Most of us recognize the scent of horse pucky when we’re near it… and as far as I can tell, anyone who ain’t a Crackerjack Sailor usually has the contrived notion that a Sea Story ain’t noth’n but a pile of manure… like a fish’n story… you’d better get your weighters on because it’s gett’n deep!! Ya’ just had to have been there to even believe it!!!
Well, this one comes from The Preacher… the one and only Keeper of the Ancient & Majestic Order of Shit River & Guardian of the chilled San Migoo, Owyn Bradford! How did he get the nickname preacher you ask?!?
“I was in a bar in Yoko back in the day, went to the Benjo-San, and found a nekkit girlie mag on the deck! As my happy ass was stepp’n out I fell over landing on my knees and shuffled my ass all the way to the bar stool… All the while my Chief was watch’n and yelled out…’Look at Bradford on his knees with the Good Book! His name is Preacher now!’… And so it was for the next nine years!!!”
If that ain’t a no shitter then I’ll be damned! And here is the rest of the story…
Now shipmates this ain’t no SHIT! Late in the fall of 66’ we found ourselves off the gun line, enjoying libs in dear old Olongapo City, aka ‘Sailors’ Disneyland!!’ Now you know the bar girls always bade us not to be ‘butterply boys’… you set up with a girl and you’re not expected to do the horizontal mambo with anyone else!!!
My base of operations was the Tri-V Club, about halfway down on the right hand side! Mila was my …ahem… special friend!! But one night I thought I’d see what was going on elsewhere in town so I dropped in to New Pauline’s and had, well, an interesting evening!! I vaguely recalled getting a hickey or two in the process!!!
On the way back to the ship, I thought I’d have a beer at the Tri-V, get three sticks of monkey meat and then call it a night! Sooooo I sauntered in to the Tri-V, plopped down, and asked for a San Migoo!! No sooner had I taken my second swig than Mila appeared and sat down!! Pleasantries exchanged, she suddenly snapped…
… and pulled my trop white shirt to one side – to reveal a line of hickeys from earlobe to shoulder, kinda sorta like a red drippy epaulet!!!
Before I could say anything, she picked up an empty beer bottle and broke it on the table edge, and with her other hand pulled out and whirled open about a 29 cm butterfly knife! Aptly named…
“You summa beech, gonna keel you!”
… she howled, and I grabbed my white hat and sprinted for the door, she hard on my heels. Down Magsaysay Drive I ran, with screams and yells not far behind!! As I neared the guard shack, I fumbled for my back pocket!!!
“Fuck the ID, buddy!”
… shouted the Marine guard…
“She’s gaining on you!”
Redoubling my efforts, I skidded past the shack just as the (thrown) half bottle smashed to twinkling shards against one of the columns holding the shelter up! Mila stormed off muttering as I hauled out my DD2N and displayed it!!
“Whoo, pal, musta been good libs!”
… commented the gyrene...
“Anytime you come back just ahead of a blade and a broken bottle you KNOW you had a helluva time!”
I panted… And thus endeth the reading of the morning lesson…
I always loved stories like these… as there's no sense in looking back at could’a, should’a, would’a… as you know, I wouldn’t change a gauddamned thing! And I’d always revered the accounts of the ol’ salty dogs who’d came before me with stories depicted in iniquity!! It's as if destiny was a giant porch light & I was the junebug a buzz’n around it in the middle of the night!! In fact I can sit around on a hot humid rainy day & reminisce with an ice cold San Migoo and lose myself, what a ride it was... What a ride it was!!!