Memories, sights and smells that became very familiar to the lads who roamed those very streets!! I have a feeling the way we experienced that place will never be relived… with a bulge in our pockets… eat’n the monkey meat & balut and wash’n it down with the ol’ San Migoo!!!

Is it too late to be forgiven for my iniquitous sins and steered in the pathway of righteousness? Can you imagine what a pissed off hooker could do whittling into the table of some humid happy bar in the south pacific? I need to get a signed chit from Saint Peter asking the great Creator not to hurt me too severely come judgement day... ‘cause I was a lustfully bad, bad boy when I was a young lad wear’n the ol’ Crackerjack uniform!!!